čtvrtek, listopadu 14, 2013

Expat's Everyday life and the Politics ...

Another Autumn came, I'm about a year "back" home (= my home country Czech republic) and I wonder - how much can a "normal" citizen influence the statesmanship ... and the behaviour of the politicians representing the country and its citizens?

We were leaving the country in 1992, just 3 years after the velvet revolution in 1989. The borders were open so were just going to "temporarily" work and live in another country.
Václav Havel was our president and I was proud to be Czech. We eventually spent 20 years abroad, 16 years of it in the established democracy in the United Kingdom. We are returning in the year of our first ever direct presidential elections and although I'm still proud to be Czech I'm not proud to be represented in the world by snooty and arrogant Mr. Zeman whom we democratically elected.

A lot changed in the Czech republic since 1989, we have thriving cities, probably one of the highest number of supermarkets per capita, but also statistically one of the highest alcohol consumption among adults (maybe the "beer tourist" help to raise the number :)), beggars and homeless people. ... and chaotic political spectrum which is tricky to be acquainted with.

Politics wasn't my main topic in England.
Firstly I wasn't proficient enough in English to be able to understand politics, secondly I was generally satisfied with the life there, thirdly I was only living there "as a guest", temporarily. And - of course - as EU citizens we could only vote in the district where we resided with a 'considerable degree of permanence'.
In the Czech republic I can and do vote in both - the district and the parliament elections - though seemingly with the same extent of influence I had in England.

What are your experiences?
Can you vote in your home country if you live elsewhere? Can you vote where you live?
Should the expats vote in the home country as well as in the country of residence?