Northern Ireland Executive - Structure

Structure

In contrast with Westminster system cabinets, which generally need only be backed by a majority of legislators, ministerial positions in the Northern Ireland Executive are allocated to parties with significant representation in the Assembly. With the exception of justice, the number of ministries to which each party is entitled is determined by the D'Hondt system.

In effect, major parties cannot be excluded from participation in government and power-sharing is enforced by the system. The form of government is therefore known as mandatory coalition as opposed to voluntary coalition where parties negotiate an agreement to share power. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and some Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) members favour a move towards voluntary coalition in the longer term but this is currently opposed by Sinn Féin.

The Executive can not function if either of the two largest parties refuse to take part, as these parties are allocated the First Minister and deputy First Minister positions. However, other parties are not required to enter the Executive even if they are entitled to do so; instead, they can choose to go into opposition if they wish. There were some calls for the SDLP and the UUP to enter opposition after the 2007 Assembly elections, but ultimately the two parties chose to take the seats in the Executive to which they were entitled.

In 2010, an exception to the D'Hondt system for allocating the number of ministerial portfolios was made under the Hillsborough Castle Agreement to allow the cross-community Alliance Party of Northern Ireland to hold the politically-contentious policing and justice brief when most of those powers were devolved to the Assembly. Devolution took place on 12 April 2010.

Under D'Hondt, the SDLP would have been entitled to the extra ministerial seat on the revised Executive created by the devolution of policing and justice. Accordingly both the UUP and SDLP protested that Alliance was not entitled, under the rules of the Good Friday Agreement, to fill the portfolio and refused to support this move. However, Alliance leader David Ford was elected Minister with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin.

Read more about this topic:  Northern Ireland Executive

Other articles related to "structure":

Watchmen - Art and Composition - Structure
... The cover of each issue serves as the first panel to the story ... Gibbons said, "The cover of the Watchmen is in the real world and looks quite real, but it's starting to turn into a comic book, a portal to another dimension." The covers were designed as close-ups that focused on a single detail with no human elements present ...
321 Kinematic Structure
321 kinematic structure is a design method for robotic arms (serial manipulators), invented by Donald L ... Many other industrial robots, such as the PUMA, have a kinematic structure that deviates a little bit from the 321 structure ...
Book Of Ruth - Structure - Ethical Importance
2 ... Loving-kindness living Boaz and Ruth are models of an altruism for which the word "loving-kindness" has been coined (approximately translating Hebrew hesed) ...
Zirconium Tungstate - Cubic Phase
... Since the structure is cubic, as described below, the thermal contraction is isotropic - equal in all directions ... The structure of cubic zirconium tungstate consists of corner-sharing ZrO6 octahedral and WO4 tetrahedral structural units ... which involve the coupled rotation of the polyhedral units that make up the structure, and lead to contraction ...
Book Of Revelation - Content - Literary Structure
... In terms of literary structure, Revelation consists of four visions, each involving John “seeing” the plan of God unveiled, with an epilogue that ... In terms of content, the structure of Revelation is built around four successive groups of seven the messages to the seven churches the seven seals the seven trumpets ... that symbols and phrases of Revelation are organized as a chiastic structure, a literary device used frequently in the Old Testament ...

Famous quotes containing the word structure:

    Agnosticism is a perfectly respectable and tenable philosophical position; it is not dogmatic and makes no pronouncements about the ultimate truths of the universe. It remains open to evidence and persuasion; lacking faith, it nevertheless does not deride faith. Atheism, on the other hand, is as unyielding and dogmatic about religious belief as true believers are about heathens. It tries to use reason to demolish a structure that is not built upon reason.
    Sydney J. Harris (1917–1986)

    ... the structure of our public morality crashed to earth. Above its grave a tombstone read, “Be tolerant—even of evil.” Logically the next step would be to say to our commonwealth’s criminals, “I disagree that it’s all right to rob and murder, but naturally I respect your opinion.” Tolerance is only complacence when it makes no distinction between right and wrong.
    Sarah Patton Boyle, U.S. civil rights activist and author. The Desegregated Heart, part 2, ch. 2 (1962)

    ... the structure of a page of good prose is, analyzed logically, not something frozen but the vibrating of a bridge, which changes with every step one takes on it.
    Robert Musil (1880–1942)