Email from US friends and some blog posts by Americans living in Canada remind me that US elections are approaching. I'm not paying any attention to them, except to see if my friend Brooke Ellison is elected to the New York State Senate.
For the first time since turning 18, I'm not voting in a US election. I'll probably never vote in one again. And I didn't only vote. I expended a lot of time and energy trying to get other people to vote, too. I won't be doing that anymore, either.
I feel that, having chosen to leave the country, I have forfeited my right to have any say in how it is governed. Of course I know that I still have a legal right because I am still an American citizen, but I feel I have no moral or ethical right.
The second, related reason is that I view the entire US election system as utterly, totally broken and bankrupt. I don't want anything to do with such a corrupt and undemocratic system.
Some months ago another move-to-Canada blogger urged me to tell wmtc readers that the deadline to apply for absentee ballots was approaching. I did not, because I'm not comfortable asking people to do something I myself am not doing. And people who have managed to emigrate to Canada can figure out how to vote if they want to. They don't need my help.
In two more years, when we can apply for Canadian citizenship, we'll begin to decide whether or not to give up our US citizenship altogether. Everyone makes such a fuss over the US passport. While we were in the application process, another American also applying said to me (by email), "Why would you give up your US passport? Half the world would give anything to have one!!"
I have no doubt that if you're Somali or Afghan or whatever, a US passport would make your life much easier. But for my purposes, a Canadian passport will do just fine. I will be proud to carry one.
The only reason to hold onto US citizenship, and thus my US passport, would be for easy entry into the US. But we'll burn that bridge when we come to it - or not.
I realize that many Americans who moved to Canada for political reasons are voting in this election. I hope I don't need to say that I respect their decisions as their own. For my part, I feel I already voted - with my feet.