Time for a fresh debate, and in a modern context?
For decades now fear has prevented progress whenever the subject of emigrant voting is raised. Knee-jerk reactions have stopped policy makers in their tracks, concerned they’d be heading down a dead end road.
The reasons for change are more apparent these days:
21st century migration is seeing new generations leave and it’s important they don’t feel excluded. The old times when emigrants boarded the ship and said goodbye no longer exist – technology and cheap travel keeps Ireland close at hand. Exclusion doesn’t fit a modern world.
A vote means attachment, and attachment encourages a sense of belonging, responsibility, and an interest in staying informed. A vote ensures the relationship is fostered and protected.
Ireland is trying to engage with its ‘business elite’ abroad. An emigrant vote removes future hurdles – tomorrows ‘elite’ will already feel that connection with Ireland quite naturally.
Moving our thinking away from being a peripheral European country to a globally connected community (or nation) is a powerful proposition with new opportunities. Approach it as a two-way street with shared responsibilities and we’ll see shared benefits in return.
Here’s some recent articles by others on the subject:
So the question is not really whether Ireland should bring in emigrant voting (in my opinion anyway), but how it can be implemented in a way that allows representation and participation without biasing or slanting the results…
Global Irish constituencies: the UK, Europe, Nth America, Sth America, Australia, Africa, Asia maybe? Time limits on eligibility..?
I’ve kept this simple but what’s your thoughts, what am i missing?