Senate Debate

24 Oct

Ethan Coy

            As someone who carefully followed politics back home, and still does follow American politics to some extent here, I wanted to be able to get a grasp for the political landscape here in Ireland.  Being here at the time of the referendum was ideal for a person like me.

            To gain some more perspective on the situation, I would always ask the taxi drivers their opinion on the subject.  Interestingly, the results varied.  Because presumably the taxi drivers would be in a similar economic situation, their results would be the same.  The opposite was the case.  And their results did not have anything in common.  The native Dubliners did not all believe in abolishing, and the foreigners or Irish drivers from outside Dublin did not all believe in keeping the senate. 

            Although the results from my questions cannot be interpreted as reliable data because of the confounding variables involved, the results were still fascinating.  I was also impressed that the taxi drivers were willing to talk so openly about politics.  This was not the case in every ride, but the fact that they were willing to discuss politics with an outsider brought me closer to the Irish people.  Also, the day after the decision to not abolish the senate was announced, the cab driver informed me about the decision to change the speed of the courts system. 

            The signs around Dublin certainly brought my attention to the debate as well as the information in class, but interestingly enough a lot of my knowledge on the subject came from conversations with the common folk of Dublin.  Not to say that there is no merit in learning about the debate through other forums such as the Irish Times, but it is fascinating to see where the Irish stand politically. 

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