Stratagem TV: Hurtling towards our uncharismatic election day…

Episode 4, the upcoming election… Not much change it seems, but Quintin’s tip towards the end (so you’ll have to watch the rest of us to get there!) that there will be big changes in the Executive make up is worth noting… Does he know something the rest of us don’t?

I’d have liked to have heard more on the FM/DFM roles. I agree with Quintin that it seems not to be a big issue on the doorstep, but no one I know of has any real idea of how things are shifting on the margins. TUV votes totals in each constituency will be as interesting as its seat totals.

The South Tyrone boxes will be of particular note in that regard.

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  • quality

    Surely it doesn’t take much gumption to suggest Finance will stay as you were as well? Definitely will stay DUP, and (unless he steps down to concentrate on Westminster) it’s hard to see anyone but Sammy Wilson being given the portfolio.

  • JH

    Could anyone else see Mitchel McLaughlin in the Finance or Enterprise ministries at some point? The latter is very high profile, I’d say SF have their eye on it

  • Actually I think our politicians are very charismatic.
    I cant imagine that Quinton is in a position to know any more than the rest of us. 😉
    The elephant in the room is the number of Departments….and the share-out of numbers. No journalist or indeed politician seems fixated on it.
    I am fixated. Which seems to put me in a minority of one.
    And it leads me to think that something is going on.
    Is there a cunning plan?
    What would be the response if SDLP got 1 seat (from 100,000 votes)…….and UUP got 1 seat (from 100,000 votes)……and Alliance 2 (from 40,000 votes).
    Hmmmm refuse to play along with the gerrymander?.
    Voluntary Opposition…the better to reverse a trend in 2015?
    Alternatively Justice being thrown open to all and a tacit agreement that the SDLP or UUP take it………and Education going to ……..Alliance?

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    FJH – I am also fixated on it! It’s probably the only interesting part of the election given that seats will be largely no change!

    What I want to see, just for a laugh, is Alliance getting enough for a ministry under D’Hondt then being principled enough to push through a reduction in the number of ministries to 8 (?) thus depriving them of their seat! Not sure they’d entirely follow through on that, though!?

  • quality


    I would say Sinn Féin taking Enterprise is reasonably likely. DUP will be the largest party, and have confirmed on numerous occasions they’ll take Finance (it’s the key to the other Departments really).

    I can’t see anyone rushing to take Health, so I would say SF for DETI, particularly given the breadth of the all-Ireland work that can be taken on in the Department.

    Whether a SF Minister of an economic Department is a good thing is open to question, I would say Health/Social Development/Culture/Education fit more with their general ethos.

  • granni trixie

    FJH: your own fixation with aspects APNI interests me …still working out why.

    Anyway, if by a miracle the way things worked out and APNI got 2 ministries, I would enjoy your discomfort.

  • Well as you say Granni Trixie 9 seats begetting 2 Departments is your definition of things “working out”. People who call themselves Democrats take another view.

  • RyanAdams

    DETI is a laugh sure. Never any bad publicity with it, in comparison with the others.

    What happens No.3 depends on whether the DUP out do UUP 2:1 again, although I’d say Education will be on both lists. Hopefully. They can’t allow SF that ministry again for as long as mandatory coalition is operated at Stormont. Ruane was a complete nutter.

  • Mark McGregor


    Everyone has to stand (some holding coats), some leaning against stuff but then not leaning and leaning again – Mick gets to sit on his arse.

    Well done Mick, new media sits on its hole while the old media….stands and looks dynamic.

  • “cant imagine that Quinton is in a position to know”

    Quintin describes himself as a ‘change agent’ [linkedin] – colour unspecified – yet seems remarkably upbeat in the face of, er, no likely significant change in the balance of the Executive.

    I must say I’m puzzled by this assertion: “One of the interesting features of the d’Hondt process whilst it is cumbersome and protects against majority abuses against minorities it also creates a necessary change. We will see all our ministers change seats other than First and deputy First ministers and the Justice ministry in Alliance’s hands for another year”

    The UUP and SDLP are certainly minorities and there seems to be no protection when the OFMDFM does a carve-up; the d’Hondt process at Stormont has produced a dictatorship. Not only do the top two parties get the OFMDFM positions – along with a plethora of SpAds – they also are likely to get first pick of the departments. At local council the process leads to a distribution of chairmanships amongst the larger parties but majority groupings still determine the allocation of resources.

  • Ive never actually heard of the term “change agent”.
    How does a person such as myself….retired but with too much time on his hands and no recognisable talent become a “change agent”?
    What does a change agent do?
    How does a change agent….er change things?

  • “too much time on his hands and no recognisable talent”

    fjh, those are, apparently, qualifications for an MLA. Perhaps you should join Club Plaxo and follow the status QO: “Lobbyist, activist, political junkie, change agent… enjoying change and challenge.” Learn at the feet of the master. There’s probably a course you could do.

    “so you’ll have to watch the rest of us to get there” .. Mick

    or click on the time line about 9 mins in.

    Note to fjh – get yourself some snappy catch phrases and be positive, be a YES man – say YES to AV. I’m still dithering between Quintin’s YES and Mick’s NO.

    QO: “We have a compulsory coalition and we have a compulsory reshuffle … and that’s good for democracy, good for change and good for those issues to be dealt with by a different minister”.

    There you are fjh: GOOD, GOOD, GOOD – CHANGE is GOOD. Unless your short-changed. Trouble is, “Where would you find a GOOD minister nowadays?”

  • Afterthought: Is there a subliminal message in that QO quote: COMPULSION is GOOD?

  • Ive just printed 50 business cards. Becoming a Change Agent was surprisingly easy 🙂
    Nevin…….I think you over-estimate me. I have no talents whatsoever.
    When people ask me to say “Yes”, I have an involuntary reaction and say “No” just for the sheer hell of it. I think “Change” is best left to young people. They are much more gullible.

  • fjh, the great AV debate can’t be heard in the Kingdom of Moyle. Perhaps Stratagem could arrange a good old fashioned joust or a brawl in the hall between these two proponents from the YES and NO camps to settle it; it would make great TV. Quintin has already got his coat off …

  • Does anybody in Moyle care? I live in a much less sophisticated part of the world and Ive not met anybody who cares……but we will vote NO anyway.

  • I haven’t seen a single AV poster, fjh. Had it not been for the other elections I think there’d be a very low turn-out.

    The candidates in Moyle will be praying for a shower of rain on May 5 to drag the electorate away from the beach, the BBQ or the pub. There’s no scarcity of election posters but I detect very little interest amongst local folks; apathy reigns.

    Bushmills was very quiet earlier this afternoon. Quite a few shops were closed, including those who make a living from visitors. An old friend suggested that as most of the staff were female they’d want to watch the wedding!

  • fjh, Moyle, it appears, is currently at the heart of an international political storm!! One of the council candidates, a ‘defrocked’ member of Sinn Fein, has upset the Israeli government. I suppose it makes a change from upsetting his council colleagues. Perhaps he thinks he’s a ‘change agent’.