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Sunday, 14 October 2018

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Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

Wow, I never heard of COMPULSORY voting. Wouldn't that be interesting to try in the USA. (Though it would never fly - we like our freedom to be anti-social here!) Congrats on navigating the computer scene.

Helen

Yes, I was quite shocked at first. But I do wonder if it reduces the proportion of votes for more extreme parties, by forcing moderates who might not otherwise bother, to vote. In any case, it's not a two-party system here, and I have the impression therefore that one's vote can be more effective (in Britain a large number of places are 'safe' seats and you know that your vote won't change anything).

But of course, Belgium is also a small and densely populated country, so making polling stations accessible to everyone is easy. If you compel people to vote, you have to make sure that it's possible for them to do so without needing a car.

Harriet

Well done for getting citizenship - here in France all we British are madly applying for Cartes de Sejour, which may not even be valid after Brexit but at least the paperwork will be lodged in the prefectures for whatever else we need to do. I like the idea of compulsory voting for the very reason you have in the comment above.

Helen

Oh Harriet, I hope that all goes well for you and I'll be crossing my fingers. How horrible that the cartes de sejour might not even be valid! There's so much uncertainty and worry for so many people because of this stupid Brexit.

I have to say that while I do moan about the Belgian love of bureaucracy, they are extremely good at it and the process of applying for citizenship was outrageously easy. I just turned up to the town hall, they explained the ways I could gain citizenship and gave me a list of documents required for each one, I obtained them, they made a dossier, gave me an interview and three months later I had the decision. I hope that the French are similarly helpful and efficient for you. When I read about what European have to do for the Home Office, I want to weep for them.

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