Lisbon campaign: “Our age group is more independent-minded and willing to question authority…”

This one’s been sitting in the jug since yesterday, when Mary Fitzgerald wrote about one of the most disaffected groups by age in last year’s Lisbon referendum, when:

55 per cent of those aged 18-24 voted No, and 45 per cent Yes. In the 25-34 year age group, the No vote was even more pronounced: 59 per cent against, 41 per cent who voted Yes.

According to the latest Irish Times opinion poll it is only the 18-24 age group that has remained resolutely No… Andrew Byrne of GenerationYes (who put out the poster Pete blogged) had some interesting things to say about last year’s campaign:

“We know from research that this age group is not anti-European, in fact it’s the most pro-European of any age group,” he says. Byrne believes young people felt “disconnected” from last year’s Yes campaign.

“They were ignored last year. The campaign didn’t speak in their language and it didn’t use their media. If there’s a deeper issue at work here, it is perhaps a disconnect between the major political parties and younger people.

“I think there is a sense that our age group is perhaps more independent-minded than previous generations, and more willing to question authority.

“That’s a big difference in mindset, and may have perhaps fed into the whole anti-Government sentiment.”

OMG… A generation which can think for itself? That doesn’t take things on blind trust? That’s going to be a tough nut for the current political (and media) establishment to crack…

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  • steve white

    ah yes andrew bryne, the anti-authoritarian, haha

    does genyes even give you the impression of questioning?

  • As a 29 yr old, I think it’s that 20-somethings are not as beholden to the Eurocrats because we grew up in Celtic Tiger Ireland. For example, I vehemently disagree with my father on this Treaty, to the point where a shouting-match ensued when I was visiting a couple of weeks ago. It was he who brought it up, calling no voters “a disgrace” and ranting on about the 1950’s and how the Irish economy was then. He then went on to claim that it was because we joined the EU that we became better off. When I reminded him the Celtic tiger didn’t start for over 20 yrs after we joined, he was having none of it.

    I think a no voter would be more likely were my generation the dominant segment of the electorate. In any case I am voting no. Sovereignty that was hardwon should not be surrendered because of some notion of the EU as some sort of fairy-godmother than will save Ireland from a recession she helped create through mass-immigration of cheap labour and Franco-German interest rates, both of which poured oil on an already overheating property-market. I refuse to be brainwashed by the mantra’s an older generation were fed for 36 years.