Published on December 22, 2008
Photo courtesy Etrusia_UK at http://url.ie/10nr STORMONT FROM CHUCKLING TOWARDS WORKING DEMOCRACY? 1
FIRST, A STORY... 2 2
THE CHUCKLE BROTHERS (FORMERLY KNOWN AS “THE TWO MONSTERS”) 13
BROKERING POWER Coalitions are tough Mandatory coalitions are tougher With political enemies tougher still It concentrates minds Still, discipline breaks 14
TAMING THE COALITION 2 parties: OFMDFM 4 parties: Executive Executive 7 parties: Legislative Assembly Committees 15
POLITICAL FRUSTRATIONS Compliance within a forced coalition Requires a common programme Collective responsibility Collective delivery 16
TROUBLE ON THE HILL Everyone agrees on Water Charges No one, but Ritchie, agreed on CTI Funding Chaos ensued And a judicial review 17
THOSE LOST150 DAYS? OFMDFM deadlock: Policing and justice Selective education Irish Language Act But the mutual veto wins in the end... 18
HOLDING IT TOGETHER The authority of the ‘House’ Independence of the Speaker’s Ofﬁce Recognition of protocols Addressing Speaker, rather than ‘Basil’ 19
SUCCESS OF COMMITTEES Show of independence Communitarian ethic Strong ‘commitment’ Genuine openness to new policy areas With some exceptions 20
TRANSFORMING CONFLICT End to street politics? Conﬂict in a human space Old discourses increasingly irrelevant Need to rise to new ones: health; economy; education 21
CONCLUSIONS St Andrews Agreement strengthened OFMDFM With the means of holding Ministers to account Toughened a well established ‘top down’ process ‘Government’ whipped Assembly almost irrelevant This is an innately conservative settlement With no room for radical departures 22
NOT MUCH DONE A LOT MORE TO DO... 23
SOME OF OUR PARTNERS 24
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