Disenfranchisement and the Danish Elections

As a woman I have always valued my right to vote and also the importance of having an actual say in the world of politics. Yes, I know that often your vote makes no difference but too many people feel their vote doesn’t count so don’t bother. Turnout to an election is important otherwise the wrong people can get all the power.


I have not lived in the UK for eight years and have no economic or family ties to there anymore. I do not believe that I should use my vote in a country where the decisions of the government have no impact on me.

I have chosen to live in Denmark, we pay our taxes here, we own a property here, our son is in an education system supported by the government, I travel on public transport and use the infrastructure here, I rely on the police force to keep me and my family safe, I have over the years been treated in Danish hospitals yet as just a long-term resident and not a citizen I have zero right to vote for who is in charge of decisions related to all the above issues this coming Thursday when the country goes to the polls.

I have voted in local elections and European elections here but as an expat, foreigner or immigrant (depending on how you are labelled) I and people like me have no say beyond this. I wish that the law could be changed so that long-term i.e. over 5 years residents who have a commitment to living in this country should have the right to decided who is making the fundamental decisions that affect us all on a daily basis.

If you are lucky enough to be able to cast your vote this Thursday, The Local has the low down on all the (many) parties.


  1. Agree, it’s unfair. Many years ago I faced the same problem, the other way around. I was a Danish citizen, resident long term in the UK. So I opted to take out British citizenship. You seem pretty bedded in so why not just apply for Danish citizenship later this year when the new law allows you to have dual citizenship?

  2. Fully agree with this. In my ten years in DK it became very odd to me that I could vote for a UK government I would never have to live under but not for a DK government that could take as much of my salary as they chose to. There needs to be a better solution. I like your idea of a qualifying period after which your vote would transfer to your new country of residence.

  3. […] You may have read some of the headlines last week proclaiming that expats lose the right to vote in the forthcoming EU referendum in the UK but this only applied to expats who have lived outside the UK for 15 years or more. This rule has been in place for a while and the headlines came from a High Court challenge on this which was not accepted.If like me you have lived outside the UK for less than 15 years you are eligible to vote in the Brexit. I have never voted in a UK General Election since I left the UK as, for me, the outcome had no impact. I am a little peeved that I am not eligible to vote here either but that’s another issue. […]

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