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A new unifying political party with the vision of a shared future is clearly the only way forward now

letter of the day: assembly elections

Published 26/04/2016

With the Assembly elections approaching, it is depressing and predictable to see the usual tribal politics being played out in the campaigns of the main parties - the unionist/nationalist divide goes to the very core of our society.

We in Northern Ireland have the problem of inheriting a deeply divided society from previous generations, which is reflected in the main parties.

What is needed is a new political party, which would seek to create a united Northern Ireland, bringing together both traditions in trust and mutual understanding with the goal of making Northern Ireland work as a country.

To achieve this, the party must make the Good Friday Agreement, with its vision of a shared future, central again.

The concept of a shared future is the cornerstone of the Assembly and the fact the main parties have lost sight of this is responsible for the ongoing impasse and frequent crises at Stormont.

A new unifying political party would acknowledge that to create trust and foster a shared future it would be made clear that members from both traditions accept the outcome of any referendum regarding the future of the province (as contained in the Good Friday Agreement): either to stay with the UK, or become part of a united Ireland, according to the democratic will of the people here.

The fact that this would be established from the outset would take away fear, foster unity and allow the new party to concentrate firmly on issues like health, the economy, education and the environment - ie on the actual governing of this country.

BRIAN RITCHIE

Lisburn, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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