So, Saturday is clearly the best day ever. The weather in Ireland is really shocking in a way though, I mean I love rain but the weather’s been taking the piss this week, pardon the pun. Frankie Boyle made a documentary for the BBC a few years ago and he said, ‘I used to think Scotland’s beautiful but it rains, whereas now I’ve realised that Scotland’s beautiful because it rains.’ Same goes for us over here I think, Ireland is beautiful because it rains. My favourite county is Donegal by far, I honestly think Donegal is one of the most beautiful places in the world and if it was more than a 3 hour drive or whatever, I think more people would agree. It’s right on our doorstep and yet there are people all around the world that would cry at some of the scenery in Donegal. I’m very proud to be Irish, I think we all sort of share a common pride in our tiny island, sometimes anyway.
I’m embarrassed by Northern politics to be honest. It makes me cringe that we have two main parties who both stand for opposing views on a controversial issue and therefore are constantly at odds with one another. I don’t think people actually realise how much of a constraint green/orange politics is on legislative progress. I wish somebody could go into Belfast and poll DUP voters to see if they’ve ever read a single manifesto produced by the party they cast their vote for every single election. Similarly, it’d be good to know how many Sinn Féin voters have actually read the parties’ manifesto. Not only do I want to know that but I also want to know how much time traditional DUP/Sinn Féin voters have dedicated to researching the views of other parties. I genuinely would support Naomi Long as a dictator I think, she’s what I would describe as a ‘common sense politician’, it’s a term I use to describe a politician who you find yourself constantly agreeing with. How many times have you heard Naomi Long speak and disagreed with her? I don’t know about you but I’d say I agree with her about 90% of the time. The only problem with the Alliance is that, by the nature of the party they can’t take a stance on partition. Obviously, by not taking a stance on partition they may risk losing appeal to staunch voters but I don’t think that’s been the case recently. Since Naomi Long has taken over and been working the media transfers for the Alliance have shot up as well as First Preferences like but the fact that a lot of their vote transfers come from all across the political spectrum makes me think they could maybe stand a chance of getting a considerable seating. Of course, due to the Alliance declaring themselves as ‘Other’ essentially prevents them from entering government. Like many things in this country though, it’s just not that straight forward. The problem with Naomi is that the Alliance party is completely built on her image. Nobody who’s ticking the box for the Alliance is thinking of how positive and inspiring Stephen Farry is, they’re all voting for Naomi Long because this country loves her for the most part. The only way the Alliance can have any real success is with another personality in the media. At the moment, it seems to me that Naomi is all that’s going on in the party, I want a deputy for her. Somebody else to show that it’s not just her in the equation because, let’s be honest, she’s only one woman.
That is it though, common sense politics, that’s what I believe in. I believe in a central, objective starting position, I’m not a particularly principled person in that I won’t hold myself to follow or support ideals. I support my own ideals, I believe what I believe rather than blindly toeing the party line. That’s actually the only reason I couldn’t go into politics in this country, without an established party you don’t stand much of a chance of enacting any measurable change. If you imagine the political spectrum as a crosshair, I start at the centre of the crosshair, take the issue, examine it and come to a stance on it accordingly. I don’t really care where it falls on the crosshair as a matter of fact, if it’s far right then I believe that the far right have that issue correct. If it’s far left then I believe that the far left have that issue correct. I just think it’s incredibly bizarre that people will actually ignore their better instinct and convince themselves to support a policy somebody else thought up. Politics is actually extremely personal, would it not be great if parties didn’t exist and instead we elected politicians based on merit and mutual views. Can you imagine having 90 MLAs who truly represent the country’s range of views and who were elected with the intention of making our current state of living better rather than obsessing over a stalemate political issue? Wow, one can only dream. I don’t want a citizens assembly or anything like that dear God no. I only have to think of some of the fucking eejits I’ve encountered, in my short 20 years, to put me completely off the idea of letting ordinary citizens decide the law. The truth is, politicians know how politics works and whilst that’s bad because it encourages bad habits and occasionally corruption, it does mean that they are au fait with the legislative process. The system of government we use is called the D’Hondt System, its main use is as a temporary system of mandatory coalition for areas that have undergone conflict in the past and have now entered the political stage. It is temporary though, Stormont as we know it won’t exist forever, even without a united Ireland the system will eventually represent a more traditional government without coalition but we’re a good way off that yet. The fact that it requires a mandatory coalition involving the two majority parties from each community seriously inhibits the traditional legislative process, by which I mean that which we see in the mainland. For those that are now laughing at that, the House of Commons is, in my opinion, the hallmark of how a legislature should work. There are flaws but almost every system of government in the world takes inspiration from the British Parliament. It’s tried and tested, it dictates that the most popular party forms a government and the amount of legislation passed is quite something, especially when compared to other countries. The majority in Britain is dictated by changing opinions on political issues, here the majority doesn’t really exist because the country is almost split evenly between two opposing communities who vote traditionally for two parties in fear of the opposition gaining too much power. Honestly, voting for Sinn Féin is as good as voting against the DUP and vice versa, hence why people do it.
I’ll leave on this thought, the situation here is so unique and has so many complexities to it that it’s hard to see a solution, maybe progress can be made in a united Ireland, doubt it though.