IRELAND: Prime Minister Issues Last Minute Plea For Same-Sex Marriage

Via the Guardian:

Ireland’s prime minister, Enda Kenny, has made a final plea for a yes vote in the referendum to legalise gay marriage. The taoiseach told the Irish electorate on Wednesday night: “There is nothing to fear for voting for love and equality.” Kenny made his plea on live television ahead of a broadcasting embargo imposed on all sides of same-sex marriage debate. The republic is the only country in the world where the electorate will decide whether to make gay marriage legal. The country goes to the polls on Friday and the votes will be counted from Saturday morning. Under the Irish electoral rules, there is a ban on statements from all sides of the debate on the country’s airwaves 24 hours before polling stations open. Earlier, at his Fine Gael party’s last press conference of the campaign, Kenny said he had “no intention of becoming a gay icon” over his strong support for a Yes vote. He also rejected suggestions from those opposed to gay marriage that religious schools would be forced to teach about the validity of same-sex marriages.

The above-cited 24-hour statement ban apparently does not apply to social media as both sides have been active on Twitter today. Polls open at 7AM tomorrow (that’s 2AM in New York City) and close at 10PM local time. Ireland does not have electronic voting so the result will likely not be known until midday Saturday. If we get any exit polling I’ll be posting it here tomorrow night.

  • Sam_Handwich

    His name is “ENDA”? that’s great! 😀

    • Todd20036

      Missed that!

  • Bj Lincoln

    What a relief to know there is a ban on TV and radio for the last 24 hours. Our crap will haunt your dreams for months after the vote.

    • Gustav2

      People who don’t live in a swing state have no idea how long the election year can be.

  • Reality.Bites

    Canada doesn’t have electronic voting and our election results come out within an hour of the polls closing.

    It’s not that hard – you count the votes in each polling place, which amounts to a few hundred ballots that can be counted in a few minutes. Then you phone in to a central office.

    • shhh. don’t remind people that for hundreds of years, that method worked just fine and had a nice paper trail anyone could review with certainty. they might start asking questions about why all these “close” elections keep coming down on the side other than the polls suggested.

    • Robert W. Pierce

      We in the UK don’t have electronic voting either. We knew within hours who won on May 7, 2015.

      • Rónán Ó’Cinnéide

        That’s because you guys have a ridiculously simple (and undemocratic) electoral system.

        Behold, Irish PRSTV

        • Gene

          it would seem rather difficult for any one party to REALLY take control and push through an agenda with than many candidates, each with I would assume, a different agenda, each having a voice. Wouldn’t such a system encourage minor parties and fringe opinions to get a voice? If not, how? If so, how is that problem dealt with?

          Also, If you are voting for 4 people (as in this example) does that mean someone in one district gets to vote for the rep of 3 other districts where they don’t live?

          • Rónán Ó’Cinnéide

            It does allow smaller parties and independent candidates but why would that be considered a problem? Coalition governments containing more than one party are far more common than single party governance in most of the world.

            Each constituency has between 3-5 TDs so I dont really understand your second point? All of the elected reps act on behalf of the constituents.

          • It actually reduces extremism: parties don’t want to stray too far from the centre, so they can pick up on second preference votes. At the same time, it makes it a lot easier for new parties to enter: both the UK and the USA have a history of a split left vote, which lets the right in (though at the moment, it’s the right vote that’s split in the UK). And people can be reluctant to vote for a smaller party, because that would mean “throwing away” their vote. So you have to be a psychic in the ballot box, guessing what other people are voting for.

            STV might be more complicated to understand, but it’s a lot simpler to use: you simply vote your preferences. And if you want to vote for the radical new party that you think won’t get in, you can, and that vote is not wasted.

            Of course, none of this is relevant to a simple Yes/No referendum.


    • Rónán Ó’Cinnéide

      The polls close at 22:00 tomorrow and the count begins at 09:00 on Saturday. Results after lunch. Simples.

      • Queequeg

        Dublin is 5 hours ahead of our east coast, six hours ahead of Chicago, where I live, so we should have the results pretty early.

      • Prixator

        And where are the votes stored in the intervening 11 hours? That makes me nervous.

        Why not just count after the polls close?

        • Rónán Ó’Cinnéide

          The votes are taken to central count centres in each constituency and guarded by the police until the count starts.

          • Prixator

            OK. That’s good.

            I don’t mean to be obtuse, but what is the reason for not counting the ballots immediately, as in most other elections/referendums? Is this how Ireland handles all votes?

          • Rónán Ó’Cinnéide

            Well seeing as the polls dont close till 22:00 it wouldn’t be fair on the count staff to have them working all night!

          • Prixator

            AH! I guess the poll workers are all elderly or teenagers! That keeps the wages down.

            (Sorry for the snark – I still don’t understand the delay in counting ballots. But thank you very much for trying!)

          • Rónán Ó’Cinnéide

            Well look at it this way, having the results come in at like 04:00 in the morning isnt going to be good for the media or anyone else involved in the logistical delivery of the thing.

          • Prixator

            My last response before you really hate me – in my jurisdiction, polls for almost all votes close at 9 pm (21:00) – and the ballots are usually counted and reported within an hour or two. Most elections here are decided well before midnight, so I don’t understand the 4 in the morning retort – unless the poll workers are elderly and teenagers and need a nap before counting.

            It just seems like an unnecessary delay that may not have mattered much 20+ years ago; but now that we are in the Internet age, there are so many people that want and need to know the results quickly.

            Again, my apologies if I have offended you in any way.

          • One argument is that the delay means that media can report from each constituency as the results come in, try to predict which way it’s going, do a lot of waffle about urban/rural divide, and yadda yadda yadda. It’ll be a big news story all day. And that keeps people engaged and encourages them to vote.

            Remember: there are three things being voted on: Two referenda nationwide, and a bye-election in Carlow/Kilkenny.

            I voted this morning (on the referenda only, as I’m in Laois/Offaly, not Carlow/Kilkenny). (Yes on both, if you’re interested.) Tomorrow morning, I’ll head up to Pantibar to watch the count on the telly.


  • “There is nothing to fear for voting for love and equality.”

    Love casts out fear. Embrace love and reject fear — vote YES!

  • TMA

    I’m telling you all right now that it’s going to fail. I don’t care what the polls say. I refuse to believe that the most Catholic nation on earth is actually going to approve this. I’ve very rarely been so confident in the result of any election.

    • StraightGrandmother

      Well, I hope you are wrong. Soon enough we will find out. If it does not pass it won’t be because of a lack of effort. The messaging out of Ireland has been amazing, best I have ever seen.

    • Sam_Handwich
    • j.martindale

      Look at Spain and Portugal, and Brazil and the Latin American countries. Except for Italy, they have been reasonably progressive on gay rights. And the political parties in Ireland have by and large been supportive, as well. I am reasonably hopeful. Tell all the relatives in Cavan County their Irish American gay relatives are counting on them.

      • Cavan County? You really are American, aren’t you?

        It’s Co. Cavan.

        • j.martindale

          All my life.

        • TampaZeke

          Yeah, just like when Irish people speak of the state of Virginia.

  • TMA

    If the Yes side wins, I will literally eat my shoe.

    • Ireyon

      Then let us hope that you’ll be picking out seasoning soon.

      Real leather or synthetic?

    • neonzx

      I’ll donate a bottle of Sriracha to help you get it down.

    • Gerard

      Oh I really hope you’re wrong

  • StraightGrandmother

    It has been a long hard campaign, I hope the side for LOVE prevails.
    Was very happy that the Cheng-Powel study came out just in the nick of time to be used to expose the faux Regnerus study. Remember this campaign was run on “Think about the children” vote NO. That Cheng-Powel study helped, and just in the nick of time. I passed on every reporting of it to Helen in Ireland.

  • Todd20036

    Compare him to ALL the GOP candidates for President. Hillary has her baggage, but I’ll take someone with a satchel verses someone with 3 full steamer trunks

  • DutchBoy74

    The current President of Ireland, Michael Higgins on Civil Unions back in 2007.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Good luck to our Irish brothers and sisters in the Republic. Fuck the roman cult for 2000 years of horror and murder.

    • Queequeg

      It is long past the time when Ireland should throw of the yoke of oppression that the Catholic Church has used to keep them down for so long. Aside from the positive of getting same sex marriage, there is the added benefit of a big “fuck you” to the Catholic Church.

  • Queequeg

    I checked the world clock. Dublin is 6 hours ahead of Chicago, 5 hours ahead of the East Coast, so, on Saturday, they will be counting votes before most of us are up. We should know the outcome, I think, fairly early on Saturday. Hope (but don’t pray) for the best.

  • TampaZeke

    Social media campaigns will benefit the YES side MUCH more than the NO side. Most NO voters are elderly and don’t do ANY social media, whereas virtually all younger voters are fully engaged in social media.