Should non-citizens be allowed to vote.

Topics: Elections, Election, Democracy Pages: 5 (2142 words) Published: November 28, 2013
In today's globalizing world many countries have non citizens in their major cities. This portion of the population mostly consists of members of the country's labor force. It is these people however who are also suffering due to low incomes and other challenges that arise from living in a new country. Political leaders trying to get elected attempt to base their campaigns which are meant to help this target group. Unfortunately most of these people are not citizens and therefore they can't vote for them. This leads to the politicians who address the citizens of the nation to winning the election. As a result the non citizens don't get the help they need. Without help, these non citizens find it very difficult to reach their goals and settling down with comfort. The concept of having non citizens voting in municipal elections isn’t a foreign idea. However there is a lot of opposition which is very reasonable. Non citizens should not be granted the right to vote in municipal elections because it could decrease the number of non citizens seeking citizenship, makes the election more expensive than it already is and increases the administrative process to identify a way to select who can vote, and is unfair for current citizens of the nation who earned their citizenship and proved they want to be active citizens. For a non citizen to become eligible to vote they must first become a citizen of the nation. The requirements vary by nation but usually there are two requirements that are standard. First they must live for a certain period of time in that country and write a test which would test their knowledge on the country. This could be a lengthy process but ensures only those who have shown their commitment to become citizens actually get their citizenship. In most developed countries and some developing countries it is the non citizens that are suffering because the political leaders don't always have their best interests. The leaders who want to help can't get elected because the non citizens can't vote (Wu 2010). In this growing and evolving world the idea of letting non citizens vote is very common and has been implemented in many countries. Some countries allow non citizen voting based on education level, holding of a citizenship from a recognized country and some countries grant voting rights to all non citizens. Most of the countries that allow non citizen voting occur in Europe. Many countries within the European Union allow citizens of other European Union countries to vote in their municipal elections. Some countries such as New Zealand allow all immigrants who entered legally to vote in municipal and national elections. This pressures other countries to also accept the policy of letting non citizens to vote (Gartzk & Quan 2003). Developing countries are on the rise because they have great support from their leaders who are ambitious to improve their region or country. They make education a priority, try to improve living conditions and provide other assistance. In developed countries the municipal leaders don't really focus on improving these issues. Their interest is to provide the same services on a tighter budget (Wu 2010). The push to allow non citizen to vote has a few strong arguments. A key driver is that many of them bear the responsibilities of citizens such as paying taxes. Thus denying them the ability to vote will lead them to not being represented in elections and eventually the decisions made by these leaders. The proposal of allowing non citizens to vote also raises very important questions and concerns. The first and most important one is who should be allowed to vote. Once that is established it must be decided at what level they can vote at. To ensure the safety of the nation there would have to be a policy to determine after how long of arrival can one vote. There are many types of non citizens such as those on work permits, new immigrants, international students, refugees and illegal...
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