Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Er, yeah, we'll get back to you on that one, Martin"

From The Derry Journal:
Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness has called for people from the North to be allowed to vote in Irish presidential elections.

He made the call when he gave the annual John Hume lecture at the Patrick MacGill summer school in Glenties on Sunday.

Speaking in Glenties, the Sinn Féin chief negotiator said a debate on Irish unity is needed.
This seems to be an annual call, didn't Gerry call for the very same debate last year on his US Tour and when he popped up in London to speak to the usual suspects? Down to brass-tacks:
"A start could be made next year by granting to Irish citizens in the Six Counties the right to vote in the Presidential Election. The current Uachtarán na hÉireann is a native of Belfast but if she had still lived there at the time of her election she would not have been able to vote for herself
There isn't a hope in hell that the Republic's government are going to *permit* their citizens in Northern Ireland to vote in that election; if McGuinness, Adams and Co were to admit at least to themselves the reasons why not, then that could be a useful kick-reverse to their *Unity* debate.

6 comments:

Chekov said...

Next thing they'll be demanding that players from NI can represent the ROI football team.

It's the gradual erosion of sovereignty which both the SDLP and SF are committed too. Denotes complete contempt for the principle of consent of course.

andrewg said...

Fine Gael's policy is to allow all Irish citizens living abroad to vote in Presidential elections. This would effectively expand the franchise to NI, although you'd have to get yourself on the electoral register in the Republic first.

http://www.finegael.org/news/a/2634/article/

O'Neill said...

"This would effectively expand the franchise to NI, although you'd have to get yourself on the electoral register in the Republic first."

Leaving the situation unchanged for Irish citizens who are N.Irish born and still resident in Northern Ireland?

andrewg said...

It's unclear how it will work in practice - you would have to be able to fill in a voter registration form by post if you are living abroad, so the question becomes do you need to have previously been registered at an address in the Republic or not? I would say probably not, as such a restriction would also apply to minor dependents of expatriates who have just come of age. The devil's in the details. On balance though, I'd say it will happen.

O'Neill said...

"I would say probably not, as such a restriction would also apply to minor dependents of expatriates who have just come of age."

When such a child of an expatriate becomes of age overseas is there some kind of a registration process back in the ROI?

andrewg said...

Currently there is no provision for expatriates on the electoral register at all AFAIK. If the presidential frachise was to be extended to expatriates, then such a facility would have to be introduced. You can of course apply for a passport from anywhere in the world, but that is a separate issue.