Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Citizenship, Voting, Pandora's Box Beware

I'm an American Citizen from birth.  I have the right to vote in United States Elections, though I've never done it.

That's why I have the right to say that I don't think expats should vote.  I disagree with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who has been promoting a law to allow Israelis living abroad to vote.

I believe in voting with one's feet. You should vote where you live. When I want to give my opinions about America, I blog.

And now the young and now disappointing Likud MK Tzippi Hotobilli is promoting giving more Arabs citizenship. What's the point? I only see dangers. These things can't be reversed. It's not like a computer game.

I'm glad I didn't vote for Likud.


Netivotgirl said...

I agree that people should either put up or shut up. Wanna vote? Gotta live here!!!

I don't want folks in the USA to elect Israeli leaders who will put either the IDF or our citizens in danger while they live comfortably abroad.

Daniel said...

I find this issue confusing. While there are a few religious Israelis in my shul, it has been my experience that the vast majority of yordim are hiloni Labor voters. In fact my town is full of yordim that make twice a year reform seem Hareidi.
So if my impression is correct, it doesn't seem that Bibi would benefit.

Batya said...

Netitvotgirl, exactly how I feel.

Daniel, I think that Bibi wants to make it for those who do more than just hold a passport, but like his "2 state solution" for which he thinks he can get the Arabs a state which isn't fully independent, he's very mistaken that he can control things the way he wants.

--Rule by soundbite-- rather than common sense.

yoni said...

i'm also not a big voter, but i don't think it's fair to say that voting is only about "giving your opinion". blogging is probably more influential than voting, anyway, in many ways. but i think you're ignoring the "brass tacks" aspect of voting in a free election (if such a thing exists).

Hadassa said...

As others over the years have posted, no rights without obligations! I don't absentee vote either. But the issue is not so simple.
On the current INN article on the topic someone presented an interesting point: why not save the airfare? His point was that any citizen living abroad can fly to Israel, stay for a few hours to vote and then return. For one election a group of yordim chartered a plane specifically in order to vote without taking more than a minimum of vacation time. That group about which I read probably wasn't the only one.
Should voters be required to have lived in Israel for a minimum period of time immediately before the election? What should be done with new immigrants and returnees? Should they be obligated to a period of residency before being eligible to vote?

Especially for a lawyer, Ms. Hotobili is showing a remarkably dangerous level of twisted thinking. Batya, do I recall you mentioning that it was only a matter of time before she would be adversely influenced by the rest of the Likud?

Batya said...

yoni, I don't follow your point. What is it? Voting is a power and a privilege.

Hadassa, there's a dynamic when one gets into office to preserve status quo, besides the ego trip of suddenly finding one's words as headlines. It's rare to find someone immune to the temptations. Menachem Begin and Yitzchak Shamir folded as PM. And they stood up to the British, Shamir more than Begin.

Gilad Erdan has become a Likud apologist, though his original positions were fine.

Just a few hundred Israelis take the time, minimum a couple of working days, to travel to vote. Think of the great efficiency of the NIF to bring voting to tens of thousands of extreme Left yordim.

Unknown said...

The question is how does one differentiate a yored and someone who has to be out of the country temporarily (even if only on the day of the election). Is there a way of handling this?

Can someone who is not a yored, but is on a business trip arrange for an absentee ballot?

Perhaps someone who wants to vote absentee would have to pick up the ballot in person in the country within a certain period before the election.

For example, would the volunteers in Haiti have been able to vote had there been an election at that time?

Batya said...

When we were on Shlichut we couldn't vote. Only embassy staff did. We would have voted for Begin, 1977, and he got in without our votes.

It's best to deal with it as a "balancing out" of the various Israelis abroad being a similar spectrum of those who vote in Israel.

Another point is that each elections fewer and fewer Israelis vote percentage-wise. How many of the non-voters are abroad? Good question, but from what I understand the law concerns yordim.