Alliance Party launch huge manifesto

The Alliance Party manifesto should come with a health warning. Dropping it on your toe could cause serious injury.

On Monday, the DUP’s director of elections Simon Hamilton described his party’s spiral bound book of promises as “probably one of the most detailed and most comprehensive manifestos that any party will do in this election or indeed any party in any election in Northern Ireland’s history will have put forward”.

A short-lived claim, as the very next day the Alliance manifesto weighed in – and I use that term deliberately – at 150 pages. I can’t yet give you a pithy summary of the document – I haven’t had time to get through very much of it. In fact, I may not get time to leaf through all of it until well after the election!

David Ford 2011 campaign launch speech wordle -

So when even speed reading won’t be enough, the only thing left is Wordle.

Alliance manifesto stripFrom memory, that’s the 40 most repeated words in the document. You have to widen the constraint and map the top 50 before “shared” and “future” sneak in, which was surprising.

In his speech to accompany the manifest launch, Alliance leader David Ford paid tribute to the team of lumberjacks who had felled forests across all six counties as well as the courier who had nearly put his back out lifting the boxes of manifestos out of the van said that he had kept his promise “to deliver out most comprehensive policy manifest ever”.

It’s a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of our system of government, our public services, and the policies and operation of our Executive Departments.

It’s basically Alliance’s pitch to the electorate (as well as the media and other parties) that they’re serious about wanting to increase their number of MLAs to pick up a second ministry in the Executive. No matter which ministries are left whenever d’Hondt would reach Alliance, they’d have policies ready to make a difference in any ministry.

Water charges are not an “if”, but instead a question of “how and when”.

David Ford was keen to stress that “these policies don’t sit within departments, they stretch across them”.

There should be a Department for the Economy, and the overall number of departments should decrease from 12 to 8.

Instead of closing libraries, why don’t we integrate them with our schools estate, large parts of which are lying empty?

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.