The Assembly’s survival is in doubt if agreement can’t be found on key issues. This is the opinion of First Minister Peter Robinson. Speaking to party members Mr Robinson said: “The continual inability to agree on a range of issues drains credibility from the operation of devolution and if it continues over a long period of time will undoubtedly threaten its long term survival.” The First Minister added: “I do not believe that is in anyone’s best interests. Above all else what the public are interested in is delivery from the Executive.”
Peter Robinson further argued: “Our present system encourages stalemate and party political point scoring over good government.” And he added:
“I believe that it is time to set party politics to the side and to concentrate on what is the best mechanism to take decisions which are in the best interest of the people of Northern Ireland. It is time to remove the obstacles to the Executive’s effective performance.”
Mr Robinson recommends that the Assembly’s Executive Review Committee should look at this issue:
“Our proposals include the abolition of community designation and its replacement by a sixty five per cent weighted majority voting. This would ensure but would not allow any single party to have a veto on progress. It would encourage co-operation and compromise and end the potential of blackmail by stalemate.
“Any decision would require the support of either the DUP and Sinn Fein or any three of the parties in the Executive for any matters to pass.” concluded Mr Robinson.