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Labour have not specified what will replace the Eighth Amendment

The Labour Party are apparently to insist on a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution as a basic condition of their participation in another coalition government.

The Eighth Amendment provides that the State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees, in its laws, to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws, to defend and vindicate that right. The people supported this amendment in the September, 1983 referendum by a margin of 66% to 34%.

There is not a scintilla of evidence that a majority of the electorate would support a change in this article, without understanding, in detail, what rights would be defended and vindicated in an alternative amendment. If there was plausible evidence that a proposal to change the Eighth Amendment would command the support of a majority, all political parties, with a realistic chance of participating in the next government, would be promising to hold a referendum and providing a credible context for doing so.

Labour do not indicate what constitutional measure they would propose to replace this article, so the electorate are left in a quandary about what they are really voting for in the general election, as this demand cannot be evaluated in any mature or concrete context.

Should the electorate, therefore, regard this ploy as being premised on the blue collar seeking to define the political agenda of the blue shirt?

Myles Duffy


Co Dublin

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