I have tried to put together a collection of all the main terms you will have to know and understand for Northern Ireland Politics. They should all have weblinks to help you develop your understanding.
I've put together this video to help explain how power sharing is supposed to be protected in the NI Assembly. It is really worth making sure you are aware of this.
This is from the View this week - Very good debate on what is the Petition of Concern ;what are the 'concerns' about it and what are the alternatives -Essential viewing - Take notes!!!
Gay marriage rights are back on the agenda again. A Sinn Fein / SDLP motion was debated today over Gay rights - It produced a majority vote in the NI Assembly for the first time. It also included some passionate debate from both sides. Of course a majority in NI doesn't mean much. The DUP placed a Petition of Concern which vetoed the motion as predicted. However, it was an important milestone and shows the pressure on the DUP. Mike Nesbitt, who admitted his views were on the 'wrong side of History' abstained from the vote as did an SDLP opponent, Alban McGuinness. The actual use of the petition of concern has been as much a talking point today as the vote. It has been claimed on Slugger O Toole website that the Petition of Concern are actually pre packaged and ready to be used when the party decides - This will add fuel to the fire of the argument for reform.
Read this article below on the rejection of the SPADS bill which had been introduced by the TUV's Jim Allister. It was supported by the UUP, SDLP and Alliance parties but the SF/DUP dominance ensured it was rejected - It is a great example of DUP / SF CARVE UP OF POWER as well as how major parties are concerned with self interest and jobs for the boys
In another ridiculous twist up on the hill, the Stormont big players - the DUP and SF have voted to reject a bill set up to reduce the pay and prevalence of so called SPADs or SPECIAL ADVISORS.
Northern Ireland Government seems to have a propensity to hire many of these 'gifted and talented' individuals to 'help us rule.' The Office of First and Deputy First ministers has 8 between them. The 12 Executive departments as a whole have 19 advisors. The newest DUP MLA Emma Pengelly, defended the amount paid to Special advisors, claiming the only way the Executive could attract the best and brightest was to offer attractive rates of pay. In this way specialists such as herself (from a law background) could be hired and their expertise used.
WHY IS THIS AN ISSUE?
Mr John Wishart -