Thinking out loud: What will it take to make Stormont work?

Almost a year has passed since the DUP-Sinn Féin Executive collapsed. We can almost look back on the May 2016 – January 2017 Assembly mandate with nostalgia: on the ‘big two’ parties agreeing a Programme for Government, the UUP and SDLP forming an official opposition.

Since then an argument over a botched energy scheme descended into our standard unionist-nationalist tug-of-war. Even if the political pieces are put back together before Christmas, how long will it take before the next fall-out?

At this point, what would a stand-alone Irish language act, accompanying safeguards for Ulster Scots or legislation compassing all things culture achieve?

By all accounts 2017 has been a lost year in Northern Ireland politics. It seems that the state of our economy and public services have been an afterthought for politicians amidst the stand-off. Providing convenient backdrops are 1) a Westminster government propped up by the DUP and 2) a Brexit episode watched with intrigue by Sinn Féin.

If the DUP and Sinn Féin do manage to strike a deal, do you hold out much hope for another fresh start?

If politicians won’t share power with generosity of spirit, what hope do we have that our post-conflict society will live and share together?

Unwilling to compromise, bringing politics back to zero-sum games whilst failing to tackle paramilitarism, how can our society expect to move on?

About Connor Daly

Connor is Editor of Northern Slant. His interests include politics, human rights, current affairs and communications.


Also published on Medium.