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Public Inquiry
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Human Rights in Ireland
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Spirit of Contradiction

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British Conservatives' gaffe on Irish voting rights in UK

category international | public consultation / irish social forum | opinion/analysis author Tuesday January 20, 2015 12:45author by Nuala Report this post to the editors

Conservative party clutching at straws in their desperation to avoid a hung parliament in May

http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/tory-bid-deny-irish-bri...ction

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This is a farce.

No harm in summarising the historical background.

When southern Ireland became independent(?) of UK in 1922, southern Irish citizens in UK were still entitled to vote in UK parliamentary elections.

The issue was thrown into sharp focus in 1948 when southern Ireland - in a gesture to compensate for the phoney and partial nature of its 'independence' from UK - made a big song and dance about withdrawing southern Ireland from the British Commonwealth. The amending legislation at Westminster, the Ireland Act 1949, against all expectations, included the provision that southern Irish citizens in UK could still vote in UK general elections.

Why?

Because Labour was in power in 1949 and it was perceived that the Irish in Britain usually voted Labour.

In the 1980s, as part of the 'peace process,' the Irish constitution was amended to give UK citizens in southern Ireland the corresponding right to vote in parliamentary elections in southern Ireland.

That brings us to today. The Conservatives are desperate to avoid a hung parliament in May. They want to deprive Irish citizens of the vote in UK because they still imagine the Irish in Britain predominantly vote Labour - correct in past decades but by no means certain today.

The Tories behind this plan have only embarrassed themselves. Cameron rightly wants to distance himself from them.

Related Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvP6qWecc8
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