Martyrs To The Cause

at

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collinsYouth Work Ireland’s Presidential Age Referendum Yes posters. More here

 

Via Irish Times Letters:

it should not be forgotten that there is a second equality referendum question on Friday seeking to revoke an arcane and ageist provision in our Constitution.

The obvious historical case of Michael Collins has been indicated persistently throughout the campaign. Yet would those still intending to vote No also bear in mind that this is a country where a 25-year-old Frank Aiken issued a ceasefire order to essentially end the Civil War; where a 30-year-old Kevin O’Higgins established An Garda Síochána; and where a 34-year-old Ernest Blythe presided over the finances of our then fledgling nation state?

Occupying the office of president in the 21st century is a proverbial walk in the park in comparison to those stark precedents.

It is strikingly dubious that a formal restriction applies for the role of head of state where no such barrier exists for the pragmatically more pivotal role of taoiseach. Furthermore, I doubt one would have been amused if such an age limit had correspondingly applied across the Irish Sea in the 1950s.

It should be emphasised that the initial nomination procedure to run for president and the ballot voted upon by the Irish electorate itself are both necessarily rigorous judgment phases for any candidate, regardless of age, to overcome, and therefore the current age parameters as set out should be considered superfluous.

We live in an age where the advent of social media will continue to actively develop the participation of younger people in politics into the near future. I fear that in a context where many students have enthusiastically registered for the first time specifically to vote on Friday, a majority vote to theoretically prevent those aged between 21 and 35 from running for the highest elected office in the land would thus strike a somewhat discordant, emblematic tone.

John Kennedy,
Goatstown
Dublin 14

Irish Times Letters

Youth Work Ireland

54 thoughts on “Martyrs To The Cause

  1. scottser

    i’m gonna vote no for this. the most compelling argument for me, is that the pres has 2 major functions; to test the constitutionality of proposed legislation and to dissolve the dail. both of these functions require an ability to hold off government pressure and do their job. if the president has been picked by a party to kickstart a political career, then there is a conflict of interest there straight away – the president should not be a government lackey.

    1. bisted

      ‘…– the president should not be a government lackey.’

      ..the incumbent would appear to have become precisely that.

      1. scottser

        i think that’s unfair on the squee. he’s been vocal against austerity and the erosion of society in favour of shallow capital acquisition. he shows far more dignity and integrity than anyone in government, imo.

        1. TG

          Yep, the man of dignity and integrity who is on an enormous salary, due an enormous pension, and rubber-stamped Irish Water double taxation into law. He could of said: “I won’t do it. I resign. I’m going to join the people on their protest marches.”

          1. scottser

            irish water legislation shouldn’t even have got as far as the aras. there are plenty to beat with that stick before you get to the squee.

          2. bisted

            …regardless of what side water tax debate you are on, it is generally agreed that it’s implementation has been a shambles and it has been hugely divisive. For Squee just to join in with the undue haste this has been implemented – albeit with his feeble rubber stamp – is enormously disappointing.

          1. The Old Boy

            Isn’t there a perfectly good Rolls Royce sitting the garage that he never uses? If I were president I would go everywhere in it, but mostly to nip to the shops for twenty fags and a bottle of plonk.

    2. TG

      To make a comparison on Christ and Michael Collins is way off track. At age 21, most people are brainwashed, immature, narcissistic, thick, silly, unintellectual, riddled with fuzzy-wuzzy feelings, confused, morally bankrupt and annoying. If you don’t believe me, take a walk through any of our sheeple universities on graduation day and observe the numerous clones. All thinking alike, dressing alike, talking alike, eating alike and conformist in almost everything they think, do and say. These anti-rebels without brains have even joined the establishment and hopped into bed with the Government. But if that doesn’t convince you, consider this: Jedward for President 2018.

      1. scottser

        when the constitution was written in the thirties, life expectency was about 50. 35 was about right in terms of perspective and experience for a president. mcaleese and robinson were in their 50’s as presidents and did a fine job. if anything, if squee was a bit younger he’d be perfect but he’s stil got the juice for another term.

      2. Joe the Lion

        a lot of broadsheet commenters fit that description also particularly ones on the no side

        I’d vote Jedward over John waters any day

        and ironically so would the grand old queens of eurovision

    3. Joe the Lion

      perish the thought

      poorly argued though

      the president is above politics

      he or she or it is nominated by a party and usually a governing party (if there is no election) so could be lackey already, just an older lackey. Ref: Squee

      1. scottser

        the president should be above politics. but they require nomination from 20 TDs or 4 local authorities so the nomination is inherently political. at least an older candidate should, in theory be better able to fulfill the role than someone with little or no experience.

    4. Drogg

      Why can we not have an Independent candidate? and the president is supposed to be independent from party politics and just because there is a young person running doesn’t mean we have to vote for them. Basically what i am saying is if hopefully people vote yes to this on Friday we can all vote Drogg next presidential election>

  2. rugbyfan

    Jesus asked that if he could he would have elected not to be crucified. If he was 2 years older he might have had a better understanding of the job in hand!

    1. TG

      I know you’re only having a joke, but did you know that Jesus could have avoided crucifixion? In a famous scene from the New Testament, Pilate asked Jesus: “What is truth?”, then Pilate quickly left the room. Fast-forward 2,000 years and Jesus is still causing trouble throughout the world because people cannot handle the truth.

      1. rugbyfan

        I was!

        In the garden the night before didn’t he ask his Dad if this cup could pass?

  3. thesingingdetective

    I’m going to vote Yes on this basically because it might shake up what the President – a ceremonial role – can do within the larger society. A young President could make enough waves that they will bring issues to the fore. President Higgins is a lovely man and a steady hand, but he’s not going to make a difference.

    My only worry would be that a young person would find it harder to be apolitical when issues are being actively debated and legislated, which is the core requirement of the President.

    1. ReproBertie

      So you’d prefer Vote Yes for equality*

      *except when you’re aged between 18 and 21?

  4. The People's Hero

    I will be voting yes. If you are old enough to vote, to go to college or to work and pay taxes for that matter. Or both If you are recognised as an adult by the state you should be old enough to hold any office. I won’t discriminate on sexuality. I won’t discriminate on age. 21 is a good start.

  5. Randy Ewing

    If someone become President @ 21 and leaves after one term they are eligible for a full pension under current rules @ the age of 28. Under the current pension rules they would then earn circa 7 million yoyos between 28 & 65.

    Nice money.

    1. Domestos

      Well, I know which of the rules I’d change to solve that issue. And it probably wouldn’t require constitutional change.

  6. David

    There should be no age limit.

    They have to win the arguments, get the support, beat the competition, win the election. If s/he can do that, what’s age got to do with it?

    1. TG

      Indeed. Age aside, that’s what a funny little man with a mustache said back in 1939.

  7. John Cassidy

    The only reason I’m voting no in the presidential age referendum thing is because ex-presidents are entitled to €125,000 a year pension. So the younger the president the more he/she will ultimately cost the tax payer. Unless we add an addendum stating that they can claim a pension for 20 years and if they live older than that, they are summarily shot dead in the head.

  8. Clampers Outside!

    I’ll be voting NO! on this one.

    I’ve listened to the arguments from one of these big youth groups on Six One, and the arguments were rubbished in no time…. they argued that, for example, there’s no age limit for judges, yet just decided to over look the cumulative years put in before one can become a judge.

    Any arguments I’ve heard are nonsensical. It is imperative that a Pres has experience, lowering the age wont give candidates that. And if the person is experienced by the time they reach 35, they can run then… like anyone else.

    1. Drogg

      If you can vote for a position you should be able to run for it. I understand that 18 year olds are still being excluded from this but it is a start and just because a 21 year old will supposedly run doesn’t mean you have to vote for them.

  9. Drogg

    I will be voting Yes but i am really upset that some of the commenters that are normally so for equality are not only voting No but doing so for various dubious reasons. #VoteYes.

    1. yrtnuocecnareviled

      I would like someone to have more experience before representing the whole country.
      18 is fine for local representarion but most countries will require the president to be at least 30.
      Imagine Jedward at a reception, lol

      If a candidate wants to run then they will have to convince the electorate of their merits.
      It should be 18.

  10. Boba Fettucine

    I’ll be voting no so I don’t have to stomach that guy who looks like tintin who once put on some gigs in his parents’ basement running for president with Guna Doolally abusing her paid position in the paper of record to bang on about why it would be totes awesome for him to be ‘Prez’.

    Christ, it was bad enough seeing her down George’s St wearing 3 ‘Yes’ badges. We get it.

    1. Kieran NYC

      Yeah! Those gays should totally tone it down when it comes to issues that affect them!

  11. d4n

    I’ll be voting yes on this, but, I’d prefer to just get rid of the position entirely tbh, what’s it for beyond some sort of PR?

  12. yrtnuocecnareviled

    As it stands, Jesus himself wouldn’t qualify.
    So we get Gay Mitchell instead.
    What a world.

  13. grumpyoldman

    “The Constitutional Convention is tasked with considering certain aspects of the Constitution to ensure that it is fully equipped for the 21st Century and making recommendations to the Oireachtas on future amendments to be put to the people in referendums.
    The Convention is a decision-making forum of 100 people, made up of 66 citizens, randomly selected and broadly representative of Irish society; 33 parliamentarians, nominated by their respective political parties and including an elected representative from each of the political parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly and an independent Chairman.”
    The best they have come up with to date is a proposal to reduce the eligibility for nomination for president to 21.
    Wow!

    1. ReproBertie

      No, they had many proposals (including one related to removing blasphemy) but this was one the government decided to run with.

  14. Truth in the News

    Why should there be an age threshold if you have a vote at 18, you should
    have the right to run for public office and hold it if elected,, its the current
    selection process that needs abolishing.
    We had a president that was blind as a bat for years, how could he read the
    Acts that he was required to sign, indeed how did he sign them, is there a
    raft of presidential decisons now suspect, and that includes state appointments

  15. Mark

    If Collins had been stuck in the Aras doing the non-job of Irish president he wouldn’t have done anything with his life. The Presidency is a retirement gig.

    Vote no – make young people work.

  16. Starina

    i’ll be voting yes because if someone aged 25 is running and they’re totally unqualified, nobody’s going to vote for them anyway.

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