Trevor Ringland: Don’t listen to cynical commentators and waste your precious vote

Use your vote to support one of the many constructive candidates for Stormont
Use your vote to support one of the many constructive candidates for Stormont

I’d take issue with cynical commentators who suggest that voters should spoil their votes, or even not bother voting, if they are frustrated with established political parties at the Assembly.

There are very many alternative options at this election.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

Smaller parties and independents may not be entitled to become ministers, but they can still have an important influence, which has the potential to be enhanced with new provisions for an opposition at Stormont.

Indeed, it was an independent MLA, John McCallister, who tabled the Opposition Bill, which became law last month and there are other examples of single Assembly members making a profound difference.

It is often independents and members of smaller parties who introduce new ideas to the stale pool of Northern Ireland politics, which eventually start to change how the main parties think.

It’s often a frustratingly slow process, but it would be slower still without the constructive influence of a small number of MLAs.

It is understandable that so many people are exasperated with the Executive and its failure to deliver for Northern Ireland.

Politics is changing though and it will change further in the future.

Rather than spoiling your vote or refusing to vote, as an impotent protest or a sign of apathy, why not vote for one the many constructive alternatives to the five big parties, so that some new ideas and influences can take root in the Assembly?

Trevor Ringland, Holywood, Co Down