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Westminster's model not good for Stormont

THE Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, seems to be contradicting herself when it comes to her backing for power-sharing, while at the same time calling for an Opposition to evolve.

If she's in favour of power-sharing, it really shouldn't matter that it has five parties involved, rather than a lesser number.

If a five-party coalition creates a problem, it would be the number, rather than the principle, at stake.

Ultimately, if we persist in reducing the number of parties by implying that they create inefficiency, then the goal would become a one-party state once again.

Nobody would wish for that and my feeling is the Secretary of State is too much of a proud believer in the House of Commons model of standing shouting at each other to realise that there's a long-term need in the north of Ireland for the politics of strong, contributing individuals.

Opposition normalises the model, but trivialises the politicians. It's a recipe for a return to dark days before 1972.

JOHN O'CONNELL

Derry

Belfast Telegraph

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