WHY don´t expatriates vote?, a leading political candidate asked me this week. It is a very good question, especially when you take into account that at the last local elections only 25 percent of non-Spanish European Union expatriates who were entitled to vote actually did so. I suspect that if expats had a reason to vote they would do so. Let us remember that only 50 percent of Spaniards voted in the last local elections and obviously they are well informed of local affairs and who they are voting for.
What I told this political candidate, who is standing in an area where there are a large number of British residents, that expatriates needed an issue which they thought very strongly about to bring them out to vote. I do get the impression that local politicians are beginning to lose interest in the so-called non-Spanish vote. At the last local election they invested much time and effort in trying to get expatriates to vote and the turnout was small. If there is not a large turnout on this occasion I suspect that we will lose a golden opportunity to have our voice heard in city hall. How can we actively ask the Spanish authorities to give us the vote in general elections if we can´t be bothered to turn out in local elections.