By Orla O Muiri
Results of Ballotbox.ie are out, with Fine Gael dominating the online poll, winning 63 seats. Ireland’s current government Fianna Fail obtain a mere 2 seats.
Ballotbox.ie is a new Irish website designed to allow Irish emigrants to cast a mock vote in last weekend’s parliamentary elections. The aim of the campaign is to alert the incoming government of the need for a system of postal, proxy or Internet voting system to be implemented. The results tally with that of the actual election, with Fine Gael and Labour emerging with the highest number of votes. Full results are posted here.
On the website Labour received the second highest amount of seats at 51, followed by a re-emerging Sinn Fein who took 23.
Ballotbox.ie said on their Facebook page, “thanks to everyone who got involved, took the time out to spread the word to the 6000 of us who voted at BallotBox.ie. We may have come together just to vote, but it shouldn’t end here and it won’t.”
Nearly 6,000 Irish emigrants in 124 different countries took part in the poll. Supporters hope this figure will place pressure on the new coalition government to pass a law allowing Irish citizens abroad to vote in Irelands parliamentary elections.. The top five country’s in terms of voting numbers were the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and Germany.
David McWilliams,Irish economist and broadcaster said, “The Irish diaspora is one of our greatest assets and those of the tribe who are now living abroad should never be cut off from the nation. By allowing them to vote, we bring our policy into line with the rest of Europe and tie these people to home, making it more likely that they come back with their skills and experiences to contribute to the country.”
Shane Black(26) an electrician living in Australia said, “Results have came out the same this time but that was a give in. Fine Gael was the only real option, as Fianna Fail is to blame for Ireland’s current situation. What matters is that the issue of emigrants vote is not forgotten about, that we continue to push it through. Because there will come a time that we need it, that it will make all the difference, especially now as more and more of the Irish pack up and leave the country.”
The results of both the ballotbox.ie votes and the parliamentary election is a turning point in Irish history, as Fine Gael win the majority of seats and look set to come to power for the first time in 14years.To date, Fianna Fail has ruled Ireland for 56 years out of the 77 that Ireland has had its own government.