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Thursday, April 06, 2006


It's Broke, Fix it.

So Tony and Bertie (since when was he invited in on Strand One?) have a
plan. Ho hum.

Here's mine, which has as much chance of success as the PMs' :

1. Reduce the number of MLAs to 90
2. Reduce the number of government departments to six
3. Remove the sectarian designation of each member
4. Remove the double sectarian veto within the legislature
6. Remove the D'Hondt system for creating an executive
7. Require any proposed Executive to be endorsed in its' entirety by at least 66% of voting members
8. Enforce collective responsibility on that Executive by requiring it to bring forward a Programme for Government within six weeks of its endorsement. That Programme would then require an endorsement by the Assembly of at least 66% of voting members
9. Failure at points 7 or 8 would start the clock ticking to one final attempt at endorsement or an assembly election
10. Casual vacancies to be filled by an election
11. Legislation to require a simple affirmative majority unless 25 members object, in which case the Speaker to rule that a weighted majority of at least 66% of voting members is required
12. First Minister and Deputy First Minister are to cease to be co-dependent and joint appointments

What do you think?

Slight caveat.

Reduce number of MLA's to 0.
I agree fully with these proposals.
I fear we could make sensible sugestions from here to Christmas, the Assembly will be nothing more than the most base scramble for power and secterian bawling matches. it will sink lower than even we blogo's suspect.
Triffic ideas Pete

Why oh why couldn't you have come up with them in '98?
you want to remove the unionist veto on a sf first minister? well done peter.
anon #1

who said I didn't?

anon #2

FM & DFM form part of the Executive to be approved in its' entirety. The need to secure 66% endorsement would require Unionist agreement to the holders of those positions.

PS this would be more fun if you signed the posts.
Are you at all worried about the accountability of the ministers problem - the issue the DUP keep metioning?

Your proposals don't address this point...

the accountability issue is only a problem when each minister is individually appointed. In this proposal there would be collective responsibility within the executive and an agreed programme of government. Basically this creates two safeguards - each minister is bound to stand by anothers' policy so agreement between those in government is essential and should any executive proposal be ruled to be outside the approved programme it would not be implimented without a positive endorsement of at least 66% of those voting. The programme need not be a straight jacket but, say, if it did not contain a pledge to abolish academic selection and then the minister of education attempted so to do this specific measure would require Assembly support.
What is wrong with the D'Hondt system please?

I would go along with your reduction idea but I believe it would squeeze out smaller parties. I do not think that a good thing.
D'hondt does not allow for a proper opposition or collective responsibility in cabinet both glaring failures of the last Assembly.

What smaller parties are you afraid would get squeezed? The UVF aligned PUP? Parties are small because the electorate does not support them, not because the system discriminates against them. Scotland has 128 MSPs, Wales 60 AMs, NI currently 108 MLAs - which figure sticks out given the relative size of each jurisdiction?
I do think this place appears over- governed.

Thats in a sense why I am here, lol. I think the DUP want a reduction in MLAs overall as well?

Now call me cyncial, but isnt that just a rather self-serving argument? I cant believe they would willingly fall on their swords now, would they?

what's self serving about falling on ones' sword?
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