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Northern Ireland snap election would give non-voters the chance to challenge DUP and SF's Stormont stranglehold

As the possibility of an Assembly election mounts over the RHI debacle, most pundits are speculating that the outcome will return the DUP and Sinn Fein into government at the expense of some of the Opposition parties in what will be a 90-seat Assembly.

This assumes that turnout in an election will follow the same predictable route of around 50% of eligible voters voting in the same predictable way. Voter apathy, for whatever reason, underscores that outcome.

The decision by Opposition parties not to enter government has highlighted the broad arrogance and contempt by both the DUP and Sinn Fein for any form of open government or accountability.

I have been a non-voter for many years, but I now have alternatives to both the DUP and Sinn Fein in the form of our Opposition parties in mandatory coalition.

Should there be a snap election in the coming months, I will be stepping up and voting for change. Similarly, I would urge all non-voters to make the difference and to come out and vote to challenge the DUP and Sinn Fein stranglehold on government here.

In doing so, at the very least, it will send a strong message to both the DUP and Sinn Fein - they cannot continue to treat the Northern Ireland public like an irrelevant sideshow and expect to get away with it much longer.

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