I am being disenfranchised

I am 24 years old. I moved to live in the United States when I was 16 and turned 18 when I was just getting ready to enter college. For 6 years I have been disenfranchised by the country of which I am a legal and bonafide citizen, while being shut out of the voting process in the U.S. because of immigration and naturalization restrictions.

Given the heated election-ready atmosphere in Jamaica – gun shots in broad daylight on Mountan View and all – this state of affairs is beginning to worry and aggravate me.

Question: Should Jamaican citizens abroad, who are legal residents of those countries, be allowed to vote in elections in Jamaica?

My response to come.

mood: calm
sounds: Young Lion recording from 1XTRA & Elijah’s crying (doesn’t want to sleep, of course)
2 Responses to “I am being disenfranchised”
  1. Mikki_L says:

    Mi nuh unnastan dis! I posted one loooong ol’ comment just the other day and mi come back and it gone! I guess my internet connection was acting up and it never posted:( But i was saying seh I think the Min of Foreign Affairs, or whoever’s jurisdiction the diaspora falls under, should commission a short term task force. The task force could look at how Jamaica could benefit from some sort of taxation/ contribution from us foreign residents. Then, if we comply with whatever system is set up (say, some sort of tax), we’d gain the right to access an absentee ballot.I think it’d be a slippery slope to just allow every ‘tom, dick and harry’ Jamaican overseas to be able to vote. Remember, even those with Jamaican fathers can claim to be citizens. So we’d need some regulation (which our likkle government tends to be weak on), but I think it should be investigated.Too much a wi deh deh man! And a true, mi cyaan vote here for another 3 years! So yeah…

  2. I think at least it should be limited to Jamaicans who emigrated from Jamaica, not those who can claim citizenship through a parent. These people should also be legal residents of whichever country to which they have now migrated. Just as Americans abroad have to file taxes (not necessarily pay but file) we should do the same to see what income if any is taxable in Jamaica. Eligible voters should be those with an up-to-date record of taxes. As for constituencies, that’s a hairier issue. at the very least, the address used on filings should be taken as a marker for the constituency for whose representitive we’re allowed to vote here. For me, that’s the trickiest part.I don’t think this should begin in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is something that the various organizations in the Diasopora should undertake. Not saying that the govt shouldn’t do it’s own assessment but we here need to do a thorough investigation as well, preferably as something to present to the govt for considersation.I think at the very least, it would broaden the idea of the usefulness of the Diaspora above and beyond remittances. We can’t just be seen as a cash cow with no benefits even as we’re all citizens. More to come on the voter registration issues in Jamaica too, that have greater implications for Jamaicans.

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