More bad news from Northern Ireland

The tribal parties win big.

If you want to predict happenings in Northern Ireland, imagine the worst and add 10%.

Contrary to my tentative hopes, and despite the latest revelations about IRA thuggery and Sinn Féin complicity, the swing in the parliamentary elections was toward SF, not away from it. The other tribal party, Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists, did even better, virtually wiping out the less-fanatical Ulster Unionists. The combined tribalist vote was 58%, with the moderate nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party and the moderate unionist Ulster Union Party splitting 34%.

I notice that the new management at the Vatican, which was so enthusiastic about forbidding communion to American politicians who refuse to vote to criminalize abortion, seems not to have pursued any comparable vendetta against the IRA’s front organization. Does its respect for life truly stop at birth?

My previous proposal for solving the Northern Ireland problem still looks good to me.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: