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Six questions to put to the Sinn Fein and SDLP

By David Gordon

Published 23/04/2010

Political Editor David Gordon continues his series on suggested questions to ask party canvassers looking for your vote.

Sinn Fein

1 Given your central role in the Stormont Executive over the last three years, are you pleased with its record of achievements to date?

2 Why has Sinn Fein been denouncing moves towards unionist electoral pacts as “sectarian” while at the same time calling for nationalist pacts? Are pacts only sectarian if they involve Protestants?

3 Do you believe your President Gerry Adams when he says that he was never in the IRA and, if so, do you think he should have been?

4 How will Sinn Fein MPs be able to defend public services and jobs when they boycott the House of Commons?

5 How does Sinn Fein propose bringing about a united Ireland given that Protestants here remain as opposed to the idea as ever and are unlikely to be persuaded by a republican movement that waged a 30-year campaign of violence?

6 Does Sinn Fein still stand by its past expenses claims for renting London properties for MPs who did not take their seats?


1 The SDLP is constantly criticising the Executive's performance and the way it is treated by supposed power-sharing partners. Would it not be more principled to withdraw from the Executive and go into opposition at Stormont?

2 New SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie has been vowing to build the foundations of a united Ireland, but what earthly chance does she really have of achieving that?

3 How will a handful of SDLP MPs make any difference in the next Parliament when it comes to protecting jobs and services?

4 Margaret Ritchie pledged during her SDLP leadership campaign to publish details of SDLP donors. Why has this not happened so far?

5 Can the SDLP explain its position on double jobbing by its politicians? As I understand it, Mark Durkan stood down as the party’s leader in order to concentrate on Westminster but Margaret Ritchie is planning to be an MP and MLA.

6 Is the SDLP for or against Caitriona Ruane's policy on abolishing the 11-plus?

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