Mark Langhammer counts TEN failed attempts to get local democracy working since the Northern Irish Parliament was prorogued in 1972. But he believes that a vigorous Plan B, which involves a strong degree of coercion and involvement from both the British and the Irish Governments is essential if it is to work out in the end. This is, as Mark points out at the top of the piece, a piece of kite-flying which he acknowledges has some flaws, but one of the interesting detail is the advantage that it could encourage both Unionists and Nationalist to engage with sovereign government (ie real) politics:
Developing Governmental Politics: Having the two sovereign Governments at the helm is the stabilising element in this proposal. The buck stops with the two Governing parties. This, in turn, will stimulate interest in developing the governmental parties in Northern Ireland, whether Fianna Fail, Labour, Sinn Fein, Green Party or British Conservative. This would be unambiguously positive for Northern Ireland.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty