Chances getting better for a United Ireland

Sinn Féin will be the largest party in Northern Ireland after elections on May 5, according to every recent opinion poll.

This would be a significant symbolic breakthrough for the left-wing party, historically linked to the Irish Republican Army (IRA). It will confirm the political and demographic shifts since the 1998 “Good Friday” peace agreement, which has ended the once hegemonic Unionist dominance of Northern Ireland. The election is also likely to see further growth of the centre ground parties – those who do not have a fixed position on the constitutional question.

The effect on Irish unity will be indirect rather than immediate. Under the terms of the 1998 peace agreement, a united Ireland can only be created, if majorities vote for it in separate referendums in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. All polls say a referendum will pass in the Republic, and while Brexit has seen a significant increase in support for Irish unity in Northern Ireland, most polls predict that a referendum would not pass there if called immediately, although the number of undecided voters may be as high as 25 percent. Those absolutely committed to Northern Ireland remaining in the United Kingdom, are now a minority.

A nation once again… (sigh!)

No reason to believe America’s right-wing will stop at ending Roe vs Wade


Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Washington awoke to a changed political environment on Tuesday. Reproductive-rights groups were in uproar, protesters were camped outside the Supreme Court, and politicians were staking out their positions in reaction to a leaked draft majority opinion from Justice Samuel Alito, which would overturn Roe v. Wade

Prominent Democrats went further and demanded an immediate end to the Senate filibuster, which insures that most types of legislation require sixty votes to pass, and the passage of a federal law defending a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion. “Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted on Monday night after Politico published Alito’s draft. “And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.”…

…If the political challenges the Democrats face in eliminating the filibuster remain formidable, the prospect of the Supreme Court’s adopting Alito’s draft ruling has further strengthened the argument for pursuing such a course. When Manchin voted to preserve the sixty-vote rule, he claimed that it “plays an important role in protecting our democracy from the transitory passions of the majority and respecting the input of the minority in the Senate.” But, if Alito and four other conservative Justices vote to overturn nearly fifty years of legal precedent, maintaining the filibuster will serve only to entrench minority rule in the United States…

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, Americans support retaining Roe v. Wade versus overturning it by a majority of roughly two to one. This survey isn’t an outlier: public opinion about abortion rights has remained favorable for decades. What has changed is that Donald Trump, a President who won in the Electoral College but lost the popular tally by almost three million votes, was enabled, through retirements and the happenstance of the mortality tables, to appoint three Justices who have fundamentally altered the balance of the Court and made it an agent of conservative counter-revolution…

RTFA. Educate yourself…even if your elected representatives in Congress continue to ignore your wishes. Just one more reason to quit wasting time on sending them imploring emails. Vote ’em out of office. Stop believing the bullshit lies they deliver in their weekly press conferences. If they do not move every voice and vote to protect Roe vs Wade, they do not deserve to hold Congressional office. This question is as critical as one person, one vote was towards eliminating Federal support for the worst of the racism that infects this nation.