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And how does that parity between Unionism and Nationalism/Republicanism function from here on out? March 8, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The fact that overtly nationalist/Republican parties gained a numerical edge over overtly Unionist parties is clearly something of a sea change in the political complexion of the North. But was it a one-off until further down the line, and how does it proceed from here? Any thoughts on impacts?

And what of that bloc that has developed represented loosely by Alliance and the GP plus a smattering of others? Is it functionally unionist like the UUP and DUP or does it diverge from that traditional approach in any meaningful sense?


1. EWI - March 8, 2017

The historical record in Ireland is that once Unionist control of a political arena is broken – pretty much the inevitable march of history for the past one and a bit centuries – their parties have fractured and their political representatives have rebranded. This took the form of running as variously ‘ratepayer’, ‘independent’ and ‘business’ candidates (and latterly joining CnaG/FG after the Civil War).


2. An Sionnach Fionn - March 8, 2017

The electoral demographics have been there for nationalist parity with unionism since the early 2000s, unfortunately it simply failed to materialise. Lots of reasons offered for this, mainly theories suggesting that northern nationalists were “comfortable” with the present post-GFA arrangements and saw no need to rock the boat.

In reality it seems that nationalist voters were apathetic rather than comfortable, dissatisfied with the performance of SF in the power-sharing executive, and voted with their feet by avoiding the polls.

Foster, the DUP, cash-for-ash, the Brexit referendum, etc. changed that. Nationalist voters decided to deliver a hard electoral slap to unionism, and a mandate of sorts to SF and the SDLP for negotiations on power-sharing and Brexit. It seems that even SF and the SDLP were surprised by the turnout.

I heard a couple of SDLP politicos claiming that it was a vote of confidence in the GFA and Stormont by northern nationalists. That is a complete misreading of the situation. It was vote for the SDLP and SF to alter their dealings with the DUP, Sinn Féin in particular, and to adopt a more oppositional relationship with Foster and company.

Northern nationalists are looking for bricks-and-mortar parity of esteem and an end to the rhetorical variety.


3. roddy - March 8, 2017

In fact unionists =40, nationalists 39,others 11.


Aengus Millen - March 9, 2017

Yeah I made this mistake earlier in the week of not including the TUV and Claire Sugden in the unionist total. Although you could arguably include PBP in the nationalist total and say that its 40 40. Anyway I guess where it might matter is in dehondt. I don’t know the ins and outs of the system but if the five main parties went in nationalists would presumably by entitled to an equal number of seats in cabinet (more?). Although it would be even more complicated if for example all 5 went in except the UUP who would cabinet seats be awarded then?


4. Political Tourist - March 10, 2017

I doubt DUP/TUV types would be overjoyed at waking up to finding themselves a minority in the North.
90 seats
40 unionist
50 non unionist

Project Ulster is starting to crumble just in time for the 100th anniversary.


5. Political Tourist - March 10, 2017

The pro Loyal Orders faction is also falling in actual voting numbers.
The drum beaters lost by about 50,000 votes across the North.


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