Guest Speaker: Naomi Long MP, Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party
Mrs Long spoke to the society about how she entered Politics. She spoke at length on how she became a member of the Allianceparty and how she progressed from local counsellor to a (unexpected) Lord Mayor, to a MLA and finally to win the East Belfast Westminster seat. A constant theme was the importance of redress of constituent’s grievances and how engaging with constituents encouraged her to get more and more involved in politics.
Mrs Long then took questions on a variety of topics, such as;
Voting reform, her opinions an AV; Mrs Long replied she had supported AV as she felt it was more proportional, however she felt a system more similar to the PR:STV used in NI would’ve been preferable.
How she felt about the 2015 election in East Belfast, her campaigning strategy; Mrs Long replied that she felt very concern over the next election; she was more focused upon the work she could achieve now. She felt, however, that the election inEast Belfast would be a close one.
What she felt should be reformed and modernised with the House of Commons.; Mrs Long replied she felt the House of Commons had a number of archaic rules and regulations with regards to who is allowed into what parts of the parliament buildings. She felt these structures were remnants of a strict class system and not relevant in the 21st Century.