David Farrell (July 29, 2010)
A letter in today’s Irish Times makes the case for votes for emigrants:
Madam, – As it is now agreed 1, that political and administrative corruption rots (our) society from the inside; 2, that root and branch reform is needed and 3, that we should look to the Irish diaspora (viz Farmleigh) for help with our problems I suggest the following: Take our courage in our hands and follow the example of Australia, the USA and Britain et al and extend the voting franchise to our emigrants.
They have been so far denied this right precisely because their vote can certainly not be bought and must effect a sea change in our cosy, nepotistic, self-interested and failed political system. – Yours, etc,
The correspondent in correct in noting that other countries grant overseas voting rights. As reported in the newspapers only a few days ago, Ireland is once again top of the class in the EU for the numbers of people emigrating in search of work, many of these Irish citizens. Should we add insult to injury in denying them a voice?