I’ll try to keep this short. Greeks abroad should be given a way to vote other that the option to spend quite a lot of money, get on a plane and go to their hometown to vote. These people, of which I am one, are about 2 million and they are in the electorate lists and are taxed in Greece (as well as in the other country where they live) often for property ownership, and they all have families in Greece. These people are seen, in the eyes of the law, as equal to those living in the country, at least as regards tax, but in many other ways too. So, they should have the same rights, i.e. the right to vote without spending much. How many Greeks living in Athens would have voted if it cost them two months’ wages?
Implications: These people are – not all of them but many of them – law-abiding, tax-paying citizens often doing very well where they live. They don’t work in the public sector in a permanent position that they will never lose. They do not call MPs to get jobs for their children or to legalise property that they built illegally, because the systems they live in don’t allow for that. NOW! These people are not likely to vote exactly the same as the Greeks in Greece. They probably wouldn’t have either for the last 40 years when PASOK and Nea Dimokratia borrowed heavily to make up jobs for the children of those who (crucially) would call the MP and ask for that as a personal favour. Obviously, I am not referring here to job creation that will benefit a healthy economy and will be taken by the one most capable to do it well, God forbid! No, these people, who, to their majority live in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia, would possibly, just possibly, vote for those who they think would benefit the country and not themselves, as they …don’t live there.
I don’t think we’d have had PASOK and Nea Dimokratia getting 85% of the (screwed -up) vote for 40 years, borrowing heavily to do what they did (I am fully aware that heavy borrowing is taking place in all the countries mentioned above where Greeks live…). Maybe smaller political parties wouldn’t have been so small, and now that I think about it, Golden Dawn (the far – right, self-defined ‘nationalist and ‘neo-nazi’ as defined by others, party) possibly wouldn’t have got much of the vote of hard-working immigrants. Or maybe they would have got part of the vote of people who left Greece and believe that the reason they couldn’t find a job in Greece was indeed the immigrants in Greece.
I am not sure. But I am sure that all these people can very easily get access to the plans and pledges of each political party and each politician nowadays, and they could easily send a letter to Greece with their vote in it. I would.
Short enough? 🙂