Give Them Back Their Vote!
Give Them Back Their Voice
Are you an Irish citizen abroad? Or are you home in Ireland with friends or family living abroad?
You and your family and friends are not alone. Well over 300,000 Irish citizens have emigrated from Ireland since 2008. By population, this is the HIGHEST emigration rate in the EU. Yet, unlike most EU member states, Ireland doesn't give voting rights to its citizens who live abroad. We think this is absolutely unacceptable at a time when it has never been easier for Irish people abroad to maintain their connection with Ireland.
During the run-up to the local and European elections in Ireland on May 23rd, Irish politicians should know that people at home and abroad want Irish citizens abroad to be able to vote in elections in Ireland – as is their right as Irish citizens.
Will you stand up for your family and friends abroad?
Help Irish citizens abroad get back their vote and their voice!
HOW TO HELP – if you’re an Irish citizen living abroad:
...Share this link - http://vica.ie/index.php/events - on Facebook (and EVERYWHERE).
...Tweet all about it: #givethemtheirvote @VICAcampaign
...And it mightn't do any harm to personally :-) ask LOTS of your family and friends at home to send the email.
HOW TO HELP – if you’re living in Ireland:
Copy the email [text+links] below and click:
HERE* to send it (or some version of it - or whatever you're having yourself!) to your local politicians
HERE* to send to all Irish MEP’S
*Many thanks to contact.ie for helping to facilitate our campaign.
Suggested Email Text to Copy and Send to your Local Politicians and MEP’s:
Suggested subject line: Votes for Irish Citizens Abroad, May 2014
Dear local or European elected representative,
In the run-up to the local and European elections on May 23rd, I would like to remind you that, unlike the vast majority of EU member states, Ireland completely disenfranchises its citizens living abroad. This state of affairs is all the more striking when you consider that Ireland also has the highest rate of emigration in Europe (1). The painful impact of emigration on communities across Ireland is something that local politicians are all too aware of, while politicians at EU level must engage with the highly anomalous nature of Ireland’s position in not allowing these emigrants to votes in Dáil elections from abroad (2).
In a time when it has never been easier for Irish citizens abroad to maintain their deep-rooted connection with Ireland and their knowledge of Irish current affairs, Ireland’s denial of voting rights to these citizens is absolutely unacceptable (3).
In September 2013, the Constitutional Convention voted in favour of giving Irish citizens abroad a vote in presidential elections. However, the government has not responded to Convention’s recommendation within its own stated time frame (4). As a local or a European elected representative, I call on you to pressure the government to respect and deliver on this commitment.
While emigrant voting rights in the presidential elections could be viewed as a step in the right direction, this concession alone will not bring Ireland into line with the majority of EU states in terms of emigrant voting rights. To do this, Irish citizens living abroad need to be able to vote in Dáil elections. As suggested by the London-based campaign group, Vote for Irish Citizens Abroad (VICA), this could be achieved through the introduction of reserved constituencies for citizens abroad, as in France and Italy (3).
I call on you to urgently work with your political party towards ending Ireland’s disenfranchisement of its citizens who live abroad.