Vote for a better future


By Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein are asking the electorate to endorse our role in leading the way in significant political developments since the last Westminster election.

These include the agreement made with lan Paisley for the restoration of the assembly and other political structures and the more recent Hillsborough Agreement.

We are also asking for a renewed mandate to continue this work into the future.

We are facing into this election campaign in exciting political times. We have just secured the transfer or powers on policing and justice and the powers over parading issues are to follow shortly.

None of the progress of the last five years happened by accident. When others where saying that it would never happen, or that further change was not possible, Sinn Fein continued to negotiate, to lobby, to campaign and ultimately to deliver.

This is evidence of politics working. Politics delivering. It is also evidence of a political strategy that works. It is a strategy which has delivered the peace process, the IRA cessations, the demilitarisation of our society and, most crucially, fully functioning all-lreland political institutions.

Martin McGuinness in particular has led the executive from the front in a way which has impressed even those from opposing political viewpoints.

So we head into the coming weeks safe in the knowledge that further advances have been made end that the process of change we have driven forward will continue into the future.

The process of political, social, economic and constitutional change is unstoppable.

There are a small number of rejectionists who remain opposed to this process. This election provides wider society with a chance to once again defend the peace process.

This election is about leadership. It is about peace. It is about equality.It is about jobs and it is about unity.

And there is a clear choice. Sinn Fein provides experienced political leadership that is unmatched and which has been tested through years of political struggle, through successful negotiations and through providing a positive way forward for this country and its people.

Our vision for a united Ireland is unique amongst the parties in this election.

Others, be they nationalist or post-nationalist, are content to be bit part players in the corrupt politics of Westminster - already pledging support for the parties who have supported waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Voting to introduce 28-day detention - that is the extent of their ambition.

Sinn Fein is a party of active absentionism from Westminster. Our strategy is to shift political powers from there to Ireland and into accountable political structures here.

We receive a mandate not to sit in the British House of Commons or to take an oath of allegiance to the English Queen. We actively represent our constituents and use the facilities there to promote the peace process and campaign for Irish unity.

At the outset of this election campaign Sinn Fein took an initiative in an attempt to maximise nationalist representation. Unfortunately Margeret Ritchie failed her first leadership test.

We made this offer because people on the doorsteps are demanding it. The decision of the SDLP leader to refuse to meet me, refusing to even take a phone call, to discuss this issue has caused widespread dismay and anger; particularly in South Belfast and Fermanagh/South Tyrone.

I share that sense of disappointment.

The position from the SDLP is clear. They would prefer a unionist Tory representing a nationalist constituency than a republican woman and government minister.

People out there are worried about the economy, about jobs, about housing issues. Sinn Fein want to ensure that job retention and job creation are prioritised in these harsh and perilous economic times.

We are seeking a renewed mandate to pursue investment in public services,in education, in infrastructure and in rural communities.

We want to continue our work in providing for the elderly, in housing provision and in environmental improvements and much more.

Sinn Fein is the party with the clearest track record of standing up for the rights and entitlements of ordinary people. We will always put the interests of the community first. We have brought equality to the heart of government here and we want to see equality at the heart of our society.

Sinn Fein is about the future. We are about building a better future for all our people, especially our young people.

A vote for Sinn Fein is an endorsement of our strategy for positive political change, for equality and social justice and for Irish unity.

A vote for Sinn Fein is an investment in the future.

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