A Balkanisation or cantonisation system might work for NI

A Swiss flag above the government building in Bern, the federal city in a country with religious and ethnic differences, but that is stable and operates under a canton system
A Swiss flag above the government building in Bern, the federal city in a country with religious and ethnic differences, but that is stable and operates under a canton system

I read Doug Beattie’s article (‘Irish language act a political tool that could Balkanise NI,’ Sep 20) with interest.

It appears that Doug regards a two canton system as an intrinsically bad outcome for our society.

However, while canton systems might cost more to operate, they appear to provide a stable form of governance to the countries concerned.

Switzerland operates a canton system and despite its ethnic, linguistic and religious differences is one of the most stable countries in the world.

Surely a canton system which allows each canton to operate, ideally in co-operation with the other, but separately if agreement cannot be achieved, is preferable to the present system which leaves government at the mercy of a Sinn Fein/nationalist veto.

Yes it might cost more to operate, but if one side decides not to participate in government they would be unable to hold the entire system to ransom as under the present arrangements.

In short, Balkanisation/cantonisation, far from being the calamity Doug fears, might well be the solution we need,

Tom Ferguson, Ballymoney