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D'Hondt at root of our problems

As Tony Benn would put it, one of the guarantees of a reasonably harmonious, responsive and civilised democracy is the citizen's ability to vote out of office, after a period of time, those representatives with whom he disagrees.

Unfortunately, Northern Ireland has sectarianism enshrined within the Good Friday Agreement. At the root of the problem is the adoption of the D'Hondt principles. This means that skills and ability are of limited consequence.

The most serious drawback is that entrenched ministers no longer take responsibility for shortcomings in the departments which they claim to run.

I would recommend going back to the drawing board after the next elections and supporting those candidates who do not think that sectarianism should be a permanent way of life here.

MALACHY McANESPIE

Dunmurry, Co Antrim

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