Why don't expats vote in the local elections? This week some of the principal political parties on the islands have launched campaigns aimed at non-Spanish voters.

The Partido Popular even held a reception at a popular Palma restaurant and bar. It is a great shame but just 20 percent of non-Spanish voters (or even less) will actually vote in the local elections in May. So what is the problem? Some claim that they know nothing about local politics and for this reason they are not voting. Wrong, I am afraid.

Local political parties work long and hard to court the foreign vote - in many cases in English and German so that language is not a problem. The biggest problem, I suspect, is paperwork and the taxman. Expats do not want to draw attention to themselves and they think that by voting they are putting themselves in the spotlight. Wrong again. The taxman has little or nothing to do with voting, you can vote with no problem without getting a tax inspection!

I do believe that as we live on the island we should get involved; after all we have made Mallorca our home. Voting is one of the principal ways of showing that you love the island and are interested in its well-being and future. It would be fantastic if the turn-out amongst foreign voters reached 50 percent. The political parties on the island are aware of the voter apathy but they also know that the foreign voter could break the political deadlock in certain key municipalities such as Calvia and Andratx.

It was always said that the foreign voter helped secure a majority for the Partido Popular in Calvia 16 years ago. The centre right party is looking for a repeat performance.