Mandatory coalition means permanent deadlock


The BBC revealed this week that ‘there has been a 75 per cent rise in the number of patients waiting for appointments at Belfast’s Musgrave Park Hospital over the past two years’.

I believe the root cause of this problem is mandatory coalition. Mandatory coalition ensures that all political parties with elected representation have a right to be in government regardless if they can agree on issues such as our Health service or not.

This is how we constantly have deadlock and stalemate on the most important issues that affect all of us who live in this part of the UK.

How do we change Stormont to make it work for all the people of Northern Ireland?

This could be done by the practice of normal politics and negotiation after every election.

Those parties which can agree a platform and collectively command the requisite majority (which could even be a qualified majority of 60 per cent so as to guarantee cross-community government) form the government; those who cannot, form the Opposition, challenging and affording voters an alternative at the next election.

This form of government is voluntary coalition and it works in every other western democratic country so it will work here in Northern Ireland.

Many people regardless of religion are justifiably angered about the state of our country.

Anywhere in the western democratic world, the public would vote the government which caused this mess out of office but the people in Northern Ireland are denied that right because of mandatory coalition.

We need to change the Stormont regime to a voluntary coalition and end this mandatory mess of a coalition before it causes everlasting damage to our country.

John Brennan,