Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Danish People's Party demands non-citizens' vote rights revoked

What's so bad about restricting voting rights to citizens? And why is that called "anti-democratic"?

DF demands foreigners' vote rights revoked

Foreigners should be Danish citizens to be allowed to vote in the local elections this autumn, The Danish People's Party (DF) said on Tuesday. The party's proposal would block up to 200,000 immigrant votes. In this way, the party hopes to stop the advancement of the Radical Liberal Party, which almost doubled its mandates in the parliamentary elections last February, according to daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten. 'Let's be honest. The Radicals are not just café latte-sipping people from the creative class. To a large degree, it is also largely composed of immigrants, and one could fear the result of the upcoming local elections in large cities, where there are large concentrations of immigrants that the Social Liberals pander to,' said DF leader Pia Kjærsgaard. Immigrants from outside the EU and the Nordic countries gain voter rights in local elections after living in Denmark for three years. In the 2001 election, 167,000 immigrants were able to vote - a number that could have grown to 200,000 since, according to the national statistics bureau. 'We feel that it is necessary that ties to Denmark be close, before one be allowed to vote,' Kjærsgaard told Jyllands-Posten. Radical MP and spokesman on integration affairs, Morten Østergaard, is currently working in Albania as election observer, to supervise the preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections on July 3. The Albanian opposition accuses the Social Democratic government of systematically harassing its opponents, and Østergaard advised DF to take a study tour to Albania. Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Holland, and Ireland share the Danish stance that foreign citizens should be allowed to vote in local elections. Liberal Integration Minister Rikke Hvilshøj rejected DF's proposal. Professor Lise Togeby of Aarhus University, who has studied immigrants' voter participation, said she agreed. 'The chance to vote is one of the best ways to aid integration,' she said.

DPP to disenfranchise immigrants

The anti-immigrant Danish People's Party wishes to deprive some 200,000 immigrants of their voting rights in order to stop the Social Liberals from becoming too dominant in some cities. Immigrants from outside the European Union or the Nordic countries have the right to vote in local elections when they have lived in Denmark for three years or more. It is these 200,000 immigrants that the DPP wishes to disenfranchise in order to prevent the Social Liberals from gaining even more votes in the coming local election.


At June 01, 2005 2:50 PM, Blogger Oscar in Kansas said...

Allowing non-citizens to vote undermines democratic procedures and helps advance the argument that democracy itself is the problem.

If Denmark or other European nations continue to allow non-citizens to vote then sooner or later democracy itself will be threatened. I can imagine the platform of a political party in the not-too-distant future: We Must End Democracy To Preserve Our Freedom.


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