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Thread: 2017 NI Assembly Election

  1. #21
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    Wasn't he a British agent? Allegedly.

    And you're implying that they also have a united kingdom, when it hardly looks that way. Otherwise the usual predictable guff.
    Also the Brits/unionists didn't beat the nationalists either, hence the GFA et al.

  2. #22
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    I didn't imply anything. Merely suggested Marty's career was a failure and why.

    Seems IPJ has made a late bid for SF leadership, judging by his eulogy on the BBC last night

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    Club Member backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    I didn't imply anything. Merely suggested Marty's career was a failure and why.
    You're quite entitled to your opinion but i'd venture that it's a minority view.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Seems IPJ has made a late bid for SF leadership, judging by his eulogy on the BBC last night
    It was the exact opposite of what I was expecting when I commented about gritted teeth above. Whatever about his motives I thought he spoke with good grace and displayed a capacity for forgiveness that unlike others i could think of in the DUP shows his Christianity is about more than just hovering up votes every so often.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    I'm willing to give a grudging farewell. He was reasonably effective leading SF at Stormont and did at least try to be civil, sometimes. Although the Chuckle Brothers thing made him look as absurd at Paisley.

    But he failed to get a united Ireland, failed to beat the Brits militarily and failed to stop the DUP bettering him at Stormont.

    There are exceptions to Powell's rule (Eddie Coll?) but Party Marty isn't one of them. For all that pained international statesman look he's been sporting for some time, even before his current illness.
    I am afraid I don't even give a grudging farewell. The man was one of the leaders of an illegal terrorist organisation which murdered and maimed thousands in no one's name, except their own. He only led them to the peace table when the possibility of power in a State which he and his followers had never recognised was put in front of him. The same for Mr. "Never, never, never" on the other side, although while he didn't actually murder anyone, his words probably inflamed others to commit atrocities. I would have some respect for him if he had organised the decommissioning and had stood back and let the SDLP take the role as the true instigators of the peace process and moral defenders of the minority in Northern Ireland.

    Power is a amazing aphrodisiac and people sell their souls for it. I find it really ironic that the SDLP and the Unionist Party, the major brokers in bringing the two communities together in the peace process, found themselves marginalised and the extremists got the power which is what they wanted in the first place.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    You're quite entitled to your opinion but i'd venture that it's a minority view
    Depends who you ask and how widely. If you start from the very narrow source of this thread, WM thinks Marty's a Brit agent and OF calls him an unrepentant gunman. By all means justify why he was or wasn't successful, as I've done.

    It was the exact opposite of what I was expecting when I commented about gritted teeth above. Whatever about his motives I thought he spoke with good grace and displayed a capacity for forgiveness that unlike others i could think of in the DUP shows his Christianity is about more than just hovering up votes every so often
    What does IPJ's Christianity (different sect from his parents and clergyman brother, I believe) have to do with it?

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    It proves he's not a total unionist bigot unlike some...


    And joking about the Brit agent thing FFS. Probably.

  7. #27
    Club Member backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Depends who you ask and how widely. If you start from the very narrow source of this thread, WM thinks Marty's a Brit agent and OF calls him an unrepentant gunman. By all means justify why he was or wasn't successful, as I've done.



    What does IPJ's Christianity (different sect from his parents and clergyman brother, I believe) have to do with it?
    I never used the word success. I said it didn't end in failure. Even some successful political careers have ended in failure (e.g. Thatcher). Ending in failure I would define and being hounded out by the electorate, the media, ones own party or a combination of the 3. McGuinness has managed to spend over 40 years in political life and has only been brought down by failing health.

    All I mean by referencing Paisley's religion is that he has shown a capacity for forgiveness towards McGuinness. Others in his own party who also very publicly put forward a Christian faith as party of their identity haven't found offering forgiveness as easy.

  8. #28
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    Sinn Féin
    Given the likely candidates to replace McGuinness the move from military to civilian leadership seems likely to take a big leap forward. That provides a new challenge for everyone. They choose to have an election and it isn't hard to see why. Beyond fending off the odd PBP candidate they don't have much opposition within nationalism. On the up side they have a nationalist electorate energised by Brexit and the chance to have a do over after the mess they made of Fermanagh-South Tyrone last time.

    PBP
    They will have a bright future but it seems like this has come a bit early for them to make big gains. Gerry Carroll will get back, Eamonn McCann pobably will, and they might even get a 2nd in West Belfast, but they needed more time for their candidates to build a profile.
    I'm a big fan of McCann's on social and economic matters - I like his deeply-insightful, no-nonsense approach generally - and he'll be getting my first-preference vote as I'll be in Derry come polling day. That's not to say I agree with him on everything - he backed Brexit, for example, and I sense he's indifferent on Irish cultural matters - so thankfully I have the PR system to fall back on in order to give my views a more complete and well-rounded expression in the ballot box.

    With the decrease in sitting MLAs from 108 to 90, there'll be one less seat up for grabs in Foyle this time round, however. There are now five seats up for grabs. McCann was the sixth and final candidate elected last time round, so he's favourite to miss out this time. Sinn Féin and the SDLP will probably take two each and Gary Middleton of the DUP will take the other.

    I find it interesting that the DUP characterise PBP as "green", even though they're not what you might call hibernianist in the slightest, as far as official party policy is concerned, whilst some in Sinn Féin routinely denounce them as a partitionist party (because they're reluctant to back calls for an immediate border poll without first convincing unionists/loyalists of the merits of unity "by building a grassroots movement from below, based on people power and socialist politics"), even though PBP are a 32-county pro-unity party in the republican socialist tradition of James Connolly.

    It's clearly a somewhat insincere and disheartening politicking tactic employed by some in Sinn Féin to swat a perceived rising threat from the left because I know most sensible Sinn Féin insiders, supporters and sympathisers (commentator Chris Donnelly, for example, for whom I have tremendous regard) already deep down appreciate the merits of making certain that the conditions exist to ensure a border poll would be successful at delivering unity first before diving head first into something that will realistically entail a lot of preparatory hard graft and failing; it's the party's long-term plan, after all, even if superficial calls for an immediate border poll have become a party slogan or mantra of sorts of late in order to emphasise the shock of Brexit.

    Overall, I see the DUP's corruption and self-destructive carry-on splitting the unionist vote. Nationalism will be resurgent; might we even witness the unprecedented development of a nationalist first minister? Nationalists have grown tired of the lack of recipriocity shown by political unionism and will be keen to re-assert themselves as anything but walkovers. As an ideology, unionism has been shown itself to be impossible to work with. Can it adapt? Maybe Ian Paisley Junior's warm comments on McGuinness the other night demonstrate that a shift in attitude is possible? Nevertheless, nationalists are also still wounded and deeply aggrieved by Brexit (and all further madness since, or every time Theresa May opens her mouth), so that will surely embolden and galvanise the nationalist vote further.

    I'm actually quite looking forward to this election.

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  10. #29
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    Looking that the result from last time i don't think McCann is as vulnerable as you might think. He was the last to be elected last time, but the candidate he was up against for the last seat was a local doctor running as an independent. You would know better than me but I was assuming that people voting for the local doctor are probably more interested in social issues than the national question. I'd imagine there were an awful lot of people who voted for her who would have had McCann as their #2. It's an imperfect way of looking at things but if you assume the same results again I'd expect McCann to go past the 2nd SF candidate (who was Martin McGuinness last time, but obviously won't be this time) and take a seat after she had been eliminated.

    Obviously this will be a different election, but PBP have done well in the assembly since then and can't have lost any support. Not sure if Dr. McCloskey will even run this time but if you add her 1st preference vote to McCanns from last time there is a quota there.
    Last edited by backstothewall; 21/01/2017 at 9:02 AM.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    Looking that the result from last time i don't think McCann is as vulnerable as you might think. He was the last to be elected last time, but the candidate he was up against for the last seat was a local doctor running as an independent. You would know better than me but I was assuming that people voting for the local doctor are probably more interested in social issues than the national question. I'd imagine there were an awful lot of people who voted for her who would have had McCann as their #2. It's an imperfect way of looking at things but if you assume the same results again I'd expect McCann to go past the 2nd SF candidate (who was Martin McGuinness last time, but obviously won't be this time) and take a seat after she had been eliminated.

    Obviously this will be a different election, but PBP have done well in the assembly since then and can't have lost any support. Not sure if Dr. McCloskey will even run this time but if you add her 1st preference vote to McCanns from last time there is a quota there.
    You may well be right on McCann, although he himself worries that he'll be the one for the chop. Listen here from 08:24: https://soundcloud.com/irishtimes-po...on-ni-politics

    I was living in Manchester at the time of the last election, so I'm not entirely familiar with Dr. McCloskey's politics/platform, although I do know she expressed what are regarded as conservative views on abortion and was also heavily criticised by McCann at a hustings event prior to that election for having claimed many local women in the city regarded themselves as "receptacles for semen": https://www.derrynow.com/news/derry-...or-semen/84695

    For what it's worth, Sinn Féin have put forward Raymond McCartney and Elisha McCallion this time. Whether or not they'll put forward a third candidate again remains to be seen as it didn't work out last time. They had general party election posters up on the local lamp-posts very early in the week. I've also seen Gary Middleton posters on the Waterside later in the week, so I'm assuming he'll be the solitary DUP representative again. I haven't seen any material from any other party as of yet.

  12. #31
    Club Member backstothewall's Avatar
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    Make sure you are registered. 60,000 people have been removed from the register apparently. If you've been between England and here you might well have been one of them!
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

  13. #32
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    I double-checked with them to be sure and it turns out they'd never actually removed me while I was in England despite me providing my previous/Derry address-details when I registered over there with the English authority. Turns out I could have voted twice in the Brexit referendum!

  14. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BttW
    Ending in failure I would define as being hounded out ..McGuinness has managed to spend over 40 years in political life and has only been brought down by failing health
    I judge his success or failure against the (clearly unrealistic) aims he's set throughout.Which were rather more than being regularly re-elected mainly to effectively a local authority. That would be fine were he PBP, Green or Alliance. Not a self-styled international statesman.

    Quote Originally Posted by DI
    McCann was the sixth and final candidate elected last time round, so he's favourite to miss out this time
    Again deferring to local knowledge, but does that generally apply? Even if vote shares are broadly the same as last year, some candidates may be eliminated at different stages. Dr McCloskey's vote likely crucial?

    I find it interesting that the DUP characterise PBP as "green", even though they're not hibernianist in the slightest
    They're easily characterised as soft nationalist because they only contest inner-city areas with lots of nationalist voters. Or put another way, if they contested mainly unionist suburban or rural areas, they'd be even less Hibernianist- Heart of Midlothianist?

    As an ideology, unionism has been shown itself to be impossible to work with
    Steady on. Do you mean anyone in the DUP, even Saint Baby Doc? Or even further, everyone in all Unionist parties? If the latter, who else will you work with to empty the bins- Alternativ fur Deutschland, or the Judaean Popular Front?

    Sorry, whataboutery alert. As an ideology/ foundation myth, nationalism has reacted to ongoing crises in health, education, housing and public finances by forcing an election in which they say the main issues are a language barely anyone speaks, enquiries they don't really want into long ago murders, the structure of a local Assembly most voters hold in contempt, and OK gay marriage.

    that will surely embolden and galvanise the nationalist vote further...I'm actually quite looking forward to this election
    Nationalist vote share last year: 36%. Presumably you think it'll rise significantly, because right now that figure looks about as galvanised as a blancmange.

    All the minor players (Squeaky Jim, Carroll and Agnew as well as Anchorman and Eastwood) are also talking up their chances. Of course the leaders can hardly do otherwise, but from party activists let alone voters I don't see much enthusiasm.

    might we even see an unprecedented nationalist first minister?
    As long as there are three biggish unionist parties and only two nationalist SF have a chance of first place. But if the DUP throw their toys and refuse to play ball maybe there won't be a first minister?

  15. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Again deferring to local knowledge, but does that generally apply? Even if vote shares are broadly the same as last year, some candidates may be eliminated at different stages. Dr McCloskey's vote likely crucial?
    Aye, backstothewall made that point to me (my response is in post #30), so you may well be right.

    Steady on. Do you mean anyone in the DUP, even Saint Baby Doc? Or even further, everyone in all Unionist parties? If the latter, who else will you work with to empty the bins- Alternativ fur Deutschland, or the Judaean Popular Front?
    If you'd class them as unionist, I suppose Alliance, to be fair, have demonstrated themselves open to compromise, but I'm primarily referring to the DUP. The UUP can be intransigent when they like too. I needn't even mention TUV. In saying that, maybe Paisley Junior's tribute to McGuinness the other evening does provide some hope for the future. But the obvious reason such a big deal was made of it is because it was unprecedented for a mainstream unionist to break rank like that and indicate some emotional consideration for the perspectives of "the other side".

    Sorry, whataboutery alert. As an ideology/ foundation myth, nationalism has reacted to ongoing crises in health, education, housing and public finances by forcing an election in which they say the main issues are a language barely anyone speaks, enquiries they don't really want into long ago murders, the structure of a local Assembly most voters hold in contempt, and OK gay marriage.
    I think it's clear that the RHI scandal was the final straw, but there are a whole host of problems and issues related to how the DUP have been operating. Their approach to Brexit is another major issue.

    Nationalist vote share last year: 36%. Presumably you think it'll rise significantly, because right now that figure looks about as galvanised as a blancmange.
    That was pre-Brexit referendum, which is a game-changer for many who might politically/culturally identify as nationalist but who had previously been content living within the union for economic reasons. Maybe unionists underestimate that.

    But if the DUP throw their toys and refuse to play ball maybe there won't be a first minister?
    That's a possibility. I think a return to direct rule would be very much undesirable. If there's no hope of a local assembly/executive operating, I think joint authority (as the SDLP have mentioned) would be a fairer and more tolerable alternative for all.

  16. #35
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    @DI, variously

    For me, 'unionism' covers the four local parties, independents (eg Sugden, Hermon), and the UKIP and Tory set-up locally. Definitely not Alliance, Green, PBP or the various Labour fragments

    DUP and their ideology as you call it aren't all of unionism (29% of the total vote last year, other shades of orange still got 20%). And while I've never considered the UUP to be 'moderate' in any real sense, there are people in it who aren't as unwilling to parley as you claim

    Then there's IPJ's road to Damascus. Four possible reasons: a DUP leadership tilt, he wants to slap Arlene and/ or other potential successors, support for his mad parents* or maybe just early onset gaga

    * in a BBC interview on Friday, his Ma broke off from eulogising Marty to say rather sniffily that of course Ian senior and the paramilitaries had nowt to do with each other. Aye, you tell 'em Duchess. And doesn't she,or at least her late husband, count as an emotionally unstunted Unionist?

    Yes, RHI is a final straw, but what were the other factors leading up to it? Senior current and ex Shinners (Caral ni Chuilin, Danny Morrison this weekend) didn't mention Brexit. They talked of the same issues I listed above- Language and Murder Inquiries. Caral's grand-dughter is already at an Irish medium school. She doesn't need to bring down Stormont to secure that

    Unionists- and I- may well underestimate the numbers who, while Nationalist, were happy to tolerate NI for economic reasons and will now change. But you and others might be overstating them. Census and large scale public opinion survey evidence discussed here previously suggest that the combined SDLP/ SF vote is already a lot higher than the number that wants a UI tomorrow

    Remote rule (see what I did there) would be problematic whether from Dublin, London or both. I doubt Enda is too keen on it.

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    Except no-one's expecting a UI 'tomorrow' unless the Brits arbitrarily (and unilaterally) pull out of the North.
    There'll probably be a 20 year transition period, so the unionists don't notice the teat unshackling.

    Which do include the Alliance/Greens in the North, albeit usually more flexible?

    As for GR being either brief or not, plus the pointless whataboutery, am 'Laughing out loud'.

  18. #37
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    A rare NI opinion poll!

    DUP 25.8% (-3.4)
    SF 25.1% (+1.1)
    UUP 13.9% (+1.3)
    SDLP 12.36% (+0.36)
    Alliance 8.88% (+1.88)
    TUV 4.25% (+0.85)
    Greens 3.86% (+1.16)
    PBP 2.7% (+0.7)

    Would appear on those figures that the Alliance and UUP are best placed to pick up the DUP losses, SF apparently need a 3% lead to become the largest party.

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    So everyone's vote up except the dup. Doesn't add up.
    Maybe Claire Sugden's collapse is to blame.

  21. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkrocket View Post
    So everyone's vote up except the dup. Doesn't add up.
    Maybe Claire Sugden's collapse is to blame
    Current scoreboard (2016 Election)

    Unionist 49% (DUP 29%, UUP 13%, TUV 3%, UKIP/Tory 2%, PUP 1%, Indeps 1%)

    Nationalist 36% (SF 24%, SDLP 12%, Indeps <1%)

    Others 15% (AP 7%, GP 3%, PBP 2%, Others & Indeps 3%)

    From the above, you can see that about 4% of the turnout covers non-party Unionists and Nationalists, smaller parties and single issue independents. Sugden got the biggest single vote share, but in Foyle the small guys got 15% of the vote, led by the ant-abortion doctor mentioned above.

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    At least two of the 'others' are unionist parties.

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