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Should Polish citizens living abroad have the right to vote in elections


Crnogorac 3 | 111  
10 Mar 2008 /  #1
(I emphasize hypothetically speaking) Should someone like Michal who has a Polish passport but is a resident in the UK have the ability to determine the political future and influence the direction of the country by having equal voting rights as someone like Grzegorz or Lukasz who live, work and pay taxes in Poland?

Reasons for and against.
KasiaG - | 44  
10 Mar 2008 /  #2
So Michal is a Polish citizen? There should be no doubt about his right to vote in Polish elections. Every lawful citizen has a right to shape the political scene in his country, even if he doesn't live in this country at the moment. I believe it is true for most immigrants that they wouldn't leave their country in the first place, if this country offered them work conditions securing an expected standard of living.

Michal may be a resident of Uganda, and I guess he'd still be identifying himself more with Poles than Ugandans (I hope I did not just make up this word ;)
Dice 15 | 452  
10 Mar 2008 /  #3
There is a difference between the migrant workers who are living abroad temporarily and Polish expatriates who have emigrated out of Poland and are living permanently in other countries.

The migrant workers want to vote in Polish elections and they have every right to do it.

Most Polish people living abroad who are not planning on moving back to Poland will not vote in Polish elections because they don't fallow Polish politics and quite frankly they don't care.
RJ_cdn - | 267  
10 Mar 2008 /  #4
Every lawful citizen has a right to shape the political scene in his country, even if he doesn't live in this country at the moment

I don't agree with this and I am a Pole still holding polish citizenship. No one who is out of the country for more than 5 years (or a full term between elections) or possibly even never been to Poland should be allowed to vote. Not having a complete knowledge of current events, issues and of course candidates their votes may do more harm than good.
Mali - | 300  
10 Mar 2008 /  #5
yeah, I agree that expats shouldn't be allowed to vote in country of origin after a while. I hold a dual citizenship (Canada and Poland) and can't imagine myself being knowledgeable enough on Polish party platforms in order to vote. Scary thought.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
10 Mar 2008 /  #6
Not having a complete knowledge of current events, issues and of course candidates their votes may do more harm than good.

What if they made an active effort to keep up with the politics and current affairs of Poland? It's easy to do now, especially with the use of the Internet.
dtaylor 9 | 823  
10 Mar 2008 /  #7
I dont see how a worker in a different country should have the right to vote, to vote, you must pay taxes to that country, if you are not living in the country at time of the elections, then why do you have the right. The point that you have moved to different country for short term work means you arent prepared to work in the country of your origin.
Mali - | 300  
10 Mar 2008 /  #8
What if they made an active effort to keep up with the politics and current affairs of Poland? It's easy to do now, especially with the use of the Internet.

I'm a little skeptical that enough people given the chance would actually educate themselves properly before voting in elections in regions where they do not live. Besides, why should people that left the country to live elsewhere have a right to help shape the future of people that are actually living there?
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
10 Mar 2008 /  #9
I would be a little skeptical about that also. People don't always leave a place because they truly want to, circumstances may have been out of their control at the time. They might still care very much about Poland and have family there, so why should they be denied the right to help shape the country? As always it's up to the indiviual whether they vote or note, so I suppose if they didn't care, they could always just not vote but I don't think the right should be taken away from them.
RJ_cdn - | 267  
10 Mar 2008 /  #10
What if they made an active effort to keep up with the politics and current affairs of Poland? It's easy to do now, especially with the use of the Internet.

I am out of the country for 20 years now and do try to keep myself well informed, however I feel that if I participated in polish elections I would be dishonest to myself and to the people of Poland. Just by reading the internet or watching the news you can not, IMO, really know the reality.

They might still care very much about Poland

Yes, but is it enough to make the right judgment?
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
10 Mar 2008 /  #11
Fair enough, but there are Polish people abroad who would feel they kept themselves well informed (who may visit Poland throughout the year) and who would feel their knowledge is enough to vote in Polish elections.

There's no way to determine whether a person is knowledgeable enough to vote (lets face it, some of the people who are voting in Poland are not clued up enough).
learning 16 | 72  
10 Mar 2008 /  #12
I am not so sure how politics work and such, but this is my idea. Abroad citizens should be able to elect officials who represent the 'abroad citizens' in 'abroad affairs (if there are any)' which then means that they actually do get a say in the vote.

Citizens are citizens, and although they do not live in the land of their citizenship, that land is the only place where they have the franchise. It would be a shame, not being able to vote anywhere.

Is the idea ridiculous, or somewhat sensible?
RJ_cdn - | 267  
10 Mar 2008 /  #13
but there are Polish people abroad who would feel they kept themselves well informed (who may visit Poland throughout the year)

Up to year 2000 I used to travel to Poland every year (for a month each time) and believe me, between visiting relatives, friends and partying, there is not much time left for politics. After reading some of the posts made by Poles (living abroad) on this forum I can assure you that some of them have no clue.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
10 Mar 2008 /  #14
After reading some of the posts made by Poles (living abroad) on this forum I can assure you that some of them have no clue.

I won't disagree with that statement. It is true though that many who do live in Poland have no clue either so it's hard to say that people who aren't living there are any less clued -up or have any less right to vote.

There can never be a final answer to this.
RJ_cdn - | 267  
10 Mar 2008 /  #15
It is true though that many who do live in Poland have no clue either so

I am sure there are
celinski 31 | 1,258  
10 Mar 2008 /  #16
In order to vote they must fill out an absentee ballot. If they are a citizen that would go through this process they are most likely in the military and have every right to have their vote counted. I don't think it's a matter of 20 years and all of a sudden someone decides to vote.
plk123 8 | 4,149  
10 Mar 2008 /  #17
whatever.. like people in PL are all up and up on all the goings on.

if you're polish citizen no matter where you reside, you get to vote otherwise it's not a democracy .. how about bums next.. they are too drunk to vote.. slippery slope and that;s why there should be no restrictions. besides, are there more poles in poland or abroad?
Eurola 4 | 1,909  
10 Mar 2008 /  #18
I think Poles living abroad should not vote. They only spoil it for the people who actually live there. I never do, it would not be fair.
plk123 8 | 4,149  
10 Mar 2008 /  #19
that's your choice as it should be. why must you restrict others' right?
Eurola 4 | 1,909  
10 Mar 2008 /  #20
I don't have a power to restrict, plk123, but why would a Pole living 20 years or even five abroad decide the fate of Poles who live there every day?
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
10 Mar 2008 /  #21
I don't have a problem with someone who has no more ties with Poland not voting, that's fine. However, as is sometimes the case, Poles abroad have close family members in Poland still, parents, siblings etc and I feel they should still be allowed to have a say in how the country is run and I think it would be a sad day if they were ever told they couldn't vote.
Eurola 4 | 1,909  
10 Mar 2008 /  #22
I feel they should still be allowed to have a say in how the country is run

...but isn't their idea of Poland somewhat skewed by not living there everyday? I let my family cast the votes...even the last time in the fall showed it, when majority in Poland voted for Tusk, but Chicago did not.
plk123 8 | 4,149  
10 Mar 2008 /  #23
so? who won? everybody in chicago had that choice though and that's paramount to freedoms.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,104  
10 Mar 2008 /  #24
...but isn't their idea of Poland somewhat skewed by not living there everyday?

Of course. However, the thoughts go both ways. Some think it's becoming a great place to live and others are of the belief that it gets worse. I don't disagree with anybodies views as such but I'll never believe in any system that says people can't vote.
KasiaG - | 44  
11 Mar 2008 /  #25
And.. let's face it. There are hundreds (if not more) people living all their lifes in Poland, who have absolutely no clue about politics, and still hold the right to vote. Their votes are probably more often accidental that the votes of Polish immigrants.

I really can't imagine a logical reason to take away the right to vote from Poles living abroad. And those here trying to prove it's legitimate are really saying that the choice of someone living in Poland might be BETTER than the decision of someone living abroad.

I'm sorry to say that (it's not personal) but it's the biggest load of crap I've heard in a long time.. :)

Now, the constitution doesn't MAKE anyone vote, so if anyone doesn't feel comfortable enough with their level of knowledge about Polish politics, they're free to forget about elections. I appreciate the attitude, but let's just leave it this way. Everyone chooses by their own heart and mind, and I don't think that has ever been designed any better way.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
6 Apr 2008 /  #26
I vely rike erections, hehehe, or so my Japanese students told me ;)
Lukasz 49 | 1,746  
14 Apr 2008 /  #27
they shouldn't. I don't see the reason why somebody who live in USA or UK should decide about my taxes, law in my country, social benefits ... I live here I take responisblity for my decisios I pay taxes here.
Zgubiony 15 | 1,554  
14 Apr 2008 /  #28
So, if you were in the US, you wouldn't want to vote for the positive changes that can have an impact on the family you may have in Poland? What if you have dual citizenship?
Lukasz 49 | 1,746  
14 Apr 2008 /  #29
I stay in Poland :)

Poland is free country and when somebody wants to decide about future of this country should take responsibility for decissions. I don't want to be victim of their decisons (any more)

I welcome people who come back, form USA or from UK. And if they have Polish citizenship they should vote in Poland.

There are milions of Americans with German origin, there are milions of Americans with British origin ... they can't vote in elections in Germany or UK.
plk123 8 | 4,149  
14 Apr 2008 /  #30
Should Polish citizens living abroad have the right to vote in elections

most definitely, residence has nothing to do with anything.

lukasz,
but polish people abroad can and will vote.. that's a good thing. the amrican-germans are reallyjust americans and so they vote for the US politicians.. all americans, no matter where they live can vote in US elections.. same goes for every other country including PL. your way of thinking is the old commie way and dude, that's been over for 20 years, almost. time to chenge your outlook.

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