by Frank Schnittger
Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:03:50 PM EST
DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson and his party are ignoring the democratic mandate of voters in the North.
The Irish independent has published my letter pointing out that the Protocol now has a democratic mandate in N. Ireland.
Democracy needs to precede tribal bias against protocol
The Irish Times has now published the letter as well - and their sub-editor didn't mess with the text, so it reads better. (Fourth letter down).
Irish Times version.
A chara, – Much has been made of the fact that nationalist and unionist parties each achieved 40 per cent of the vote and 35 seats in the Assembly elections, with the Alliance, Greens, Independents, and People Before Profit achieving the remaining 20 per cent of the vote and 20 seats.
Of possibly more immediate significance, pro-protocol parties achieved 56.1 per cent of the vote, almost double the total for the explicitly anti-protocol DUP and TUV of 28.9 per cent.
I have excluded the UUP from both totals as they refused to attend anti-protocol rallies and are in favour of practical reforms to the protocol to reduce trade frictions – a position common to all pro-protocol parties. Interestingly, the 56 per cent pro-protocol vote is exactly the same as the Remain vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum
Anti-protocol parties have insisted that it lacks cross-community consent, but exactly the same applies to Brexit, which they pursued regardless, and of which the protocol is part. And if Brexit must be accepted as a UK-wide decision, then so too must the protocol.
Furthermore, it appears the DUP only require cross-community consent when it is they who want to block something. When a large majority of the people of Northern Ireland opposed Brexit, the DUP ignored them.
Pro-protocol parties will have a two to one, 53 to 26 majority in the Assembly, which is due to vote on the protocol in 2024, and every five years thereafter. Why don’t the anti-protocol parties accept the democratic verdict of the electorate and of any Assembly votes in the future? Or is this a tribal rather than democratic issue? – Is mise,