Sinn Fein may for now at least (their view was rather more provisional – no pun intended – when it was likely to form part of external negotiations) not believe that it is time to cull the size of the Executive, but according to research conducted on behalf of Stratagem amongst Assembly members, there is a consensus amongst individual (as opposed to party whipped) MLAs that the Stormont administration is far too top heavy…
As part of the Stratagem MLA Research Panel of over 40 MLAs, 56% wanted to see the number reduced to six or seven departments while 23% wanted a cut to eight or nine departments. Only 13% think that the present number of 11 is ideal.
There is a general recognition that the bureaucracy is too large up at Stormont. MLAs are even putting their own jobs under threat by calling for less representatives to be elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly. 43% wanted a reduction to 61-80 MLAs, while 39% suggested 81-100 MLAs should sit at Stormont.
Only 16% think there should be over 100 members, meaning competition for election could be hotter in the future.
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