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Non Citizen Residents Should Have Voting Rights

1672 words - 7 pages

The right to vote for non-citizens has become an increasingly controversial topic due to the strong and often divisive opinions of permanent Canadian residents. The capacity to vote is one of the most important and valued freedoms granted to individuals. Although the acceptance of non-citizen resident voting is frequently encouraged in order to propel self-governing justice and immigrant inclusion, opponents claim that it is in a nation’s best interest to delay voting rights to non-citizens. According to this claim, by preserving voting rights to citizens, non-citizens would have the social responsibility to actively learn the essential community services and self-ruled obligations necessary to earn their citizenship. In spite of this claim, non-citizens should be allowed to vote because the right to vote offers immigrants a more welcomed chance to contribute in the decision-making processes that take place in Canadian legislature. Seeing that this legislature administrates the rights and freedoms of the immigrant populations, it would only be just if immigrants had the right to elect candidates who spoke on behalf of their best interests.
Additionally, non-citizens should not be denied the freedom of speech and by denying them of their right to vote, non-citizens are inclined to feel both oppressed, silenced and ostracized. Most countries such as the US allow non-citizen to vote, and given that Canada publically embraces mottos of equality and multiculturalism, it would be in the nation’s best interest to allow non-citizens the right to vote. The non-citizens living in Toronto own thirty percent of the residences. When a large portion of the city own houses, pay taxes, and follow the laws passed by boards and governments, they should have an equal say in the communal decision making process of the political community. The rejection of non-citizen residents’ voting rights is an intrusion of democratic justice, and correspondingly challenges and downgrades non-citizens’ interests and requirements. Therefore, the denial of voting rights for non-citizens has noticeable and unpleasant effects for both the non-citizen residents, and the nation as a whole.
Numerous Dutch cities that have non-citizen resided in The Netherlands for five years have the right to vote in regional and municipal elections. Even if they do not comprise of a Dutch passport there vote has the same impact as the regular citizens. Another country that allows non-citizens to vote would be The United States. Electioneers extend voting rights to non-citizens in places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and other places that gain more recognition. “He notes that in the United States, granting voting rights to non-citizen residents would bring the United States ‘back to the true principles of our founding fathers, who encouraged democratic participation, knowing that newcomers would be further encouraged to put down roots, build a stake, and invest in local communities.”(Hayduk 2006,...

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