Thursday, July 15, 2010

Catholic/Nationalist and Protestant/Unionist

Some people do not take kindly to others describing Catholics as Nationalists, and Nationalists as Catholics interchangeably. Similarly, the same can be said with those who refer to 'Protestants' to describe the Unionist community. They argue that just because one is a Catholic, does not make them an automatic Nationalist and similarly, a Protestant is not necessarily a Unionist.

It is interesting to compare the the Nationalist electorate to the Catholic electorate. The Catholic electorate is relatively easy to calculate. Looking at table S306 of the 2001 census, by adding the totals of people aged 9 years and over in 2001 (they are 18 in 2010) and removing the few people who were 90 and over in 2001 we see that the Catholic electorate is 43.0%. The election in 2010 showed that Nationalist parties received 42.0%. This is an almost exact correlation.

Using the same approach, the Protestant electorate in 2010 per the 2001 census was 54.4%. The 2010 election shows Unionist parties received 50.5% of the vote. Although not quite as correlated as the Nationalist/Catholic electorate, the Protestant/Unionist correlation is strikingly similar.

It may be 'politically incorrect' to refer to Nationalists and Catholics and Protestants and Unionists interchangeably, however it may not be entirely 'factually incorrect'.


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  2. "It may be 'politically incorrect' to refer to Nationalists and Catholics and Protestants and Unionists interchangeably, however it may not be entirely 'factually incorrect'."

    One important factor youve conveniently omitted-

    Only 57% of the total electorate voted, do you know the religion of the other 43%?

    Do you know the religious breakdown of the 57% come to that?

  3. BELFAST BRIEFING: There is an element of obsession about the South’s corporation tax rates in some quarters

    IT MAY be the start of a new year but the same old arguments are still raging among businesses in the North. Top of the gripe list is the seemingly inexhaustible debate about corporation tax levels versus those in the South.

    Thanks to David Cameron and his pals the issues surrounding corporation tax have got a fresh lease of life.

    Once upon a time under Gordon Brown’s regime any change to the rate of corporation tax – currently sitting at 28 per cent in the North as opposed to the Republic’s 12.5 per cent – was firmly ruled out.

    But then Cameron turned that on its head when his government promised in the last British budget to “examine mechanisms for changing the corporation tax rate” in the North.

    Cameron’s new approach to the issue has sparked an investigation by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, an influential House of Commons organisation, as to how a different rate of corporation tax would impact and work in the North. This inquiry has caused more than a certain frisson of excitement among the local pro-low rate brigade.

    Many of this brigade seem to view the fact Northern Ireland shares a border with a country that has a lower corporation tax rate as tantamount to a human rights violation.

    A casual observer might be forgiven for thinking there is an element of obsession about the South’s corporation tax rates in some quarters.

    Perhaps it stems from the fact that the North never had the opportunity to enjoy the excesses of a Celtic Tiger economy even though we all know how that particular “tail” ended.

    There is little doubt that those in favour of lowering the rate of corporation tax to bring it into line with the South have a persuasive argument.

    The pro-low lobby claim it would attract new foreign investment, help generate new jobs and also stimulate local businesses. In the current dismal economic environment there is nothing that Northern Ireland needs more.

    Yet new research suggests a lower rate of corporation tax might not prove to be a “magic bullet” for some of the region’s most pressing problems. In fact some experts believe lowering the current rate of corporation tax to the Republic’s might cost the Northern Ireland Executive around £280 million a year.

    According to the latest research carried out by business advisers PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reducing the rate alone “is unlikely to attract significant volumes of new, overseas investment”.

    Martin Fleetwood, a partner with the business advisors, said evidence shows that from the 1950s Ireland had three decades of low corporation tax but comparatively little new investment. In his opinion a variety of factors – of which low corporation tax was only one – contributed to the rise of the Celtic Tiger economy.

    Fleetwood believes the debate over corporation tax has focused too closely on the rate rather than the powers the North’s Executive would need to implement any such cut.

    He is urging political leaders to be mindful of the fact that the Republic used a “wide range of flexible tax incentives” as the tools to target new investors to locate and create jobs.

    Overall PwC advocates that a “cocktail of financial incentives” might be the best option in persuading new investors to locate in the North rather than just the “relatively blunt instrument” of lowering the headline rate of corporation tax.

    If Northern Ireland learns just one thing from what has happened south of the Border it is that there are no economic certainties anymore.

    The North’s economy is in much too fragile a place to barter its long-term security on the unpredictable promises that a lower rate of corporation tax may or may not deliver.

  4. Poor Tom Elliott even his family is turning against him.

  5. A secret poll by fianna fail in the Republic shows why they are worried.

  6. If Sinn Fein take 11 seats plus the 5 they already hold that will give them 16 seats.