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Thread: How would SF voters feel about northern MPs taking their seats in Westminster?

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    Politics.ie Member theloner's Avatar
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    Default How would SF voters feel about northern MPs taking their seats in Westminster?

    Over the last decade or so, SF has tried its best to become more attractive to voters, dropping rhetoric of the past, U-turns in previous policies, protesting against the British queen's visit to Dublin, but welcoming her in the North, etc. It is Ireland's only all-Ireland party, (but I'm sure Cruimh will be along to point out the holes in that argument) however, would SF voters north and south still vote for a party whose candidates would take their seats in Westminster? If not, why?

    With the recent election of SF's Francis Molly in Mid-Ulster, I was wondering why SF continues its policy of abstentionism in the British parliament. In the past there have been several reasons given for the ongoing policy, it seems this policy is one of the last remaining parts of SF's traditional republican ethos. Some say it is the oath of allegiance to the British queen. However Adams in an interview called the issue surrounding the oath as 'a bit of a distraction'. It doesn't however stop SF using this fact against its rivals in the SDLP.

    When taking their seats the MPs representing the SDLP declare the following:

    'I swear by Almighty God [or, I do solemnly and sincerely affirm] that I shall be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors according to law [So help me God]'

    Back in 2006, David Lidington, the Conservative Northern Ireland spokesperson suggested the five absent Sinn Fein MP could take an "alternative" oath with references to the monarch removed, however when asked if he could see himself sitting in the Commons following a change to the oath, Mr Adams said: 'No, because the issue for us is the claim of that parliament to jurisdiction in Ireland'. So it isn't the oath?

    SF today, has moved far, far from the position they once held, whether it be acceptance of consent or fully signing up to the northern state's police force, the PSNI. Indeed, Sinn Féin's sits in a Stormont administration where all laws passed require Royal Assent before being enacted. In the last half a century the Workers' Party was formed due to differences around the policy, as was Republican SF (Or Provisional SF depending on what way your look at it).

    So is it a policy, a tactic, a principle or an age old tradition? I.e. Founder of SF, Arthur Griffith, formulated a SF policy of abstentionism in 1905–07 where he called for Irish MPs to abstain from Westminster, it that the reasoning behind it today? If it is because of Britain's claim over the north, then surely abstentionism should extend to northern British institutions that implement British policy.

    Why do you think SF continues this policy considering how far it has moved constitutionally on many other issues? Is it an important issue for you, or would you like to see SF take its seats in Westminster and argue for independence from within, similar to what it claims it is doing in Stormont.

    It's not a matter of a 'yes' or 'no' answer, more of your reasoning behind the answer? Particularly interested to hear from Shinners south of the border.
    Last edited by theloner; 10th March 2013 at 02:04 PM.
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    Politics.ie Member Cynicist's Avatar
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    The majority of people in Mid-Ulster would most likely support taking up the seat in Westminyster so clearly Molloy is denying people representation and removing them from the democratic process.
    Molloy made the usual acceptance speech of "there to work for all the people of Mid-Ulster" but those words ring hollow when he stays in his mental and physical enclave.
    The stance he and SG take does nothing to break down barriers or allow for more normal politics and the half in and half out position leaves a limbo position which would be laughable if not so serious for the constituents involved.

    Sure SF are doing their 'two fingers/ camouflage clothing' interaction with the British government but why if they do the Armani suit stuff for the rest of the time?

    SF can not continue with its chameleon politics of taking one position in the North and anoher in the Republic and yet another within mainstream politics and yet another one outside politics. Hypocrisy is the label they will have to live with so long as they maintain their inconsistencies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynicist View Post
    The majority of people in Mid-Ulster would most likely support taking up the seat in Westminyster so clearly Molloy is denying people representation and removing them from the democratic process.
    Molloy made the usual acceptance speech of "there to work for all the people of Mid-Ulster" but those words ring hollow when he stays in his mental and physical enclave.
    The stance he and SG take does nothing to break down barriers or allow for more normal politics and the half in and half out position leaves a limbo position which would be laughable if not so serious for the constituents involved.

    Sure SF are doing their 'two fingers/ camouflage clothing' interaction with the British government but why if they do the Armani suit stuff for the rest of the time?

    SF can not continue with its chameleon politics of taking one position in the North and anoher in the Republic and yet another within mainstream politics and yet another one outside politics. Hypocrisy is the label they will have to live with so long as they maintain their inconsistencies.
    Utter utter rubbish. sf and Molloys abstention policy was very very clear to voters. The voters chose to elect someone who will not take his seat. Really, which part of that is it that you can't understand.
    #3amigos

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    Politics.ie Member DeGaulle 2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northtipp View Post
    Utter utter rubbish. sf and Molloys abstention policy was very very clear to voters. The voters chose to elect someone who will not take his seat. Really, which part of that is it that you can't understand.
    The candidates who would have taken the seat in the commons got more votes combined than Molloy, so you are wrong and Cynicist is right. Although I cannot imagine it is a major issue for nationalists.
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    Politics.ie Member Cynicist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeGaulle 2.0 View Post
    The candidates who would have taken the seat in the commons got more votes combined than Molloy, so you are wrong and Cynicist is right. Although I cannot imagine it is a major issue for nationalists.
    Ah now that would be beyond the acceptance level of Northtipp- its difficult for some to accept that there are other views or none expressed as in Mid-Ulster where so few people turned out to vote in a process which would lead nowhere because of the abstentionist policy of the majority candidate's party.

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    Politics.ie Member neiphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeGaulle 2.0 View Post
    The candidates who would have taken the seat in the commons got more votes combined than Molloy, so you are wrong and Cynicist is right. Although I cannot imagine it is a major issue for nationalists.
    why didnt the people rally behind one of those candidates then ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Cynicist View Post
    Ah now that would be beyond the acceptance level of Northtipp- its difficult for some to accept that there are other views or none expressed as in Mid-Ulster where so few people turned out to vote in a process which would lead nowhere because of the abstentionist policy of the majority candidate's party.
    again they did not coalise around a single candidate
    the sf candidate got what 47%
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    Politics.ie Member Dame_Enda's Avatar
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    If they sat at Westminster they would be violating their electoral platform of not doing so. I doubt the people of Mid Ulster would support that.
    Fair and Balanced

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    Politics.ie Member Eire1976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theloner View Post
    Over the last decade or so, SF has tried its best to become more attractive to voters, dropping rhetoric of the past, U-turns in previous policies, protesting against the British queen's visit to Dublin, but welcoming her in the North, etc. It is Ireland's only all-Ireland party, (but I'm sure Cruimh will be along to point out the holes in that argument) however, would SF voters north and south still vote for a party whose candidates would take their seats in Westminster? If not, why?

    With the recent election of SF's Francis Molly in Mid-Ulster, I was wondering why SF continues its policy of abstentionism in the British parliament. In the past there have been several reasons given for the ongoing policy, it seems this policy is one of the last remaining parts of SF's traditional republican ethos. Some say it is the oath of allegiance to the British queen. However Adams in an interview called the issue surrounding the oath as 'a bit of a distraction'. It doesn't however stop SF using this fact against its rivals in the SDLP.

    When taking their seats the MPs representing the SDLP declare the following:

    'I swear by Almighty God [or, I do solemnly and sincerely affirm] that I shall be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors according to law [So help me God]'

    Back in 2006, David Lidington, the Conservative Northern Ireland spokesperson suggested the five absent Sinn Fein MP could take an "alternative" oath with references to the monarch removed, however when asked if he could see himself sitting in the Commons following a change to the oath, Mr Adams said: 'No, because the issue for us is the claim of that parliament to jurisdiction in Ireland'. So it isn't the oath?

    SF today, has moved far, far from the position they once held, whether it be acceptance of consent or fully signing up to the northern state's police force, the PSNI. Indeed, Sinn Féin's sits in a Stormont administration where all laws passed require Royal Assent before being enacted. In the last half a century the Workers' Party was formed due to differences around the policy, as was Republican SF (Or Provisional SF depending on what way your look at it).

    So is it a policy, a tactic, a principle or an age old tradition? I.e. Founder of SF, Arthur Griffith, formulated a SF policy of abstentionism in 1905–07 where he called for Irish MPs to abstain from Westminster, it that the reasoning behind it today? If it is because of Britain's claim over the north, then surely abstentionism should extend to northern British institutions that implement British policy.

    Why do you think SF continues this policy considering how far it has moved constitutionally on many other issues? Is it an important issue for you, or would you like to see SF take its seats in Westminster and argue for independence from within, similar to what it claims it is doing in Stormont.

    It's not a matter of a 'yes' or 'no' answer, more of your reasoning behind the answer? Particularly interested to hear from Shinners south of the border.
    Westminster is irrelevant to SF. Why do you think Stormont is back up and running?

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    Politics.ie Member PO'Neill's Avatar
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    Can someone actually tell me what the SDLP or the old Nationalist Party for 50 years ever achieved at Westminister ??


    And FFS don't give us the Good Friday Agreement We all know what forced Blair on that -

    Last edited by PO'Neill; 10th March 2013 at 03:16 PM.
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    Politics.ie Member Cruimh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eire1976 View Post
    Westminster is irrelevant to SF.
    Which is why they maintain an office there

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