#ae17 in numbers

SEVEN DAYS before institutions collapse; 5 MLAs per constituency means a minimum of 18 MLAs not returning to the Assembly; 30 is still the magic PoC number; £85,000 still the estimated daily cost to the tax payer of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

We need leadership and action on health – whoever’s in charge

Michael Moore from MacMillan Cancer Support writes for us about the importance of healthcare in the next Assembly A new Assembly mandate brings uncertainty around some key issues in Northern Ireland. But one thing is clear – the quality of care for people living with cancer and other long term conditions must not be determined by rolling the political dice. Party manifestos appeared throughout April with a plethora of commitments on the future of health and social care, including plenty … Read more

After the election, Sinn Fein needs to find a brand new story to tell…

It’s been an odd year for Sinn Fein. Last Friday saw their perennial president play a bit part in two separate political end of the pier shows in two jurisdictions. First joking about ‘Endapendents’ and ‘Shergar’ at Leinster House, then quietly slipping off to Belfast. On his way into the Belfast count centre, his supporters had to be prompted into their customary ‘hail-to-the-chief’ cheer. Perhaps it was his long absence from the business of Northern Irish politics, or just that … Read more

On The Doors: Review of the 2016 Assembly Election

For the last time, Allison Morris, John Manley and myself sat down to review the results of the 2016 Assembly Election. We talk about the performance of the various parties and what impact a greater number of female MLAs will have in the chamber. David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

#SluggerReport: What these post #AE16 shootings tell us about wicked problems in West Belfast

I would definitely listen back to the first half hour of the Nolan Show this morning. Some of the reaction from some callers was pretty chilling in their comments on four shootings since voting at Assembly elections finished. One suggested that within six or seven days no one but the families would care. In the meantime here’s some thoughts on the wicked problems that communities like those in West Belfast face and which enforcer violence like this perpetuates… Mick FealtyMick … Read more

“Assembly election campaign characterised by superficial discussions on ‘bread and butter issues’.”

Interesting now that the election is over that suddenly the truth emerges about the DUP and Sinn Fein’s footsie over their joint prepping of the next Programme for Government: yet when I asked Gerry Kelly early on Saturday afternoon he was cagey, to say the least (2-50 in). Excellent from Steven McCaffrey at The Detail, on how this was a choreographed election. It’s worth reading it all, but here’s how he concludes: A critical analysis of Stormont’s last Programme for Government (PfG) … Read more

Was McGuinness’ Foyle ‘gamble’ just about shoring the local SF vote…?

Back in January, Chris wrote, “the McGuinness to Foyle gamble has added much-needed spice to the electoral contest within nationalism”. So how did that go? The answer is: not that well. He topped the poll, but only 37 votes ahead of Colm Eastwood, and he needed the transfers of sitting MLA he effectively ejected for the privilege of ‘coming home’. Or ‘the vanity project’ as Mark Carruthers described it. In fact, both main nationalist parties suffered a near 10% loss … Read more

Without an Opposition it’s likely to be ‘just the same’, ‘status quo forever’ or ‘nowhere fast’

One of the hot topics at the weekend was: should the three mid-size parties go into Opposition? So let’s kick off which some usefully provocative thoughts from Roger McGinty, who argued that in terms of the current status quo of ’embedded sectarianism’… …things could change if the mid-sized parties were brave enough. There are few signs that they possess this bravery. The leaderships of these parties range from the conservative to very conservative in terms of vision, charisma and ability … Read more

#AE16 A 5% drop for nationalist parties on an increased overall turnout suggests it’s time for a serious rethink

Chris Donnelly nailed it on one of the primary emerging themes during BBCNI’s coverage at the Belfast Count Centre yesterday. A 5% drop in Nationalist turnout in an election which actually saw overall turnout rise should trigger a profound review in both main parties. True it has probably been ill served by the false cover its been given over much of the last ten years out of legislate concern for maintaining a hard won peace. But in the process it … Read more

So what’s the difference between ‘Clampett tweets” and “Clampett politics”?

Nice to see Newton Emerson being allowed to settle a few pieces of nonsense that have been allowed to grow into mainstream wisdom. One (and we are likely to see this reflected quite starkly in the voter patterns of West Belfast today) is that… …in Northern Ireland, an Adams gaffe is mainly just a reminder the Sinn Féin president still exists. From a unionist perspective, he emigrated five years ago. I realise that term sounds overblown – Dundalk is hardly … Read more

Our View: You Have A Voice, Make Sure It’s Heard Tomorrow

Ballot Box

DECISION TIME: It’s not often on this site that we feel the need to put up an editorial view. Generally because the editorial team on this site have diverse political views and even if we tried it would be difficult for any consensus to last longer than five minutes, today is an exception however.

Slugger Verdict: Ranking the PEBs of #ae16

It is now an annual election tradition on Slugger that we get a panel together to rank the party election broadcasts of all the political parties. Our panel of broadcaster, Jim Fitzpatrick and MCE Public Relations Director, Chris Brown got together to rate each broadcast out of ten. And the winner is….. SDLP we thought was incredibly well put together, with great shots of the party leader and profiles of the candidates. There was also a consistent theme throughout and … Read more

Declan Kearney on reconciliation: a longer term project than #AE16

One of the benefits of an election campaign is that the political parties issue written statements reflecting where their thinking currently sits. What is revealing about the current crop is that there is still such a huge contrast in the language around peace and reconciliation from Sinn Féin and the two main unionist parties. Specifically, it is the absence of any desire for reconciliation in the messages of the DUP and UUP. This chimes with the comments made by President Michael D … Read more

#ProjectFear: DUP profiting from projected danger of a false political prophesy?

Last week Sam McBride pointed to an important underlying truth of this Assembly election campaign. Whilst Arlene Foster may get political money out of using her main partner in government at OFMdFM as some latter-day Guy Fawkes scare figure, there’s very little danger of it happening. At first glance, the gap may seem much closer than it actually is. Indeed, over two or three elections it’s possible to conceive that the crude mechanism of making the leader of the largest single … Read more

Adams ‘N’ tweet is a poor start in a message free #AE16 campaign for Sinn Fein…

Apart from the ‘did he really say that’ snark value of a tweet the Sinn Fein leader quickly removed after it created a furious back draft – the dischordant controversy lay almost entirely in his use of the word ‘Nigger’ (something that made even the blushing subs at the Washington Post foreswear a simple repetition) rather than any inappropriate misapplication: The Sinn Fein President has been playing a loose game in comparative language for a very long time, but it … Read more

On The Doors: Sinn Fein Manifesto, Diver Interview & the Catholic Church

The next weekly instalment of On The Doors with Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley and this week we were joined by Security Correspondent, Allison Morris. This week we talked about the Sinn Fein manifesto, Labour and the Catholic Church.   David McCannDavid McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs