'We must all play a responsible role in securing the best future for everyone'

In the light of the forthcoming elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Council on Social Responsibility of the Methodist Church in Ireland urges all candidates to conduct themselves with civility and decorum so that none of the fears or promises of something more brutal will materialise.
Petty point-scoring and perpetual fault-finding further insults the electorate and adds to our collective sense of public disillusion and cynicism with the elected politicians and political parties which form the backdrop to this election, leading to real concerns of voter apathy and alienation.
The Council strongly urges the electorate not to shirk its democratic responsibility even if voters feel that politicians have.  We owe it to ourselves to consider who is best to represent us in improving the current situation, healing divisions and creating a more forward-looking society and to make our voices heard at the ballot box.
We also urge all parties to engage in a short, focused, positive post-election negotiation phase so the important business such as the budget, Brexit, the Renewal Heat Incentive Inquiry and the consequences of the Historical Institutions Abuse Inquiry can be dealt with swiftly and in the interest of all the people of Northern Ireland.
If political parties do not respond positively and with humility to the obvious public dismay at present or are unable to accept that performance levels need improved then the Council respectfully requests that they should be honest with the electorate so that effective means of governance can be devised and delivered expeditiously.
Finally, the Council calls on all our Methodist people to vote and to be persistent in prayer for this election and the negotiations that will follow.
Image: Discover Northern Ireland