5/20/2005

Irish America

Here is an article a regular Balrog reader has sent from the states and it offers an interesting insight, thanks Susan :)

There is a link but it doesn't seem to be working so I will edit the best parts of the article.

Here is an editorial from 18 May Irish Voice, the New York based
Irish American weekly newspaper.

Nationalist Majority Likely
By Niall O’Dowd


The most interesting statistic out of the 2005 Westminster election has been
largely ignored in the media. It is the incredible shrinking difference in the
vote totals between the Unionist and Nationalist constituencies

“The
total number of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
votes cast at the Westminster election was 369,170. The total Sinn Fein and
SDLP
vote was 300,156, which is a difference of 69,014. Which means we are less than
70,000 votes away from a Nationalist voting majority in the Six Counties

“The difference according to the 1983 Westminster election was over 170,000 ...
wonder what it’s going to be in another 20 years time?”

Despite all the rhetoric that a united Ireland will always be impossible, these
very figures show a very different reality. A swing of 100,000 votes in a
little
over two decades is quite phenomenal, and it points to a future where Unionists
can no longer demand that it is their way or the highway.

Two things should be done with these figures right away. Sinn Fein President
Gerry Adams should bring them to the attention of the IRA in the ongoing
internal debate over whether the organization should cease its campaign
permanently.

These figures are the most valid argument yet that they should cease and desist
and retire from the field immediately. Why go to war over an issue that is
resolving itself in the most peaceful way possible

The notion has been floated
in some quarters that a simple majority will not be enough to bring about
political change in Northern Ireland.

Let us never forget that the state was founded by a crude sectarian head count
that corralled 600,0000 Nationalists into a political entity they wanted no
part
of. The view was that the Unionist numbers guaranteed a sectarian little state
forever, with Unionists on top.

That’s not what has happened, of course, and it sometimes escapes the attention
of media experts that not a single Nationalist voted for partition, but that it
was imposed.

If the wheel comes full circle and a Nationalist majority emerges in Northern
Ireland, they should show far more generosity of spirit and accommodation than
they were ever shown by unionism and seek to forge some kind of federal Irish
solution where dual nationality and dual allegiance will be fully recognized.

That is for the future, though, but in the short term, the figures show a
seeming irreversible wave of Nationalist gains in every election. It is not too
soon to game plan what the inevitable result of a Nationalist majority in the
future will mean.


It would appear that these times they are a changing!

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