Wednesday 7 December 2016

Tanya Ward: Never have the votes of so few meant so much to so many

Published 12/11/2012 | 17:00

YESTERDAY'S result is a relief, given we've been campaigning to strengthen children's rights in the Constitution for nearly 20 years. We can be proud to have voted for a new constitutional article on children that will trigger a new phase of child-centred decisions from our courts.

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The low turnout was disappointing. The referendum was always going to be difficult to sell. It was mostly a child protection amendment. That is not to underestimate its importance and the cultural change it will bring to our legal system.

Coverage was extremely poor due to the lack of cont-roversy and rules requiring 50/50 balance in broadcast media. With so much political consensus, Yes campaigners found it difficult to get their message out, while journalists struggled to find credible No commentators.

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