Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Parties should form opposition" >
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I asked the question six months ago and I ask it again now: why are the UUP and the SDLP part of the present Stormont Executive?

They are obviously unwelcome. The DUP and Sinn Fein are irritated by them and look down on them as losers.

More to the point, the two minority parties are obviously happiest in each other's company. The 'national' question aside, they are uncannily alike. And neither of them can stand the DUP and Sinn Fein.

They should pull out of the Executive and allow their ministries to be taken over by the two larger parties. Then they should form a solid, principled opposition that plans in three years' time to take over the reins of power.

The hell with D'Hondt! Victor D'Hondt was a Belgian mathematician who died in 1901. His country is falling apart. What's it got to do with him?

Democracy means alternatives, not just post-electoral shuffles. Empey and Durkan need to have the courage of what, for want of a better word, we must call their convictions.

Walter Ellis New York

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