With less than 24 hours before the polls open in one of the most significant General Elections in recent times, the SDLP’s Justin McNulty has urged people to get out and vote.
The Westminster candidate has called for what he has described as a return to the “politics of conscience”.
And he has asked the electorate of Newry and Armagh to decide what best suits the wider political process when it comes to casting their vote.
Mr McNulty said that the opportunity existed for “real and positive change” in the political landscape of Newry and Armagh.
“There are thousands of voters in this constituency who want to be able to support progressive politics,” he said.
“They recognise that as a society we have to be prepared to start the job of dismantling the human barriers that have been built, and still remain, as a result of the legacy of the Troubles.
“Up to now the reality has been that too few people really believed that their single vote, their single decision would count.
“On the doorsteps however I have continually made the call that change can be delivered. The positive response has been overwhelming.
“Of course people have disagreed with me. They have argued with me. That is healthy and that is at the core of proper democratic principles.
“But they also recognise that particularly given the predicted make-up of the next Parliament democracy will be devalued by wasting votes on an irrelevant strategy built around abstaining from the wider political process.
“Change can be implemented. But we can’t make it happen unless people are prepared to work for that objective, by looking at the alternatives when it comes to traditionally held political views.
“That is what I describe as having the courage to follow the politics of conscience rather than being caged in the politics of the past.”
Mr McNulty added: “The challenge we all face in life is being prepared to do what is right on the basis of the common good.
“There are fundamental problems facing us, our families and our communities. They are the same problems that affect all of us irrespective of our individual backgrounds and party political labels.
“On the doorsteps the message is that people want change. They want a new political direction mapped out for them.
“Of course there are also people that don’t feel there is any hope in dreaming that change can actually work for them.
“My argument is that unless we make the dream of a better, fairer and constructive future a reality through the ballot box we will continue to be victims of the past.“
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