It has never been more important for the electorate to consider voting for individuals “of independent mind and courage” to hold the next Stormont Executive to account.
That’s according to Democracy First election candidate Frazer McCammond, a Dromore man and former Lisbsurn Alliance councillor seeking an Assembly seat in Lagan valley.
“The electorate in Lagan Valley have the power on May 5 to signify to the outgoing Executive parties their dissatisfaction, by voting for alternative candidates,” he said.
“In a normal parliamentary election the outgoing government can be easily assessed by its’ performance in relation to the initial manifesto – and the press have a field day – as we hear the counter arguments and proposals from the opposing parties.
“Oppositional politics is so much easier and much more interesting.
“In Northern Ireland we have the multi-party Executive and at times we can never be sure if they are a collective partnership for the benefit all, or if that is simply a guise as they backstab each other from their respective ministerial silos.
“The Press and media have clearly failed the electorate in bringing the Executive parties to account over their own programme for government.
“Both the UTV leaders’ debate and subsequent BBC The View debate were damp squibs laced with platitudes and wish lists.
“As I have engaged with the electorate on doorsteps and social media the constant theme from voters and non-voters alike is the complete sense of frustration with all the Executive parties.
“There is also a clear recognition by the electorate that we cannot go on as before. There needs to be a collective partnership in government which is joined up and is pragmatic in dealing with all our social and economic ills. People want to see change on the ground – now.”
Mr McCammond said the electorate had the power to hold the next Executive to account and the “46% who historically don’t vote” had the power to change Northern Ireland politics on Thursday.
“I, the candidate for Democracy First, am prepared to take this stand,” he said, “and clearly want to encourage as many to trust their No 1 vote with me, but I would also encourage the electorate to look at other independents and then measure the outgoing parties on their respective performances accordingly.”
Meanwhile, Mr McCammond recently met some of Lagan Valley’s older people at an AgeNI #act4age event at the Skainos centre.
He commended “the amazing work” AgeNI undertook on behalf of older citizens.
“The event was good craic,” he said, “and the folk were very articulate in terms of their needs, particularly transport accessibility.”
Mr McCammond said he had now signed up as a champion for the #act4age campaign.