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(en) Wildcat #2 - Democracy Denied - ASF/AF Ireland

From Al S <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Wed, 30 Jul 2003 19:27:17 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

The suspension of the north’s Assembly elections
caused all sorts of outcry from right across the
political spectrum, but is the suspension in itself a
denial of democracy?
If democracy is about electing members of certain
dubious political parties to ‘represent’ us at
Stormont, in our local councils or at Westminster then
up until the suspension we certainly have had quite a
bit of democracy in Northern Ireland in the last lot
of years. Going by the frequency of elections to
talks, forums, and then the Assembly, as well as the
local councils and to Westminster this little bit of
land with a population of just over one and three
quarter million people could have been said (right up
until that dastardly suspension of our democratic
rights) to be the most democratic area in “these
islands”, if not the world. Indeed Northern Ireland
has seen “democratic” voting systems applied in a
number of ways since its inception. A brief flirtation
with proportional representation was abolished and
replaced by the beloved Westminster first past the
post system by a Unionist establishment intent on,
well, establishing itself to the exclusion of all
others, back when the state was formed. But since the
inception of the Peace Process we really have been
spoiled, PR, Party List and first past the post
systems – we’ve had them all. Depending of course on
the circumstances and who the British (and Irish)
Governments wanted in at different stages of the
process. So let’s see. We know parliamentary democracy
in Northern Ireland is a sectarian headcount, but it’s
also, like parliamentary democracies the world over, a
cynical exercise in manipulation and deceit.

And when the subtle approach fails, and it looks like
those plebs who do bother to vote are likely to return
Sinn Fein and the DUP as the two biggest parties to
the Assembly, well then, big brother will simply pull
the plug. And this isn’t so much about Sinn Fein as
about keeping out the DUP. Trouble is the best way to
keep them out is to force concessions from
nationalists -if that doesn’t work try a few leaks and
a few dirty tricks. Old habits die hard.
And we haven’t even touched on the inability of
politicians to represent the interests of working
class people. ‘Course our local politicians can get
busy pretending to now they have the luxury of being
the orange and green ‘permanent opposition’ for the
duration of this stint of direct rule. Remember the
same bastards telling us they are opposed to water
charges are in parties who would have been involved in
its implementation had they been in office. The same
people who were implementing PPP’s, PFI’s,
privatisation, cutbacks and all sorts of attacks on
working class people. No doubt they will again.


>From the pages of Wildcat #2, joint bulletin of the
Anarchist Federation (Ireland) and Anarcho-Syndicalist
Federation. To distribute, contact us at:


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