Designation

Members have to designate as ‘nationalist’ or ‘unionist’ when signing the Register as an MLA on the first day the Assembly meets after an election. This is to facilitate cross-community voting. MLAs who do not wish to label themselves as ‘nationalist’ or ‘unionist’ are considered to be ‘others’. The Alliance Party opposes the designation system, as it believes it institutionalises division. It would prefer a weighted majority system to ensure widespread support across communities.