I have lived in Canada for 30 years and have never missed a U.S. election. Indeed, I have already voted this year, casting my ballot electronically in the town of Ipswich, Massachusetts, from my home computer keyboard in Ottawa, Ontario. Until recently the process was much more cumbersome — your local town clerk received a letter from you expressing your desire to vote absentee; she sent you the ballot by mail with instructions; you filled it out, had it notarized, and mailed it back. Indeed, the one time my vote failed to register, in 1976, I was a news correspondent in Warsaw, Poland. My ballot arrived in the mail eight days after the election. No one seems to know how many Americans live in Canada. Estimates vary from 900,000 to 2 million full- and part-time residents: The 2011 census says that 372,575 people claim American “ancestry”.
… Why do Americans outside of the U.S. get to vote forever from wherever? Or more to the point, why isn’t this true for the estimated one million Canadians living abroad?
For the Americans, it comes down to a couple of things. One is a founding principle upon which the American Revolution was fought — “no taxation without representation.” Americans are meant to file tax returns with the IRS each year, no matter how long they have been away.
The second is the Bill of Rights and the amendments to the Constitution, including the 14th amendment, with its so-called “equal protection” clause.