Ritchie on the ‘stuck’ Executive…

SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie says the NI assembly continues to be ‘dysfunctional.’ In a blistering attack on incomplete projects in the term just ended the South Down MP predicts the Executive’s performance will worsen under the weight of further cuts. These are the key areas of ‘failure’ highlighted by her: “The long and expensive process of local government has collapsed in chaos. Letters informing principals that their new building is long-fingered again are landing on mats in empty schools. Sinn …

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The Assembly’s looming crisis of legitimacy

For me, the second most interesting result from the last General Election (after Long’s defeat of Robinson, of course) was the turnout figure. 57% is a far cry from the 70% turnout at the first Assembly election. Although a turnout of 57% would be considered respectable for, say, Scottish Parliament elections, hyper-political NI can’t be judged by the same yardstick. Apathy amongst the younger generation could explain a gradual decline towards the levels of political engagement seen elsewhere, but the …

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