‘No taxation without representation’ was the rallying call of the American Revolution and, while circumstances have changed, the principle remains true to this day.
Spain has captured the world’s attention with an historic election that shattered the bleak two-party hegemony dominating politics since 1970.
Amid all the controversy and chaos, however, huge numbers of expatriate residents have been left without any democratic representation at a time when real change is finally in the air.
The Costa del Sol, part of Malaga Province, voted in droves for the ruling PP, with the ruling party claiming victories in Marbella, Fuengirola, Benalmadena and Mijas.
Nationwide, however, the PP majority was eradicated overnight as insurgent campaigns from newcomers Podemos and Ciudadanos made a labyrinth of the Madrid Congress. Negotiations, coalitions, compromises and controversy are certain to capture future headlines, and, as the parties vie for supremacy they will give little thought to the non-voting population.
Only Spanish citizens can vote, which means more than three million residents are not entitled to a say on how their affairs will be run, almost one million of them British.
The entry of the 15 per cent of the Spanish population who are immigrants into the political system would be an earthquake of mammoth proportions but is a crucial part of the move towards full democracy promised 30 years ago.
History tells us that no one was ever freely given the right to vote, so it is time that residents who consider Spain their home stand up and demand to be counted.