A couple of years ago, I wrote a letter to my MP. I didn't get a response at the time which was disappointing (but not unexpected). Today, I believe (more than ever) that our politicians need to think seriously about how they go about doing the RIGHT thing rather than the populist thing or the thing "ME DA" did or the thing that will line their pockets.
This is what I said:
"I have a strong belief that the politicians we elect have a duty to ensure that the government does everything it can to enable all citizens to be the very best that they can be, with access to services regardless of background, colour, religion (or lack thereof), gender, sexuality, intellect, etc., etc.
From a manifesto point of view, I struggle to understand why political parties can't state that their first duty is to ensure fairness for all. Seeing election posters and flyers with slogans and imagery that alienates large sections of the community seems incredible in the 21st century, but I don't see that changing any time soon as the politics of fear will dominate for some time to come.
When it comes to same-sex marriage, I struggle to understand the viewpoint of our politicians and I do not understand why fairness and equality does not apply in this case. While the rest of Western Europe is able to treat their citizens with the respect that everyone deserves, we in Northern Ireland are becoming an embarrassing anomaly.
My view is that if we (as a country) are capable of discriminating against those who want to marry their same-sex partner, then we set a precedent that discrimination is fine! But then again, that's what we do best in this part of the world, right?
For me, Equality and Fairness should always win the debate regardless of politicians' religious beliefs and regardless of how the friends and relatives of politicians can potentially benefit from any decision taken by the aforementioned politicians."
Recent events should encourage the electorate to abandon their tribal voting patterns and instead apply their votes in a manner which is in the best interests of all. Voting to "keep them 'uns out" is a negative vote. The time has come to vote positively and elect a set of people that genuinely wants Northern Ireland to be a success.