The Prime Minister’s declaration as published in this morning’s Times of Malta that he will not block the abrogative referendum on spring hunting is welcome news.
It is welcome in view of the conflicting statements which Joseph himself made during the past weeks.
Both Joseph and Simon are in a tight corner at this point in time as they are both aware that their respective parties have, for political expediency, kowtowed to the hunting lobby during past years.
Both the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party are in a tight corner. They know it. As both have supported spring hunting. The Labour Party glorifies spring hunting. The PN alternates between glorification of spring hunting and insisting on controls and limits to the practice.
They have developed their specific spring hunting policies throughout the years in response to lobbying by hunters and their organisations. As a result they have created the current mess.
It is clear that the motivation of both PN and PL is not a love of hunting but the fear of being black-listed by pro-hunting voters. It is a choice which they have made and which obviously has its consequences. Their political choices are in conflict with the manner in which modern Maltese society views spring hunting. In view of their not being able to reflect what modern society expects of them it is pretty obvious that the only way forward is for decision-taking in this respect to be exercised directly by the voters.
This is what the abrogative referendum on spring hunting is about.
The abrogative referendum is a decent and democratic way of solving the whole matter hopefully once and for all. It is an exercise in direct democracy which when carried out will be a credit to the country.