Opposition as a tactical opportunity to change the balance of power?

Interesting intervention from my old mucker, Trevor Ringland in the Irish News this morning. Diana Rusk reports:

He said he supported Mr McCallister’s proposal for opposition because the UUP and the SDLP need to show that they are not simply “a poorer version of the DUP and Sinn Fein. He said the changes made through the St Andrew’s Agreement on how the first and deputy first Ministers are appointed made opposition the only option.

“It is fundamental to any democracy that the electorate has the ability to change a government or, where there is mandatory coalition, they can change the emphasis of that coalition so that smaller parties can become larger parties. [emphasis added]”

Actually what Ringland is pointing to is less of an opposition as such, and more of a short term tactical device, since a real opposition would need to be a permanent creation of the overall structure. But at the very least, he points at a possible solution to the problem for anyone left in those two parties who have an ounce of ambition left in them.

Eyes down for the UUP leadership election?

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