When is discrimination not discrimination? When it’s to do with age

Age at Work

Well that seems to be the take-home message of this article in the Financial Post on the ‘other’ Irish Referendum. You may not have heard about this; I hadn’t. But apparently there was a second referendum last week regarding the age at which one is eligible to run for President of Ireland. And the result was that the Irish voted “No” to reducing this age from 35 years to 21 by a resounding 75 per cent to 25.

What’s interesting is the argument (and it may be tongue-in-cheek) that this age ban isn’t age discrimination. The author suggests that the result shows how voters think of age discrimination as being different from other kinds of discrimination. And he suggests that it is. I’ve come across this contention before (though not so much recently). The argument is that ‘we don’t all experience being gay, straight, white, non-white, male, female…but on…

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