David McWilliams calls for voting rights for all Irish citizens

10 Jan

Economist and broadcaster David McWilliams has called for the extension of the right to vote to all Irish citizens abroad.

In an article entitled, “If I was Taoiseach. . . what I would do to save Ireland “, McWilliams outlines a series of 10 steps aimed at fixing the economy and healing society. His ninth step:

Extend the vote to everyone who is an Irish citizen no matter where they live. The Irish diaspora is one of our greatest assets and those of the tribe who are now living abroad should never be cut off from the nation. By allowing them to vote, we bring our policy into line with the rest of Europe and tie these people to home, making it more likely that they come back with their skills and experiences and contribute to the country.

McWilliams makes an important point here: one of the reasons why we should allow our emigrants to vote is that the vote serves as a vital link with home. We value the loyalty of our emigrants; allowing them a vote will reinforce that.

And we need all the help we can get: our message to our expats should be that we welcome their experience in the political realm as much as in the economic realm.

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