Time to do something meaningful for young
Published 23/05/2015 | 02:30
Empathy is said to be the first step to reform, and while our Government has spoken about meaningful change and being interested in the young, the referendum on reducing the age at which one could run for the presidency will in time be recognised as a sop.
If the Government was seriously engaged with reaching out to the young - who after all have borne much of the brunt of the recession, finding themselves locked out of the property and employment markets in large numbers - then they need to do something that will have a genuinely transformative impact on their lives. Being allowed to compete for the presidency, a post that comes around every seven years, hardly amounts to a game changer.
Doubts that the young are alienated from the political system can be allayed by a quick glance across the Dáil benches. Of our 166 Dáil deputies, a mere seven are under 35, while only one representative is under 30.
Jobs, a decent wage and the prospect of a place to live figure a lot higher up the priority list for the country's young than the remotest possibility of reaching the big house in the Phoenix Park.