On the other hand, Tom McGurk in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post is more pessimistic than Hayes. He shares the view with some of commenters that the last four years of careful negotiation should be undone, and the British tell the DUP they have to accept the will of a simple majority of the parties in advance of the election.
If the DUP and some others, who may represent a minority in the Assembly, succeed in flouting the majority, why was the whole political superstructure erected?
Would it not be appropriate for the parliament in London to legislate that a simple Assembly majority in favour of power-sharing would trigger the process? Then those who refused to abide by that democratic decision would not be allowed to serve in any power-sharing administration.
It seems simple and democratic and, were it to be signalled in advance of the election, surely it would sort out what the North’s voters cannot see now: the backwoods from the trees.
Hmmm… interesting idea: except some of us Northern political fetishists have been noting that the current legislation locks the British government into the same conditions as the parties it has spent those four years plus negotiating with.
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