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Should Polonia and expat Poles lose voting rights in Polish elections?


pawian 161 | 9,971
10 May 2019 #1
I have been wondering about it for years. From time to time this topic appears in the PF, too. Here are most recent opinions:

1 Until Polonia - a lot of whom have never set foot in Poland, are stripped of voting rights, Poland will always be hostage to its past.

2 A very simple rule: no representation without taxation. Pay tax to Poland as a resident would, and you can vote. Don't pay tax, don't vote.

I shared those points of view too. Now I am not sure, especially after reading the article about US Polonia voting dilemma from the blog Expat Pole` Dairy from Chicago.

In short, the author, a Polish female in the USA since 2009, claims it is improper to vote if you left and haven`t lived in Poland for many years. I also read comments below her entry, posters generally agree with her and admit they don`t vote, either.

Statistics for 2015 parliamentary elections: 25.000 Am Poles voted. (72% of these Am Poles voted PiS, while 10% PO).

More Poles voted in Great Britain - about 65.000. That`s new emigration which arrived recently.

Altogether, 175.000 Poles took part in the voting all over the world.

Full statistics here:
Sejm
parlament2015.pkw.gov.pl/350_Wyniki_Sejm_zagranica/0
Senate
parlament2015.pkw.gov.pl/352_Wyniki_Senat_zagranica

Comments: only 25.000 Poles voted in the USA. It means they are probably new migrants who have come to America within past few years. Probably the old immigrants, staying in the USA for 30 or more years don`t vote. Or, am I wrong?

You assume that Polonia vote for PiS eh?

Yes, US Polonia vote for one party mainly. :) But, are they able to influence the results in Poland proper? Hmm, I doubt it.

As I said, I don`t know what should be done with it. Let it stay as it is?
10iwonka10 - | 396
10 May 2019 #2
It is difficult question.

1- I don't think there are many Polish who never set foot in Poland? How would they have polish citizenship ?
2- Someone could go abroad for 1-2 years and plans coming back so not paying taxes is not enough to stop voting.

I agree that if someone left years ago they should not vote but it is more ethical, moral reason than legal one. I guess other European countries have the same rule.? Even on emigration they can still vote.
Ironside 48 | 9,891
10 May 2019 #3
You must be PiS supporter pawain. As they have a similar attitude.

Once you start striping from the people their voting right it is a path down the rabbit hole.

As per usual dumb people are yapping stupidly about things they don't understand. they think - hey those are voting on people we don't like, lest strip them from their voting rights. Well enjoy until it is gonna be your turn to be striped from your rights.

Unless you want o have a real talk about reducing number of those eligible to vote. No, not Polonia only.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 469
10 May 2019 #4
Personally if one doesn't live in the country one should have no vote. After all its not them who will pay the consequences.
its like choosing your neighbours living room color- you may see it once or twice ice per year (if at all), but they are the ones who have to live with it.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
10 May 2019 #5
Once you start striping from the people their voting right it is a path down the rabbit hole.

Yes, there is a danger it might infringe on democracy and human rights etc. I take it into account.

On the other hand:

its like choosing your neighbours living room color-

Yes, that is why I also feel uneasy about it.
cms neuf - | 1,018
10 May 2019 #6
The numbers are quite small so I never get upset about it - most of my US family don't vote and the Polish family I have in the UK have never even mentioned it.

I think there should be some kind of qualification - e.g. you lose it after 20 years, or you have to pay some one off community tax - say a few hundred dollars, or treat you would be eligible for military reserve etc.

I quite like the Italian system where there are a couple of MPs who represent the diaspora- and I think they cannot vote on certain domestic issues.
jon357 63 | 14,254
10 May 2019 #7
If someone's left for good (or for a few decades as cms neuf says) then they should lose the vote. If someone has citizenship by descent and has never lived there except perhaps for short periods they shouldn't vote either; their vote is more about their 'real ' country rather than the one their family has origins in.

As Pawian says, it's making a country a hostage to its past. Fortunately, Polish expat votes are counted in Warsaw. Unfortunately Polonia (especially Americans) tend to vote in a different way to Warsaw residents.
10iwonka10 - | 396
10 May 2019 #8
It is not so simple I suppose- if someone left 20 years ago and still have only polish citizenship he will not have rights to vote at all anywhere if polish is taken away from him?
cms neuf - | 1,018
10 May 2019 #9
Maybe one solution is that you can vote so long as you were 18 when you left Poland and every 10 years you have to reregister and pay some fee. The fee would be used to cover the costs of running the election
DonJuan
10 May 2019 #10
It is one thing to say that people who vote have an obligation to educate themselves about issues, parties, and candidates. It is something rather different to suggest that some citizens shouldn't be allowed to vote, or aren't equal under the law. There is a constitution that covers all of this, and people should be quite ashamed of themselves.

Article 32
All persons shall be equal before the law. All persons shall have the right to equal treatment by public authorities.
No one shall be discriminated against in political, social or economic life for any reason whatsoever.

Artcle 36
A Polish citizen shall, during a stay abroad, have the right to protection by the Polish State.

Article 37
Anyone, being under the authority of the Polish State, shall enjoy the freedoms and rights ensured by the Constitution.
DonJuan
10 May 2019 #11
Statistics for 2015 parliamentary elections: 25.000 Am Poles voted.

It is quite curious that PiS hasn't done more to register more Poles in America to vote. Orban did something similar in Hungary by giving citizenship to ethnic Hungarians living "abroad", including so-called "greater Hungary". Half of Chicago could be registered to vote in Polish elections quite legally.
cms neuf - | 1,018
10 May 2019 #12
The Poles in Chicago already can vote - most dont want to or cant be bothered.

It's different to the Hungarians in Romania and Serbia and Slovakia - they speak Hungarian at home and have a lot of commercial and cultural connections with Budapest.
DonJuan
10 May 2019 #13
You forgot Ukraine.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
15 Oct 2019 #14
A new trend has originated : so far most Poles living/staying abroad voted PiS or other conservatives.

This year it has changed: British Poles mostly voted KO. The same with American West Coast. Only East Coast Poles from Chicago/ New York chose PiS.

Very interesting. As Poland is usually behind the West in various matters, I view that trend as a prognosis of future voting decisions taken in Poland proper by local Poles. See you in 2023. Pisiorki, they are coming for you. hahahaha

wybory.gov.pl/sejmsenat2019/pl/wyniki/sejm/gm/826

KO 36,93%
Left 23,10%
PiS 20,27%
KONFEDERACJA 15,42%
PSL 4,28%
Spike31 2 | 884
15 Oct 2019 #15
As Poland is usually behind the West in various matters

On many important matters Poland is so far ahead of the West :-).

So far Polish society has predicted, and blocked, two major threat to European Christian civilisation: population swap (invasion of so called "refugees") and LGBTqwerty indoctrination and sexual depravation of the youngsters.
Dougpol1 33 | 3,239
15 Oct 2019 #16
On many important matters Poland is so far ahead of the West :-).

Yeah? Well when I came back here to Poland on Saturday from London, the first thing I noticed was - the rudeness and contempt for others. Sure - Poland is "so far ahead of the west." You know what you can do with your smiley.
Miloslaw 6 | 2,558
15 Oct 2019 #17
. Sure - Poland is "so far ahead of the west

But they are, by your own admission Doug, you think Britain is f##ked.....make your mind up!
Dougpol1 33 | 3,239
15 Oct 2019 #18
I did. When I was in short trousers. I decided that the black and Asian boys in my class were no different to me, and neither was Marek, an 18 year old Polish boy who came over to Nottingham from Warsaw one summer, and he had 2 pounds in his pockets that an uncle had given him.

This populism nonsense and blaming ills on others will be the death of us all.
Miloslaw 6 | 2,558
15 Oct 2019 #19
Nah, it will just help us to wake up to the reality of rhe modern world as it is.
Crow 137 | 7,754
16 Oct 2019 #20
Of course that Polonia and expat Poles needs to have right of voting in Polish elections.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
16 Oct 2019 #21
the first thing I noticed was - the rudeness and contempt for others

Of course they weren`t native Poles. They were expats from different countries, especially British ones. Simple. It is amazing you don`t see such basic things.
Spike31 2 | 884
18 Oct 2019 #22
You know what you can do with your smiley

What can I do with it then? Hopefully you don't mean anything rude? :-)
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
19 Oct 2019 #23
Of course that Polonia and expat Poles needs to have right of voting in Polish elections.

Yes, if I was doubtful about it before, now I must say I fully agree with you. Polish emigrees vote for free Poland! Down with neo bolshevik PiS!
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
20 Oct 2019 #24
The same with American West Coast. Only East Coast Poles from Chicago/ New York chose PiS.

Chicago 69% for PiS.
New York - 49.5%.

It is comforting, though that these results were lower than in elections a few years ago. A water drop erodes the rock....slowly... :):)

Other cities voted for KO:

Washington - 45%.
LA - 48%
Houston - 43%

wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/7,143907,25306194,usa-wyniki-wyborow-do-sejmu-i-senatu-z-71-89-komisji-wyborczych.html
Miloslaw 6 | 2,558
20 Oct 2019 #25
I don't understand why Polish Americans get the vote and yet Anglo Poles like me and Franco Poles don't.
I don't think any of us should have the right to vote in Poland.
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
20 Oct 2019 #26
They have Polish citizenship by birth.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 469
20 Oct 2019 #27
@Miloslaw
If they have Polish citizenship they can, unfortunately, vote
Miloslaw 6 | 2,558
20 Oct 2019 #28
If they have Polish citizenship by birth, that is fine by me.
But nobody else should be allowed it.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 469
20 Oct 2019 #29
@Miloslaw
Nobody else is (sadly) allowed to vote in GE.
and people who have always lived abroad, who do not have any wish to live in Poland shouldn't chose who rules Poland. IMHO
OP pawian 161 | 9,971
20 Oct 2019 #30
There were 30.000 Polish voters in the USA this year. It is easy to guess, they are native Poles, either people from recent emigration or just seasonal workers or family visitors.

Most of them voted PiS but they would, too if they stayed in Poland.
So, let it be and I am not against Am Polish voting any more.


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