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Thursday, 24 April 2008

The impact of World Youth Day

A majority, around two in three (63%) of voters in Sydney support the city hosting World Youth Day in July with several hundred thousand young Catholics celebrating the Pope’s visit. Most supporters are happy for the event to occur even though it will involve road closures and disruptions to traffic. Nonetheless, such events (as was the case with APEC) do run a risk of alienating a substantial minority.

Research suggest that four in ten (40%) oppose any event that causes disruptions to the public. Do they hold the same view about New Year’s Eve fireworks? What about visits by the big ocean liners?

Whether or not to hold events that might cause disruptions is a judgment that politicians have to make. It seems to be OK to most people for us to host an event like World Youth Day for Catholics. For Anglicans too? What about more minority religious groups that make up the complex fabric of our richly multi-cultural population? Would we generally be as supportive?

This is not something that can easily be measured by polling as it raises a potentially contentious issue. Perhaps we will do a post-Youth Day poll and see if really affected anyone in any negative sense. How many noticed it? What did they do?

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posted by Dave

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