All those who have taken Australian citizenship since being here, or who were born citizens, will probably know that one of the obligations of Australian citizenship is to enrol to vote, so for a lot of people I guess the forthcoming South Australian elections will be the first opportunity to fulfil that obligation. I'm not sure what the penalty is for not doing so - not heard of anyone being rushed off to jail for not enrolling, but I'm not going to be the one to find out! I was curious as to why, if this is an obligation, no-one came after me with a big stick in all my adult years living in Britain with dual nationality and not voting, but I looked it up and "being abroad" counts as a good enough excuse, apparently!
There isn't the same obligation in being a British citizen, and even if it were, I guess being over here in Australia would be a good enough excuse if anyone needed one. But in case any expat British citizen isn't aware, although not an obligation, if you have lived in Britain and been on the electoral roll there within the past 15 years, you are still entitled to a vote in the forthcoming British elections.
I know people have varying views as to whether it's morally right to vote in an election of a country you no longer call "home" - but personally I feel what happens in Britain does affect me in a number of ways, whether it be the exchange rate meaning less people visit me here, my future UK pension rights, or just the way of life/standard of living of family and friends still living there. So I shall be registering and exercising my right to vote, but of cousre I'm not saying anyome else has to do the same.
If you want to do so though, there's a website you have to register on - About My Vote, produced by The Electoral Commission - and I think from reading the UK press that the election is looking to be on 6th May, so there's not an awful lot more time left to do so. Less time even than that to decide who to go for in the SA elections.....!!
Now, do I go for Media Mike and "did he or didn't he have sex with that woman" - and more to the point, if he did, what on earth possessed her?!.... or Isabel Redmond - and is she or isn't she "ready"?! Decisions, decisions....