Għad baqa’ biss ftit siegħat ċans

Kultant jiġini d-dubju eżattament xi jrid il-Partit Nazzjonalista.

Nhar it-13 ta Frar li għadda kont il-Parlament għal laqgħa tal-Kumitat dwar l-Abbozzi tal-Liġijiet. Kien ġie fuqi Mario de Marco. Wara li irrefera għall-artiklu tiegħi fl-Independent on Sunday ġurnata qabel intitolat Basics for Coalition Building.

Staqsieni jekk kontx tal-fehma li invista ta dak li ktibt kien hemm bażi raġonevoli biex niltaqgħu il-PN u l-AD ħalli naraw jekk hemmx lok għal ftehim. Wara li tkellimt ma Arnold Cassola jiena tajtu risposta posittiva.

Imma wara li għaddiet ġimgħa u ma smajt xejn għidt li ma jridux jafu.

Għaddew 10 ġimgħat sakemm it-Tnejn 24 tApril ċempilli Mario de Marco biex niltaqgħu u fil-fatt iltqajna nhar il-Ġimgħa 28 tApril, wara biss erbat ijiem.

Dan qed ngħidu biex min qed jaħseb li qagħda nittratjenu u ħallejna għall-aħħar jifhem li dan mhux il-każ.

Għad baqa ftit siegħat ċans biex jintlaħaq ftehim. Tajjeb li nifhmu li n-nuqqas ta qbil hu fuq raġuni waħda. Mhux dwar l-isem kif qed jingħad. Imma dwar il-fatt li l-kandidati kollha tal-koalizzjoni jeħtieġihom jippreżentaw ruħhom bħala kandidati tal-PN fuq il-lista elettorali tal-PN kif jgħid il-ftehim bejn il-PN u l-Partit Demokratiku ta Marlene Farrugia.

Dan il-ftehim jinjora faxxa kbira ta votanti li lesti jivvutaw kontra l-partit ta Joseph Muscat imma mhux favur il-Partit Nazzjonalista. L-unika soluzzjoni hi lista elettorali separata mill-partiti li jiffurmaw il-koalizzjoni.

Il-PN għandu document ta tmien paġni imħejji minn AD li jispjega kif dan kollu jista jsir.

Baqa ftit siegħat.

Meta ma jkunx għad baqa ħin nittama li ħadd ma jiġi jeqred.

Reflecting political diversity

 

 

On Friday afternoon, delegations from Alternattiva Demokratika and Partit Nazzjonalista met to discuss whether – and if so to what extent – it would be possible to forge a pre-electoral alliance between the two political parties in view of the forthcoming general election.

Earlier in the day, the PN delegation had briefed the press on the approval by the PN Executive Committee on Thursday of an agreement between the PN and the Democratic Party of Marlene Farrugia.

AD has always been in favour of building a pre-electoral alliance. Such an alliance is necessitated by a weakness in one or more of the major political players, in this case the PN. The state of play of the electoral rules lead to the need of a pre-electoral alliance but so far, however, this is unchartered territory.

AD has criticised the PN in the past, and will continue to criticise it whenever it considers such criticism necessary.  The PN has been criticised by AD for its performance in office as well as for the discrepancies between what it declares as its beliefs and how it then subsequently acts. Such criticism does not exclude the possibility of cooperating with the PN and the possibility of considering the forging of an electoral alliance, provided the right conditions are created.

AD has criticised the PN for not properly handling its MPs.

Claudio Grechs declaration that he did not recollect ever meeting George Farrugia of oil corruption fame is incredulous: yet Simon Busuttil did not take him to task publicly on the matter. It was necessary, but he did not do it. As a result, Simon Busuttil gave the clear message that he is weak when dealing with his MPs when they are evasive. This is not acceptable.

Nor was Beppe Fenech Adami chastised for his error of judgement in relation to the directorship  of Capital One Ltd: he should not be immune to disciplinary action.

Mario Demarcos db consultancy ended up one notch higher, with an apology – a rare event in Maltese politics.  But Simon Busuttils role in the fake invoice debacle is still pending and he must come to terms with the facts at the earliest possible opportunity.

Toni Bezzinas ODZ experiences, whilst pontificating on the merits of environmental protection, were also swept under the carpet by Simon Busuttil.

AD would have preferred to deal with a PN which does not come with this baggage, but everyone knows that this is not possible. To exacerbate matters, the Labour Party – the alternative – is much worse.

The Labour Party is in absolute shambles. This fact should not lead to the erasure or absolution of the PNs misdemeanours: they are, and will remain, on the books, acting as a constant reminder of what should be avoided. But certainly they should never be forgotten. This is part of the baggage that the PN will bring to a pre-electoral alliance.

When considering the setting up of a pre-electoral alliance, one must understand that the result will be much more than the summing up of the individual parts. It should certainly denote a change in attitude and philosophy and should be accompanied by an appropriate name that reflects the new direction planned.   

The selection of an appropriate name for the pre-electoral alliance is of paramount importance as it is the first indicator of a willingness to change. In addition, it has to be a true reflection of the political diversity in the DNA of the proposed alliance. It is only with clear signs of the will to change that voters will consider supporting the alliance.

Agreement on the general political principles that should guide the alliance is encouraging. These are primarily institutional and governance issues but also matters of basic environmental concern and governance.

At Fridays meeting AD presented the PN with a detailed and specific proposal that set the tone of the discussion.  

The identified stumbling block was the name of the proposed pre-electoral alliance. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party of Marlene Farrugia – most probably due to the inexperience of those advising her – did not realise the significance of the matter. She did not realise that accepting the PN as the alliance to which the Democratic Party was to be appended, was a very wrong signal.

The name should reflect the nature of the alliance: an umbrella organisation of separate and independent political parties cooperating in the political project of reconstructing Maltas shattered institutions.  One thing should, however, be clear to everyone: AD will not be an appendage in the proposed alliance. AD will be an active and critical partner and not a subservient appendage.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 30 April 2017