Who next for Speaker?

With the current Speaker, Eileen Bell set to retire on 26th March, reader Avalon Sunset emails with an interesting question on:

…the possibilities for Speaker if the assembly ever gets up and running. Alliance don’t want it and most of the major parties will not want to reduce their voting power – could Kieran Deeney be the answer?

I’d only add that the position places huge restrictions on the capacity of an individual member to do solid constituency work, and thus heavily reduces their capacity to be re-elected. It may be time to consider the possibility that the bigger parties may have no choice but to do the ‘heavy-lifting’ this time out. In which case, it may add another layer of complexity to the horse trading.

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