I’m not normally stuck for words but the current/ongoing/constant/never ending political impasse that is the Assembly has got me.
There never was going to be a deal. The Secretary of State doesn’t appear inclined to impose any sort of deadline. The PM isn’t likely to jet over here on either Ryanair or the next available RAF flight to sort it out.
What’s going on? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?
In the real world our healthcare system remains at breaking point. Schools are facing cuts, which will impact on pretty much everyone – this is the future workforce we’re talking about. Climate change and environmental damage is still happening. Women can’t be trusted and everyday sexism continues. Public sector workers – many of the true heroes of our society – don’t merit a decent pay rise. And if you want marriage equality….well…. Feel free to add your own frustrations to this list.
The constant ‘they said’, ‘we want’, finger pointing, ‘it’s not our fault’ is not being listened to. Instead, people who ‘they’ represent (pick whatever side you like) are getting on with life, doing the best they can with what they have.
The thing is, that while yes, the two main parties have their mandate from their electorate, they must also seek to represent the entire population. DUP received 225,413 first preference votes, with Sinn Féin garnering 224,245. That leaves 353,657 first preference votes for other parties and around 441,650 who didn’t vote.
That is over 795,300 people who deserve something better than the current stalemate.
So which party is going to truly represent everyone and make the first move back into the Executive?
And if all else fails, there will always be another election. Imagine what progress there could be if nearly 800k votes were cast for parties that will get on with the job.
Sara McCracken works in communications for an educational body. She previously worked for the Green Party for #AE16 and in the health sector.