A very local form of direct rule…

Can’t see this one flying, but hey, stranger things have happened. Gearóid O Cairealláin proposes opening up the Dail to Northern Irish representation, and then distributing ‘direct rule’ type ministries amongst local MPs/TDs. Not least of the difficulties it faces is the unpopularity of the ‘representation without taxation’ gambit with the political establishment in Dublin.

It’s unlikely that they would boycott the elections, although they might. It would make no difference, however, especially when you consider that the vast majority of the nationalist representatives boycott Westminster. Of course, there would have to be special arrangements made for the actual running and good governance of the six-county area, but surely the two governments, in conjunction with the elected representatives, could come up with some system of committees that would allow local politicians, democratically elected by the people, to administer the region.

Imagine the two governments agreeing that Martin McGuinness TD and MP should serve as the minister for education, say, and that Peter Robinson, MP and TD, should serve as minister for the environment. Then if Peter Robinson did not want to take up his position because he disagreed with the system, then the department could be run by a committee headed up by an appropriate and agreed appointee. Until such times as the elected representative changed his mind.

The beauty of it all is that the DUP would never have to take part in a power-sharing executive with Sinn Féin. They would just have to continue doing what they do now – get elected to Wesminster.
Similarly, Sinn Féin could continue their boycott of Westminster, yet get appointed to ministerial office on foot of decisions made by the taoiseach and the British prime minister.

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  • Pete Baker

    As much chance of flying as a squadron of pigs.. and rightly so.

    Look at it closely and it’s a distribution of fiefdoms by appointment.

    The fall-back position evidences the lack of thought that’s actually gone into the suggestion – which seems to be more about trying to put the Dail representation issue back into the discussion than anything else –

    “surely the two governments, in conjunction with the elected representatives, could come up with some system of committees that would allow local politicians, democratically elected by the people, to administer the region.”

    Yeah.. surely…

  • red kangaroo

    “especially when you consider that the vast majority of the nationalist representatives boycott Westminster.”

    So 5 to 3 is a vast majority to Daily Ireland? How does 93% to 7% against them in the republic sound for a vast majority? Oh well numbers never did seem to be a strong point of such people.

  • crossgar blogger

    Alright so the theory probably has little chance of succeeding. But I think that representation in the dáil coupled with representation in Westminster would be a medium term compromise that would be very acceptable to a hell of a lot in NI. Some form of ‘Joint Stewardship’ is going to be in place after November anyway so why should we the people of NI not be represented in one of the legislatures jointly managing this place?

  • George

    He should read the Irish Constitution (Article 16 in this case).

    You can’t be granted a seat in Dail Eireann, you have to be elected to it in a Dail election.

    It founders on Article 16.2.5 for a start:
    “The members shall be elected on the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.”

    This “idea” isn’t dead in the water because it hasn’t even made it to the water.

    I was going to ask whether that newspaper had an editor who understood the Irish democratic system but hey Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny was promising to act unconstitutionally with his tagging policies earlier this month so why should they?

  • crossgar blogger

    Come on George. If there was going to be major constitutional change such as northern representation for the medium-long term do you not think the people would consider maybe passing a law or constitutional amendment to facilitate it? If it was being considered I doubt they would just throw their hands up and admit defeat rather than change the law.

  • red kangaroo

    what to the democratic pluralist people of the ROI and the UK have to say about all this rubbish??

  • Yokel

    No it won’t fly..next!