As alluded to earlier, open debate is something of a lost art in Northern Ireland’s political sphere. Gone are the days when you could talk to nearly anyone in the two main political parties and get straight dope on what was happening inside it. The tight professionalism of the DUP and Sinn Fein has served them well in the long trek to St Andrews, and their defeated opponents should already be studying the various elements that have made for their opponent’s impressive rise to political success. However, as we get close to the deal, internal cracks are showing in their respective coalitions. None more fascinating than those within the previously hermetically sealed world of the DUP, where internal critics are complaining of a corporate stifling of debate.
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