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ObserverIE
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« Reply #225 on: November 03, 2015, 11:54:27 am »
« edited: November 03, 2015, 02:35:04 pm by ObserverIE »

Assembly pass gay marriage, but DUP veto.
Why?

The DUP have a veto because they posted a "petition of concern" which allows a motion to pass only if it obtains a majority of both Unionists and Nationalists in support.

The mechanism was originally designed to prevent one side forcing through legislation over the heads of the other, but it now tends to be used by both larger parties to prevent anything inconvenient to either of them getting passed.

Only four Unionists voted in favour of the motion - three independent unionists (McCrea, McCallister and Sugden) who have always voted in favour plus one newly co-opted Ulster Unionist (Allen). This doesn't represent a major shift in opinion on the Unionist side; one Unionist who voted in favour of it last year (Kinahan) has left the Assembly on his election as an MP, and the UUP leader (Nesbitt) abstained.

What made the difference is that a couple of the more socially-conservative Alliance members (Lunn and Cochrane) voted in favour this year, having voted No abstained last year.
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CrabCake
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« Reply #226 on: November 06, 2015, 06:36:36 am »

There is a week till the Schoolteachers, Doctors and Lawyers Party chose whether to stick with McDonnell or choose a young guy whose defining characteristic is being not McDonnell. Party members seem increasingly desperate to stop the rot (they've never gained seats in the history of the Assmebly and have been bleeding votes at every election for a whole).
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Halgrímur
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« Reply #227 on: November 08, 2015, 05:23:43 pm »
« Edited: November 08, 2015, 05:46:38 pm by Halgrímur »

There is a week till the Schoolteachers, Doctors and Lawyers Party chose whether to stick with McDonnell or choose a young guy whose defining characteristic is being not McDonnell. Party members seem increasingly desperate to stop the rot (they've never gained seats in the history of the Assmebly and have been bleeding votes at every election for a whole).

That's very uncharitable towards Colum Eastwood, who seems like a talented guy.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-34378363
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Halgrímur
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« Reply #228 on: November 08, 2015, 05:28:03 pm »

Assembly pass gay marriage, but DUP veto.
Why?

The DUP have a veto because they posted a "petition of concern" which allows a motion to pass only if it obtains a majority of both Unionists and Nationalists in support.

The mechanism was originally designed to prevent one side forcing through legislation over the heads of the other, but it now tends to be used by both larger parties to prevent anything inconvenient to either of them getting passed.

Only four Unionists voted in favour of the motion - three independent unionists (McCrea, McCallister and Sugden) who have always voted in favour plus one newly co-opted Ulster Unionist (Allen). This doesn't represent a major shift in opinion on the Unionist side; one Unionist who voted in favour of it last year (Kinahan) has left the Assembly on his election as an MP, and the UUP leader (Nesbitt) abstained.

What made the difference is that a couple of the more socially-conservative Alliance members (Lunn and Cochrane) voted in favour this year, having voted No abstained last year.

I think this will make FFs plans of entering Northern politics more realistic. There should be a (although relatively small) market for a SoCon centre-right option among Catholics. This vote could be the opening.
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ObserverIE
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« Reply #229 on: November 08, 2015, 09:59:17 pm »

I think this will make FFs plans of entering Northern politics more realistic. There should be a (although relatively small) market for a SoCon centre-right option among Catholics. This vote could be the opening.

There's no appreciable difference on either abortion or gay marriage between the positions of FF and the SDLP, and the current FF leadership is positioning itself economically as being ever-so-slightly left-of-centre, at least in terms of rhetoric.
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Lurker
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« Reply #230 on: November 09, 2015, 11:03:18 am »

There is a week till the Schoolteachers, Doctors and Lawyers Party chose whether to stick with McDonnell or choose a young guy whose defining characteristic is being not McDonnell. Party members seem increasingly desperate to stop the rot (they've never gained seats in the history of the Assmebly and have been bleeding votes at every election for a whole).

I realize this is facetious of course, but it got me wondering: what are the social bases of the NI political parties (other than the obvious religious divide) - as in income, educational levels, gender, etc.? I seem to recall from an earlier discussion here that the Protestant working class vote was clearly in favour of the DUP, but other than that I've read little about this issue.
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« Reply #231 on: November 14, 2015, 08:33:43 pm »

McDonnell lost. Whether a new face is enough to stop the decline of the party is another thing.
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YL
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« Reply #232 on: November 15, 2015, 05:07:51 pm »

McDonnell lost. Whether a new face is enough to stop the decline of the party is another thing.

I'm fairly sympathetic to the SDLP, and would generally vote for either them or Alliance if I lived there, but they have a basic problem in that a major reason why people used to vote for them rather than Sinn Féin (what the latter's mates used to get up to) is fading with time.  And I'm not sure what opportunities there are for developing new reasons to vote for them.  So I doubt that changing the leader will make much of a difference.
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ObserverIE
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« Reply #233 on: November 15, 2015, 07:26:57 pm »
« Edited: November 15, 2015, 07:30:25 pm by ObserverIE »

There is a week till the Schoolteachers, Doctors and Lawyers Party chose whether to stick with McDonnell or choose a young guy whose defining characteristic is being not McDonnell. Party members seem increasingly desperate to stop the rot (they've never gained seats in the history of the Assmebly and have been bleeding votes at every election for a whole).

I realize this is facetious of course, but it got me wondering: what are the social bases of the NI political parties (other than the obvious religious divide) - as in income, educational levels, gender, etc.? I seem to recall from an earlier discussion here that the Protestant working class vote was clearly in favour of the DUP, but other than that I've read little about this issue.

The DUP tends to be stronger among evangelical Protestants in general, in working-class urban areas, and among self-perceived outsiders within Unionism. The UUP is very much a deferential "old money" party and tends to be stronger among Anglicans (Arlene Foster is a prominent exception, although also a defector from the UUP to the DUP). The DUP is more explicitly socially conservative than the UUP, although the difference isn't always noticeable. There's a similarity to the FF/FG divide in the South, although DUPers tend to have none of FFers' personal charm (but given some of the rumblings about relationships with property developers, they may have all of FF's ethics problems).

Alliance tends to attract "let's get along" bourgeois types in Belfast and its surrounds who identify as being progressive (primarily ecumenical Christian more than secularist).

The "Schoolteachers, Doctors and Lawyers" jibe was originally aimed at the SDLP's leadership cadre more than at its membership. SF dominates the urban and rural working-class vote outside of Derry city and south Down, leaving the SDLP with that section of the middle-class vote that is more uncomfortable about the (fading but not yet absent) echoes of the paramilitary campaign.
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Clyde1998
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« Reply #234 on: November 17, 2015, 11:45:11 am »

Finally...: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-34850196
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Famous Mortimer
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« Reply #235 on: November 17, 2015, 12:17:45 pm »

Finally...: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-34850196

Boo, would have better if the country returned to direct rule. That's more democratic than mandatory coalition.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #236 on: November 17, 2015, 02:30:51 pm »

Northern Ireland isn't allowed to have democracy. Thats the whole point of the GFA: no one ever gets to implement their (inevitably horrific) platform and elections serve as a means of apportioning patronage and public money.
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Clyde1998
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« Reply #237 on: November 18, 2015, 07:19:44 am »

Northern Ireland isn't allowed to have democracy. Thats the whole point of the GFA: no one ever gets to implement their (inevitably horrific) platform and elections serve as a means of apportioning patronage and public money.
The problem is that Northern Ireland's "democracy" is based on voting for the party that's closest to your religious ideology - if one party ever got a majority, there would be religious tensions again. The closest NI gets to having a democratic vote is in the UK General Election - where their vote doesn't matter.
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CrabCake
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« Reply #238 on: December 10, 2015, 04:25:20 pm »

Possibly interesting news: Labour in NI have gone against Westminster orders and have declared they will stand in the next assembly elections.

Meanwhile Arlene Foster is almost certainly going to be DUP leader and therefore FM.
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CrabCake
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« Reply #239 on: December 10, 2015, 04:27:23 pm »

Northern Ireland isn't allowed to have democracy. Thats the whole point of the GFA: no one ever gets to implement their (inevitably horrific) platform and elections serve as a means of apportioning patronage and public money.
The problem is that Northern Ireland's "democracy" is based on voting for the party that's closest to your religious ideology - if one party ever got a majority, there would be religious tensions again. The closest NI gets to having a democratic vote is in the UK General Election - where their vote doesn't matter.

It's remarkable isn't it? If Northern Ireland was an African state, Western newspapers would be full of patronising editorials about 'people unready for democracy' and the like.
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DC Al Fine
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« Reply #240 on: December 10, 2015, 05:05:19 pm »

Northern Ireland isn't allowed to have democracy. Thats the whole point of the GFA: no one ever gets to implement their (inevitably horrific) platform and elections serve as a means of apportioning patronage and public money.
The problem is that Northern Ireland's "democracy" is based on voting for the party that's closest to your religious ideology - if one party ever got a majority, there would be religious tensions again. The closest NI gets to having a democratic vote is in the UK General Election - where their vote doesn't matter.

It's remarkable isn't it? If Northern Ireland was an African state, Western newspapers would be full of patronising editorials about 'people unready for democracy' and the like.

If it makes you feel any better, I recall a Canadian newspaper running an editorial like that Tongue
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ObserverIE
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« Reply #241 on: December 11, 2015, 11:23:02 am »

Northern Ireland isn't allowed to have democracy. Thats the whole point of the GFA: no one ever gets to implement their (inevitably horrific) platform and elections serve as a means of apportioning patronage and public money.
The problem is that Northern Ireland's "democracy" is based on voting for the party that's closest to your religious ideology - if one party ever got a majority, there would be religious tensions again. The closest NI gets to having a democratic vote is in the UK General Election - where their vote doesn't matter.

It's really about ethnic identity and power relations rather than religious ideology - large numbers of unionists did not become Free Presbyterians or evangelical Protestants just because they switched from the UUP towards the DUP. It's just that in Northern Ireland ethnic identity and religious background (not necessarily practice) tend to coincide.
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« Reply #242 on: January 11, 2016, 08:03:10 pm »

Catholic birth rates spurred unionists into making 1998 deal, Clinton suggested

Saturday 09 January 2016

Quote
Changes in the Catholic-Protestant population left unionists fearing they would soon be “irrelevant”, and may have helped spur them into seeking a power-sharing deal in 1998.

That appears to be the claim made by President Bill Clinton, revealed in a newly-declassified document published this week.

The document is made up of transcripts of phone conversations which Clinton had with Tony Blair, around the time of the Good Friday Agreement.

Large segments of the document have been blanked out – particularly comments from Blair – meaning it is impossible to be certain of precisely what was being said during the conversations.

The News Letter has already uncovered one conversation in which Clinton appears to describe Blair as the “best friend” that certain elements of republicanism have ever had.

Read more:
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CrabCake
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« Reply #243 on: February 12, 2016, 02:02:39 pm »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-35546399

SDLP's progressive nationalism falls at the first hurdle.
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Green Line
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« Reply #244 on: February 12, 2016, 05:08:53 pm »

What was the party breakdown of the abortion vote?
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CrabCake
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« Reply #245 on: February 12, 2016, 05:19:01 pm »

For: Sinn Fein, Alliance (minus one abstention), Green, N121

Against: SDLP (minus one abstention), DUP, TUV, UKIP, UUP (minus three "For")
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