“this is not a simple bit of legislation..”

The Financial Assistance Bill reached its consideration stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly today and there were 11 amendments tabled, including some by the First and deputy First Ministers. The Alliance Party’s Naomi Long has already detailed the the significant change in power balance the Bill represents and on today’s Stormont Live, after a round-up of the parties’ positions by Mark Devenport, the Alliance Party, the UUP and the SDLP were shown joined in opposition at a press conference outside the Assembly chamber.

  • Seymour Major

    It is widely perceived that this bill and the DUP motion to reduce the number of ministerial portfolios to 6 are part of a wider campaign to increase the power of the two largest parties at Stormont.

    If we had normal politics, it would not be such a bad thing if the largest political party was to exercise all of the executive power. They would be fully accountable. Collective cabinet responsibility would apply. By the nature of politics, the incumbent party would never hold office for ever. However, we dont have that situation yet and whilst power sharing exists, anything which dilutes the powers of the parties with the lower number of seats is de-stabilising.

    Sinn Fein’s abstension to the earlier DUP motion suggests that they are politically embarrassed by what is taking place. Power sharing is looking increasingly like an unstable model. If and when normal politics does eventually kick in that may be the to dismantle power sharing altogether.

  • Quagmire

    “If and when normal politics does eventually kick in”Posted by Seymour Major on Jan 20, 2009 @ 09:46 PM

    I’m afraid the prospect of “normal politics” went out the door when the northern state-let was conceived and partition imposed via the sectarian headcount. If you are hoping for the dismantlement of power sharing and the imposition of voluntary coalition then dream on my friend. Unionism had 50 years to show that it could govern for all the people and it duly failed. There will be no return to majority rule ever again, for all time. As the old saying goes fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.