Northern Ireland’s consociational institutions were reviewed by a committee of its Assembly in 2012–13. The arguments of both critics and exponents of the arrangements are of general interest to scholars of comparative politics, powersharing and constitutional design. The authors of this article review the debates and evidence on the d’Hondt rule of executive formation, political designation, the likely impact of changing district magnitudes for assembly elections, and existing patterns of opposition and accountability. They evaluate the scholarly, political and legal literature before commending the merits of maintaining the existing system, including the rules under which the system might be modified in future.
- Northern Ireland, consociationism, voting