Election Messages

The forthcoming referendum on the retention or abolition of the Seanad (the Upper House of the Irish Parliament), has seen political parties putting up posters reflecting their respective positions on the referendum. Without going into the debates, I would like to offer one comment on the posters, based entirely on non-representative personal and anecdotal observation.

Sinn Féin Seanad Referendum Poster

It seems that the messages differ geographically, reflecting a strategy of communicating distinct messages to different socio-economic groups. For example, posters in areas that would be described as more middle class seem to stress the possibility of saving money, while posters in areas that would be considered more working class, such as the one from Sinn Féin pictured, focus on ‘elitism’ and inequality in the process of electing that body (this refers to the fact that of the 60 Senators only 6 are directly elected by members of the public, but this constituency is defined by having a degree from certain universities).

This may be a case of political parties speaking to the citizens in areas in which they have strong support, however a consequence of such is the sending of different messages to different groups in society. I’m not entirely comfortable with our political classes carving us up socio-economically, seems a bit divide and conquer to me…

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