4/01/2005

One man, one vote?

Pat Doherty has highlighted the grave issue of the disenfranchising of thousands of voters due to the Electoral Act. Since its introduction, the act has proved highly controversial and indeed had to altered last month to allow 70,000 voters back onto the register. It is estimated that up to 50,000 potential voters are not registered for this election and they tend to be young, working class Nationalists. I’m sure we are all shocked that legislation brought in at the behest of the Unionists and the SDLP seems to target a group most likely to be Sinn Féin voters. For years those bitter at the electoral success of Sinn Féin made baseless allegations that the votes gained were fraudulent, yet even in the fact of repressive legislation, the Sinn Féin vote continued to rise, as I am confident it will do so in May. Many members of the SDLP frequently boast of their involvement in the Civil Rights campaign, but how they can then support legislation which denies the vote to the very sections of society which the Civil Rights movement fought to win the vote for.

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