Politika dwar id-divorzju tal-Partit Laburista Malti

Humpty Dumpty jirrappreżenta l-politika tal-partit laburista Malti dwar id-divorzju.

La  hawn u l-anqas hemm. Biex bħala partit ikun jista’ jilqa’ lil kulħadd bla diffikulta: kemm lil dawk ta’ favur kif ukoll lil dawk ta’ kontra.

Issa din il-politika ta’ Humpty Dumpty il-PL ma għażiliex biss fuq id-divorzju, iżda  ukoll fil-qasam tal-ambjent: favur il-ħarsien tal-ambjent u favur l-industrija tal-bini, favur il-ħarsien tal-biodiversita’ u favur il-kaċċa fl-istess ħin.

Il-politika ta’ Humpty Dumpty hi l-politika favorita tal-Partit Laburista.  

Forsi tajjeb iżda li niftakru kif tispiċċa l-istorja tat-tfal żgħar (nursery rhyme) intitolata Humpty Dumpty : b’ waqa’  minn fuq il-ħajt.

Tistgħu tiftakru ftit billi tagħfsu hawn

Id-Divorzju : ħawwadni forsi nifhem (4)

(4) Il-Partit Progressiv ; fejn hu ?

Il-Partit Laburista għandu mexxej li stqarr li personalment hu favur id-divorzju imma jemmen li jrid iħalli lil kulħadd fil-liberta’ li jiddeċiedi skond il-kuxjenza.

Posizzjoni nobbli ħafna kieku, sakemm tinduna għalfejn. 

Għax Joseph Muscat qiegħed f’dilemma. Jemmen li bħala partit “progressiv” mhux biss għandu jkun favur id-divorzju imma għandu jkun fuq quddiem. Imma rrealizza li fuq din il-materja l-partit tiegħu m’hu progressiv xejn : hu konservattiv daqs il-PN.

Issa mill-PN tistenniha. Kien konsistenti ma dak li stqarr tul is-snin. Ngħiduha kif inhi: qatt ma stennejt li l-PN ikun favur id-divorzju. Forsi hemm xi żewġ membri parlamentari oħra li huma favur id-divorzju imma iddeċidew li joqgħodu lura. Imma xejn iktar mill-PN. Diġa qalu izjed milli mistenni Jeffrey Pullcino Orlando, Jesmond Mugliette u Karl Gouder.

Imma minn partit li jiddeskrivi lili nnifsu bħala “soċjalista, progressiv u moderat” kont nistenna mod ieħor. Li jkollok Membru Parlamentari wieħed jew tnejn li jaħsibha differenti wieħed jistenniha. Imma li l-parti l-kbira tal-Membri Parlamentari tal-Labour qed jaħsbuha, jistudjaw, għadhom ma qrawx il-liġi ……. tindika affarijiet oħra.

Qiegħed jirriżulta li l-Partit Laburista taħt Joseph Muscat huwa partit konservattiv.

Id-Divorzju : ħawwadni forsi nifhem (3)

(3) Bejn kalkoli u realta’  

L-issues f’dan id-dibattitu qed jiżviluppaw kontinwament. Il-posizzjonijiet huma fluwidi ħafna b’mod partikolari fiż-żewġ partiti l-kbar. L-ebda wieħed mill-partiti l-kbar m’hu kompatt. Dan hu normali f’pajjiż demokratiku u f’soċjeta’ li qed tinbidel. 

Il-PN ħa posizzjoni kontra l-introduzjoni tad-divorzju.  Huwa konxju li fil-PN innifsu hemm opinjonijiet oħra. Mhux biss ta’ dawk li esprimew ruħhom pubblikament. Iżda ukoll ta’ dawk li fissru l-fehma tagħhom wara l-bibien magħluqin. Kemm fil-laqgħat formali tal-Kumitat Eżekuttiv tal-PN kif ukoll f’laqgħat oħra informali li jsiru kontinwament.

M’għandix dubju li fil-grupp parlamentari tal-PN hemm min ser isibha diffiċli biex jittraduċi fehma favur id-divorzju b’vot favur fil-Parlament. Dan minħabba l-kalkoli politiċi. Dan hu riżultat tal-fatt li s-soċjeta’ tagħna qed tinbidel bil-mod. Dak li qed jgħidu u jagħmlu l-Membri Parlamentari mhux neċessarjament li jirrifletti l-valuri tal-votanti. 

Il-familja ukoll qegħda fi stat ta’ metamorfosi. Il-familja reali m’għadhiex dik tradizzjonali iżda l-istat miexi bil-mod wisq biex jirrikonoxxi l-uġiegħ ta’ nies u l-forom ġodda ta’ familja li ilhom is-snin li nibtu fostna. Mhux il-punt jekk taqbilx jew le. Iżda li tiftaħ għajnejk għar-realta. 

Il-Labour għandu nukeju immexxi minn Joseph Muscat u rappresentat prinċipalment minn Evarist Bartolo li jaċċetta d-divorzju. Pero’ għandu numru mhux żgħir ta’ Membri tal-Parlament li huma inċerti dwar x’ser jagħmlu. Ta’ l-inqas dik l-impressjoni li jagħtu ħafna minnhom ħlief Adrian Vassallo li fuq din il-materja tad-divorzju għandu ideat ċari u huwa iktar konservattiv mill-PN.  Bosta mill-Membri Parlamentari l-oħrajn qed jistudjaw, huma inċerti, għad iridu jaqraw il-liġi, qed jieħdu l-pariri …………. għadhom qed jagħmlu l-kalkoli.

Il-Labour qiegħed fi stat ta’ transizzjoni bejn il-veduti konservattivi li qed tirriġetta bil-mod s-soċjeta’ Maltija u viżjoni progressiva tas-soċjeta li tirikonoxxi l-uġiegħ tan-nies u r-realta’ ta’ forom alternattivi ta’ familja.

Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) hi l-uniku partit politiku kompatt dwar id-divorzju. Il-fatt li  hu partit żgħir u bi storja riċenti hu ta’ relevanza kbira għal dan.

AD biss għandha l-appoġġ tal-votanti tagħha favur id-divorzju. Dan għax sa mit-twaqqif ta’ AD fl-1989 iddikjarat ruħha favur id-divorzju u inkludiet proposti konkreti f’dan is-sens f’kull programm elettorali u ċjoe f’dawk għall-elezzjonijiet ġenerali tal-1992, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2008.   

 

Qegħdin f’salib it-toroq : fit-triq diffiċli bejn il-kalkoli u r-realta’. L-uġiegħ tan-nies qiegħed hemm fejn jarah kulħadd jistenna l-Parlament jiċċaqlaq.

Ir-referendum jidher li ser ikun l-għodda magħżula biex tħoll il-kobba. M’hiex l-aħjar għodda. Għax id-drittijiet ċivili naddottawhom billi nimmaturaw u nifhmu li hemm opinjonijiet differenti li jistgħu jeżistu flimkien. Opinjoni ma teskludix oħra.

M’huwiex faċli li tgħid x’ser tkun il-konkużjoni. Għalhekk l-inċertezza fost il-Membri tal-Parlament li huma imdorrijin jiddeċiedu f’termini ta’ maġġoranza u minoranza hi kbira.

Għad jonqos ir-rispett ta’ opinjonijiet differenti u r-rikonoxximent tal-fatt li forom differenti ta’ familja diġa’ jezistu.  Avolja l-istat Malti ma jirrikonoxxihomx. L-introduzzjoni tad-divorzju hu pass importanti f’din it-triq tal-għarfien tar-realta’. L-uġiegħ tan-nies qed jistenna.

Id-Divorzju : ħawwadni forsi nifhem (2)

(2) Referendum : Meta ?

Id-dibattitu pubbiku dwar id-divorzju kull ma jmur jitħawwad jew aħjar iħawduh. 

Il-PN irid referendum wara li l-Parlament japprova l-abbozz ta’ liġi. (Dejjem jekk l-abbozz ta’ liġi jkun approvat.) Il-Labour irid referendum qabel ma jiġi diskuss l-abbozz ta’ liġi fil-Parlament.

Alternattiva Demokratika jidhrilha illi  l-introduzzjoni tad-divorzju tikkonċerna dritt ċivili ta’ minoranza. Anke’ jekk il-maġġoranza ma tridx taf b’dan id-dritt, xorta hu neċessita.’ L-approvazzjoni għandha ssir direttament mill-Parlament mingħajr il-bzonn ta’ referendum.

Il-PN irid ir-referendum wara d-dibattitu Parlamentari biex ikun jista’ joħloq ostaklu doppju: jekk il-liġi tad-divorzju tgħaddi mill-Parlament ikollu it-tieni possibilita’ li jivvota kontra u b’hekk jipprova jagħmel użu mir-referendum biex jimmina l-introduzzjoni ta’ dan id-dritt. Jekk ir-referendum isir qabel id-diskussjoni Parlmentari l-PN ikollu problema kbira f’każ li r-riżultat tar-referendum ikun favur id-divorzju. Għax f’każ ta’ konflit bejn ir-rieda demokratika tal-poplu espressa f’referendum u l-prinċipji/valuri tal-PN  nimmaġina li bosta mill-Membri Parlamentri tal-PN mhux ser iħosshom komdi jivvotaw favur il-proposti ta’ Jeffrey Pullicno Orlando.  Ikun hemm kriżi kbira ta’ kuxjenza.

Il-PL irid ir-referendum qabel id-dibattitu Parlamentari biex f’każ ta’ riżultat favorevoli l-Membri Parlamentari tiegħu kollha (ħlief Adrian Vassallo li diġa iddikjara li ħadd u xejn m’hu ser iċaqalqu hlief jekk jinżel ikelmu Gesu Kristu) forsi jserħu l-kuxjenza u jkunu jistgħu jivvutaw favur id-divorzju biex iwettqu r-rieda tal-poplu. Jekk ir-referendum jagħti riżultat negattiv il-Labour ikun jista’ jaħsel idejh u b’hekk ikun qiegħed iwettaq ir-rieda popolari ukoll!  B’hekk pero’ jevita li jkun hu l-ewwel li jieħu posizzjoni fuq id-divorzju.

Fid-dawl ta’ din il-politika ta’ straġemmi li jħammru wiċċ Machiavelli mhux faċli ghall-Membri tal-Parlament li jieħu posizzjoni u fl-istess ħin jevitaw li jinġarru mill-mewġ tal-konvenjenza.

L-aħjar kumment li rajt s’issa kien ta’ wieħed mill-Membri Parlamentari tal-PN li ġie ikkwotat jgħid li x’jaħseb jew ma jaħsibx kull wieħed minna huwa irrelevanti ħdejn l-obbligu li għandna li ma nimponux il-veduti tagħna fuq ħaddieħor. 

Fid-dawl ta’ dan kollu nifhem li r-referendum qabel id-diskussjoni parlamentari tista’ tkun id-deċiżjoni t-tajba li b’hekk tittieħed mill-poplu direttament.  Id-deċiżjoni b’hekk tittieħed mill-poplu ġaladarba l-Membri Parlamentari qed isibu diffikulta li jagħmlu xogħolhom.

Id-Divorzju : ħawwadni forsi nifhem (1)

(1) Il-Mandat 

Kemm il-Partit Nazzjonalista (PN)  kif ukoll il-Partit Laburista (PL) qed jgħidu li m’għandhomx mandat elettorali minħabba li l-progamm elettorali tagħhom ma jagħmel l-ebda riferenza għad-divorzju. Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) hi l-uniku partit politiku f’Malta li dejjem kellu posizzjoni ċara favur id-divorzju u dan sa mill-1989 meta twaqqaf il-partit.

Dan in-nuqqas ta’ mandat hi l-iskuża għas-sens ta’ indeċiżjoni li presentement tirrenja fost il-Membri Parlamentari.

Li kieku kellna naraw x’deċiżjonjiet ħa l-Parlament tul is-snin insibu kwantita’ kbira ta’ materji li dwarhom ma kien hemm l-ebda referenza fil-programm elettorali. Allura dan ifisser li imxew ħażin? Żgur li le għax id-dover tal-Membru Parlamentari jmur lil hinn mill-programm elettorali. Se mai l-iżball hu tal-Partiti li ħallew barra issues bħad-divorzju mill-programm elettorali. Id-divorzju m’hiex materja li tfaċċat fuq l-agenda politika illum. Ilha magħna snin iżda kemm il-PN kif ukoll il-PL beżgħu jiffaċċjawha.

Li qed jiġri illum għaldaqstant hu li kemm il-PN kif ukoll il-PL iridu jiffaċċjaw ir-realta li ilhom jaħarbu minnha is-snin.

The right link that remains missing

The proposal by Franco Mercieca (Minding Our Gap, The Sunday Times, January 23) and Parliamentary Secretary Chris Said (Light At The End Of The Tunnel, The Times, January 31) to permanently link Malta and Gozo need to be considered in a strategic context.

Various proposals have been discussed throughout the years addressing Gozo’s double insularity. While the difficulties encountered by Gozitans to cross the channel are to be addressed it has to be underlined that if a permanent link is introduced it may have various other effects in addition to addressing mobility between the islands.

None of the proposals has assessed whether Gozo’s isolation is a positive feature, which, once lost, will never be regained.

Once Gozo is permanently linked with the mainland it will be an integral part of it, for better or worse. In particular, one would have to consider whether a permanent link would impact negatively the contribution of tourism towards the Gozitan economy.

Certainly, with an easier access, Gozitan consumers could tap the retail outlets of northern Malta. With Dr Said being responsible for consumer protection this could be an added bonus.

Whether the proposal is a bridge or a tunnel, a land based or an amphibious airplane. all come at a cost and leave considerable impacts. Costs are not just economic but social and environmental too.

A tunnel excavated below the seabed will undoubtedly eliminate visual intrusion into the Comino and Ċirkewwa landscape but it will certainly cause another rubble mountain resulting from excavating through at least six kilometres of rock under the seabed as well as additional kilometres to create the tunnel’s points of access on land. This rubble mountain could be anything between 1.5 and two million cubic metres of excavated rock depending on the actual design of the tunnel and its selected route.

The experience of various Nordic countries has been mentioned. At the time of writing a similar project has just been approved by the Danish Parliament to link the Danish island of Lolland to Fehmarn, a German island. Both islands are already linked through bridges to their respective countries. When finalised, this project would reduce the duration of a rail journey between Hamburg and Copenhagen by 33 per cent, from 4.5 hours to three hours. The tunnel will be 18 kilometres long. Works are projected to commence in 2014 and will take about six years to conclude. Costs are estimated to be in the region of 32 billion kroner, that is €4.2 billion. The projected tunnel across the Fehmarn strait will not be of the excavated type but prefabricated sections will be laid on the seabed.

The costs of these types of projects are indicative as there are a lot of variables involved. The Channel Tunnel between England and France, for example, overshot its final estimates based on actual designs by over 80 per cent.

Geologist Peter Gatt, commenting on The Times (February 3), pointed out that the Gozo Channel’s geology is riddled with faults. In addition, he pointed out there are areas of the seabed around Comino where clay abounds. This, it was pointed out, compounds the issue of expenses relative to civil engineering solutions, which have to be based on a thorough examination of the geology of the Gozo Channel.

There are a large number of caves in the areas. In addition, as pointed out by marine biologists, the Gozo Channel contains various marine protected areas.

On the basis of the above, it would seem the cost of the projected tunnel would be substantially higher than the €150 million guesstimate of Dr Said. The Fehmarn strait projected tunnel costings point towards an estimate of between €1 billion and €1.5 billion for the Gozo Channel tunnel, that is between six and 10 times the Said guesstimate. This estimate could become more precise when all the constraints, foremost being those of a geological and environmental nature, have been identified.

The government is unfortunately approaching the issue of identifying the suitable missing link between Malta and Gozo in a very amateurish and populist manner. It has so far failed to produce a strategy addressing the interlinking of transport between Gozo and the north of Malta. When such a strategy has been produced it should be subjected to a strategic assessment as laid down by the Strategic Environment Assessment Directive of the European Union. The social, environmental and economic impacts of the various options on both Malta as a whole and Gozo as a region would thus have been identified and analysed.

The necessary decision can then be taken in the interest of the whole community.

It has to be clear to all that if we are to arrive at a solution in identifying the suitable missing link the populist approach utilised so far should be discarded.

Published in The Times of Malta, February 12, 2011