Saturday, October 30, 2010

Taxation with representation

My father watches a lot of news programs. Mostly FOX. I think it's more for all the blond, female talking heads vs being a right-wing radical, but who knows. Hey, Megyn Kelly is hot, in my opinion. Anyhow, my politics are not the issue here, and his aren't either. FOX, to me, is no better or worse than any other news channel. They present the opinion they want, and people can either agree or disagree. I always have wondered why people watch news programs when they disagree with the politics so much. Oh well, that's a post for another day.

Anyhow, the point I was getting to is this. I've been listening as I sit here at the computer, wasting my life with frivolous pursuits of knowledge, and I've heard quite a few things I hadn't been aware of before. One of those is the fact that several cities have initiatives on their ballots to allow LEGAL immigrants the right to vote in local elections, such as city council, school board, and anything that affects day-to-day living. I'm entirely for this, as I've written about this before.

I think it's a great idea, and support it wholeheartedly. Which probably isn't surprising to anyone, as I'm an immigrant myself and feel I should have the right to have a say in my local community. One of the drawbacks to this, which I fully understand, is giving this right to people who have no vested interest in the community and don't really give anything back to it. Here in Bournemouth, there is a large Polish community, which breaks down along two lines.

The first - Polish people who have immigrated on a permanent basis and plan on making this their home permanently. They are part of the community, learn the language, and make the effort to assimilate into the population.

The second - Polish people who have immigrated on a temporary basis, and don't plan on staying any longer than it takes to save enough money to buy a house and a car. As soon as that's done, they head on back to Poland. They live together, associate together, work together, and make no effort to learn the language or to insert themselves into the community.

I'm not picking on the Polish, as there are other nationalities here that do the same thing, but its more prevalent with the Polish, and I have some background with this situation. Also, I'm not going to say it's right or wrong. But there are many Mexicans and Central Americans who do the same thing in the states. Again, it's not an issue of right or wrong. But not all them are illegal. Many of them here/there legally, and work legitimately.

The question is, if you give the vote to people like this/me, is it the right thing to do? The upside is you are telling people that they are productive and accepted members of the community, and the downside is that you are giving the vote to people who don't really care. But those people probably wouldn't vote in the first place, so it's probably an acceptable trade-off.

All-in-all, I'm for the vote. I'll still maintain (whatever country it is) that only citizens should vote in national, or mabye even state elections. I'm still up in the air about that. But I think anyone who is in a country legally as an immigrant should have a say in what happens in the community.

If you give people a reason to care about something, they most often end up working harder to take care of it.

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