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Irish FAQ: Politics [4/10]
Section - 6) What are the political parties in Northern Ireland?

( Part00 - Part01 - Part02 - Part03 - Part04 - Part05 - Part06 - Part07 - Part08 - Part09 - Single Page )
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	Within the two main groups are a number of smaller divisions,
	usually defined by their representative political parties. This
	list offers a spectrum of the major parties, from 'most
	anti-Union' to 'most pro-Union".


	Sinn Féin.  Leader Gerry Adams.
	The political representatives of the Republican
	Movement.  This is the more extreme minority of the nationalist
	groups, generally regarded as being in sympathy with the IRA's
	use of violence to achieve political change.  Supported by
	approximately 15% of the population in Northern Ireland, 1.4% in
	the Irish Republic.
	http://www.irlnet.com/sinnfein/


	The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).  Leader John Hume.
	Regarded as the representative of moderate nationalism, it is
	committed to the establishment of a single Irish nation, but
	adamantly opposed to the use of violence to force this on people.
	Its representatives are forthright in their criticism of the
	IRA and its methods.  Supported by approximately 20% of the
	population in NI.
	http://www.sdlp.ie/


	The Alliance party.  Leader Sean Neeson (to be confirmed).
	A centrist party often viewed as unionist in its leanings, but
	its stated aims are simply to bring people in NI together as one
	community.  Rejects both traditional Unionism and Nationalism.
	It favours local government with power shared between Catholics
	and Protestants, remaining part of the UK as long as a majority
	in NI want that, but with much stronger all-Ireland administrative
	links.	Gets up to 10% of the vote.
	http://www.allianceparty.org/


	The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).  Leader David Trimble.
	The larger of the two Unionist parties, it is firmly committed to
	maintaining the links with Great Britain. Not overtly religious in
	nature, but has links with the protestant Orange Order. Drawing
	support mainly from more moderate and middle-class unionists it
	opposes the use of violence, condemning that from both IRA and
	Loyalist groups such as the UVF and UFF.  Gets up to one third
	of the vote.
	http://www.uup.org/


	The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).  Leader Ian Paisley.
	Formed in 1971 by Ian Paisley, capitalising on fears that
	the mainstream party was weak. As to be expected from
	its fundamentalist leader, the DUP is fiercely protestant
	and pro-British in character.  It draws support from the
	moderate-to-extreme parts of the unionist population. Although
	publicly opposed to violence, the same cannot be said for a
	section of its supporters.  Gets around 15% of the vote.
	http://www.dup.org.uk/


	The Women's Coalition is a fairly new name in Northern Irish
	politics.  A web page can be found at
	http://www.pitt.edu/~novosel/northern.html

	Observant readers will notice that these percentages do not add
	up to 100.

	For more details, see Nicholas Whyte's web site
	at http://explorers.whyte.com/


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Ivan Brookes
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Top Document: Irish FAQ: Politics [4/10]
Previous Document: 5) What are the political parties in the Republic?
Next Document: 7) Isn't contraception illegal in the Republic?

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