Monday, 29 May 2017

My UK election postal vote arrived today ...

... so I ripped it up and put it in the recycling.

I did read it first and it struck me as completely irrelevant. I no longer live there or feel any connection other than a vague nostalgia and a love of BBC crime dramas, not to mention that the lack of a proportional representation system makes it highly likely that any vote I might have cast would have been the equivalent of farting during a hurricane - satisfying but totally futile.

Currently, if you're a UK citizen and no longer a resident you can vote for 15 years after you leave the UK. You're supposed to register, but they don't enforce it, and it used to be the case that the overseas elector registration process was so byzantine as to discourage registration.

More recently they've got a snappier and easier registration system - last UK address and passport number and date you left the UK and if you were on the electoral roll when you left you're back - which in my case means an electorate where if the Tories put up a chimpanzee in chintz underpants for election it would probably get in.

Now as I don't live there anymore and almost certainly will never do so again it's not my job to tell the UK election people how to run their elections, but there's recently been talk of extending the overseas elector cut off from 15 years to life.

Lifetime registration doesn't seem appropriate - once you've been away for fifteen years it is extremely unlikely that you have any direct connection or involvement, and if you come back you can always reregister ...

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