Towards more normal politics…



IT’S time to think about scrapping D’Hondt and replacing the enforced cross-community powersharing government with a ‘coalition of the willing’, presumably similar to the Dail, says UUP leader Sir Reg, about eight years after Alliance mooted it. “Normal politics, in time, will allow parties to form genuine political coalitions and move away from the tribal, divisive politics of the past”, says the UUP manifesto apparently, and Reg quotes this to back his argument and deflect DUP criticism. Normal politics, you say? Well, it could happen sooner than you think. Today’s Tele poll points towards a love-in, not a work-in, between the DUP and Sinn Fein, so anything’s possible. A total of 48% of DUP supporters say Deputy McGuinness has performed well so far. First Minister Ian Paisley scores an even higher 54% rating from Sinn Fein supporters, according to the Ipsos MORI poll survey. Both leaders also enjoy the backing of the majority of their voters. Noel McAdam also reports that a total of 58% of DUP supporters backed the move to enter government with Sinn Fein (a figure familiar to UUP members and David Trimble!) compared to 80% support within Sinn Fein. The public appears to have increasing confidence in the ability of former enemies Paisley and McGuinness to work together. It all begs the question: What the hell did more than 3,500 people die for during a conflict that lasted over three decades?