Monday, 11 April 2011

Making Stormont Work Better

This morning I attended a breakfast briefing for journalists at which the DUP launched a new policy document entitled 'Making Stormont work Better'.  This is a DUP roadmap to improving our structure and processes of government.  Among the issues addressed are:
  • The process to elect a First Minister and Deputy First Minister
  • Moving to a voluntary coalition
  • Discussion among parties prior to d'Hondt being run
  • All-party commissions to tackle difficult issues
  • More unanimous decisions in the Executive
  • Abolition of the Civic Forum
  • Reduction in the number of departmentrs
  • Maximum of 80 MLAs by 2015
  • Ability to move a motion of no confidence in a minister
  • Removing community designation
  • Moving to 65% weighted majority votes.
This is about normalising the poltiical arena in Northern Ireland and there is an emerging consensus about the need for change to the current structures.


  1. "The process to elect a First Minister and Deputy First Minister"

    Why did the DUP allow this process to be changed in the first place? Some might say it is in the interests of the DUP to scare the Unionist electorate into voting for them! Other issues such as the DUP backing for a terrorist shrine at the Maze('Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre' without the stadium!) should be part of any decision making process before people vote.

  2. The St Andrews Agreement stated that the First Minister would be from the largest party of the largest designation. That was negotiated by the DUP and was an improvement on the Belfast Agreement. Unfortunately, the Labour government at Westminster reneged on that agreement and this was not reflected in the legislation passed at Westminster. The debate at Westminster was cut short and there was no vote on an amendment supported by Lady Hermon and the DUP. That is why we want to have the situation changed and that is also a good example of duplicity one of the major natinoal parties at Westminster.

    Your final sentence is based on a statement that is totally unfounded and untrue.