Is rolling out celebrities to influence people to vote going to lead to a backlash as Irish people don’t like to be told how to vote asks Sharon Ní Chonchúir
Yet Dingle is a cosmopolitan place too. I once stopped to count the different nationalities I could number among my friends and acquaintances and stopped somewhere around 27.
That was until I spoke to members of my extended family. What about the children, they asked? It’s not about children, I responded. It’s about equality. Don’t they have civil marriage, they retorted. Isn’t that enough?
As celebrities such as Robbie Keane and Brian O’Driscoll come out in favour of a ‘yes’ vote, I wonder if they are doing more harm than good. Are they achieving what they set out to achieve? Or are they merely underlining the rural/urban, older/younger divide that forms the fault line of this referendum?
Robbie Keane is with us on May 22nd! pic.twitter.com/vcTKPrcMmV— Yes Equality (@YesEquality2015) May 10, 2015
“Celebrities are influencers,” he says. “We increasingly look to them to help us make purchasing decisions or in this case to help us decide how to vote. In the past we looked to institutions — the church and politicians — but our trust for them no longer exists so now we look to our peers and celebrities.”
100% totally definitively positively affirmatively voting YES!!!#straightupforequality— Amy Huberman (@amyhuberman) March 15, 2015
“But this referendum isn’t about persuading people. The ‘yes’ side should be doing all they can to mobilise people who are going to vote ‘yes’. Forget about trying to convince the ‘no’ side and get ‘yes’ voters to the polls on the day. If more young celebrities will get them to do that, then do it.”
That’s what Anthony Garvey thinks. “I’ve an awful feeling the campaign is slipping away from the ‘yes’ side,” he says. “There’s a lot of evidence that people are saying one thing and
Instead, the results will be determined by where you stand along the fault lines of a changing Ireland. Are you rural or urban? Young or old? Conservative and church abiding or liberal and interested in extending equality? No celebrity can answer these questions for you.
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