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Abstentionism is a core policy of Sinn Fein, practically written into their DNA.  I don't see how Adams can change it without splitting his party.
 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 04:52:36 PM EST
Realistically, their 7 seats are meaningless.  So it doesn't matter re: UK although I grant it may mean something in NI -- I don't know


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 04:56:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's seven less "remoaners" who have to find a backbone or seven less bye-elections the Tories have to lose before they lose their majority...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 05:26:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The questions are:

  1.  Does Adams care if the UK goes to hell

  2.  Does it matter until it matters?  If I was him I'd be building support within Sinn Fein for dumping the policy under certain conditions.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 06:38:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adams doesn't care about the UK, but he does care about N. Ireland.  If he can put a spanner in the works of a hard Brexit, he can put a spanner in the works of a hard border and save the Good Friday Agreement he was instrumental in negotiating.

Now that Sinn Fein has replaced the SDLP as the main nationalist party, his only options for increasing his vote further (he came within 1% of the DUP and becoming the largest party in N. Ireland - which brings with it the "First Minister" role) is to pick off more conservative nationalists who currently vote SDLP, Alliance, Green and even a few Unionists.

That means adopting more mainstream "responsible" policies and practices - and that means no more abstentionism...

But he will bide his time, and strike when he can do most damage.  He doesn't want to give "remoaners" the excuse of not voting against the Government because that would mean voting with Sinn Fein.

There is a majority of 56% who voted against Brexit in Northern Ireland.  They have got to be his target demographic even if some of them will never ever vote Sinn Fein.

So the pitch will be that Sinn Fein will act decisively in the name of the majority of the people of Ireland, North and south, who are against Brexit, and against the Tories and DUP who are trying to impose Brexit on Ireland against the will of the vast majority.

What democrat could possibly object to that?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 07:30:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sinn Fein has already abandoned its abstention from Dail Eireann in the 1980s and from Stormont in 1998. The party is in constant evolution and Adams is probably strong enough to carry it off, on a once off basis, just to defeat the Tories.  Sinn Fein already claim their Westminster "expenses" in any case.  

The main obstacle is the pledge of allegiance to the Queen which can be dismissed as an "empty formula" if required.  Sinn Fein would probably not object to the Queen remaining as titular head of state of N. Ireland, or to Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth, in the context of a united Ireland in any case.

So taking "the pledge" would just be a first step to that end you see....

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 05:21:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To my admittedly non-expert knowledge the usual outcome of "betrayal" (sic) of core Republican principles is faction fighting and a split in the organization.  From this spins what I said up thread about Adams needing to build support for such a move in SF.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 06:46:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sinn Fein run a very tight ship when it comes to party discipline, and while there are still a couple of tiny dissident Republican groups who regard Sinn Fein as traitors, they are politically and militarily insignificant.

If the Ard Chomhairle of Sinn Fein make the decision to end abstentionism, the decision will stick, although some may argue they won't make that decision until the IRA Army Council has endorsed it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 27th, 2017 at 07:41:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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