Friday 9 December 2016

Stormont could teach the Dáil a lesson about mending fences

Published 22/03/2016 | 02:30

Arlene Foster: father shot by IRA. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA
Arlene Foster: father shot by IRA. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA

The solution for the Dáil's fractured election is easy: make the entire membership responsible for government and spread the State appointments right across, down to parties of say four or maybe less.

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In other words, adopt the D'Hondt parliamentary system wished on the Northern Ireland Assembly at Easter 1998, with Dublin's approval.

It did not really work for several years, with private leadership suspensions and a long empty period of five years on half-salaries, until, in 2007, the turnaround by the late DUP leader Ian Paisley took him and a former Provisional IRA terrorist, Martin McGuinness, into joint leadership as 'The Chuckle Brothers'.

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