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Unforeseen election is an opportunity to serve notice on established parties... let's not waste it

Letter of the day: Stormont shake-up

Too often, unionist leaders have tried to tell my community that unionists can go it alone, that our role is to vote for them so that they are the biggest party and can dominate nationalists. Look where it has got us: incompetent and wasteful governance, almost literally burning money with RHI, while our schools and hospitals are starved of cash.

The two communities in Northern Ireland are often educated separately, but we share the same roads, we attend the same hospitals, we share the same towns and use the same facilities. When one government department at Stormont squanders public money, we all suffer.

Rather than trying to run our departments as a series of independent domains, each dominated by political warlords, we need parties that can form professional relationships.

The DUP likes to pretend it alone can govern. It denounced as weak those who wanted to share power with the SDLP. Yet, when they won access to power, the DUP was happy to embrace Sinn Fein in government.

Prosperity for Northern Ireland is dependent on stable government shared between unionists and nationalists, but DUP dishonesty over this means they are inherently incapable of functioning in their coalition with Sinn Fein.

The DUP/Sinn Fein coalition relies on the public sense of helplessness; they rely on us staying at home, so their own faithful can re-elect them to do exactly the same again. Are we going to stay at home and let them mess it up again?

Recent elections have shown that when first-time voters come out in force, dramatic change is possible. We must seize this chance. We can vote for smaller parties under PR and transfer with a second preference to larger parties if a voter revolution doesn't happen.

That way, we can serve notice on the established parties that we want honest, competent (and perhaps boring) government - not squabbles about events that happened before most of us were born.

Arnold carton Belfast

Belfast Telegraph


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