Day Twelve: A Reflection on Northern Irish Politics
Today was a bit of a rest day, which allowed me to deal with my cold, but I did use the time to reflect on recent developments in Northern Irish politics, which I have been keeping an eye on during my time here. Overall, it seems clear that the political situation in Northern Ireland is greatly reflective of The Troubles. Most political parties have roots in the Nationalist/Unionist, and based on the election results, that does not seem to be changing anytime soon. I personally think that this divide in political parties is both harmful and helpful for the peace process. On one hand, the political process allow these groups to work together. On the other hand, this rarely actually happens. I think that as the peace process moves forward, the political system needs to move away from this strong divide.
I find this interesting news article about a controversial member of the Democratic Unionist Party. She called an Asian Alliance party member racist against the Northern Irish people, though, thankfully, the DUP distanced itself from these comments. This, combined with the comments made by the DUP leader which were Islamophobic in nature points to the sad state of Northern Irish politics. Just like in America, radicals seem to dominate politics, to the harm of the general population. I have met plenty of people in my time in Ireland who have said that they are completely disillusioned with politics simply due to how the politicians can’t work together. It’s a difficult issue, certainly, but is central to the Irish Peace Process.