What the Ministries mean for the parties…

Today the Assembly’s chairmanships get doled out. But for now, El Matador has an interesting take on each of the parties’ reasons for making their particular choices.

  • fair_deal

    The stuff about Wells and Environment seems paper thin. IIRC DoE will be responsible for the re-organisation of local government and don’t forget the rural planning issues. Matters somewhat more prescient than Jim Wells’ worries. Also Arlene Foster seems the much more likely candidate for the job.

  • interested

    The Jim Wells stuff is just people over-analysing and no doubt horribly wide of the mark. Arlene Foster does seem a very natural candidate for the job and as F_D saids, planning and RPA can be presented as DUP delivering.

    It seems that some people haven’t quite got their head around the fact that you dont have to hold a particular Department these days to stop problematic things from coming forward. The DUP didn’t have to take DETI to prevent un-necessary cross-border growth just for some nationalist political fetish – Executive and Assembly accountability could have that had SF taken DETI as many people were predicting.

    Similarly with DCAL – it didn’t require the DUP to take that Department to block an Irish Language Act – that could be done at either the Executive table with 3 Ministers requiring that the proposal need a cross-community vote or a petition of concern in the Assembly requiring the same. The DUP could block an Irish Language Act brought forward by a Minister from any Party. That’s why the accountability stuff is so important to unionists – there are things in every Department that could be meddled with just for some party political gain – this way its not just as vital that unionists have to take those posts to block the nasty stuff coming forward (and I suppose vice-versa for nationalists).

    No doubt the DUP have one big eye on a financial package when they looked at DETI. DOE means they can reform planning, ensure that the RPA is shaped to a much more acceptable form, and DCAL can help shape culture and tourism here.

  • Steaky

    or anyone else for that matter.

    Has the DUP a stated position on RPA?

  • SuperSoupy

    I see Jim Allister is moaning about the SF choices. He claims it is about their ‘Marxist’ agenda but I think it may be because he sits on the Agriculture and Fisheries Committees in Europe and won’t willing/able to lobby his regional minister on these issues. That leaves constituitional affairs for him to waste his energies on while waiting for the end of his term and time in political life.

  • fair_deal


    AFAIK The DUP and the other parties except SF want a higher number of councils

  • interested

    AFAIK the DUP is on record as opposing 7 Councils. Very much doubt they’ve put forward a fixed view on the preferred number as it would be a matter for some horse-trading no doubt.

    However, even SF have been rowing back from their support for the 7 Council model recently. Their support for 7 was supposedly on the fact that you would have a large enough minority in each of the councils which could mean that voting safeguards would protect their rights, so basically SF wanted to ensure that nationalists in the East were protected. Unfortunately for them they’ve now worked out that under the propsed voting arrangements for the Councils, unionists would have sufficient enough numbers to be safeguarded in all of the 7, even the ones in the west, but nationalists wouldnt have sufficient numbers in 2 of the 7. (North Down & Ards etc being one and the one which includes Lisburn & Antrim being the other).

    From a ‘locality’ perspective there will end up being smaller councils and everyone accepts and is happy with arrangements to protect minorities so ultimately there will be some arrangement come to, probably somewhere between 11 and 15 Councils. The only issue will be whether there is an entirely new process to work out the boundaries or whether an arrangement can be come to which makes use of the work carried out to come up with the arrangement of the 7 but incorporating different combinations to come up with smaller, but more numerous councils.