Ford calls for Stormont reboot

Published Wednesday, 09 July 2014
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The Justice Minister David Ford wants a voluntary coalition with collective responsibility to be introduced at Stormont in a bid to prevent the cycle of crises affecting progress at the devolved institutions.

Ford calls for Stormont reboot
David Ford wants Stormont to be revamped. (© Pacemaker)

The Alliance leader said there must be a reboot of the way Stormont works in order to secure a better functioning and more stable political system in the region.

He has suggested a number of ways in which to do this which are as follows:

  • replacing the Petition of Concern system, which has been abused, with a qualified majority system.
  • an opposition, free from the voluntary government, with the opportunity to properly hold the government to account
  • greater co-operation between Ministers requiring them to work together under law
  • all Executive policies should be required to be 'shared-future proofed' to ensure that all public investment supports and underpins an open, peaceful and united society rather than continuing division
  • an end to sectarian designations in the Assembly
  • letting the public know who donates money to political parties.

Mr Ford said: "For too long now public services and the entire community have been held back as a result of the almost complete failure of leadership over crucial issues and the breakdown of functioning relationships between the two main political parties."

He said that it was clear to him that "things must be done differently at Stormont."

"The public deserve better - we should no longer accept the status quo. A lack of commitment and ability to work professionally is stifling social cohesion, damaging communities and the prospects of our young people and impacting on economic success.

"Politics must work for the entire community. Stormont needs a reboot," he continued.

"The decision of the DUP and UUP to walk out on the all-party talks last week has created a crisis over parading. And this is not the only crisis that Stormont is facing. There is a failure to agree a way forward on welfare reform which if not addressed will have dire financial consequences across all public services.

"The parties have failed to address the key problems facing our schools. We have handed money back to Europe over the Maze peace and reconciliation centre and the Narrow Water Bridge. The policy to build a united community remains incomplete and half-hearted. Their dysfunction is costing Northern Ireland dearly and will seriously impact on the future of all of us."

© UTV News
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5 Comments
David in East Belfast wrote (110 days ago):
it is not a reboot that is needed, but a big boot up the backside on the vast majority of them.
JJ in Belfast wrote (114 days ago):
They are too busy marching Mr Ford to enter any talks in July.
wills in Belfast wrote (114 days ago):
what a load of rubbish, why not have majority rule like any other goverment in europe.
Jos in Belfast wrote (114 days ago):
David Ford can try but he would be better off talking directly to the OO because Unionist politicians have to ask them anyway before making any decisions.
Owen in Belfast wrote (114 days ago):
Well said, David. It's just a shame that a lot of the people who would agree with you don't bother going out to vote and then the bigot parties keep getting the majority vote.
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