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Why limit overseas voting to students?

Dear Sir,

Here is a simple question for 2016. If the British, Americans and Filipinos living abroad can vote, why can't Bermudians?

Canadians retain the right to vote from overseas, although under stricter guidelines — if you have lived outside of Canada for fewer than five years or are exempt from this limit, such as working for a Canadian interest abroad.

Our students will soon have the right to vote from overseas, but why limit it to students?

Places such as the Philippines use their overseas population as a pillar of their economy. They train nurses who will seek jobs all over the world, with no hurry to get back, either.

Naturally we would want to determine who has left without ever intending to return, and who is seeking to live abroad for benefits and growth but, for all intents, views their overseas stay as a sojourn from which they will return to their cherished home endowed with wealth and experience.

Just like the right to vote is considered an inalienable right, we should not take lightly the practice of stripping that native right simply because persons move abroad, particularly nowadays with globalisation, when the optimum utility is to be able to participate in the global economy, which at time requires relocation.

We should care less about how they might vote, but strongly consider what should be the human right to vote, currently deprived.

Choosing students at least demonstrates the willingness of the Government to engage in the mechanics of transporting votes.

So why on Earth won't that commitment be extended to our overseas Bermudians?

It's not that many of us, and we should at the very least honour the spirit of being and belonging to the Bermuda experience.

Some may suggest a cut-off period, such as ten years. I will leave that debate to the technocrats and public discussion.

Khalid Wasi

Have your say: the move to give students overseas a vote has been welcomed, but should be extended to all Bermudians, a reader writes

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Published December 28, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 27, 2015 at 7:51 pm)

Why limit overseas voting to students?

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