Inxammru l-kmiem

 

 

Issa huwa żżmien li ngħarblu l-ħidma tal-partiti politiċi u nħejju għall-futur, btibdil kbir jew żgħir, skond dak li jirriżulta meħtieġ.

Il-Partit Laburista qiegħed fil-proċess li jagħżel suċċessur għal Louis Grech filwaqt li l-PN beda t-triq għal tibdila oħra li tista tkun waħda sostanzjali.

Mhux il-ħsieb tiegħi li nikkummenta dwar dawn l-għażliet li għandhom quddiemhom il-PN u l-PL. Għandi biżżejjed biex inħabbel rasi, għax bla dubju, Alternattiva Demokratika ukoll teħtieġ li tifhem sewwa dak li ġara u tieħu passi radikali dwaru.

Kif diġa kelli l-opportunitá li nikteb, ir-riżultat li kisbet AD kien mistenni wara li AD ma waslitx għal ftehim dwar koalizzjoni mal-PN. Għal AD kienet għażla, fil-fehma tiegħi iebsa, imma kienet ukoll għażla neċessarja. Ma kienitx deċiżjoni kontra koalizzjoni imma kontra l-forma tal-koalizzjoni li essenzjalment kienet waħda li tibla l-identitá tal-partiti li jiffurmaw il-koalizzjoni u (tal-inqas għall-elezzjoni) tippreżenthom bħala parti integrali mill-Partit Nazzjonalista, bit-tajjeb u l-ħażin kollu tiegħu.

Filwaqt li nifhem ir-raġunament ta min ġenwinament xtaq li AD tkun tifforma parti mill-koalizzjoni kontra l-korruzzjoni, għadni ftit li xejn ma smajt jew qrajt reazzjonijiet ta dawk li fehmu jew ta l-inqas apprezzzaw ir-raġunament ta Alternattiva Demokratika li ma tissieħibx.

Kien hemm waqtiet li ħsibt illi li kieku kien hemm iktar żmien, wieħed seta jasal. Imma fir-realtá qatt ma stajna naslu għax il-PN ġenwinament ma kienx fposizzjoni li jippreżenta l-kandidati tiegħu taħt isem jew emblema differenti minn dik tas-soltu. Allura, l-loġika ukoll kellha twassal biex anke a bażi ta dan biss wieħed jifhem il-posizzjoni li ħadet AD.

Ilna s-snin nitkellmu favur il-ħtieġa ta koalizzjoni (jew alleanza pre-elettorali) u mhux ser nieqfu issa.

Imma dan kollu jwassal ukoll għal konsiderazzjoni oħra ta natura iktar fondamentali.

Kemm hu addattat il-mod li bih taħdem AD illum, bla presenza lokali jew reġjonali? Ximpatt għandu dan fuq l-effettivitá ta AD  bmod partikolari meta dan inqabbluh mal-presenza kontinwa tal-PN u l-PL fil-lokalitajiet kollha?

Ilni snin nargumenta, internament fAD, li din hi l-isfida ewlenija għal Alternattiva Demokratika. Għax filwaqt li ċċarezza tal-ħsieb u l-viżjoni politika hi essenzjali għal kull partit politiku hi daqstant meħtieġa organizzazzjoni li tista tittraduċi l-ħsieb fazzjoni politika konkreta. Kultant naraw partiti politiċi bmagna organizzattiva impressjonanti imma mingħajr ċarezza fil-ħsieb u fil-viżjoni. Fil-każ ta AD id-diffikulta hi bil-maqlub. Hemm ideat u viżjoni ċara imma hemm nuqqas ta l-għodda organizzattivi biex dawn l-ideat jagħtu frott politiku adegwat.

Din mhiex problema li ħoloqha Arnold Cassola. L-anqas ma ħoloqha Michael Briguglio qablu. Ilha magħna sa minn meta twaqqfet AD fl-1989. Ovvjament hi responsabbilta kollettiva ta kulħadd li ma żviluppajniex din l-għodda organizzattiva neċessarja tul is-snin. Jiena ma naqbilx ma min iwaħħal fis-sistema elettorali għan-nuqqas ta AD li jkollha riżultati elettorali posittivi. Mhux faċli, imma mhuwiex gravi daqskemm jgħidu!

Din hi l-isfida li għandha quddiema AD illum. Uċuħ ġodda dejjem tajniehom merħba u nibqgħu nagħtuhom. L-isfida quddiemna hi li nkunu preparati daqs l-avversarji politiċi tagħna.

L-ebda tim tal-futbol ma jinżel jilgħab logħba bil-flipflop, l-anqas dawk fl-iktar diviżjoni inferjuri. Jaf kemm jaf il-logħba, imħejji kemm hu imħejji, biex tim ikollu ċans sportiv jeħtieġlu l-preparazzjoni teknika u l-appoġġ amministrattiv daqs l-avversarji tiegħu. Biex dan ikun possibli jeħtieġ impenn mhux biss mit-tim imma ukoll minn dawk kollha li jappoġġawh.

Fdawn il-ġranet fAlternattiva Demokratika qed niddiskutu dan kollu. Arnold Cassola infurmana li hu ma xtaqx ikompli jmexxi u allura huwa neċessarju li jkollna tmexxija ġdida.

Filwaqt li nieħu din l-opportunitá nirringrazzja lill-Arnold għall-ħidma tiegħu tul dawn is-snin kollha huwa neċessarju li issa nikkonċentraw fuq il-ħidma neċessarja biex niftħu kapitlu ġdid. Kapitlu li jrid iżewweġ flimkien l-idejali mal-ħidma organizzattiva.

Jidher li l-piż għal dan ser inġorru jiena u għaldaqstant hu l-mument li nitlob l-għajnuna ta dawk kollha li jissimpatizzaw ma’ Alternattiva Demokratika.   Hu l-mument li nxammru l-kmiem.

ODZ lessons : from  Żonqor to Għargħur

 

A planning application (PA3592/16)  to construct a home for the elderly in the area between Naxxar and Għargħur was due to be discussed by the Planning Authority Board on Thursday. Less than five hours before it was due to begin, however, the public hearing was postponed. There may be valid reasons for the postponement but, so far, such reasons – if they exist – are still unknown.

For the past few months, Alternattiva Demokratika, the Green Party in Malta, has been supporting the residents who are opposed to the development of this privately-owned  home in their neighbourhood since the planning application was first published.

There are various reasons which justify opposition to this proposed development. When faced with such a proposal, the first reactions understandably relate to the direct impact that it will have on the residential community – during both the construction phase and  the operational phase of the proposed facility. During the construction phase, this impact would include excavation noise and vibration, the nuisance caused by airborne dust during construction and the general inconvenience resulting from a large construction site very close to a residential community.

Once the home is in use, the traffic generated at all times of the day – as well as the occupying of residents’ parking spaces by visitors – will be one of the most pressing concerns to justify opposition to the proposal.

These are sensible reasons which justify opposition to the proposed development, even though some mitigation of these impacts is generally possible.

In my opinion, however, before even considering the proposal, it has to be emphasised that the construction of a home for the elderly outside the development zone (ODZ) between Naxxar and Għargħur is a good reason for objection in principle.

On the grounds of social policy, to continue encouraging the institutional care of the aged by way of residential homes does not hold water. It makes much more sense to help the older members of our society to remain in their homes as an integral part of the community, close to their roots, as long as this is possible. This should be the preferred option, rather than forcing them to abandon their roots and move away to the outskirts of our towns and villages.

The Social Policy Ministry harps on about the integration of the elderly in the community while the authority responsible for land use planning is facilitating their segregation. Obviously, somewhere there is a lack of understanding and coordination.

Locating homes for the elderly on the edges of our towns and villages is, in the long term, unsustainable. In addition to fostering segregation, instead of encouraging inclusion, it creates an environmental deficit by encouraging the displacement of a number of the residents of our town and village centres to what is now considered as ODZ land. As a result, this leads to an increase in the number of vacant residential properties while simultaneously adding to the built footprint of the Maltese islands – as if we do not have more than enough developed land!

The 2011 Census identified Għargħur as having a 28.5 per cent residential property vacancy rate. The rate for Naxxar was 24.5. These official statistics, which include both vacant properties and partially vacant properties, will undoubtedly get much worse.

This leads to another argument against the proposal to provide a home for the elderly in this particular area.  How can we justify taking up ODZ land for further development when even the site selection exercise, carried out as part of the application process, identified alternative sites within the development zone?

It seems that not enough lessons have been learnt as a result of the Żonqor debacle.  Is it not about time that the Planning Authority puts its house in order?

Policy coordination between the Ministries concerned with social policy, sustainable development, the environment and land use planning is obviously the missing link and should be addressed immediately.

published in the Malta Independent on Sunday – 25 June 2017

A gambit declined

 

The setting up of a pre-electoral alliance is a complex exercise. Alternattiva Demokratika recognised the strategic importance of forming pre-electoral alliances a long time ago – in fact, prior to the 2008 general election, it had (unsuccessfully) taken up such an initiative itself.

The actual result of the 2008 general election was so close that any pre-election alliance would have had a substantial impact on the final result. This was very clear in the polls commissioned and published in the run-up to that general election.  The difference in votes on a national level between the PN and the PL in the March 2008 general election was a mere 1580, with AD receiving 3810 votes first count votes.

When examining the possibility of forging a pre-election alliance there is generally a choice between two approaches to take: either a principle-based approach or a pragmatic one.

The principle-based approach for a pre-election alliance seeks a long-term view based on building bridges that can possibly withstand the test of time. A pre-election alliance based on principles is based on an agreed shared vision. Even if it is not all-encompassing, this can be easier for voters to identify with as it entails a positive proposal: the shared vision.

On the other hand, the pragmatic approach is one aimed solely at the desired result. It is arithmetically driven. It can signify the lumping together under one umbrella of all sorts of views with (possibly) a minimum common denominator.

The National Front pre-electoral alliance set up by Simon Busuttil and Marlene Farrugia  was, in my opinion, one of the latter. Not only did it include the Nationalist Party and the Democratic Party but also the fringe elements of the PN itself, which had previously been weeded out over the years as undesirables.

The National Front was a pragmatic exercise to the extent that an analysis of the actual votes cast clearly shows that the PD link with the PN resulted in no votes being added to the PN by the PD.  Some may argue, for example,  that votes cast for PD candidates in the fifth district (Marlene Farrugia’s home district),  helped the PN turning the tides on Labour by recapturing Labour’s fourth seat. This is not so, as the gain of an additional seat by the PN on the fifth district was exclusively due to boundary changes: the village of Marsaxlokk having been moved to the third district and it being substituted by the hamlet of Ħal-Farruġ from the sixth district.

The PN/PD alliance failed in its major arithmetic objective as it is clear that it failed to attract a significant number of disgruntled voters. Actually, it rather repelled them with its continuous negative messages and sent most of them back to Labour. Unfortunately, this failed attempt will dissuade any other attempt at alliance-building in the immediate future, as no political party enjoys being taken for a ride, as was Simon Busuttil’s party.

Declining the invitation to join  the National Front as an appendix to the PN  was the correct response from Alternattiva Demokratika. It was an exercise in foresight that has been proved right. Listening to “independent” journalists and self-centred intellectuals advocating the Busuttil/Farrugia National Front was a very sad experience, as these were the same people who should have taken the PN itself to task for its internal contradictions on issues of good governance. By endorsing the PN-led National Front, unfortunately, they ended up endorsing the PN’s misdemeanours when they should have been at the forefront of those insisting that the PN clean up its act before claiming any right to wear the suit of shining armour.

In another context, it was former PN Finance Minister Tonio Fenech who made the most appropriate statement earlier this week in the Malta Independent. Answering his own rhetorical question as to what the Nationalist Party stands for, Tonio Fenech replied: “The only true answer I can give is, I don’t know”.

And so say all of us.

published in the Malta Independent on Sunday – 18 June 2017

Il-futur ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

It-tnaqqis tal-voti li Alternattiva Demokratika kisbet fl-elezzjoni ġenerali ta’ tmiem il-ġimgħa l-oħra minn 1.8% għal 0.83% tal-voti totali kienet bla dubju daqqa kbira. Imma kienet daqqa antiċipata u direttament marbut mar-rifjut ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika li tipparteċipa fil-Front Nazzjonali mmexxi mill-Partit Nazzjonalista.

Mhux l-ewwel darba li Alternattiva Demokratika qalgħet dawn id-daqqiet. Ħarsu, per eżempju, lejn l-elezzjoni ġenerali tal-2003. Dakinnhar, id-daqqa kienet ikbar, għax il-vot mixħut favur Alternattiva Demokratika kien niżel sal-livell ta’ 0.69% tal-voti totali, l-agħar riżultat fit-28 sena storja ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika. Imma fi żmien sena dan reġa’ tela għal 9.33% tal-vot popolari fl-elezzjonijiet tal-2004 għall-Parlament Ewropew.

Tul is-snin Alternattiva Demokratika qatt ma organizzat ruħha fuq livell lokali jew reġjonali. Dan minħabba nuqqas ta’ voluntiera imma ukoll minħabba allerġija tat-tmexxija għal kull xorta ta’ burokrazija (anke dik l-iktar minima) kif ukoll minħabba l-profil tal-votant tipiku ta’ AD. Dan hu difett f’Alternattiva Demokratika li ilu preżenti sa minn meta twaqqfet liema difett qatt ma ngħata l-attenzjoni mistħoqqha.

Fil-fehma tiegħi, dan hu l-kawża ewlenija għan-nuqqas ta’ kapaċitá ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika li tilqa’ għall-attakki diretti mmirati lejn il-votanti tagħha. Hi ukoll ir-raġuni għala AD ma rnexxieliex, tul is-snin, tapprofitta ruħha daqstant miċ-ċaqlieq ta’ votanti minn partit għall-ieħor.

Huwa tajjeb li jkollok prinċipji soddi, imma n-nuqqas ta’ presenza kontinwa u organizzata fil-lokalitajiet inaqqas l-interazzjoni mal-elettorat, liema interazzjoni teħtieġ li tkun waħda kontinwa biex tkun effettiva. Dan fisser li waqt li AD setgħet tieħu d-deċiżjoni politika dwar l-involviment jew le f’allejanza pre-elettorali ma kelliex il-kapaċitá organizzattiva biex tilqa’ għall-konsegwenzi.

Tajjeb li l-qarrej jiftakar li Alternattiva Demokratika kienet taqbel li titwaqqaf allejanza pre-elettorali wiesa’ kontra l-korruzzjoni u favur il-governanza tajba. Il-punt ta’ nuqqas ta’ qbil mal-proposta tal-PN kien li fil-fehma ta’ AD l-allejanza proposta kellha tkun distinta mil-partiti politiċi individwali li jiffurmawha. F’Alternattiva Demokratika konna inkwetati li l-proposta tal-PN biex AD tissieħeb mal-istess PN billi tifforma parti mill-istess lista elettorali inevitabilment kienet ser twassal għal diversi sitwazzjonijiet li ma kienux aċċettabbli: bħal posizzjonijiet dwar proposti politiċi inaċċettabbli kif ukoll il-presenza ta’ kandidati mhux aċċettabbli. Ir-riskju kien kbir wisq u ma konniex disposti li noħduh.

Sfortunatament iż-żmien tana raġun. Dan seħħ, per eżempju, meta l-PN approva li jippreżenta lill-kandidat omofobiku Josie Muscat. Seħħ ukoll bid-dikjarazzjonijiet politiċi kemm ta’ Marlene Farrugia kif ukoll ta’ Simon Busuttil favur il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa kif ukoll favur l-insib. Seħħ ukoll bil-posizzjonijiet kontradittorji dwar iċ-ċirkwit tat-tlielaq tal-karozzi kif ukoll bl-emfasi ta’ Simon Busuttil dwar il-mina proposta li tgħaqqad Malta u Għawdex. Posizzjonijiet politiċi li huma kollha inaċċettabbli għal Alternattiva Demokratika.

B’żieda ma dan, il-PN, naqas milli jindirizza l-kontradizzjonijiet interni fi ħadnu dwar il-governanza tajba. Dawn jinkludu n-nuqqas ta’ Claudio Grech li jiftakar x’laqgħat kellu ma George Farrugia dwar l-iskandlu taż-żejt, il-kaz ta’ Beppe Fenech Adami dwar in-nuqqas ta’ deċiżjoni għaqlija meta aċċetta li jkun direttur tal-kumpanija Capital One Investments Limited, il-kunflitt ta’ interess ta’ Mario de Marco dwar il-grupp kummerċjali db kif ukoll it-taħwida ta’ Simon Busuttil innifsu dwar l-invoices tal-grupp db u l-assoċjazzjoni tagħhom mal-iffinianzjar tal-PN innifsu.

Dan kollu, safejn hu magħruf, ma kellu l-ebda importanza għall-Partit Demokratiku imma għal Alternattiva Demokratika kien kollu ostaklu għall-formazzjoni ta’ alleanza pre-elettorali għax kien imur b’mod sfaċċat kontra l-proposti elettorali favur tmexxija tajba. Dawn il-materji semmejnihom waqt il-laqgħa esploratorja li kellna mal-PN imma id-delegazzjoni tal-PN ma wriet l-ebda interess: tbissmet u injorathom. Meta jkun meqjus dan kollu, id-deċiżjoni ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika li ma tissieħibx fil-Front Nazzjonali mmexxi mill-PN kienet waħda tajba u dan għax, kif spjegat iktar il-fuq, kienet toħloq bosta diffikultajiet u kontradizzjonijiet.

Matul ix-xhur li ġejjin nittama li jkun hemm it-tibdil meħtieg f’Alternattiva Demokratika biex din tiġġedded u tissaħħah. Huwa tibdil meħtieġ biex AD tkun iktar effettiva u tkun kapaċi tikkomunika mal-votanti aħjar is-sena kollha, u dan minkejja l-limitazzjoni li għandha ta’ riżorsi.

Ippubblikat minn Illum : il-Ħadd 11 ta’ Ġunju 2017

AD’s future

The reduction of Alternattiva Demokratika’s share of the national vote from 1.8 per cent  to 0.83 per cent was a heavy blow. It was, however, anticipated and was directly linked to AD not accepting to form part of the PN-led National Front.

Alternattiva Demokratika has been there before, its share of the national vote having dipped in the past – particularly during the 2003 general election. On that occasion it went down further than this year’s performance and reached 0.69 per cent, the lowest point ever in AD’s 28-year history – only to rebound with a vengeance to win a staggering 9.33 per cent of the popular vote in the 2004 European Parliament elections, just 12 months later.

Over the years, AD has refrained from extending its organisational arm at a regional and possibly local level. This was primarily dictated by the numbers of available volunteers but also by an in-built allergy to anything deemed even minimally bureaucratic, as well as by the volatile profile of the typical AD voter. This is AD’s major weakness: it has been ever-present since the party’s foundation and has never been adequately addressed.

This weakness, is in my view, the major cause of AD’s inability (to date) to successfully withstand or substantially mitigate frontal attacks on its voter base. Likewise, it is the reason why AD has not been able to tap adequately and successfully into voter dissatisfaction with other political parties over the years.

Having sound principles is fine, but not having the organisational tools to propagate your views and effectively link up with grass-roots support is damaging. This lack of organisational capability signified that while AD could take the political decision on whether to form part or not of a pre-election alliance, it could not adequately handle the consequences of this decision.

It would be pertinent to remind readers that AD was in favour of establishing a broad based pre-electoral alliance against corruption and in favour of good governance. The basic point of contention regarding the PN’s proposal for the foundation of such an alliance was the need that it be distinct from its constituent political parties. At AD, we were worried that the PN proposal to add AD and as an appendage to the PN was unacceptable on a point of principle and would inevitably lead to being lumped with undesirable situations such as unacceptable policy positions as well as undesirable candidates. We were not prepared to take such a risk.

Unfortunately, we were proven right, for example, through the selection by the PN of homophobic candidate Josie Muscat as well as through policy declarations by both Marlene Farrugia and Simon Busuttil in favour of spring hunting and bird-trapping, as well as contradictory stances on the motor racing track, or Simon Busuttil’s emphasis on the tunnel between Malta and Gozo with which AD disagrees.

The PN, in addition, failed to address its internal contradictions on good governance. Pending internal PN governance issues include Claudio Grech’s amnesia in relation to meetings with George Farrugia of oil-scandal fame, Beppe Fenech Adami’s error of judgement in taking-up the directorship of Capital One Investments Ltd, Mario de Marco’s db Group conflict of interest, as well as Simon Busuttil’s mishandling of the db Group invoices saga and its relevance to the financing of the PN.

From what is known, these issues, did not bother the Democratic Party, but in AD’s view they were a serious impediment to the proper functioning of a pre-election alliance, as they run directly opposite to an electoral platform based on good governance. We raised all this during the exploratory talks held with the PN, but the PN delegation dismissed these concerns outright.

Given the above, Alternattiva Demokratika took the right decision in not joining the PN-led National Front. Any Parliamentary seat that AD could have gained had it joined the pre-election alliance without the above issues having being addressed would have been tainted.

The future for AD holds great potential. In the coming months changes will be made but these will be carried out at AD’s pace. These changes are an essential prerequisite for ensuring that AD can function more effectively and efficiently in such a way that it can communicate better with its voter base.

published by The Malta Independent on Sunday, 11 June 2017

Simon kburi li hu onest

Smajt lil Simon Busuttil jgħid kemm hu kburi li jxejjer il-bandiera tal-onestá. Valur li skond Simon Busuttil iħaddan il-Partit Nazzjonalista.
Jiena dan ma nifhmux meta niftakar, per eżempju, fil-kaz tal-invoices “foloz” tad-db Group. L-anqas ma nifhmu fid-dawl tad-dikjarazzjoni ta’ Claudio Grech li (hu) ma jiftakarx li qatt iltaqa’ ma George Farrugia taż-żejt, dak, jiġifieri, li qiegħed fiċ-ċentru tal-iskandlu taż-żejt. Dikjarazzjoni li ma titwemminx imma li dwarha ħadd fil-PN ma għamel xejn jew lissen kelma. Forsi għax l-onestá ħierġa minn widnejhom!
L-anqas il-poster boy ta’ Simon Busuttil qatt ma qal xejn. Għax dak ma jarax kollox u, miskin, dak li hu taħt imnieħru ma jxommux. Ovvjament l-onestá ħierġa minn widnejhom.
Sfortunatament il-konsistenza mhux wieħed mill-valuri ta’ Simon Busuttil.

 

Ir-riżultat elettorali : l-ewwel riflessjonijiet

 

L-ewwel nett grazzi lill-2563 persuna li għoġobhom jagħtu l-fiduċja tagħhom lill-kandidati ppreżentati minn Alternattiva Demokratika.

Dan ifisser ukoll li AD naqqset it-total ta’ voti miksuba bi ftit iktar min-nofs. Riżultat li kien mistenni minħabba li ftaqbida elettorali qawwija, bħalma kienet din l-elezzjoni, uħud isibu lill-AD bħala target faċli. Din ġrat diversi drabi fl-istorja elettorali ta AD u fil-fatt minħabba fhekk AD kisbet riżultati agħar minn hekk fil-passat.

Għal min qed jgħid li dan hu l-agħar riżultat li qatt kisbet l-AD, ninfurmah li dan mhux il-kaz. Dak inkiseb fl-2003 meta fil-klima inċerta dwar jekk Malta tissieħibx jew le fl-EU, AD kisbet 1929 voti fl-ewwel għadd.

Setgħet AD tikseb riżultat aħjar? U xkien ikun il-prezz għal dan?

It-tweġiba għal din il-mistoqsija bażika hi li AD setgħet tikseb riżultat aħjar kieku aċċettat li tkun appendiċi tal-PN. Dan konna nafuh, imma ma konniex disposti li nħallsu l-prezz: għax il-prezz kien li narmu l-kredibilitá l-baħar, u dan ma konniex disposti li nagħmluh.

Ir-raġunijiet għaliex għażilna li ma nissieħbux mal-PN huma magħrufa, imma huma ukoll uħud mir-raġunijiet li jistgħu jagħtu spjegazzjoni għal dan ir-riżultat elettorali li għal uħud jidher stramb. Imma mhu stramb xejn.

Uħud qed jgħid li bir-rebħa massiċċa tal-Partit Laburista hemm rebħa għall-korruzzjoni u għan-nuqqas ta governanza tajba. Nissottometti li dan mhux il-kaz.

Kif għidna bħala Alternattiva Demokratika, l-argumenti tal-Partit Nazzjonalista, u tal-appendiċi tiegħu l-Partit Demokratiku, ma kienux kredibbli.

Kif tista titwemmen meta tiftaħ ħalqek kontra l-korruzzjoni, favur il-governanza tajba u kontra l-impatti ta kunflitti ta interess qawwija meta dan kollu madwarek tħallieh għaddej?

Il-PN u dawk li ħeġġew vot favur il-PN dan kollu injorawh u bhekk ikontribwew għal dan ir-riżultat.

Għalkemm nixtieq li r-riżultat kien aħjar għal AD, pero jiena kburi li ħadd ma għaddieni biżżmien.

Ir-riżultat għadu mhux konkluż, għax l-impatti tiegħu għad jistgħu jkunu mitigati xi ftit mit-trasferimenti ta’ voti li ser ikun hemm matul il-bqija tal-għadd. Imma l-istorja bażika hi din li qed ngħidu.

Issa irridu nħarsu lejn il-futur. AD trid tindirizza dawk l-affarijiet li ilha tevita s-snin. Ma jistax ikun li partit politiku bħal AD ma jkunx organizzat aħjar biex ikun fposizzjoni li jilħaq aħjar lill-eletturi. FAlternattiva Demokratika hemm allerġija għall-ħidma organizzattiva, li tiqies minn uħud bħala burokrazija żejda. AD tista’ tkun iktar relevanti biss jekk tkun kapaċi li tagħmel dan il-pass li għalih kien hemm resistenza qawwija internament tul is-snin.

Dan ifisser organizzazzjoni iktar ħajja u viċin l-egħruq tas-soċjetá li fiha naħdmu.  

Għax fl-aħħar mill-aħħar hu inutli li jkollok uħud mill-aħjar ideat jekk ma jkollokx il-kapaċita li twassalhom għand in-nies. Fl-aħħar dan hu in-nuqqas ta AD, nuqqas li hu preżenti elezzjoni wara l-oħra u li sissa ma ġiex indirizzat. AD dejjem kienet partit politiku bideat ċari, li mhux biss tipprietka l-etika fil-politika, imma tpoġġi dan fil-prattika. Huwa neċessarju issa li AD ma tibqax dgħajfa amministrattvament. Għax fdawn iċċirkustanzi l-ideat tajba u l-iġieba korretta mhux biżżejjed.

 

Thirteen elections, two electoral systems

 

 

This Sunday morning, the news will be dominated by the counting process at Naxxar. During the night, until approximately 10.00am this morning, all ballot boxes will be opened and a reconciliation of the votes actually cast is made. The actual counting is scheduled to commence at 10am.

Depending on the difference in votes between the large parties, we may have the first forecast of the result within 30 minutes. However, if the difference is minimal, as was the case in 2008, it will take much longer for accurate forecasts to be made:  it may well be in the early afternoon.

In actual fact, we have in play two different electoral systems, running concurrently on the basis of different rules.

The first electoral system is the Single Transferable Vote system, which is applicable in each and every one of the 13 electoral districts. In fact, we speak of general elections, as in reality we have 13 different and independent elections running in parallel in the various electoral districts. The Single Transferable Vote system is exclusively dependent on the electors’ choices in the last count.

The second electoral system will begin when the counting process in all 13 districts has been completed and seeks to introduce a correlation between the accumulated final count result with the accumulated first count in the electoral districts. As is well known, a correction factor is thereafter applied to remove any discrepancies between the first count and the final count and consequently restore proportionality according to the first count.

This correction of discrepancies is, however, carried out in only two circumstances: namely if a political party surpasses the 50 per cent threshold, and also if only two political parties are elected to Parliament.  In more than two political parties are elected, and none of them exceeds the 50 per cent threshold, then the correction of proportionality discrepancies is simply ignored.

The existence of two parallel electoral systems has its roots in gerrymandering carried out, as a result of which electoral boundaries are periodically tweaked to favour one or the other of the major parties. The most notable cases of such gerrymandering having been carried out prior to the 1971 and the 1981 general elections.

The 1971 gerrymandering exercise did not materialise for just five votes while, as we all know, the 1981 one was successful in that it returned a Labour Government with a three-seat majority when it should have returned a PN government with a one seat majority.

The 1987 Constitutional amendments negotiated by Dom Mintoff and Guido de Marco established a simple and rudimentary majority rule principle. This was subsequently tweaked with additional constitutional amendments in 1996 and 2007, as a result of which the applicability of the proportionality rules were extended to apply where there only exists a relative majority of votes at first count stage. 

The Constitutional rules makes one basic assumption: that only two parliamentary political parties exist and in fact the 2007 amendments extended the applicability of the adjustment mechanism to both parties.

The physical counting of votes will be carried out under the watchful eyes of representatives of all political parties and the candidates themselves.

Human error, and maybe more, contributes to a number of mistakes during the counting process. Some are generally identified and corrected immediately. Others pass by un-noticed, nobody being aware of their potential impact. During the 2013 General Elections count – as a result of an obvious lack of attention of the party representatives – two such mistakes cost the PN two Parliamentary seats, only for the Constitutional Court to decide on the matter 44 months later.

Given these mistakes in 2013, in all probability the atmosphere in the counting hall will be more tense than usual, with the PN and PL representatives competing over who has the best scrutinising skills.

To the many predictions that have already been made as to the possible results I will certainly not add mine. One thing is however certain: this Sunday will be a very long day.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday 4 June 2017 

 

M’għandekx għalfejn tagħżel bejniethom

 

 

Meta tiġi biex tivvota, nhar is-Sibt, mgħandekx għalfejn tagħżel bejniethom.

Mhux importanti min hu l-iżjed jew l-inqas korrott.

Mhux importanti min hu l-iżjed jew l-inqas inkompetenti.

Mhux importanti min hu imċappas l-iktar jew l-inqas.

Mhux importanti min kellu jirreżenja, imma ma rreżenjax fuq iżżewġ naħat.

 

Il-każ tal-Panama Papers u l-kumpaniji ta Konrad Mizzi u Keith Schembri hu wieħed ta gravitá kbira. Daqskemm huma gravi l-allegazzjonijiet dwar is-sid ta Egrant Inc. u l-flus li waslu mingħand il-familja ta Aliyev fil-kontijiet fil-Bank Pilatus.

Mhux gravi ħafna ukoll il-fatt li Claudio Grech, l-Onorevoli tal-Partit Nazzjonalista nesa jekk qattx iltaqa ma George Farrugia, dak tal-iskandlu tażżejt?

Mhux gravi ukoll kif Beppe Fenech Adami spiċċa Direttur tal-Capital One Investment Limited u ma kien jaf xejn dwar it-taħwid li qed jirriżulta dwar din l-istess kumpanija?

U xi ngħidu għar-rapporti tal-Awditur Ġenerali dwar il-qaddis miexi fl-art Jason Azzopardi?

U l-villa ODZ li Toni Bezzina ried jibni fl-istess ħin li kien qed jikteb il-politika ambjentali tal-PN?

It-tnejn jgħidu kif għandhom qalbhom ġunġliena għall-ambjent.

Imma t-tnejn iridu l-mina bejn Malta u Għawdex.

It-tnejn iridu l-korsa tat-tlielaq tal-karozzi.

It-tnejn jilgħaqu l-kaċċaturi u n-nassaba.

It-tnejn jappoġġaw il-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa (Armier, Little Armier u Torri l-Abjad).

Xhemm xtagħżel bejniethom?

Wara kollox mgħandekx għalfejn tagħżel bejniethom!

Lil hinn mill-ġebla u l-kaċċa

 

Illum l-ambjent sar parti essenzjali mil-lingwaġġ politiku li jużaw il-partiti politiċi ta’ kuljum. Imma jekk dan hux kaz ta’ konvinzjoni jew konvenjenza, hu storja oħra.

L-ippjanar bl-addoċċ tal-użu tal-art tul is-snin flimkien mal-kaċċa irresponsabbli u insostenibbli kienu fuq quddiem fl-agenda ambjentali għal ftit taż-żmien mhux ħażin. Ġa ktibt b’mod estensiv dwar dan. Il-ħarsien tal-ambjent iżda, jfisser ħafna iktar minn hekk, avolja fiċ-ċirkustanzi partikolari ta’ pajjiżna kemm l-ippjanar għall-użu tal-art kif ukoll il-kaċċa ser jibqgħu fuq nett fl-aġenda ambjentali.

Żewġ oqsma li bla dubju ser ikunu fuq quddiem nett fl-aġenda ambjentali tal-pajjiż fix-xhur u s-snin li ġejjin huma l-kwalitá tal-arja u l-iskart li niġġeneraw.   Materji li ilna nitkellmu dwarhom is-snin bħala oqsma kruċjali li għandhom impatt fuq il-kwalitá tal-ħajja.

Il-kwalitá tal-arja f’pajjiżna hi effettwata prinċipalment mill-emmissjonijiet tal-karozzi. Teħtieġ li tkun indirizzata permezz  ta’ strateġija nazzjonali dwar it-trasport li tinkoraġixxi forom alternattivi ta’ aċċess sostenibbli bejn l-ibliet u l-irħula tagħna.

Il-metro li qed tiġi proposta ta’ min jikkunsidraha minkejja li s’issa għad ma hemmx dettalji biżżejjed dwar il-proposta nnifisha. Din il-proposta tal-metro, għandu jkun sottolinejat, tista’ tagħmel sens biss jekk tkun marbuta ma azzjoni simultanja li l-ewwel tnaqqas il-karozzi mit-toroq b’mod sostanzjali u li sussegwentement tassigura li fit-toroq tagħna jkun hemm biss karozzi li jaħdmu bl-elettriku.

Ma jagħmilx sens li tipproponi l-introduzzjoni ta’ metro u fl-istess ħin tibqa’ għaddej bi programm ta’ bini ta’ flyovers jew twessigħ ta’ toroq għax programm ta’ din ix-xorta filwaqt li jnaqqas il-konġestjoni tat-traffiku b’mod temporanju jżid il-kapaċitá tal-istess toroq li jieħdu iktar traffiku u dan minn innifsu jwassal għal iktar konġestjoni tat-traffiku.

L-użu ikbar tar-rota tradizzjonali kif ukoll tal-pedelecs ukoll jagħti kontribut sostanzjali għal iktar mobilitá u anke għal kwalitá tal-ħajja aħjar. Imma dan jeħtieġ investiment sostanzjali fl-infrastruttura. Dan jinkludi mhux biss toroq aħjar għal dawk li jużaw ir-rota imma ukoll faċilitajiet ta’ showers fil-post tax-xogħol flimkien ma postijiet addattati fejn titqiegħed ir-rota fiż-żoni riżervati għall-parkeġġ.

Il-mezzi differenti ta’ trasport pubbliku għandhom ikunu imħeġġa biex jagħmlu użu minn sorsi nodfa ta’ enerġija. Dan jista’ jsir billi, pereżempju l-karozzi tal-linja eżistenti jkunu konvertiti biex jaħdmu bil-metan.

L-iskart li niġġeneraw huwa wġiegħ ta’ ras ambjentali kbira li fl-aħħar qed jingħata iktar attenzjoni. Presentement qed ikun indirizzat l-iskart organiku ġġenerat mill-qasam domestiku. Jekk dan l-iskop jintlaħaq dan jista’ jagħti riżultati tajbin għax l-iskart organiku jammonta għal madwar nofs l-iskart li niġġeneraw mid-djar tagħna. Imma hemm ħtieġa urġenti ukoll li l-awtoritajiet tat-turiżmu jiffukaw ftit attenzjoni fuq l-iskart organiku li jiġġeneraw ir-restoranti u faċilitajiet simili għax dan il-qasam kien traskurat għal ftit taż-żmien mhux ħażin.

Il-qasam tal-iskart jista’ jiġġenera ħafna impiegi ambjentali (green jobs) f’industrija tar-riċiklaġġ li għad tista’ tikber għax għandha potenzjal kbir. Din hi problema li kibret magħna tul is-snin minħabba traskuraġni: nistgħu bi ftit attenzjoni nittrasformawha f’opportunitá li mhux biss tissarraf fi kwalitá tal-ħajja aħjar imma ukoll f’ġid ekonomiku.

ippubblikat fl-Illum  – 28 ta’ Mejju 2017