The pursuit of respect and voting has transformed the Sinn Féin party

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NSHis conflict It was bloody and I couldn’t see the end. However, many Irish Republican troops (IRA) I wanted to keep trying to force the British out of Northern Ireland. They were not interested in the sister party Sinn Féin, who was competing for the election, and believed that this justified the status quo. However, party leader Jerry Adams wanted to open a second front in a gunless battle.

In 1981, one of his advisers, Danny Morrison, asked a question at a Sinn Féin party meeting. “Who really believes that you can win the war through the ballot box?” And second: “If you have ballot paper and armalite in your hand, anyone here is against it. Do you? [rifle] The other is in power in Ireland? These two strategies continued until the Peace Accord was signed on Good Friday 1998. Today, the Sinn Féin Party is Ireland’s largest and wealthiest party. Whether and when Ireland will be reunified is far more important than its election results. However, the ballot box’s dominance over ArmaLite has reshaped both party and border politics and policy.

In the north, the Sinn Féin party has been in power since 1999 and is expected to become the largest party and lead the government after the May elections. In 2020, it became the most popular political party in the republic with 24.5% of the votes. The road to coalition was blocked by the centre-right major parties, the Republican Party and the Fine Gael, but is likely to join the government in the coming years.

Its exclusion from government reflected its paramilitary history and the mainstream consensus that previous Marxist economic policies would make it more than pale. But it may be broken, says Deermid Feritter, a historian at University College Dublin. Elections are scheduled by May 2025, at which point the Fine Gael may be ready for rest after 14 years in office. The Republican Party first came to power in 1932 as a Republican defender. IRA Violence may want to stay in the government. And some smaller parties may decide that the deal with Sinn Féin is too expensive to pay.

The party has an army of activists, both former IRA Members who have transitioned to politics and a much larger group who joined after the murder have stopped. It has reached beyond the pros-IRA Vote by appealing to young people with low home prices. “The program for our government is different from what we’ve seen in previous states,” promises EoinÓ Broin, Dublin’s Shadow Housing Minister. We are proposing to end our reliance on private builder and landlords in the Republic and invest in 20,000 new social housing units annually. This is “the largest public housing construction program in the state’s history”. Spend € 1.2 billion ($ 1.4 billion) over two government terms to introduce free, universal primary health care and allow state salaried doctors and private health insurance companies to do side jobs in public hospitals. I promised to stop it.

That Marxism is as advanced as the advocacy of violence. For almost half a century, Sinn Féin’s party was “big business, multinationalism, all forms and all signs” until 1979, when Adams, a prominent republican leader, resigned from party leadership in 2018. I opposed it. ” Imperialism and capitalism. ” Now, Dublin’s financial spokesman Pearse Doherty says multinationals “know that the Sinn Féin party isn’t going to chase them.” The northern minister approved a private company that builds and manages schools and called for a significant reduction in corporate taxes.

However, the discipline of paramilitary organizations has endured. Irish security officials, at least in part, IRACriminal assets (Sinn Féin denies this).The critics claim that power lies in a trusted, shadowy person. IRA, Not an elected politician. Five years ago, northern Treasury Minister Sinn Féin was trusted by unelected veteran Republicans IRA Whether he is “satisfied” with the minister making a decision worth hundreds of millions of pounds. A year ago, a member of the Sinn Féin party said a security assessment that Northern Ireland police were still standing. IRA Still control the party and hold the gun.

As part of that, the Sinn Féin party has denied it. IRA It still exists, not to mention acting as the force behind the throne. However, its purpose remains the same. All political parties in the republic say they want United Ireland. Only the Sinn Féin party prioritizes reunification. Still, it’s still unclear if voters are willing to bear the costs.

Polls show strong support for United Ireland. In one of May, it was found that 67% of voters supported unification and only 16% opposed it. However, many Southerners will hesitate to subsidize the north to £ 10 billion ($ 13.3 billion) annually, as the mainland of Britain does today. Only 22% said they were willing to pay more taxes to fund the unification, while 63% said they wouldn’t.

Therefore, seeking unity not only sacrifices some of the social democratic support in the Republic by the Sinn Féin party, but also considers itself neither a nationalist nor a unionist, and is secular and pleasing to the crowd. It is now south of the border, which may alienate growing members of the north that may be attracted to policy. Ó Broin suggests that his party will seek to lead public opinion with a dedicated force to guide the debate about what unity looks like and its potential interests.

Morrison, who coined the phrase “ballot box and armalite,” is now 68 years old. He avoids asking questions about whether to live to see United Ireland. “The state I live in is not the state I grew up in,” he says. “I don’t feel beaten anymore.” Ireland has certainly changed over the last 40 years. Therefore, there are Republicans seeking respect and success in elections both north and south of the border. ■■

This article was published in the UK section of the print edition under the heading “United Crossing the Borders”.

The pursuit of respect and voting has transformed the Sinn Féin party

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