Thursday, March 03, 2016

Papers, Please.

You may have noticed this interesting article on CNN the other day: World's Best and Worst Passports Revealed. If you're planning to travel outside the United States (or to increasingly foreign areas like Texas), it's worth taking a few minutes to read.

A passport, as you probably know, is a government-issued document that certifies your identity and nationality and allows you to travel between countries. And it's also a useful thing to have at election time, as states crack down on an imagined tidal wave of voting fraud by insisting that you be able to prove not only your identity (for which a driver's license usually suffices, assuming you drive), but your citizenship as well. If  you don't have a passport, and especially if you are not white and have stars and stripes shooting out of every orifice, it would be a good idea to spend the $110 and get one issued, especially if the GOP prevails in the upcoming election.

But I digress.

It seems that not all passports are created equal. For maximum travel flexibility, it seems that a German passport - which allows visa-free travel to 177 of the world's 218 countries - is the one to have, assuming you are a German, of course. A good old blue US passport gives you visa-free access to only 174 countries, and is in fourth place on the desirability list, tied with the passports of Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands. At the other end of the scale, the least desirable passport to hold is from Afghanistan, which allows travel to only 25 countries, most of which you probably wouldn't want to visit, anyhow. Only slightly better are passports from Pakistan, Syria, and Somalia (29 countries) ... of course, Syrians and Somalis in particular don't bother with passports lately, and simply swarm to wherever they can reach and claim refugee status.

You can check out the entire list on the Henley and Partners Visa Restrictions Index for 2016. The full Henley and Partners website also provides useful information on applying for residency or citizenship in numerous other countries, which you may find of particular interest depending on your view of the outcome of the upcoming election.

So start stocking up on identification, make sure it has your picture on it, and make sure your state will accept it as valid ID when you show up to vote. We certainly don't want to have the wrong sort of people voting, do we?

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow, when Great Moments in Editing makes its first appearance in March.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

Papers? Who needs papers? We do.

KathyA said...

Our latest passports are really pretty -- the passport itself, not the picture, which I'd like to sue over.

Mike said...

I think I checked out the Canada access during the last Bush administration. I was too old then. Heaven help me now.

Big Sky Heidi said...

How do they know when your U.S. passport is real? When your picture on it is awful!

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

They ask for a photo I.D. here. Those whose drivers' licences are revoked are S.O.L.

allenwoodhaven said...

Great cartoon! I should have thought of that.

I hope you don't require ID for the next ass clown of the year voting. We'd have to get numerous IDs to vote multiple times.