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Cabinet approves referendum on votes for Irish abroad

Dame_Enda

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The Cabinet has decided to hold a referendum in October on extending voting rights in Presidential elections to Irish citizens living abroad. Is this a good or bad idea?

I will vote no because of the no representation without taxation (including indirect taxes) principle. I'm also concerned it could involve postal voting, which has been implicated in fraud for example in a UK GE in Scotland some years ago.

 


Lumpy Talbot

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No
Would you also be in favour of removing voting rights from non-domiciled persons who avoid paying taxes to the state while using all the services the actual taxpayers pay for?

Should Denis O'Brien have his voting rights removed?
 

wombat

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Would you also be in favour of removing voting rights from non-domiciled persons who avoid paying taxes to the state while using all the services the actual taxpayers pay for?
If they don't live here how do they avail of services?
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
If they don't live here how do they avail of services?
Ah but they do. Up to 180 days per annum, with their families certainly availing of the state's services, schools, roads, public lighting, water, gas etc 365 days a year..
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
I suspect the sight of a considerable number of the diaspora 'Going Home to Vote' from as far afield as Australia in recent referendums has the social conservatives jittery that it could open the door to a massively liberal and young vote.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Silly concern, really. Amid concerns about how to engage the young in politics we really should be proud of them. They certainly showed commitment well beyond a stroll around to the local school to vote.

I have come to like the young voters of Ireland at home and from abroad when opportunity arises.

I like their politics.
 

Finbar10

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The Cabinet has decided to hold a referendum in October on extending voting rights in Presidential elections to Irish citizens living abroad. Is this a good or bad idea?

I will vote no because of the no representation without taxation (including indirect taxes) principle. I'm also concerned it could involve postal voting, which has been implicated in fraud for example in a UK GE in Scotland some years ago.

If it was for the Dáil, then "no representation without taxation" might be relevant, but this is for a mostly symbolic office with no control whatsoever over money and taxation. IMO it's not quite as meaningless proposal as the referendum on the presidential age limit, which failed 3 to 1, though heading a bit in that direction (more symbolism than meaningful reform of anything). If this is a standalone referendum, you'd have to wonder if it may pick up a substantial protest vote (though nowhere near 3 to 1), which coupled with possible low turnout may cause it to fail.

Allowing Irish emigrants to vote in Dáil elections for a substantial period after they leave Ireland would be more meaningful (many countries allow ex-pats to vote for 5 or 10 years after they emigrate). Emigration has been a too easy safety valve for politics here (could be interesting if those forced to emigrate could still express discontent at the ballot box for a period after leaving). Allowing foreign Irish passport holders to vote for a figurehead is nice and inclusive etc., but that's about all.
 

Finbar10

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I suspect the sight of a considerable number of the diaspora 'Going Home to Vote' from as far afield as Australia in recent referendums has the social conservatives jittery that it could open the door to a massively liberal and young vote.
They're happy to bend the rules when it's convenient (when young votes are needed for some social reform referendum or other). God forbid they would allow facilitate young recent emigrants to use postal votes etc. in Dáil elections.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
That would definitely put the wind up the no-change merchants around Merrion St and Leinster House.

In a way it is strange when you think of it that we have a system of grades of rights in terms of votes. Only University graduates can vote in Senate elections.

People born in Ireland now living abroad have their citizenship rights downgraded when they move abroad as they have no right to vote unless they present themselves within the country at their home electoral district, unlike the French and Americans (I think) who vote at the embassy where they are living.
 

Beachcomber

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If it was for the Dáil, then "no representation without taxation" might be relevant, but this is for a mostly symbolic office with no control whatsoever over money and taxation. IMO it's not quite as meaningless proposal as the referendum on the presidential age limit, which failed 3 to 1, though heading a bit in that direction (more symbolism than meaningful reform of anything). If this is a standalone referendum, you'd have to wonder if it may pick up a substantial protest vote (though nowhere near 3 to 1), which coupled with possible low turnout may cause it to fail.

Allowing Irish emigrants to vote in Dáil elections for a substantial period after they leave Ireland would be more meaningful (many countries allow ex-pats to vote for 5 or 10 years after they emigrate). Emigration has been a too easy safety valve for politics here (could be interesting if those forced to emigrate could still express discontent at the ballot box for a period after leaving). Allowing foreign Irish passport holders to vote for a figurehead is nice and inclusive etc., but that's about all.

There is the danger however that many Irish-Americans (as one example) would vote on the famine-era biases that have been passed down from generation to generation within their families, so that the likes of the Sinn Fein candidate would attract a higher proportion of those votes than the proportion SF would attract from actual residents in the ROI.

Such people have no real knowledge of the ROI beyond a few cliches, and would thus vote for those who have sucked up to them over the decades.
 

Finbar10

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That would definitely put the wind up the no-change merchants around Merrion St and Leinster House.

In a way it is strange when you think of it that we have a system of grades of rights in terms of votes. Only University graduates can vote in Senate elections.

People born in Ireland now living abroad have their citizenship rights downgraded when they move abroad as they have no right to vote unless they present themselves within the country at their home electoral district, unlike the French and Americans (I think) who vote at the embassy where they are living.
Plus there were those severe cuts to the dole several years back (closer to the bust) for those under 26, a kind of "if you can't find a job in Ireland then please f*** off abroad" kind of incentive for young people. Of course, probably some of those same young people were later lauded when they shelled out money at their own expense for a plane ticket to temporarily come back and vote in the SSM and similar referendums! :rolleyes:
 

Lagertha

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I would vote no, I'd also like to know how much this nonsense is going to cost the taxpayer who actually lives here, pays taxes and has to live with the results.
 

razorblade

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Those who dont live here shouldn't be entitled to vote in Irish elections only citizens who live here should be entitled to vote in Irish based elections they're the ones who pay taxes in this country and will be the ones impacted by government policies made here while the former wont be.
 

petaljam

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Those who dont live here shouldn't be entitled to vote in Irish elections only citizens who live here should be entitled to vote in Irish based elections they're the ones who pay taxes in this country and will be the ones impacted by government policies made here while the former wont be.
That's also true of non Irish residents though. Why should they not be entitled to have a say in decisions that affect them?

Also, Irish citizens abroad are completely disenfranchised, since they usually can't vote in their country of residence. Ireland effectively agrees with that by refusing the right to vote to its own foreign residents, so it's knowingly disenfranchising a section of its own citizens as it clearly doesn't expect them to have a vote in their country of residence.
 

Catahualpa

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If it gives the Irish People in the Six Counties the right to vote I would consider it.

But postal voting from abroad?

Nope

That would be giving too many hostages to Fortune!
 

petaljam

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If it gives the Irish People in the Six Counties the right to vote I would consider it.

But postal voting from abroad?

Nope

That would be giving too many hostages to Fortune!
If they are actually Irish, ie been (mainly) brought up in Ireland, and therefore subsidised by Irish taxpayers, then I think a country that has that many of its people permanently resident elsewhere should be making serious efforts to reduce those losses by inciting them to stay.

If it's just because it's too easy to get an Irish passport, and many of them have little or no real connection with the country, then it's the rules of attribution of citizenship that are wrong, and need to be tightened up.

But "we're afraid of how those who were forced to leave the country might vote to change our cosy status quo" is a very undemocratic approach. Not much different from limiting the vote to property owners, as in the past - a class of privileged citizens who can vote to keep things as it suits them, while the less privileged can go hang.
 

NYCKY

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The Cabinet has decided to hold a referendum in October on extending voting rights in Presidential elections to Irish citizens living abroad. Is this a good or bad idea?

I will vote no because of the no representation without taxation (including indirect taxes) principle. I'm also concerned it could involve postal voting, which has been implicated in fraud for example in a UK GE in Scotland some years ago.


It's Presidential elections they are talking about not Dail voting. There has only 8 of these elections in the history of the state, including two in the last 8 years. Despite just 8 elections, oddly though, there have been 10 Presidents including the incumbent who won two of them.

As a country that wants to harness it's diaspora for the benefit of trade, investment, tourism, education etc this symbolic gesture seems like a good idea. Countries are increasingly engaging and harnessing their diasporas and some countries like Italy and Israel have been doing it successfully for a long time.

As for the taxation without representation, I think I should get two votes for all the taxes I pay. Better yet if we want to tie representation to taxation, why not give out votes on the basis of the tax we pay, say one vote per 100 Euro in taxes. Sounds silly, doesn't it?
 

NYCKY

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There is the danger however that many Irish-Americans (as one example) would vote on the famine-era biases that have been passed down from generation to generation within their families, so that the likes of the Sinn Fein candidate would attract a higher proportion of those votes than the proportion SF would attract from actual residents in the ROI.

Such people have no real knowledge of the ROI beyond a few cliches, and would thus vote for those who have sucked up to them over the decades.

You may not be aware of this, but the Sinn Fein candidate got almost 14% of the vote without any Irish American biases. You probably also realize that Sinn Fein weren't around during the Famine.
 


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