Scotland Considering Right to Vote for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Article in migrantrights.org
10 January, 2018

That Scotland would envisage to provide “everyone legally resident in Scotland” with the right to vote is a very encouraging sign. Everyone who pays taxes and obeys the law will have a say in how laws are made and how taxes are spent. It may presage a transformation of the public debates on migration. As soon as migrants will be part of the electorate, politicians will pay more attention to their experience and expertise when designing policies which would affect their rights. Public opinion might also be considerably altered if many more migrants are empowered to speak up and present their views on migration policies.

“A public consultation launched last month suggested that the voting franchise for Scottish Parliament and council elections should be extended to “everyone legally resident in Scotland”. The Scottish Greens are now calling for this to include refugees and asylum seekers, arguing it would send a message that Scotland is a “welcoming country”.

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