On those loose ends…

Sinn Fein’s Paul Butler has challenged the DUP to formally support power-sharing on unionist-dominated local government councils in accordance with the DUP’s new found support for the principle of power-sharing within the Executive. The local councils are due to hold their AGM’s only a matter of weeks after the May 8th date for the devolution of powers. Given that the excuse/reason/ justification provided for excluding republicans from office in unionist-dominated councils has been dramatically jettisoned by the DUP at Stormont, it will be interesting to see if the grassroots DUPers will be so keen to follow in the footsteps of their leader.

  • IJP

    This presents “power-sharing” as if it automatically means d’Hondt. Which it doesn’t.

    In North Down, the lone Green Councillor is an Alderman, there’s an Independent on the DPP, and an Independent chairs the Arts Committee. That‘s power-sharing.

    D’Hondt, however, would have disgracefully deprived those three Cllrs, elected by the people, of any of those positions.

    Yet Mr Butler and his Nationalist friends of all hues insist on d’Hondt, and therefore on depriving hard-working Councillors of such positions. Cast the first stone, and all that…

  • StarHound


    Without D’Hondt how would you propose to deal with councils like Lisburn?

    Hoping for the best has so far just denied representation to voters.

  • Yokel

    Mechanisms can’t change minds.

  • interested

    “Without D’Hondt how would you propose to deal with councils like Lisburn?”

    You could deal with them in the way which IJP suggests which is the normal hammering out of a deal between the parties.

    However, all of these issues will disappear under the RPA anyway with all of the parties agreeing on a need for protection of minorities in whatever number of new councils we end up with.

    It seems that some want to get their last opportunity or two for MOPEing in before it goes for good.

  • inuit_goddess

    Definitely agree we need to be looking at forms of cross-community power-sharing east and west of the Bann – I would also acknowledge that the nationalist parties have a far stronger record on this than we unionists do.

    IJP – the virtue of D’Hondt is it (more or less) guarantees proportionality, so that even if your in just a 20% or smaller minority, you will still get your fair share of local chairmanships etc.

    I agree that something would have to be worked out to accommodate independents and those from smaller parties as these are a bigger feature on the local govt scene.

    But at the end of the day this is one of those things where I think unionists should embrace the concept and work to come up with a system that is fair for minority communities west and east of the Bann, rather than the hodge-podge which we have at the moment.

  • Biff 2

    O ye of little faith don’t you all know that Lisburn is the City for everyone ! unless you want a hotel room that is .

  • Diluted Orange

    Biff 2

    [i]O ye of little faith don’t you all know that Lisburn is the City for everyone ! unless you want a hotel room that is .[/i]

    I don’t think I will ever see the day when someone actually chooses to spend a holiday in Lisburn!

  • occasional visitor


    d’Hondt proportional? Look at Assembly, allocating Ministers, Policing Board and Committee chairs.

    36 DUP members get 22 posts (1 for 1.64 MLAs)
    28 SF get 16 (1 for 1.75)
    18 UUP get 10 (1 for 1.8)
    all fairly similar so far

    16 SDLP get 6 (1 for 3.75)
    7 Alliance get 1 post (1 for 7 – or even 9)

    With a mix of several parties and independents/very minor parties among small numbers of Councillors d’Hondt would be even worse.