Passionate contributions on both sides of Seanad debate on motion to allow 16 year olds vote in local and European elections. Ind Senator Marie Louise O'Donnell tells teenagers in gallery to 'stay away from politics' but @SenLynnRuane strongly disagrees pic.twitter.com/3pfim1Ekjh
— RTÉ Politics (@rtepolitics) March 21, 2018
Irish upper-house politics time again. Here Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell argues that young people should not be allowed to vote because, er, they used to be even younger:
No to the vote at sixteen. No to the vote at seventeen. It’s fine at eighteen. Four years ago, some of you were twelve… [Chuckles creepily]. Five years ago some of you were twelve. I would suggest that you stay away from politics.
Just watch that creepy chuckle. Oratory at its finest.
This senator was appointed to the upper house by the former prime-minister, and has never won a political election in her life. She remains unaffiliated to any political party or movement. And now she wants young people to avoid civic activism and instead stick to “education”, “romance”, “music”, and suchlike (fidget-spinners and Tide Pods, presumably).
All told, she seems to have missed the memo about how political engagement is a social good.
Keep watching the video to see another senator — this time an elected one, Lynn Ruane — tear her to pieces.
I don’t know if Marie Louise O’Donnell was ever twelve, but I assume she was. She might be right, so. Having once been twelve doesn’t seem to have enhanced her political competence.
It’s times like this that I celebrate the fact that the Irish senate is powerless.
[BTW Credit to @DazzerFury for the recurring joke about MLOD “staying away from politics”]
Brian Hughes is an academic psychologist and university professor in Galway, Ireland, specialising in stress, health, and the application of psychology to social issues. He writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, medicine, and politics.