Thursday, 29 July 2010

Sinn Fein Executive - The Weakest Link?

The Mandatory Coalition System of the Stormont administration has its supporters and its detractors. Often the Coalition is criticised as petty with the constituent parties trying to score cheap political points over perceived failing of their Coalition Colleagues.

But recently it has become increasing easy to criticise the Sinn Fein Front line.
CaitrĂ­ona Ruane, the Education Minister has provided extra funding for Irish Medium schools with many seats unfilled while denying funds to integrated schools who are forced to turn pupils away, saying that the money is not there for the expansions schools seek while essentially setting up 4 new schools instead.

Michelle Gildernew, The Agriculture minister has cost Northern Ireland funding that it needs during this time of economic recovery due to the shambolic apporach to Farmers and EU grants which has incurred Northern Ireland millions in fines which will be applied to future funding.

With Sinn Fein MP Expenses coming under renewed fire from Westminster, Assembly Elections on the way and Fianna Fail setting up shop in Northern Ireland it is not unfeasible to say the Sinn Fein have some pressure on them.

Potentially the problems the Sinn Fein Executive have planned are part of a scorched earth strategy, setting up schools that will likely need to be closed due to lack of pupils and have problems with the EU needing to be resolved and then switching the ministerial briefs when the d'hondt system comes in. With some predicting Sinn fein advancing to be the biggest party they would have first pick of pretty much any ministry they liked.

However the problem Sinn Fein may face is that everyone has seen them setting up the pyres and this could backfire with Sinn Fein loses (they have already lost one due to boundary changes) forcing Sinn Fein into ministries that either lack importance or have been set to blow by Sinn Fein themselves.