Electorate deserves something better to vote for
WHILE the peace process has now produced 17 years of ineffective "governance" in Northern Ireland, the opportunity for change has been continually smothered before it has the ability to flourish.
The established parties of Stormont not only lack interest, but also have much reason to oppose the necessary reforms required to produce institutions which can be considered "fit for purpose".
As they embark on a new electoral strategy, otherwise known as the Fresh Start deal, they would have you believe this time to be different. Don't concern yourself with that feeling of deja vu. Whether it be the lack of progress in dealing with the past, or the inadequate commitment from Sinn Fein to lowering corporation tax, this deal is fraught with the flaws of the localised parties. Those very parties that led us into a budgetary crisis which would embarrass even the Labour Party.
The people of Northern Ireland deserve the opportunity to consider a real alternative, not just a different shade of the same sectarianism.
It is time for the Northern Ireland Conservatives to take up the mantle of true Opposition. To date, the party has been effective in publicising its ability to represent the people of Northern Ireland within the governance of the United Kingdom.
However, the local benefits of Conservatism haven't received the level of attention many would have anticipated. This must change. Whether it be in fixing our struggling health system, curtailing lavish over-expenditure of your taxes, or making work pay, we offer a new path for Northern Ireland - a path which rewards, not punishes, the hard-working people of this country. Contrary to popular opinion, people are willing to shift voting patterns based upon policy in Northern Ireland, but they require something to vote for.
Within the run-up to the general election, we must ensure our message is not lost within the sectarian games of Stormont. This is our moment to prove to the Northern Irish electorate that we deserve their vote.
Deputy chair (membership)
Northern Ireland Conservative Future