The Belfast Agreement
Sir, – With talks stalling on the restoration of the Executive, it is time for the two governments, as guarantors of the Belfast Agreement, to instigate a long-overdue review of the institutional arrangements. It is not just any “quick fix” government but a functioning government that is required and one that delivers and works for the economy and efficiency in public services. The current “carve-up” has failed to deliver on the economy and public services.
It was always the intention to review the Belfast Agreement. The St Andrews review in 2006 was flawed and merely perpetuated polarisation. It has failed to allow the institutions to mature towards real and normal politics.
It is time to move away from mandatory coalition to a more democratic form of government with sufficient checks and balances, eg weighted majority voting. All the parties would be encouraged to step up to the plate and offer real alternatives in government, encouraging more accountability and responsibility.
It is encouraging to see some of the smaller “opposition” parties exploring and considering such alternatives as a way forward. – Yours, etc,