Friday 30 September 2016

Varadkar best placed to appeal to the hearts of the undecided

Published 16/05/2015 | 02:30

One of Varadkar’s greatest attributes is that he appeals to Middle Ireland
One of Varadkar’s greatest attributes is that he appeals to Middle Ireland

We have been constantly told by senior Government figures that the Marriage Equality Referendum will be won by the personal stories of those who have spent much of their lives living in the shadows.

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Like a domino effect, gay people and their loved ones have broken their silence throughout this campaign in the hope of delivering a Yes vote next Friday.

And as nerves set into the Yes camp of the prospect of a growing, yet often silent No vote, the stories became even more personal.

We've heard from the journalist who felt her life was like a "prison" and the former President's son who only ever wanted to "fit in".

And of course we've heard from the politicians, most notably Leo Varadkar, whose decision to talk about his sexuality set the debate about same-sex marriage in motion.

Although the Health Minister decided against adopting a leading role in this campaign, his contribution in the final days could prove essential in appealing to those voters who remain undecided.

One of Varadkar's greatest attributes is that he appeals to Middle Ireland.

They trust him more than other ministers because he injects a sense of honesty into Irish politics.

But it now appears the Labour Party's absolute determination to ensure this referendum passes has allowed it to turn the final days of this campaign into something of a political football.

While Alex White's barrister touch makes him an effective debater, he can't compete with Varadkar's compelling story.

RTE personnel quite rightly want the best possible actors from both sides of the campaign to appear on their flagship shows.

Similarly, the Coalition must put their individual colours aside in this campaign and put forward their most effective performers.

Who could be better placed than our first openly gay minister to appeal to the hearts of voters just days before Ireland decides whether to make history once again?

Irish Independent

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