Delete
EFE
Is democracy dying?
The Bottom Line

Is democracy dying?

British citizens are now able to register to vote in UK general and by-elections. Of course, this comes eight years too late for those who were unable to vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum

Jennie Rhodes

Malaga

Friday, 19 January 2024, 17:39

Compartir

On the same day that I wrote an article about the end of the 15-year rule, allowing Britons who have lived overseas for more than 15 years to vote again, I listened to a podcast on the BBC Sounds app in which the presenters questioned whether democracy was dying.

One of the guests on the podcast argued that there's "a lot to be said" for democracy and that the whole point of the EU was to "trade goods, not blows". Democracy is pretty good, he argued, but the "quality has gone down". He was, of course, referring to the rise of populism and the way that elections are being fought and won in recent years.

I am inclined to agree with the view that there's a lot to be said for it. I think it all depends on how we use the rights we, in democratic countries, have. Not everybody lives in a democratic country, women have only been allowed to vote for a century in the UK and the first democratic elections following Franco's dictatorship only took place in Spain in 1977.

After years of campaigning, not least by the late Harry Shindler OBE who worked tirelessly to lobby the UK government to repeal the 15-year rule, British citizens are now able to register to vote in UK general and by-elections. Of course, this comes eight years too late for those who were unable to vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum. It does, however, come just in time to be able to vote in this year's UK general election, which political pundits are betting will take place in the autumn. It could even take place around the time of the presidential elections in the US, which are scheduled for 5 November. Brits still mourning Brexit, look away now - the next European Parliament elections are happening between 6 and 9 June. In fact, over half the world's population will be asked to vote this year; there are also elections in India, Mexico and Russia and a long list of other countries.

In my view it is vital that British citizens living abroad register to vote. What happens in the UK affects our families, friends and us too. The result of the 2010 election led to David Cameron promising THAT referendum. I lost count of the number of Brits in Spain who could have voted in the 2016 referendum but didn't, and still complained about the result. If you don't vote, don't moan about the result. This year there's no excuse. Brits can register to vote in the UK and EU citizens who are resident in Spain and on their local padrón can also register to vote in the European elections. Some may argue that democracy is dying, but I believe it is in our power to keep it alive.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios