One notable feature of the recent referendum on removing Article Eight of Bunreacht na hÉireann was the adoption of American-style campaigning by those organisations opposed to the introduction of public and private abortion services in Ireland. A wide range of electoral tactics employed by “pro-life” activists in the United States was on display throughout the plebiscite debate, often gaining adverse comment. If press reports are correct, these tactics came with the advice and labour of a small but significant coterie of veteran anti-choice campaigners who arrived in the country from the US, Britain and further afield.
Having lost the public debate, one would imagine that the groups making up the No side would at least take a step back, and observe a moment of contemplation at the sheer scale of their defeat at the polls, before turning to the proposed shape of legislation due to pass through the Oireachtas later this year.
Yet, far from acting with a modicum of humility, some notable voices in the anti-choice campaign have seized upon a bizarre, Trump-like conspiracy theory focusing on the supposed existence of widespread electoral fraud during the referendum vote. This, of course, is complete nonsense. Ireland maintains one of the most respected – and arguably democratic – polling systems in the world, where voting irregularities are negligible. However, such accusations are frequently made by pro-life campaigners in the United States when anti-abortion candidates or propositions are rejected at the polls. It is worrying to see such “culture war” values being promulgated in this nation, even if just among a minority of a minority.
By an odd coincidence I was just beginning to read the link below. Compare and contrast, maybe 🙂
Hmmm. I’m fairly sceptical about these sorts of things not least because the British state made no more than a few haphazard attempts to physically subvert the Sinn Féin vote in the north of Ireland during the 1980s. In the end, even UK officials and ministers baulked at the idea of actually physically interfering with the ballot box. In contrast, colluding in the assassination of SF members or candidates was turned a blind eye to.
The British and their peculiar sense of fair play! 😉
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The British and their peculiar sense of fair play!
There is 500-page report by UN war crimes investigator Sir Desmond da Silva QC, when the British government formally accepted the state had colluded in the murder of Pat Finucane. one among many murdered on the OK of the British Government.
Interesting slant on the referendum here:
Yeah, saw that this morning. Unusual language for an article in the UK press, even the Guardian: “…she is likely to be feted by Irish republicans as the British prime minister who handed back the six counties.”
Possibly true, though.
Right wing UK press used the exact same tactic of voter fraud when Corbyn did better than expected in the 2017 election, in fact, there was only one prosecution for it in the UK at the time. My wife and I were asked for ID at our polling station which we had brought with us. This type of nonsense displays the fact that the extreme right are only interested in Democracy so long as their agenda is voted for and I noted that in the last 2 days in my area they hung black posters with obligatory fetus and the message if you vote yes, you vote for murder!!!
If anybody thinks that govts don’t commit electoral fraud then they are deluded. There are lots of cases of Tories members obtaining the postal votes of care home residents in England and casting their vote for them. Added to that just recently a very peculiar event occurred in the Thanet South constituency were the UKIP won control of the local council but somehow failed to elect Farage as an MP. A late declaration of the result only added to the suspicion something was afoot. Dis the ruling classes decide that Farage would not set foot in the House of Commons?
Btw, Venezuela has one of the most stringent voting systems in the world and yet ‘conspiracy theorists’ are claiming Maduro rigged the election. You see it works both ways this oul hypocrisy lark.
Also when Trump was hinting that the Democrats could commit electoral fraud to get Clinton elected, Clinton scoffed and demanded no matter what the result would be that “we all must accept the final result” as fair etc. Fast forward a few weeks and Clinton is wailing with the biggest conspiracy theory yet I.e the Russians hijacked the election boohoo! Is she a conspiracy theorist? #howdoyoulikethathypocrisy?
Clinton got screwed, all right, but it wasn’t the Russians. I believe that a deep state coalition formed around Donald Trump and pushed him over the line. A little payback for Benghazi, eh? They took out Jeb Bush too.
Was it necessary?
What did they have to do to rig the vote if they did?