I say No! Montserratians Abroad Should Not Be Allowed to Vote

I say No! Montserratians Abroad Should Not Be Allowed to Vote

William S Galloway

Release Date

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Mr Editor,

Please allow me space to dispute an onslaught on our democracy that I've heard brewing over the peaks of my beloved island. It's been tossed about a few years ago and now even more recently, due to the upcoming elections, the concept of allowing Montserratians living abroad to vote in the islands general elections. This seems to be gaining some foothold, and I would like to add my voice to this debate to say that I think this is absurd and it's wrong.

It's a spit in the face of our democracy. A blatant disregard for the people who live on the island.

As a Montserratian living abroad, I would for sure have liked to have that privilege but it's an injustice and justice isn't blind. Wrong is wrong even if it's covered with golden feathers of hopeful prosperity.

The inference of it happens to be, other countries have utilized it - ie.U.S. Citizens do it and Canadians. So too does numerous other countries around the world. It's a fact and a truthful one too but one must not overlook the uniqueness of Montserrat. There is no other country in the world that has had an almost total devastation with a buried city and two thirds of that country's landmass uninhabited where people who work towards a better life have to be uprooted and be transplanted reshuffling their dreams.

One assumes, that if the rest of the world does something legally to its population it has to be right, but this, our unique situation trumps that. Montserrat's main population, due to the volcanic uprising, is off island. Let's just say figuratively, and we know it's greater - if 75% of Montserratians living abroad and 25% still live on the island. Are we saying we should let the 75% dictate the lives of the 25%, even though they are not living under the present regime. The one in the kitchen feels the heat. The old status quo is not present anymore we have to adapt and abide. Those times when we voted because it's our family, or our friends as the deciding factor cannot apply to people's livelihood .

There will be lack of reasoning and the ramifications wouldn't matter because we won't be living under it anyway. Is that a system we want to create or let our loved ones live under?

The motion has been made that the reason the government cannot make larger development moves is due to the fact that most developing lands on the island are own ed by Montserratians living abroad, and for that reason they should have a say in the governmental choice. That too is hogwash, for the politician, when they drew up their manifestos, knew what they had to work with. So when it doesn't happen the blame is passed on. Let's first accomplish what's on the plate before going back for seconds, shall we?

Land is value. It's one's asset. Parting with it just because, is not being realistic but utilizing that front for a vote isn't either. For every other country in the world that adapts the principle of overseas absentee ballot voting their main population is in that country. Make no mistake if the situation was reversed where the seventy five or greater lived on island I will gladly agree and accept but in this case if this precedent ever occurs we are drowning our democracy.


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