Author Archive | Daithi McKay

A century since Markievicz MP – are we much further on?

In the lead-up to the Assembly election I looked at the potential gender representation of the cohort returning to the Hill. A record 27 out of 90 Assembly members (30%) were returned. From looking at the 18 constituencies there are 12 seats that will be not be filled by female candidates. This is due, in more…

Where is her cunning?

In the last few months Arlene Foster has developed a habit of surprising us when we least expect it. And now that ‘blonde-gate’, or whatever you want to call ‘that’ interview on the greens of Hillsborough, is fading from the corporate media memory its worth a little further analysis. In response the DUP deployed the more…

Dail Eireann full

The inevitable conclusion to the abstention debate.

In 2015 there were numerous news stories and debates about the possibility of Sinn Féin ending its abstentionist policy partly fuelled by a belief that the election might produce a hung parliament. This time around the airing of those arguments have lessened significantly. The polls predict a Tory majority. However the SDLP believe its still more…

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Elections becoming a big business for Facebook

Social media is increasingly becoming more important in the fighting of elections. Political parties can post videos or short picture messages with slogans and then, for a price, insert that on the newsfeed of groups according to location, age, gender, etc. If candidates hit the right nerve with the public they can crowd source enough more…

‘The Fearghal McKinney effect’

There obviously won’t be any pact between the SDLP and Sinn Féin anytime soon and the latest comments from Michelle O’Neill and Colum Eastwood reaffirm their party positions. Eastwood is keeping one eye to the unionist voters in Foyle and especially South Down that will be considering voting strategically for his party to keep Sinn more…

Indyref flags

Tory momentum won’t sweep away call for IndyRef2

The results are in and the Local Government outcomes in Scotland, Wales and (much of) England are no great surprise. Beyond Hadrian’s Wall Labour lost their majority on Glasgow City Council after nearly 40 years dominance. Well over 100 Scottish council seats turned Conservative blue, the majority of which were previously rose-red. There are two more…

Presidential voting rights by 2025?

With the recent stepping up of debate about a Border Poll and the constitutional future of the north it is interesting (though I suspect coincidental) timing to see the Taoiseach Enda Kenny announce that a referendum will be held on the right of Irish citizens abroad and in the north to vote in future Presidential elections. The more…

Sam McBride Assembly screengrab

Could next week see a break through in women in the Assembly?

So will next week’s poll see the breaking of more glass ceilings for female representation in the Assembly?  Time will tell. But as we political nerds have fun tallying the possible final outcomes for political parties we should also look at potential gender outcomes. Foyle (0/1) Surprisingly Derry has only one female candidate placed to more…

NIFoundation 20161128 TroubledImages - 11 Gerry Carroll

The rise or fall of People Before Profit

The 2017 Assembly Election has not come at a good time for People before Profit. After making their Assembly breakthrough last year the party was looking forward to using the 5 years until 2021 as an opportunity to build a party infrastructure and establish a media profile which it was doing reasonably well at until the more…

AE16 chart of party candidates elected unsuccessful

Election an opportunity to break more glass ceilings

Just eight months ago we were celebrating the fact that the number of female legislators had increased by 50%. 30 women were elected compared to 20 in the 2011 elections. 28% of the 108 member legislature compared to 19% in the previous mandate. The Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin welcomed the change : “While we still have more…

D-Day brought forward? Inquiry or Investigation? Will it matter?

After the First Minister gave an initial curt ‘No’ to Sinn Féin’s draft paper for an Independent investigation she has now given a more detailed and lukewarm response to the proposals: “However, with the exception of the issue of stepping aside, we believe that the proposals provided to us by Sinn Fein on Thursday and more…

Claire Sugden

An opportunity for Claire Sugden

In yet another excellent piece for the Newsletter  Sam McBride highlights the fact that Claire Sugden, it appears, has the ability to call a public inquiry on RHI under the Inquiries Act 2005. Up until this point the East Derry MLA has managed to avoid much of the media focus that has engulfed other Executive more…

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What would the Assembly look like if weighted majority voting had been introduced?

What would the Assembly look like if weighted majority voting had been introduced? With the present RHI scandal throwing up another problem with the system there have been some calls for a ‘public conversation’ on future reform. In the (original) Assembly & Executive Reform (Assembly Opposition) Bill John McCallister  brought forward cross-community support and the more…

All I want for Christmas is a better road to Belfast

As a Saffron now living west of the Bann all I really want for Christmas is the upgrading of the A6. Which Christmas though? Being a heavy commuter of some years I know how hours spent in a car with just coffee and bad podcasts can affect quality of life, time spent with family and more…

Foster hits a Good Friday Agreement nerve…

Another string to add to the First Minister’s bow. By proceeding with today’s statement to the Assembly, without the consent of the deputy First Minister, the First Minister is arguably in breach of the Ministerial Code’s Pledge of Office. This states that she must: “observe the joint nature of the office of First Minister and more…

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Be nice to people on your way up…

Everyone will be watching Nolan Live tonight with bated breath (and popcorn). What will Jonathan Bell say? Will he produce documents and materials that will amount to a de facto ‘smoking gun’? The SDLP has said that they will table a motion of no confidence in the First Minister on Monday. People before Profit have more…

GB resigns....

When should a politician resign?

When should a politician resign? What is the bar for a politician to resign from Ministerial or public office? Firstly the trend in regard to leaders and major referendums is the most clear cut. Alex Salmond lost the Scottish Independence Referendum, he resigned as First Minister. David Cameron lost the EU Referendum, he resigned as more…