Tag Archives: Ulster Unionist

McClarty joins growing Unionist voice for YES!

27 Apr

Londonderry East's David McClarty says YES!

Watching tonight’s UTV debate on the Alternative Vote referendum you would think that all the unionists in Northern Ireland were saying no. That is not the case as member of the both the main unionist parties are supporting the Yes! campaign.

But it is those outside the party machines who are standing up for fairness to the voters, something that is contrary to the no campaign’s claim that smaller parties and independents don’t support a move to the Alternative Vote. One of the first major unionist voices to back the Yes! campaign was Dawn Purvis who attended both our campaign launch and banner unfurling.

One of the other independent unionists from the last Assembly, East Londonderry‘s David McClarty has also added his voice to the campaign for a yes vote next Thursday. David was one of the moderates who left the Ulster Unionist party as it took a more hardline stance after the last general election, an election in which they attempted to tie themselves to the Conservative party for political gain.

David is on of the growing number of politicians in Northern Ireland who has realised that the people want fairness. When one five* in six of our MPs last May were elected with less than 50% support many voices were not heard. When the two main unionist parties attempted to stitch up a couple of seats by standing just one candidate against nationalist incumbents they showed contempt for the voters. It is something that they continue to do by saying no to the Alternative Vote.

Not one of the DUP’s MPs secured over 50% of the vote last year, indeed the three MPs with the smallest mandate were all in the DUP. For each vote David Simpson, William McCrea or Gregory Campbell received there were 2 votes against. This shows that the current system is only fair to the politicians allowing them to get elected with as little as one-third of the vote.

The Alternative Vote means that the winning candidate has to get over 50% of all the valid votes. That is a winning post that the politicians and parties cannot so easily control, that decision about who gets there lies in the preferences of individual voters. Elections will become more competitive as the candidates will have to reach out widely to gain that level of support.

Vote Yes! on the 5th May to have your say in who becomes your MP, to have your voice heard.

Remember that to vote in Northern Ireland you need to take your ID with out on polling day between 7am and 10pm.

  • A UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part)
  • A UK, Irish or EU passport
  • An electoral identity card
  • A Translink Senior SmartPass
  • A Translink 60+ SmartPass
  • A Translink War Disabled SmartPass
  • A Translink Blind Person’s SmartPass

* correction thanks to Joe Smith’s comment – nobody’s perfect.–Ed.

give some time to make a call to give yourself a stronger voice

4 Dec
Fair Votes Now

Image by London Permaculture via Flickr

Today the Northern Ireland campaign team was attending the Ulster Unionist Conference in the Ramada Hotel in Belfast, meeting MLAs, councillors and members.

In other parts of the United Kingdom, the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign was launching its first wave of 50 phonebanks across the country.

The phonebanking operation constitutes the most ambitious direct voter contact programme in British political history and we are aiming to speak to more voters than all the political parties did combined at the general election.

This grassroots led strategy is reliant upon normal people volunteering an hour or two a month of their time to call over voters and persuade them to vote yes. So far the campaign has had over 140,000 people sign up to help and they expect this to increase dramatically as the campaign gathers pace.

If you are able to give up any of your time to help out, click here to sign up and the regional organiser in your area will be in touch to arrange a time that suits you. Don’t worry if you don’t live near a major town or city, as they also plan to launch their virtual phonebank in mid-December, so you will soon be able to help out from the comfort of your own home.