The Emigrant Irish – A Vote

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:

The Irish Post
The Irish Times
Amhrán Nua
David McWilliams

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?



The Emigrant Irish – A Vote — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Tracking the emigrant voting issue | – about Irish emigration and the diaspora

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