Janet Magnin, who resides in France, writes:
I read with great interest your article about the possibility of taxing Australian expatriates. However, there is a significant difference between the Australian and American situations that you have failed to mention, and that is that Americans living abroad can vote back in America, while Australians who have been abroad for more than six years cannot vote in Australian elections.
You referred in your article to the 'citizen's social contract with their government', but if the citizen has not been permitted to have his/her say in electing that government, how can such a 'contract' still exist? The Southern Cross Group, an international advocacy group for Australian expatriates, has made many submissions over the years on the subject of the disenfranchisement of Australians living abroad, to no effect so far — 'out of sight, out of mind'.
Many, many Australians living abroad for many different reasons are passionately angry that they can no longer vote in Australia. How would they feel if they were asked to pay taxes by a government they cannot even vote for or against? The absence of any discussion of this aspect is a glaring omission in your article.