It’s a well-established pattern in the United States that the Democrats repeatedly push to ease barriers to immigration, institute “motor-voter” registration, reduce or eliminate the identification requirements for voters at the polls, and hasten the naturalization of immigrants.
All of these strategies are aimed at increasing the number of Mexican voters, which in practice means (surprise, surprise!) more people voting for the Democrats.
Spain evidently has a similar situation. According to ANSAmed:
Spain: Socialists’ Congress to Propose Vote to Immigrants
Rome, July 3 — The congress of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), which will be held from tomorrow until Sunday in Madrid, will approve a motion to propose voting rights to immigrants in the local elections, organisation secretary and second in the ranks of PSOE, Jose Blanco, said in an interview today with the public television, El Pais and El Mundo wrote online.
Blanco stated that the proposal aimed to allow immigrants to vote as of 2011. Some requirements, such as being a permanent resident in Spain for “two or three years” will be necessary.
Here’s my favorite part, though:
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Moreover, only immigrants from countries that have concluded “reciprocity accords” with Spain — that is where Spaniards residing abroad are or will be allowed to vote — will be able to go to the polls.
OK, reciprocity sounds like a good idea. But many of Spain’s immigrants come from countries where voting is neither held in high esteem nor practiced frequently. How many times do Spanish citizens in Chad, Morocco, and Mali get the opportunity to vote locally? Perhaps these countries have thriving democratic institutions that I am unaware of…?
But never mind that. How many votes do the Spanish Socialists stand to gain from this deal?
According to PSOE’s calculations, quoted by El Pais, the measure will concern 1,300,000 immigrants coming above all from Morocco, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. The new voters might change the political equilibriums in cities where they are most present, like Madrid and Barcelona.
Yes, and presumably they will tilt the scales permanently towards the Socialists.
Hat tip: insubria.