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Mend bridges before Unionism is a minority

Commentators continue to interpret (or misinterpret) the results of the recent Assembly election according to their personal perspectives. But one fact is beyond debate.

Over the last 50 years or so, the dominance of unionism in the province has gradually been declining, to the point where it is now marginal at best.

The leadership of Arlene Foster may have finally tipped the balance, but the political trend was pronounced long before she took office and is likely to continue long after her departure.

The real problem for unionism is the inexorable pattern of demographic evolution within the province and this phenomenon seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

The inevitable conclusion is that, in a few short years, unionists will officially become a minority and their leaders would be foolish not to acknowledge this reality and plan accordingly.

They could start by building bridges within the community, repairing relationships with other political parties and working hard at all levels to eliminate the last vestiges of the sectarianism and divisions that plagued the province for so long.

It would otherwise be ironic if the historic roles of majority and minority were to be simply reversed, without any change in attitudes.

That would not bode well for a unionist minority - whether within or without a united Ireland.

ulster emigrant

Boston, USA

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