A few days ago I mounted an article in which I outlined why I would not be voting DUP. Some of the comments it generated suggested that I should endorse another party or an independent anti-agreement candidate.
I respect the views of those who believe that one should always use their vote. But I am of the opinion that this election is not democratic.
The choice which people face in this election is, I feel, very much akin to that in Eastern Europe when it was dominated by the Soviets.
The people could vote but they could only vote for candidates from one party. The election result was predetermined before a single vote was cast.
On March 7th the voters have a “choice” between four main parties all of whom advocate the same government – a coalition in which all of them will have places as of right.
On the other hand, I could vote Alliance who would like to be part of the aforementioned government but won’t get enough votes to secure an executive position.
In what other country would a preparation for government committee meet long before an election is even called?
Where else in the world could all the main parties be sure that they would have a place at the cabinet table given any conceivable result?
Our forefathers didn’t die in two world wars for this.
They died to prevent those who used violence to impose their will upon free peoples from achieving political power.
This election, on the other hand, has only been called because the Prime Minister is “convinced” that all the main political parties in Northern Ireland are prepared to share power with those who killed and maimed in order to further their objectives.
Why don’t I vote for the anti-agreement candidates?
Well, as we all know there is no such thing as an anti-agreement DUP candidate. All “Democratic” Unionists standing in this election have signed a resignation letter which can be triggered as and when the leadership sees fit.
On the other hand, I could vote for one of the half dozen Bob McCartneys.
The fact that Mr McCartney is running in so many constituencies detracts from the very serious points which he is making about the Belfast/St Andrews Agreement.
Mr McCartney is saying many things with which I wholeheartedly agree but he has allowed himself to become the butt of jokes by standing in so many constituencies.
The parallels with Rainbow George are inescapable.
So I’m not going to vote in this election – it’s an affront to democracy.