Voting in the local elections across Spain. | EFE


To be honest I have always been rather disappointed at the small number of non-Spaniards who actually vote in the local elections. Granted that our voting powers only extend to the municipal elections but the turnout is always small, about 20 percent of the total number of foreigner voters. This is a disgrace.

When we first got the vote, local politicians went to great efforts to court the non-Spanish vote, holding meetings in English and German. The vote gives people a greater sense of belonging and also helps to break down barriers. It also shows the Mallorcans that we care about Mallorca and that we take note of the main issues. The usual excuse from foreign voters is that they do not have enough knowledge of local politics do be able to vote. This is a poor excuse because local political parties go to great lengths to ensure that non-Spaniards do know about the issues. And if you don't know enough, then you should find out. Little or nothing has been done on this occasion to court the foreign vote because local political parties have lost interest.

What is the point of organising meetings if they are not going to vote? As a result of Brexit and new rules just 1,000 Britons resident in the Balearics are eligible to vote. In the last elections the figure stood at 4,000. I doubt that more than handful of the 1,000 will actually vote. The annoying thing is that foreign residents are directly affected by council decisions from higher taxes to municipal rules. If you don't vote you shouldn't complain. This is certainly the case. New councils are being elected across the island on Sunday, it is a great pity that this is being done without the foreign vote. Voting, in my view, forms part of community spirit.