VICA launches Right to Vote Postcard ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY
On International Migrants Day on December 18th, the Votes for Irish Citizens Abroad (VICA) campaign group will launch their Right to Vote Postcard.
The Right to Vote Postcard initiative aims to prepare the Irish electorate to question their candidates in the 2016 general election about the “continuing disenfranchisement of Irish citizens who live abroad”.
International Migrants Day is celebrated on December 18th annually and is mandated by the UN to celebrate the contribution of migrants around the world to open and inclusive societies.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the Right to Vote Postcard, Sarah Cantwell, a spokesperson for VICA, said:
“It is fitting on International Migrants’ Day, and ahead of next year’s general election in Ireland, to reiterate the call for the Irish state update its laws on overseas voting in line with 129 countries worldwide.
“This would ensure that Irish citizens living abroad can participate in Irish elections and referenda which affect their future and the future of their loved ones in Ireland.”
The Right to Vote Postcard describes how the Irish State has been criticized by the OECD and the European Commission for continuing to exclude its citizens abroad from its democratic processes.
It also emphasizes how enfranchising Irish citizens abroad can help to offset the losses to Irish society caused by large-scale economic migration.
Ending on an upbeat note, the postcard references the recent Home to Vote campaign during the marriage equality referendum which showed the great appetite of Irish citizens abroad for participation in Irish elections and referenda. (link to IW article)
The postcard can be accessed on VICA Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/votesforirishcitizensabroad ) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/VICAcampaign) accounts or on the VICA www.vica.ie
More abour VICA:
VICA is a London-based group of Irish people campaigning for Irish citizens living abroad to be given the right to vote in general elections, Presidential elections and referenda.
VICA believes that the right to vote in general elections should be granted to all first generation Irish citizens (i.e., those who were born in Ireland), regardless of where they live. VICA proposes this should be managed by a system of reserved constituencies in order not to “swamp” the votes of citizens resident in Ireland, and to ensure meaningful representation of emigrants. Similar systems are used by France and Italy.
Further information can be found at www.vica.ie.
Read more about the OECD and the European Commission criticisms here:
Disenfranchisement: Commission acts to defend voting rights of EU citizens abroad, European Commission, January 2014
OECD Economic Surveys: Ireland 2015,September 2015.