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Fianna Fail has passed a pro-life motion at its Ard Feis. Impact on family loyalty?

  • 15-10-2017 3:25pm
    Registered Users Posts: 17,796 ✭✭✭✭

    Just seeing this today, Fianna Fail had their Ard Feis yesterday and have voted in favour of a motion affirming the unborn's right to life.

    The language is a bit ambiguous, it could be read as opposing the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, or as being in favour of only repealing it with a replacement allowing for abortion in a very narrow set of circumstances.

    What I'm wondering is, will this be enough of a red line for young, pro-choice millennials as to break their allegiance to civil war politics? I've already seen among my own Dublin peers that family voting allegiance is quite weak with generations Y and younger - certainly not gone, but a lot weaker than it has been in the past. Most of my peers vote for the candidate / party they like based on research into policy platforms as opposed to "we're an FG / FF family and always have been". But this certainly isn't true for everyone - I'd argue that family party allegiance / civil war politics is in decline, but is far from eradicated among young people.

    Do you think that for radically pro-choice millennials (The REPEAL types who are in favour of the Citizens Assembly recommendation, abortion on demand during the first trimester for any reason whatsoever) who are still embedded in the civil war politics mode of voting for whoever their family votes for, this motion will be enough to cause them to consider voting against Fianna Fail for the first time, possibly not just in their own lives but in several generations?

    The question can be equally asked for "inherited" Fine Gael voters - for radically pro-life millennials who are still embedded in family voting allegiance, will their proposal to repeal the Eighth and legalise at least abortion in some cases, be enough to cause them to vote for FF or another party, again potentially breaking not only their own voting pattern but a party loyalty which has persisted in their family through the decades?

    Obviously I despise voting which isn't based on policy, so personally for me, the sooner "I'm voting for X because my family is an X family" completely dies out in this country, the better. But I'm curious as to whether people see this as a reality and whether something people hold so fundamentally die-hard positions on, such as abortion, could be the issue which causes a mass exodus from either party of people who have always voted for them just because their parents have.