I passed an otherwise innocuous looking bus-shelter ad for the today’s Children’s Referendum the other day, and I was struck by this piece of copy:
We all have a part to play.
Make sure you play yours.
This, for me, speaks volumes about the ruling ideology of our country (and probably most Western liberal democracies) and how the powers-that-be see us. Whilst appearing to be an appeal for us to vote, it also subtly reinforces the hierarchical structures in which we find ourselves in society, where it is made clear that our ‘part to play’ is to simply tick a box. Leave the decision making to others – that is their part to play. Our responsibility as citizens is to simply confirm or reject what we are offered periodically. Nothing more. And in the case of Ireland, if we reject what we are offered, we will be asked again until they get the right answer – a more honest ad would probably say “Make sure you play yours. And vote yes.”