Electorate need to be brave and vote for change
It has often been said that for evil to triumph, good people need do nothing. For too long the people of Northern Ireland have been represented by those who genuinely don't speak for us - yet we allow them to be elected year after year.
At the last election, nearly 50% of those entitled to vote didn't and I understand why. We all look for those who are like us, who speak exactly for us and who are as progressive as we are, but none of the our current parties are. But, by not voting, we allow the backwoodsmen to win.
This year - 2015 - is the opportunity to fight back. I appreciate that, with all the candidates declared, there is no opportunity for complete change, but surely those of us who are progressive can start bringing the backwoodsmen down?
Surely, by tactical voting, Gregory Campbell, David Simpson, Willie McCrea and Jim Wells can be dumped? Surely alternatives can be found?
But any alternative must realise our support is conditional on a new, progressive, 21st-century Northern Ireland being created. Not voting, or voting traditionally on Orange and Green lines, will not bring our political embarrassment to an end.
We, the electorate, need to be brave; we must lend our votes to the alternatives - not give our votes, lend our votes.
We should gravitate around the likes of Jo-Anne Dobson, Naomi Long, Sylvia Hermon and Danny Kinahan, but we should tell them they have our vote on trust and they must make the change.
In a week's time, we, the electorate, must do something, must vote to remove the embarrassments. We must vote for change.
Rostrevor, Co Down