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Papering over cracks of flawed system in Northern Ireland won't work - we need to rip it up and start again

Eight months on and the posters are going up again, but many people are incredibly disillusioned with the familiar rhetoric already emanating from the old parties and politicians.

In particular, they are disillusioned with our so-called leaders, many of whom seem more interested in popping up at election time to preserve their fiefdoms than delivering and standing up for those who elected them.

The political reality locally is grim. Stormont has fallen and the current set-up is unworkable. The Renewable Heating Incentive scandal was the straw that finally broke the camel's back. In truth, these leaders have stumbled from crisis to crisis (or sham crisis to sham crisis) for years.

The old parties have been playing political football with people's lives for a prolonged period of time. It is no wonder that apathy among Joe Public is so high right now.

Stormont is broken. Its mandatory coalition system has proven unworkable and flawed. To this point, we've had an Executive that has possessed an unnerving ability to regularly show high levels of incompetence.

In the end, the "unbroken period of devolved government" proved itself to be nothing short of a coalition of chaos, with parties often using the power of veto in a system that is wide open to such abuse.

Like most people, I want Northern Ireland to govern itself, but it can only happen when we have a mature, comprehensive review and an overhaul of the current set-up. Any democratic system should allow for a voluntary coalition and a real Opposition. Is it not now time to look at alternatives?

When the time comes, think carefully about your vote. When something is broken, replace it. Don't reward those who helped break it.

JORDAN STEWART

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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