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The Right To Vote

Well, the world's biggest democracy is at it again.  Elections, I mean. As an Irish citizen, I have no right to vote in the Indian elections.  I lived in Ireland initially for over thirty years and paid my taxes there.  Who knows, I might end up going back there one day?  So I've decided to keep my Irish nationality.  However, as I've no wish to give up my Irish passport, I can't apply for Indian nationality.  I've lived here for twenty years and am basically a second class citizen.  I am unable to vote.  India doesn't allow dual nationality.

Today, while on Facebook, I posted the following status.

"As an Irish citizen who lives in India, I feel terrible that I am unable to vote. People have died for the right to vote and I've thrown my right away.  Don't I have rights in my country of residence?  I should have the right to have dual nationality, I think.  I am an Irish citizen and I have lived in this country for twenty years but I will lose my Irish passport if I take out Indian nationality.  Ireland allows dual nationality to people of foreign origin in certain circumstances.  But the right to vote is fundamental.  Ireland doesn't want my vote - they provide no facility for Irish citizens to vote from abroad.  And India ignores my right.  Yet my family and I will be just as affected by the outcome of the Indian elections as any others.  I've given this matter some thought and I feel that it's a violation of my human rights at least not to be able to vote for my local government.  I'm having the worst of both worlds where citizenship is concerned. Unfair, I say."

A British friend of mine who is married to a Turk and lives in Turkey came on to comment.  To my utter amazement, she informed me that she can vote in both countries.

If Turkey can give dual nationality to spouses of Turkish nationals, why can't India?  I am so, very tired of being a second class, disenfranchised individual who doesn't deserve a say even in the local government where I live.

This is an issue.

Image by Taoty, courtesy of  


  1. Does the ROI allow dual nationality?

  2. Yep. Ireland makes heaps of money when Irish Americans claim their green passports. Or rather, they did, when the passport used to be green and gold, before it became a maroon, plastic EU mindless document.

  3. It must be very frustrating, Maria x

  4. Our country just allowed all citizens to keep dual nationalities.


  5. Sorry but I disagree. I do not believe living in a country automatically bestows voting rights to anyone.

  6. Would you be able to vote if you gave up your Irish nationality?

  7. Teresa - yes it is!

    RBH - Interesting.

    Patsy - Yes, but other people in other countries get to vote and still keep their original nationality. This is the moot point.

    Shackman! :( I'm not just living here. I've been a legal resident for twenty years. I've borne and raised a family here. The political fluctuations affect me just as much as everyone else. I don't wish to renounce my original nationality for reasons (perfectly valid) mentioned earlier. Moreover, if my friend Linda can remain a Brit and turn Turk at the same time, why not me? Ireland is a neutral country internationally.
    Even your country, the US, permits dual nationality. Loads of Irish Americans hold Irish passports.

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