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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Just curious to know..."

Reader-submitted question: ...if you are also eligible to vote in the upcoming Canadian election.

No, I'm not eligible to vote in Canada. I hope you guys all voted, though.

I am not a Canadian citizen. I was born in Maine and moved to Montreal in the 1980s. My parents did all of the paperwork for me and my brothers. They decided that we would all retain our American citizenship and be Canadian permanent residents.

Throughout the nineties, I sometimes thought about getting dual citizenship, but whenever I called the American government to ask about it, I was told that it wasn't allowed. Since then, I have learned that the Canadian government will accept me as a dual citizen. My (admittedly crude) understanding is that the American government would consider me an American, and the Canadian government would consider me both American and Canadian.

It appears to be just a matter of doing the paperwork and taking a test, but I haven't bothered. Yes, go ahead and lecture me. I know, I know. I have all of the rights a Canadian citizen would have, except that I can't vote. If I was excited enough about one of the candidates, I might fill out the paperwork, but I'm just not.

I am allowed to vote in Maine or to get an absentee ballot from the Dexter town office using my last American address. That's what I did. In fact, I voted for the ticket that I think will be best for both the US and Canada, so in a sense, I was looking out for both countries with my vote.

Thanks for your question. I'm now bracing myself for the complaints that I am a traitor who couldn't be bothered to fill out the form that would make me a Canadian.


Mongoose said...

You also have to pay $200 and take the oath and it takes something like 15 months these days, so if you put in for your citizenship when a good candidate comes up, he'll be retired by the time you're eligible to vote. :)