Tuesday, April 06, 2010

To the polls!

Listening to: 'Ego' by Beyoncé [I Am...Sasha Fierce]

It's happening, people. Gordon Brown has called a general election for the 6th of May, and there are now less than 30 days for the residents of this country to choose their next leader. Why did I say 'residents' instead of 'citizens'? Well I've known for a while that non-citizen residents could vote in council elections, but up until now, I was under the impression that you had to be a British citizen in order to be eligible to vote in a general election. Today I found out that that isn't the case. It turns out that UK residents from 'qualifying Commonwealth countries' (and therefore Sri Lanka) are eligible to vote in all UK elections, including general elections. Which means, folks, yours truly will be voting for the first time next month!!!

I've been on the SL electoral register since I was old enough to vote, but I've been in the UK whenever there's been an election. I've been on the UK electoral register since I started uni, but since I was under the shelter of college life, I'd never thought to vote...until now. With each passing moment I feel just that little bit more 'British', and voting in this election feels as much a 'duty' as it does a 'right'. I feel honoured that I have a say in the future of the country where I have spent half of my life. I guess the Commonwealth is good for something apart from my scholarship, eh? ;-)

Those who follow me on twitter will probably know that I've been quite excited about this all day. The cynics among you will probably scoff at my enthusiasm in what you see as a fruitless farce, but I for one disagree. I can't wait to go put a cross on that ballot paper. I don't know where I'm gonna put that cross yet, but I have less than a month to decide. Looks like I have a lot of research to do!


  1. So, leaning conservative are we? ;)

    I'm glad you got the vote, and it's awesome that the UK allows even non-citizens to vote. I've been legally eligible to vote for 1 and a half years now and still nothing, even for this year's general election! :(

  2. The thought of an election always gets me excited. I always use my vote and I always spend time considering the party's plans. The Lib Dems are our representing party in my borough and they do a fab job here. BUT running the country? I don't know if their party leader is the best person for the job. In short, I don't know if he has displayed any leadership qualities. I'm looking forward to the debates... I think I know where my vote lies already though....

  3. LOL @ Sach.

    One thing for sure, unlike the Aussies, the Brits take their foreign students seriously. I would be excited if I were in your shoes too. ;)

  4. ooooh... that sounds brilliant! I'm sure the workup to the ellection would be interesting and thought provoking with all the debates etc. :) Have fun!

  5. Chavie - lol I haven't decided yet. I have to go through the manifestos properly and decide. I'm glad too, even though I don't really understand the rationale for letting just Commonwealth and Irish citizens vote...IMO it should be all long-term residents that aren't EU citizens. But oh well! Shame about your vote though :-(

    Sach - Yeah, you got a problem with that? :P

    Scrumps - Lib Dems represent Cambridge too, and I haven't had reason to complain! But yeah, Clegg is a bit...meh. Oh well, we shall see!

    Serendib_Isle - I dunno about the Aussie stance on foreign students, but in Britain, I think we contribute too much to the economy to be ignored!

    Angel - Yup very interesting! I'm trying to avoid following media speculation and instead stick to the manifestos and debates though...it's quite difficult!


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