Wednesday 21 February 2018

Giving presidential vote to migrants is a foolish plan from a lame-duck leader going on a solo run

Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Steve Humphreys
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Steve Humphreys
Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman

The announcement of a referendum to give Irish citizens abroad a vote in future presidential elections was classic Enda Kenny. Pluck an idea from the skies, with zero planning and virtually no consultation; broadcast it and then sit back and enjoy the (short-term) warm after-glow, before the practical implications begin to sink in. Consequences be damned.

It's not the first such wheeze from the Taoiseach. His surprise Seanad referendum announcement in 2009 came at a time when questions were openly being asked about him. Kenny needed a big idea to show "decisive leadership".

If that ill-thought-through scheme was about his political survival, this latest announcement is about Kenny's legacy.

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