(5) Strengthening democracy in Malta.
The abrogative referendum aims to abolish spring hunting in the Maltese Islands. This is essential in order to protect birds (all birds) but in particular quail and turtledove during the mating season, the time of year when they are most vulnerable. Each bird saved in spring means many more birds during the rest of the year.
As a result of abolishing spring hunting the abrogative referendum will also restore the countryside back to the Maltese during spring. We are all entitled to enjoy the countryside. It belongs to all of us.
We have arrived at this point because the political parties present in parliament have over the years conspired behind our backs together with the hunters’ associations in order to ensure that they have a free hand in the countryside during spring.
Political parties represented in Parliament have failed to heed civil society and environmental NGOs over the years. As a result of this only one option is left : deciding at the ballot box.
When the time comes, (and it will soon come) ensure that you use your vote to abolish spring hunting once and for all.
This is a very important moment in the development of Malta’s democracy. It is the first time that this democratic right will be utilised. It strengthens democracy at its very roots.
All other referenda in Malta were organised by government to consult voters before taking a specific decision (integration with the UK, Independence, joining the EU, introducing divorce legislation). This time the referendum will be held as a result of a popular initiative: voters will be instructing government that spring hunting is to be no more. lt is indeed a defining moment.