DUP propose ending ‘community designation’ for the Assembly..

This afternoon, the DUP published their proposals for reform of the Assembly (PDF)… There’s a few things in there that are designed to tie in the smaller parties more tightly, but intriguingly, one of the more interesting details is the proposal to replace community designation with at 65% majority… which is clearly the longer term aim according to Simon Hamilton:

In the long-term, the best means of governing Northern Ireland would involve a voluntary coalition Executive and weighted majority voting of around 65% in the Assembly, resulting in an end to Community Designation.  This would be consistent with normal democratic institutions while respecting the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland.

It’s the model the party’s been pushing for since 1998 (and which also gets a mention in the document)… It’s also in line with other themes that have been emerging in a lot of the party’s post conflict rhetoric recently..

In real terms it would’t make a lot of difference, except that it would dull the official marker between Unionist and Nationalist in any future set pieces…

Will it, or any of the other proposals submitted to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee fly? Don’t hold your breath…


Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty