Wednesday, 25 May 2005

No taxation without representation

I'm British, but I didn't vote in the recent British general election, for the very good reason that I'm not allowed to. Anyone who lives outside the UK for more than 15 years loses the right to vote, and I've been away for 19 years.

I live in Spain, but I'm not Spanish, so I don't have a vote in Spanish national elections either. I do, in fact, have a right to vote in local and European elections here, but these are not very important, and they sometimes forget to send me an invitation even though I have a right to take part.

If there were no taxation without representation, I'd be delighted. Like any sane person, I'd gladly trade my vote for a tax exemption. One person's vote makes no difference at all to any election result: I'm sure you're more likely to be struck by lightning on your way to vote than you are to have any effect on the composition of the government. However, to pay no taxes would have a very significant and tangible effect on my financial situation.

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