Monday, April 29, 2013

Joint Sovereignty?

At present a border poll for the reunification of Ireland would fail. A Protestant plurality currently exists. Even with demographic trends continuing, and with Protestants and Catholics reaching parity in numbers in around the year 2016, there will probably still be less than the 50% + 1 support required for a United Ireland. This is because a minority of Catholics would not currently vote for a United Ireland. Unionists who like to gloat about this need to be reminded that Catholic support for the status quo is at best fickle. It is not due to any emotional attachment to Britain. It is because they are of the opinion that they would be better off financially in the UK. Of course I do not agree, and I have made my economic arguments before and will continue to do so. The economic arguments in favour of unification are greater.

Of course as a Nationalist and Republican my desire is for the unification of my country. However, a green paper on how to achieve this or describing what a United Ireland would look like has not been produced. If the Irish people decided they wanted the country reunified in the morning what would happen? What way would the roads be painted? What type of road signs would be used? What would the education system, the health system and other public services look like? What would the tax system look like? How long would the transition from the status quo to a UI take?

And what is the strategy? Wait until there is a Catholic majority in the North? Wait until the Southern economy is booming again and then draw up a green paper, all the while facilitating the British strategy of creating a “Northern Irish shared future” identity? 
That is one option. Another is to push for joint sovereignty. Joint sovereignty could be used as a stepping stone and an interim measure to the ultimate goal of a United Ireland free from British Government control or interference. It is an alternative strategy, a strategy that can bring about transition gradually so that when a United Ireland passes in a referendum, most of the change required has occured. 

At the very least a debate within Nationalism needs to occur on whether this is a strategy worth pursuing.