Lamp posts the length of Church Road bear referendum campaign posters. In true democratic fashion, most people are likely to decide their vote on the basis of whom they dislike the least.
An English friend maintains that he has a right to vote in the referendum; checking the electoral register, he is mistaken.
Having someone’s name and address means being able to check their registration details online, thus:
Name : IAN POULTON Address : KILLINEY AVENUE, KILLINEY, CO. DUBLIN Polling Station : WYVERN COI N. S. KILLINEY Election Type [* see below] : D Edited Register [** see below] : NO Elector Number : LJ-1253 Supplementary : N
What does the letter ‘D’ stand for? Different? Disqualified? Maybe ‘dismayed’ at turning up and being unable to vote?
What it does stand for is being unable to vote next week, or in 2011 at the next presidential election.
[*] Election Type
Entitlement to vote, based on citizenship outlined below:
Local Elections European Elections Dáil Elections Referendum or Presidential Election Resident Irish citizens (P)* YES YES YES YES Resident British citizens (D)* YES YES YES NO Resident EU citizens (E)* YES YES NO NO Resident Non-EU citizens (L)* YES NO NO NO
* as indicated on the register
The right of British citizens to vote in general elections in Ireland dates from Ninth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1984 which revised Article 16.1.2 to allow the following to vote in elections to Dáil Éireann. The Article reads:
i. All citizens, and
ii. such other persons in the State as may be determined by law, without distinction of sex who have reached the age of eighteen years who are not disqualified by law and comply with the provisions of the law relating to the election of members of Dáil Éireann, shall have the right to vote at an election for members of Dáil Éireann.
So under Article 16, the government passed a law allowing the British to vote.
It seemed that there was a loophole that would have allowed my English friend to have slipped through the net. The Constitution declares that everyone who can vote at a general election can vote in a referendum.
3. Every citizen who has the right to vote at an election for members of Dáil Éireann shall have the right to vote at a Referendum.
Except, of course, there is no provision for British votes. “Every citizen” says the constitution, that means neither my friend nor myself.
Perhaps I should decline to complete my next tax return, sending it back, having written across it “Non-Citizen”.