Moving away from Ali Baba politics

 

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Way back in 2008 during the general election, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party in Malta had put the issue of a possible parliamentary coalition on the national political agenda.

The PN, then, did its best to try and ridicule the proposal as it preferred to go it alone. At the end of the day, the PN just managed to scrape through the general election by the minimum of margins (1580 votes) on a national level. Eventually, however, it had to pay the consequences, as it ended up as a political hostage of a couple of unprincipled mavericks.

Simon Busuttil is trying not to repeat his predecessor’s mistake. He has called for the formation of a coalition against corruption, hoping that until the forthcoming general election, such a coalition will coalesce around the PN. This is similar to the strategy adopted by Joseph Muscat who transformed the Labour Party into what he described as a “movement”. In practice, however, Muscat’s endeavours have only transformed his Labour Party into a modern day version of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves!

To date, both the PN and the Labour Party have acted in such a way that the only coalition that made sense to them was the one within their own parties as both of them have over the years developed into grand coalitions, at times, championing diametrically opposed causes simultaneously.

However, coalitions are forged quite differently, at least those coalitions that are intended to contribute positively to the local political kaleidoscope.

The first foundation on which coalitions are built is reciprocal respect. Without reciprocal respect, those forming part of a coalition end up clowning around, trying to impress those around them with their buffoonery.

A second essential prerequisite for a coalition is an agreed political programme which clearly communicates the agreed common objectives of the coalition members. It would obviously be expected that members of such a coalition act in accordance to such an agreed political programme. Supporting environmental protection as an essential element of a programme to better everyone’s quality of life would undoubtedly feature in such an agreed political programme to which Alternattiva Demokratika could adhere. This would also be in line with the PN’s recent “conversion” in support of environmental activism.

It is not however clear how these newly discovered credentials of the PN are manifested by going around patting the management of Palumbo Shipyards and Malta Freeport Terminals on the back, congratulating them on their achievements which have inconvenienced their neighbours in the surrounding localities. This was recently done by the Leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil during his visits to the Għajn Dwieli yard and the Kalafrana Terminal.

Consistency by the coalition members is not only desirable, it is an essential prerequisite for a coalition intended to last!

A coalition is not formed just to win an election. On the contrary, it seeks to win an election in order to be in a position to implement an agreed electoral programme. Winning an election is a means to an end and not an end in itself. It is for this reason that coalitions seek to bring together people and political parties who share a sufficient number of ideals on the basis of which they can construct a common electoral platform. Otherwise, what purpose would be served if those forming part of a coalition are not at ease with the new political environment which they seek to create?

For this specific reason, coalitions must be based on sound political principles. Having a coalition or a political party based on anything else is a recipe for the creation of an additional Ali Baba den, of which the present one is more than enough.

A solution to the current ethical crisis, which Malta’s political infrastructure is faced with, will not be delivered by a Parliament which is composed of only two political parties. This ethical crisis can only be overcome if more than two political parties make it to Parliament and if the winner-takes-all mentality and behaviour is consigned to the dustbin of history once and for all . This is both essential and possible without any changes to Malta’s electoral legislation and still allows for like-minded political parties to form a coalition.

It is important that those who have discarded good governance are set aside by the electorate in the forthcoming general election. It is however equally important that the machinery of government is never again entrusted into the hands of one single political party. In Malta’s particular circumstances only this can guarantee that good governance is placed on solid foundations.

published on The Malta Independent on Sunday : 2nd October 2016

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Garanzija biex min seraq, igawdi dak li seraq

Bajja 2.2003 GPullicino jiltaqa' mal-Assocjazzjoni

Fir-ritratt ta’ hawn fuq li hu meħud minn Il-Bajja No.2 ta’ April 2003 jidher George Pullicino, dakinnhar Segretarju Parlamentari, jippoża mal-kumitat inkarigat mill-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa wara waħda mil-laqgħat fejn min seraq l-art pubblika fl-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa ingħata l-appoġġ mill-politiċi li huma eletti fil-Parlament.

Id-dibattitu fil-pajjiż dwar il-kmamar tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa kif ukoll (ftit inqas) dwar dawk fil-Bajja ta’ San Tumas ilu għaddej. Min hu kontra, min hu favur u min jiġi jaqa’ u jqum.

Il-każ huwa wieħed li jattakka s-soċjeta demokratika fl-egħruq tagħha. Għax il-messaġġ ċar li ilu jidwi hu li quddiem il-liġi m’aħniex kollha xorta. Fl-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa (L-Armier, Little Armier, it-Torri l-Abjad) u fil-Bajja ta’ San Tumas il-prinċipju tas-Saltna tad-Dritt (r-Rule of Law) idub u jisparixxi.

Min seraq l-art, bniha bla permess u anke seraq l-elettriku ser ikun ippremjat.

Alternattiva Demokratika biss tkellmet ċar kontra dan l-abbuż. Ftehemu kemm mal-Partit Laburista kif ukoll mal-Partit Nazzjonalista. Fil-Gvern għal 25 sena l-Partit Nazzjonalista ma rnexxilux jerfa’ subgħajh biex iġib sens ta’ ordni. Ipprova darba l-Perit Michael Falzon meta kien Ministru tal-Ippjanar u l-Kabinett bagħtu jixxejjer! Falzon riċentement kiteb fil-gazzetti li dakinnhar tgħallem li l-voti huma iktar importanti mill-prinċipji!

Waqt li l-Perit Michael Falzon ried iwaqqa’ dak li kien illegali, Ministri oħrajn ftehmu ma min b’mod sfaċċat u fid-dawl tax-xemx sfida l-liġi. Dawn dejjem irraġunaw li bl-appoġġ tal-PN u l-PL ħadd ma jista’ għalihom! Fl-aħħar jidher li ser jirnexxilhom.

Il-PN irnexxilu jipproteġihom għal 25 sena sħaħ. Fil-futur qarib il-Labour fil-Gvern jidher li ser jissiġilla din l-sfida kbira għall-liġi u l-ordni fil-pajjiż.

Messaġġ ċar li l-Labour Party ta’ Malta qed jagħti (bl-appoġġ tal-PN). Il-Labour fil-Gvern jiggarantilek li tgawdi dak li sraqt.

Il-lejla fuq Times Talk niddiskuti dan is-suġġett mal-preżentaturi Mark Micallef u Herman Grech u mistednin mill-partiti politiċi l-oħra.

lokalitajiet minn fejn joriginaw dawk li ghandhom il-boathouses f'idejhom 2010

Il-lista ta’ hawn fuq hi estratt minn Il-Bajja Nru 30 ta’ April 2010 u turi l-lokalitajiet fejn joqgħodu dawk li għandhom il-boathouses f’idejhom.

FKNK & the European Year of Citizens

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Vilnius has just hosted the concluding conference of the European Year of Citizens.

Entitled “How to make every year a year of citizens” it focused on the promotion of citizenship as a key element of EU democracy.

The Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius addressing this concluding conference stated “Openness to the world, promotion of democratic values – this is what makes the EU model unique and attractive”.

Yet back home in Malta we have the Federation of Hunters and Trappers (FKNK) proposing the curtailment of referendum rights which are being utilised for the first time by civil society in Malta to promote an abrogative referendum to put an end to spring hunting.

It is clear that the promotion of democratic values is an alien value to FKNK. Certainly not a fitting end to the European Year of Citizens.