Friday, March 09, 2007

Northern Ireland Election Analysis

I just want to point you towards SLUGGER O'TOOLE. Slugger does a fantastic job blogging about Northern Ireland politics, and if you want to get the latest on the elections, there's only one blog to read...


Anonymous said... it appears to be a win for the parties who got behind the 'Good Friday' agreement ?

Hopefully a good sign of progress..

simon said...

I like the BBC text write up for the elections in NI- ' the voters give a clear opinion'! What a load of sh*t- last time i looked it was the DUP ahead of SF by ONE seat! That's not exactly making things clear- is it?!

Anonymous said...

The NI election is about as useful as fitting wheels to a tomato - time consuming, costly and completely unecessary.

No matter what who wins which seats, they all have to share power, thereby neuteuring the whole point of an election in the first place, and the STV system combined with entrenched NI sectarianism ensures almost exactly the same result every single time anyway - 50% Nat, 50% Unionist.

All that happens is a little tinkle between SDLP/SF and UUP/DUP. That's it.

What a waste of time and probably the most boring election I've ever seen.

penlan said...

On Slugger's most excellent blog,various correspondents are contemplating an official UUP/SDLP Opposition to a DUP/SF Administration.I simply marvel at their politics.It is beyond my ken.

TitzareGlitz said...

Northern fucking Ireland.

Sort it out!

Either; (a) Join Ireland as a semi-autonomous region and adopt their polticial system,
(b) Fully Join the UK adopt a normal Tory/Labour/Lib Dem set-up and a sensible NI assembly, (c) resplit NI so the remainder is actually fully behind the UK (80/90% would do) or (d) bugger off and set up your own state and sort it out amongst yourselves.

I'm inclined towards Unionism, but only because I'm British and I think it's sad when any part of our island breaks off, but to be honest I'm so heartily sick of hearing about them and their petty childlike politics that I wish they'd either make their minds up about what they want, or just bugger off and leave the rest of us in peace.

Anonymous said...

TitzareGlitz 12:54:


(c) is the only one that would work (politically) in my opinion. But it would create a NI Gibraltar with only Belfast and a bit of countryside. Besides, you'd still have the hardcore nationalist West Belfast; dunno how stable that would be.

Otherwise, the only other thing is to convince the nationalists to get over it and accept the UK - breaking down all barriers between NI and EIRE might help them with that?

eddie said...

One day there will be a united Ireland thanks to the higher birth rate amongst Catholics. The fact is simple: both government's conceded the principle of self-determination to the people of NI in the Good Friday Agreement.

As a result, once the anti-Unionist outnumber the pro-Unionists, there can only be one result.

In the meantime, within the next 10-20 years or so, depending on how quickly the SDLP dies, there will be an NI Assembly (assuming it isn't dissolved!) with a Shinner as the First Minister. Then will the DUP throw their toys out the pram again? Will we be back to square one? Or will it finally be accepted as just part of the inevitable demographic change in the Province?

Anonymous said...


The birth rate thing is a good point, but not inevitable. But what if a strong protestant NI minority, say 35-40%, refuse to accept this? What happens then?

Square 1 all over again?

Anonymous said...

If NI wants to stay British, the only solution is to increase the pool of unionists by incentivising as many births as possible in the Protestant community and encouraging mass immigration to Belfast/NI.

Experience shows immigrants to be far more predisposed to the mother country which gave them refuge. In Quebec, where it was teetering 50/50 on secession in the 90s - they've brought separatism back from the brink. Very unlikely Quebece will split now.

NI can do the same if it sorts out it's economy and gets immigration going fast enough.

HM Stanley said...

I have always theorized that the birthrate issue will be re-balanced the other way as the Catholics become more educated/bourgie--a la the Republic--and the protestants live more in history--ie remain backward...self detemination might work out to protestants advantage in long run...

Chris Paul said...

Clear the answer is class or at any rate economic-interest politics.

Why don't the UK Tories go and organise there? Brit Labour have made a bit of a start and accept memberships though SDLP is sister party.

Which of the DUP/UUP if any are the Tories' cup of Darjeeling?

Are Sinn Fein properly lefties?

Ross F said...

The last census should have been enough to kill off the idea that Catholics will outbreed Protestents. It is simply not going to happen now that Catholic birthrates have fallen to the same level as Protestent ones. When you also consider the fact that there is a significan minority of Catholics in favour of the union but almost no Protestents in favour of joining the Republic, it is clear that there will not be a united Ireland.

jailhouselawyer said...

Well Iain, this bug up my arse as you call it extends to Ireland. The South voted for it whereas as the North is still tied to Cromwell's apron strings.

Prisoners take right to vote battle to Law Lords
[Published: Thursday 8, March 2007 - 11:33]

By Deborah McAleese

Two Ulster prisoners whose legal bid for permission to vote in the Assembly elections was thwarted by the High Court are set to take their battle to the House of Lords, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.

Armed robber Ciaran Toner and burglar Hugh Walsh have claimed that the blanket ban which prevents inmates from voting is a breach of their human rights and have decided to take their previously unsuccessful fight for the right to go to the polls all the way to the Law Lords.

The House of Lords is the final court of appeal on points of law in criminal cases for Northern Ireland, England and Wales.

Toner and Walsh last week launched an audacious bid to halt the March 7 elections until new legislation was brought into force that would permit them to vote.

However, Mr Justice Gillen said that the elections were a matter of profound importance to the people of Northern Ireland and that no impediment should be put in the path of progress and therefore dismissed the case.

The government is currently carrying out a consultation on the current arrangements in the UK which bar all convicted offenders held in UK prisons from voting, but it is not known how long it will be before proposals to dispose of the blanket ban are put before Parliament.

Toner and Walsh claim that disqualification from voting is a breach of their human rights. They both applied to the Electoral Office in January to join the electoral register but the province's chief electoral officer, Douglas Bain, refused the application stating that he had no room under existing law to reach a different decision.

The prisoners' solicitor, Garrett Greene, from McCann and McCann, confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that he was now applying for leave from the Court of Appeal on behalf of his clients to take their case to the House of Lords.

"Prisoners should be given every opportunity to pay their debt to society, take responsibility for their lives and make plans for effective resettlement, this should include maintaining their right to vote.

"Giving prisoners the right to vote helps with their rehabilitation and keeps them in touch with society and their role as citizens within the community."

In January three Court of Session judges in Scotland ruled that denying prisoners the right to vote is incompatible with human rights.

Lords Abernethy, Nimmo Smith and Emslie ruled that Section 3 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 is incompatible with Article 3 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights - which states that no one should be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The case was brought by William Smith, who was serving a five-year sentence for drug dealing at the time of the 2003 Scottish Parliament elections and was refused the right to have his name on the voters roll.

Other Scottish prisoners are now taking legal action to prevent their elections from taking place in May until new legislation is passed permitting them to vote. In 2005 the European Court of Human Rights ruled a blanket ban stopping prisoners from voting was a breach of human rights.

© Belfast Telegraph

Paul said...

One day there will be a united Ireland thanks to the higher birth rate amongst Catholics..

Dear oh dear.

No, one day there may be a United Ireland because a majority in NI vote for it, where they pray on Sunday will not influence this decision one way or the other.

37% didn't vote in this election, presumably because the majority are happy enough with the present status. If ever a good enough economic argument is presented, then they may act as the persuaders for a United Ireland, but SF, the SDLP and all the ROI parties are remarkably quiet in building up this side of the argument.

paige said...

Can someone clear a little nagging thought here!

Why do the Irish have to agree to power sharing by the 26th? and is there any relevance to the fact that Tony intends to sign away more of the country on the 27th?

suggestions and thoughts welcome

Man in a shed said...

How many times did David Cameron visit NI to campaign for our party ?

Cybez said...

By saying ' there's only one blog to read...about Northern Ireland politics... to get the latest on the elections...' confirms to me how out of touch Conservatives are with people in Northern Ireland.There are numerous bloggers in Northern Ireland blogging about the latest Northern Irish elections but the blog to read is Mark Devenport's blog. He is the political editor of BBC Northern Ireland. Sure, Slugger O'Toole is a 'drunk Irishman' I mean a 'forum' not a blog ;-)