Jun 192012
Voting from Abroad Revisited

The June 2nd print issue of The Economist contained the article “Returning officers,” that provided an update for my exploration of voting abroad. More and more European countries are allowing and making it easier for their nationals who live abroad to vote in their country of adoption. Migrant-sending countries mostly cherish their diasporas. They hope wealthy and influential emigrants will do good at home. Providing parliamentary seats for compatriots abroad may rekindle loyalties. In an interesting twist on the issue, some countries, including Croatia, designate parliamentary seats specifically for their expatriates. Governments […] Continue reading >

May 112012
For Those About to Vote I Salute You

This weekend I’ll cast my first vote in an American election—the “May 15, 2012 Primary Election.”* It’s a big deal. Everyone remembers pivotal moments of their life: Slovaks where they were when Czechoslovakia ceased to exist and independent Slovakia came into existence; (East) Germans when the Wall came down; Americans where they were when the planes hit the Towers. I remember the exact moment I decided to apply for U.S. citizenship and be a part of this nation: on the evening of November 4th, 2008, as I watched Barack Obama […] Continue reading >

Mar 052012
How Migration Affects Your Vote in Your Home Country

Civic limbo is an extreme case of the migration experience. Only a small fraction of Central European nationals vote from abroad and their share in electoral turnouts, and hence the impact on electoral outcomes in their home countries, is even smaller. If their votes carried greater influence, however, elections across Central Europe would turn out quite differently. That is a conclusion of a 2006 paper by Jan Fidrmuc and Orla Doyle, who examined the effect of migration on voting behavior. Migrants encounter different cultural and social norms in their host countries. The exposure […] Continue reading >