No abuse of veto by Sinn Féin

Today saw the first real debates in the newly established Assembly. An interesting issue that cropped up was a motion by the UUP that the Assembly rejoin the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

I am sure many believed that Sinn Féin would use its veto in order to stop this motion passing, I am glad to say that this did not happen.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support this motion and neither did the party however there is a mature recognition that this may be important to Unionists.

I have no interest in rejoining some archaic throw off from the crumbled British Empire however Sinn Féin's actions today show an intent not to abuse their veto.

I believe that Republicans are mature enough and confident enough in our own identity to allow Unionism membership of a talking shop. I believe it is a signal to Unionism that Sinn Féin intends to be fair with its wielding of power.

I hope that after a few more years of issues like this being resolved with maturity that some Unionists may begin to see that when a United Ireland does come about their traditions and culture will be respected and protected.

Mitchel McLaughlin spoke on the issue of the CPA and said that while we opposed it we would not be forcing a vote on open floor.

"Our approach to this matter is that while this is not, as you would understand, a primary matter of interest for us, neither should we create any obstacles to those who feel it reflects their particular cultural, political and social affinity,"

It's my firm belief that neither Sinn Féin or the DUP should abuse their mutual veto. Power sharing should be about respect and working together where we can.

I am glad that Sinn Féin took the mature approach today and I hope that when a similar issue arises in relation to Nationalism and Republicanism that the DUP will take a similar mature approach.

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