It was pouring rain in Oslo and many other Norwegian cities on Election Day Monday. That was at least some consolation, perhaps, for the thousands of permanent Norwegian residents over the age of 18 who couldn’t brave the bad weather and troop to the polls anyway, because they’re not eligible to vote. The newspaper Aftenposten reported recently that there’s now nearly a half-million people in Norway, many of them long-time residents, who are not allowed to vote in the national parliamentary elections that roll around every four years. That’s largely because of Norway’s law against dual citizenship. Even though tens of thousands qualify for citizenship and could readily obtain a Norwegian passport, the law demands that they’d have to give up the citizenship of their birth, and that’s not easy for anyone who maintains ties with their homeland and views their homeland as an important part of their identity.
“It’s frustrating to not be able to vote, because I feel quite involved (in Norwegian society),” French author and blogger Lorelou Desjardins told Aftenposten on Monday. “I have lived here so long that I can apply for Norwegian citizenship, but I don’t want to lose my French. So I’m waiting for the opportunity to have dual citizenship.”
Like many other foreign residents of Norway, Desjardins has been interested in and actively following the election campaign, telling Aftenposten that it’s helped expand her Norwegian vocabulary as she tries to follow issues involving the so-called velferdsprofitør (welfare profiteer) and formuesskatt (fortune tax). But like all the others lacking Norwegian citizenship, she also lacks a means of representation.
Full Article: Thousands excluded from Election Day.