Scottish Government Greenlights Plan to Let Asylum Seekers, Refugees Vote
The Scottish government has confirmed that asylum seekers and refugees will be handed the vote under plans to expand the franchise.
Parliamentary business minister Joe Fitzpatrick told MSPs on Wednesday: “it is right that people who make their lives here and contribute to society should have the right to vote, wherever they are from,” stating the government’s position on a consultation to expand the vote which was launched in December.
Scotland has already made use of powers devolved in 2016 which allow politicians to make big changes to the country’s electorate, with its parliament voting unanimously to lower the age of franchise to 16 in the same year.
Asked by the open borders-backing Scottish Greens, who have campaigned for giving every migrant the vote whether the government’s plans include asylum seekers, Fitzpatrick confirmed that extending the franchise “should include those who were welcomed here as refugees and people going through the process of seeking asylum”.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) minister said: “Scotland is a welcoming country and our intention to extend the opportunity to vote to all those legally resident in Scotland, whatever their place of birth, I think should extend to refugees and asylum seekers.”
His comments were welcomed by Green MSP for West Scotland Ross Greer, a tireless campaigner for mass migration who, on the one year anniversary this week of the Manchester terror attack in which 22 people were killed and 139 wounded, drew attention to his comment piece on the bombing, which argued the UK must open its borders to the migrants arriving in Europe on boats.
Lamenting lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea of Africans migrants wanting EU nations to provide them with higher quality living standards, in an editorial for The National, Greer said Britain must respond to the deadly Islamist attack on UK soil by importing “unaccompanied refugee children” — an action he argued “can defeat those who seek to destroy who we are” and “deliver a powerful, unified message [that] we will not be defeated by terror.”
On Wednesday he said: “Giving refugees and asylum seekers the right to vote will go some way in showing that they are truly welcome and that Scotland is their home. Having made this call at the start of the year, I’m delighted Scottish Ministers agree that it is right that all those living here and affected by decisions made locally or nationally have a say in choosing who makes those decisions.
“Scotland’s history of taking in those in need of a safe home is a long one and continues today. I look forward to further details in Parliament on extending the franchise.”
Earlier this year after the consultation was launched, critics warned that the extension of the franchise to all immigrants could be exploited by mass migration-supporting parties such as the Greens and SNP, who could import new voters and send them to shore up support in constituencies with a tight electoral race.
“Moves to change the voting system in Scotland to allow refugees and asylum seekers a vote are a dangerous exercise in demographic gerrymandering by so-called progressive parties, who would stand to gain by implementing this change,” UKIP’s David Kurten told Breitbart London in January.
“It would be easy to swing an election by directing migrants to live in marginal constituencies in order to obtain power. If this plan is implemented it will make a mockery of our democracy and will be a disgraceful display of putting British people last in our own country.”
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