Are We Getting Sick Of Voting?
October 1, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

Voting, democracy, and elections; three words it’s fair to say that you wouldn’t associate with the younger classes of Ireland. It is difficult enough to ensure that the middle aged people in the country vote; never mind the young! However, last year saw a change in the norm of this country, as hundred upon thousands of young people descended onto the voting booths of this country to ensure their voices were cast in the marriage equality referendum.

Many people; experts, pundits and the like, can put the overwhelming yes vote down to politicians, but it would be foolish to argue that anybody else but students had the most important say in the referendum. After all, it would be young students that would vote in the referendum that would have the opportunity to avail of marriage equality.

But, after the dust and fanfare has settled on the spectacle that was; being the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriage through a plebiscite, or popular vote, has settled; the question remains, have the Irish people become fed up with voting. Surely not, I hear you say. Voting and democracy has always been in our blood, dating back to the days of the revolutionary period, and the initial stages of the birth of our infant state. This stage of our history seen how a whole generation adopted an idea of home rule when we were part of the United Kingdom, and after the “terrible beauty”, as Yeats put it, of the 1916 rising, seen how those same people moved from that form of limited independence, to a total sovereign independent republic.

After those faithful days, voting and elections have been enshrined in the Irish peoples psyche. People have decided on what side of the political fence they fell on, Pro treaty or anti-treaty, republic or commonwealth, De Valera or Collins. Through the annuls of Irish history, voting has played an essential role in the Irish state. It has determined where as a country, we wanted to go, where we are, and who we want to be; Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, pro-life or Pro-choice, It has raised questions that seemed to question the very existence of the state itself. Such as, in the eighties; who should lead us through the turbulent years of economic turbulence, domestic terrorism at the hands of the IRA, and trouble in the north of Ireland; Charlie Haughey or Gareth Fitzgerald?

However, the Irish people, especially the youth, have fallen out of favour with voting and democracy. This seems to buck the trend across the rest of the western world, with the rise in support of anti-establishment candidates, like Donald Trump in the US, and UKIP in the U.K. This shows that people are sick of the same old democracy that brings out the same old results. Here, the momentum that seen an overwhelming majority of people, especially young people lend their support to the Yes side of the marriage equality referendum, seems to have faded away, especially with the last general election.

Many people have called abortion and the 8th amendment the “next social issue” that needs to be discussed. It is fair to say that many people, young and old, will have very strong opinions on both sides of that political divide. However, if you remove abortion, and revert to plain old party politics, Ireland, Europe and the rest of the World seems to be growing tiresome of the old order of conventional politics. This can be seen in how difficult it was for a government to be formed, the rise in support of anti-establishment parties right throughout Europe (including champions of Brexit, UKIP), and the mystifying rise in support of Donald Trump in the US. It seems people are just sick of voting, and are edging towards the alternative, something that is potentially dangerous, off the cuff, and doesn’t obey the rules. This shows that, no matter what popular moments come and go, peoples patience with the idea of voting itself, is beginning to wear thin.

 

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Are We Getting Sick Of Voting?
October 1, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

Voting, democracy, and elections; three words it’s fair to say that you wouldn’t associate with the younger classes of Ireland. It is difficult enough to ensure that the middle aged people in the country vote; never mind the young! However, last year saw a change in the norm of this country, as hundred upon thousands of young people descended onto the voting booths of this country to ensure their voices were cast in the marriage equality referendum.

Many people; experts, pundits and the like, can put the overwhelming yes vote down to politicians, but it would be foolish to argue that anybody else but students had the most important say in the referendum. After all, it would be young students that would vote in the referendum that would have the opportunity to avail of marriage equality.

But, after the dust and fanfare has settled on the spectacle that was; being the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriage through a plebiscite, or popular vote, has settled; the question remains, have the Irish people become fed up with voting. Surely not, I hear you say. Voting and democracy has always been in our blood, dating back to the days of the revolutionary period, and the initial stages of the birth of our infant state. This stage of our history seen how a whole generation adopted an idea of home rule when we were part of the United Kingdom, and after the “terrible beauty”, as Yeats put it, of the 1916 rising, seen how those same people moved from that form of limited independence, to a total sovereign independent republic.

After those faithful days, voting and elections have been enshrined in the Irish peoples psyche. People have decided on what side of the political fence they fell on, Pro treaty or anti-treaty, republic or commonwealth, De Valera or Collins. Through the annuls of Irish history, voting has played an essential role in the Irish state. It has determined where as a country, we wanted to go, where we are, and who we want to be; Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, pro-life or Pro-choice, It has raised questions that seemed to question the very existence of the state itself. Such as, in the eighties; who should lead us through the turbulent years of economic turbulence, domestic terrorism at the hands of the IRA, and trouble in the north of Ireland; Charlie Haughey or Gareth Fitzgerald?

However, the Irish people, especially the youth, have fallen out of favour with voting and democracy. This seems to buck the trend across the rest of the western world, with the rise in support of anti-establishment candidates, like Donald Trump in the US, and UKIP in the U.K. This shows that people are sick of the same old democracy that brings out the same old results. Here, the momentum that seen an overwhelming majority of people, especially young people lend their support to the Yes side of the marriage equality referendum, seems to have faded away, especially with the last general election.

Many people have called abortion and the 8th amendment the “next social issue” that needs to be discussed. It is fair to say that many people, young and old, will have very strong opinions on both sides of that political divide. However, if you remove abortion, and revert to plain old party politics, Ireland, Europe and the rest of the World seems to be growing tiresome of the old order of conventional politics. This can be seen in how difficult it was for a government to be formed, the rise in support of anti-establishment parties right throughout Europe (including champions of Brexit, UKIP), and the mystifying rise in support of Donald Trump in the US. It seems people are just sick of voting, and are edging towards the alternative, something that is potentially dangerous, off the cuff, and doesn’t obey the rules. This shows that, no matter what popular moments come and go, peoples patience with the idea of voting itself, is beginning to wear thin.

 

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