There’s a remarkable likeness between David Hume’s call for Ulster Scots to have a vote in the upcoming Scottish referendum and Sinn Fein’s standing call to extend the southern franchise to Northern Ireland’s elective Irish citizens.
And they have even less chance of succeeding for more or less the same reasons. It would be seen as a rather disingenuous means of ‘packing’ the electorate in both place. Having said which, the question of who might constitute this electorate is fuzzy.
Do I get to vote, because of my Grandma, who was certainly Ulster Scot, though not a member of Dr Hume’s Orange Order)? Or is it just the descendants of those who signed the Ulster Covenant. Whatever else it may have been it was also a giant lobbying exercise.
Granny may have been pleased to have extended a Scottish franchise to her grandchildren, but Scotland will certainly lump this proposed democratic intrusion into the same historic bin where Irish governments have filed those sovereignty-bending proposals from SF.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty