Labour Youth welcomes Saturday Referendum

Labour Youth welcomes today’s announcement by the Government that the Children’s Rights Referendum is to take place on Saturday 10 November.

Labour Youth has repeatedly called for all elections and referendums to be held on weekend dates in order to facilitate working and studying away from home. Analysis of recent elections has repeatedly shown that low levels of young people come out to vote.

Speaking earlier today, Labour Youth National Chairperson Conor Ryan said: “I welcome the Government’s decision to hold this referendum on a Saturday.  This is something that Labour Youth hope will become the norm in future elections and referendums.  Having weekday elections makes it extremely difficult for young people who may be away from home for college or work.  We feel that holding this referendum on a Saturday will see an increase in the youth vote, which is particularly important on this issue.  Voting is one of the most accessible and direct forms of a citizens’ participation in democracy, we hope that this will in turn see greater levels of political participation from young people.”

Ryan continued: “A number of Labour TDs and Senators have called for Saturday votes.  Minister Quinn has been very vocal in his support for this.  We should also remember that this will remove the disruption to hundreds of schools up and down the country which have had to close in order to facilitate previous polling days.  We hope that this practise becomes the norm.”

“I look forward to reading the full wording of the text when it is released tomorrow.  This referendum should have been put to the people years ago, given the recent scandals that have shown that our system repeatedly failed many children and young people since the foundation of this state.  Labour Youth will play an active role in ensuring that the rights of young people are protected and enhanced”, said Ryan.

For further information, contact Conor Ryan: 086 303 4715 / lychair@labour.ie

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