Come off it Robinson

Can anybody explain to me why Peter is stuck in the groove of voluntary coalition? And there I am, going on about cutting him more slack!
Sure, we can see that if all other parties ganged up against Sinn Fein, that would comfortably exceed a 65% majority threshold by almost 10%. If however the DUP were put in solitary, the margin would just scrape by but would still be enough, 66%. Even with designations scrapped, why should Peter assume that the SDLP would be more likely to break nationalist ranks than the UUP would desert the DUP in a crunch sectarian vote? C’mon Peter, what’s the scenario? SDLP abstention? You’ve already admitted you hadn’t prepared your supporters enough for power sharing. Now I bet they’re confused about a VC, if they’ve actually noticed. But let’s assume the UUP were to cleave to the DUP after all . Making the generous assumption that Alliance, the Green and the single independent together with the SDLP constitute a cross community vote, who thinks that their 25% aggregate would be enough under any coalition system to amount to cross community consent? Does Peter really think he could get away with a new, weighted majority without a specific cross community component? Or that the SDLP are about to overtake Sinn Fein dramatically, spurred on by his magnanimous offer of reform? The idea’s barmy Peter. It wouldn’t fool a Dervock steer.

  • joeCanuck

    Do tell us, Brian, what a Dervock steer is. A bovine from Ballymoney?
    I know that the dead have had a reputation for voting in N.I. among other places, but cows?

  • Joe, Brian is talking bullocks. A steer is a depleted male 😉

  • Guest

    I don’t think robinson has a direct unionist aim in thought here.The philosophy of the DUP at the moment is to show that everything and anything can be changed hence killing off the basis of the GFA.It is a poor mans SF concerning the constitutional situation and can be seen for such in that he uses the GFA rules and ST.Andrews sub-paragraph to block P and J.The man is seriously deluded if he thinks SF are going to back down and pull out of the assembly.Time is clearly not on his side;I am enjoying the squirm.

  • joeCanuck

    hehe, Nevin.
    I’ve sometimes wondered if bullock should actually be spelled bull-lack.
    Perhaps some etymologist could enlighten me. hehe

  • andrew white

    lets remember brian, as well as the rest of the MSM fully supported the creation of mandatory coalition as part of the BA.

    Robinson is changing that in a step by step manner. Change is coming SF and nationalists will be be dragged kicking as screaming just as they were on decommissioning and support for the police and courts

  • Guest

    anderw White,
    Republicans agreed that decommissioning was part of the deal and fulfilled it.It is the DUP whom agreed that p+J was part of this deal and it is the DUP that are being dragged kicking into the next phase.By the way,concerning police and courts ,that agreement in sinn fein was based on the devolution of P=J and they are therefore not in default.
    robinson’s step by step is usual unionist failure to lead.Mandatory coalition is part of ST.AA and GFA.They are using it to block p+J;can they then use it to block sinn fein’s right to block all else?

    Punt’s panto “mine” is really boarding the hilarious.

  • Turgon

    I hold no brief for the DUP but there are two different issues here as Jim Allister makes clear in the article Mick linked to: one is voluntary coalition and the other is qualified majority voting. Now I agree with Jim that we need reform of both and reform of one without the other is a nonsense.

    However, not for the first time Brian is wrong in fact on this issue. Qualified majority voting within a mandatory coalition might theoretically work (I am opposed to it but it could work) as follows.

    Let us take an issue which has been politicised out of all proportion: education.

    In a qualified majority system it is possible that a set of proposals to break the Ruane induced chaos could be proposed. Now in such a circumstance would the SDLP automatically support SF? In reality the SDLP might well see practical advantage to producing some sort of system as opposed to the non system we currently have. That might also procure for them electoral advantage; or they might at least hope so.

    Hence, as we see things are not as black and white as Brian thinks.

  • Turgon

    Forgot to add. the problem with the above in the current system is that SF would have to agree to it and of course would not. This is why qualified majority without voluntary coalition is not going to happen. We need a renegotiation of the whole agreement which if SF have the courtesy to collapse the agreement we might move towards. Alternatively we can just wait for the next Stormont elections and hopefully start again from there. The other alternative of Direct Rule is most unlikely to be as bad as the current farce in terms of governance. In addition I do rather prefer London rule to IRA commander rule.

  • Guest

    turgon,
    Take any particular you like.
    The essence of the matter is that the DUP are using the details of ST.AA to stop devolution of Police and justice to Ireland,so how can they use the same claim that the same system is a problem in the general functioning of the assembly?
    you can argue otherwise,i know, having nothing to do with the DUP.I will simply return to the point that all these issues were negotiated in tandem with the principle of consent.If we negotiate that,we negotiate this,and the attorney general of the Irish Republic will not hesitate to bring this to European level.Indeed,he will be probably instructed to do so by the President of the Republic.He will probably do so anyway;

  • andrew white

    It is the DUP whom agreed that p+J was part of this deal and it is the DUP that are being dragged kicking into the next phase…….

    sorry , what date was agreed? none you say…exactly

  • Guest

    No date all.
    And what date on anything else?

  • andrew white

    the only people claiming a date on anything is sinn fein.

    The DUP are within their rights to work to improve how 0Stormont is run ..they are the only party who are working towards this

  • Guest

    What nationalist can blame them when the leader of Ireland agrees that no preconditions can be laid down for the transfer?”

    Let the Taoiseach speak for himself.

    what date on the end of the parade commission?
    What date on the end of the ILA by EU Law.
    what date on the end of north-south bodies?
    what date on an orange march down the garvaghy?
    what date on the end of the d’honte

  • Newton Emerson
  • Newton Emerson

    Ach, wrong thread – ignore that.

  • Guest

    Not sure what your on about Emerson,but by god The Waldo was on to all things more intelligent

  • andrew white

    What nationalist can blame them when the leader of Ireland agrees that no preconditions can be laid down for the transfer?”

    including fictious Sinn Fein dates

  • fair_deal

    BW

    1. VC was and is DUP policy
    2. In case you hadn’t noticed mandatory coalition isn’t delivering what the public wants. The system has now been tried with all four of the main NI parties being in the dominant role of their respective political communties and six different people in the OFMDFM office and it’s just as unproductive as it ever was. Time to stop blaming parties and personalities and start looking at the god awful system that I would gently remind the angry populace that they err voted for.

  • Mick Fealty

    Turgon:

    “Now in such a circumstance would the SDLP automatically support SF?”

    Not under the current leadership, whose policy has been to shadow SF in policy terms, and then try the ad hominem card (ie, the “we’re better people than them” non argument) at elections. But in future, why not? Unionism is rediscovering the usefulness of disruptive politics, why not nationalism?

    It amazes me we still have commenters who don’t get that this timetable thing goes right back to Leeds Castle (Sept 2004). St Andrews was a confirmation of a default sent a few years earlier, not some kind of radical departure.

    In this case, it’s still Sinn Fein which is trying to shift the rules they signed up to, and not the DUP; no matter how many names they invoke in trying to turn history on its head.

  • kensei

    fd

    In case you hadn’t noticed mandatory coalition isn’t delivering what the public wants.

    It takes two to tango. Or indeed not Tango. Isn’t there a touch here of the DUP fucking things up and then going “Lookit! It doesn’t work”

    Mick

    If SF had thought 5 years later that there was no P&J devolved, do you reckon they would have signed up given the proposed timetable. Agreements require more than words on paper to work.Yes SF bad etc etc. I agree. But given the above, you can hardly moan when they try to make leverage where they can.

    Also, “Community confidence”. Has anyone ever analysed what the fuck its meant to be, other than what the DUP wants it to be? There is a certain amount of bad faith negotiation here. You seem to conflate the DUP having got a looser St Andrews as some kind of moral right.

  • Dave

    There are only three more variations of the two nations/one state solution that they can try before they realise that two nations can’t share one state (unless they also share a common civic nationalism). As I see it:

    One nation / one state solution:
    This requires that the two nations be ‘merged’ into a new nation (of Northern Irish). The downside to this is that the proper function of the state is to protect and promote the culture of the nation and not to collude in its eradication. However, the British state would not be destroying all of the nation but rather just that part of it that resides in Northern Ireland.

    Two nations / one state solution:
    This requires that the wearisome farce of Stormont be continued at great expense for as long as possible.

    No nation / one state solution:
    Basically, the state is stripped of its primary function under Article 1 of the UN’s ICCPR and takes no role in the protection or promotion of any nation (bar Council of Europe conventions) but rather, like an airport departure area, we marvel at the multiplicity of nations who pass though it – who duly marvel that the indigenous nation would forsake its national rights to self-determination in order to promote the spectacle.

    Two states / two nations solution:
    Both of the nations have states, so the two nations would be separated into their respective states by either repartition or resettlement.

    Not particularly helpful, but there you go…

  • Mick Fealty

    No Ken. Just pointing out that SF is (serially) being economical with the truth.

  • Brian Walker

    What too many commenters are ignoring is that at the moment a radical change in the system – not a vote on a lesser single issue – would not pass either by weighted majority or parallel consent. Voluntary coalition would require a settled change in the outlook of some parties and/or a major shift in voting patterns in an election. Following that, it would in practice require the approval of both governments. Does anyone see all of that happening anytime soon?

  • kensei

    Mick

    No Ken. Just pointing out that SF is (serially) being economical with the truth.

    Well, they have given of saying that there was an agreed deadline. If you look at the actual recent statements, they are saying the DUP is being intransigent (true) and basically, this might take down the current Assembly (which may or may not be true). Politics moves on.

  • fair_deal

    BW

    The status quo isn’t good enough so the degree it will be difficult to change it doesn’t effect that. Feck all changes if you don’t bother to think about what needs to change, set out the alternatives and begin to persuade people of their benefits. Here was me thinking that type of approach was the normal politics we’ve been told so often about.

  • danielmoran

    brian walker….robinson has shown often enough since taking over from the big man, that someone capable of leadership doesn’t wait for thirty years to take over. As Feeney pointed out, robinson ticked off his ‘jurassic park tendency for thinking they could ignore the votes of 40% of ni population [SF voters]. and yet he’s still deluding himself on VC since there’s no chance of SDLP commiting political suicide by going along with it and even less chance of SF agreeing to it..

  • Turgon

    Brian Walker,
    For once I agree with you. I am very dubious that this change can be achieved outwith a complete renegotiation of the agreement. As to why natoinalists should consider agreeing to such: here are a few relatively recent thoughts

  • fair_deal

    “very dubious that this change can be achieved outwith a complete renegotiation of the agreement”

    Inside or outside the process it is basically geography not substance.

  • danielmoran

    guest…..msg 3 of course sf aren’t going to play into robbo’s game. they know as robbo knows which of them is looking over their shoulder at the biggest threat. it’s not for nothing that marty commands support,[however grudging among unionists], while peter the shunt can only get 13%
    of protestants and zero catholics to support him.
    peter needs to be out of stormont in run up to westminster election. can the same be said of peter?

  • danielmoran

    that should have read……can the same be said of sf, about sdlp threat?