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Do we care about  good governance?

 

As we approach the ninth month without Stormont, there are several questions we should ask.

The first priority of all elected representatives in a democracy is to form a government and govern on behalf of its entire people - not just those who elected them. To date, our politicians have abdicated all responsibility on this first principle of government. Does this show a commitment to devolution by our politicians?

And, if they ever do form a government, will they positively embrace its primary duty: to look after the health of its citizens and the education of its young people?

Or, as in previous Executives, will the Education Ministry and particularly the Health Ministry be the last of the ministerial choices?

Does this demonstrate commitment by our politicians to devolution of the services that we value the most and where difficult decisions are being made now in a political vacuum?

And, if there is another election due to political paralysis, what will we, the electorate, do? Without question, we will elect the same people over again, but with an increased mandate.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. In Northern Ireland, we redefine it as electoral insanity.

Proving conclusively that we don't really care about good governance, we pretend to be outraged, but when we have the opportunity, through the ballot box, to effect change, we bottle it and allow our politicians to change the context of elections from policy-driven campaign to keeping the 'other side' out.

Neither we nor our politicians have the appetite, or courage, for change. We don't care and are content with the "void". It's what we vote for. Does anyone really care?

GERRY SHEARER

Portaferry, Co Down

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