Constitutional Convention: upsetting the apple-cart

 

A Constitutional Convention is long overdue. It has been on the public agenda for years.

Over the years, Malta’s Constitution has been patched up several times in order to resolve political issues arising at that particular point in time. It is about time that the Constitution is considered in its entirety in order to ensure that it serves the needs of the nation now and in the foreseeable future. An overhaul would certainly be in order.

One major issue which, in my view, needs to be addressed is the curtailing of the executive’s power over the composition, set-up and running of authorities and institutions so that these can begin functioning properly. Rather than the executive ceding power, as Minister Owen Bonnici stated recently when piloting the debate on the Bill that seeks to introduce limited screening of public appointments, it means that Parliament should rediscover its proper functions and claim back its authority.

This is the basic flaw in Malta’s Constitutional set-up. Malta is described as a Parliamentary democracy and, on paper, Parliament does have the power to decide but, over the years it has been reluctant to upset the current balance of power that favours Cabinet over Parliament. Unless and until there is a will to address this, no headway can be made and any proposed changes will necessarily be cosmetic in nature.

Currently, the focus of public debate is on the functioning of the institutions of the state. This debate has been going on for some time but has gathered steam as a result of the obvious inertia observed over many years. The principal issue is the manner in which major public appointments are made.

Unfortunately the public debate is sometimes derailed. The debate on the Attorney General’s office, for example, should rather be on the functions of the office than on Dr. Peter Grech, the current incumbent. In particular, Parliament should examine whether the multitude of responsibilities added to the office of the Attorney General over the years have diluted its Constitutional responsibilities. One detailed proposal on the hiving off of responsibility for public prosecutions was made in the Vanni Bonello-led Justice Reform Commission, many moons ago. So far, no action has been taken.

I think that by now it is clear to all that Parliament, on its own, will not deliver on the reform required because such reform, if properly carried out, will upset the manner in which political power is exercised in these islands.

The basic Constitutional set-up underpinning the 1964 Constitution, notwithstanding the multitude of changes carried out throughout the years – including the 1974 change from a Constitutional Monarchy to a Republic – is still substantially in place. On Independence, in 1964, most of the powers of the British sovereign, then exercised through the Governor, were handed over to the Prime Minister, subject to the theoretical oversight of Parliament. For over 50 years, Parliament has been reluctant to upset the apple-cart and no Prime Minister has ever had the courage to propose the curtailment of his own powers and handing them over completely to Parliament, which is where they belong in a Parliamentary democracy. Nor has Parliament ever taken the initiative: its composition prevents it from acting in such a manner.

The current large size of the Cabinet, coupled with the nomination of backbench MPs on the government side to various posts and sinecures, is a clear declaration of intent. Keeping backbench MPs happy and occupied reduce the likelihood of them asking too many questions. This has been going on for some time: in fact the Gonzi administration acted in a manner very similar to the current administration in this respect.

This, in my view, is the crux of the whole issue which Parliament cannot and will not resolve on its own. It needs a vibrant civil society (not a fake one represented by a couple of non-entities) which can prod and guide it until it embarks on the path where real political power is channelled back to where it really belongs. This is the real reason why electoral reform has always been left on the back burner, as it is only through fair electoral reform that results in a different Parliamentary format whereby Parliament can start to think outside the box in which it is currently restrained.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday : 5 November 2017

Advertisements

Greening the Constitution

Chadwick Lakes 02

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party –  is in agreement that 50 years after its adoption Malta’s Constitution needs to be updated.  However such an exercise, as emphasised in AD’s 2013 electoral manifesto, should be carried out with the direct involvement of civil society. The Constitution belongs to all of us.

There are a number of issues which require careful consideration. In AD’s 2013 electoral manifesto at least fourteen such issues are identified. They vary in scope from electoral reform to widening the issues in respect of which discrimination is prohibited, by including protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. AD also proposes the introduction of a Constitutional provision in favour of a balanced budget, thereby ensuring that government is forced to discard budget deficits and consequently to control the spiralling public debt.

One very important issue is the need to entrench environmental rights and duties in the Constitution. The proposed Constitutional Convention, supported by AD, should aim at Greening the Constitution. That is, it should aim at addressing environmental rights and duties such that they are spelled out in unequivocal terms.  Environmental rights and duties should as a minimum be spelled out as clearly as property rights in the Constitution. They are worthy of protection just as the rights of individual persons.

Article 9 of the Constitution very briefly states that “The State shall safeguard the landscape and the historical and artistic patrimony of the nation.”  Further, in article 21 of the Constitution we are informed that this (and other safeguards) “shall not be enforceable in a Court” but that this (safeguard) shall be “fundamental to the governance of the country” and that it shall be the aim of the State to apply it in making laws.

It is not conducive to good governance to first declare adherence to specifc safeguards, but then specifically excluding the Courts from ensuring that such safeguards are being observed.

The strategy of announcing principles but then not providing the legislative framework for their implementation was also taken up in environmental legislation. In fact articles 3 and 4 of the 2010 Environment and Development Planning Act  announce a whole list of sound environmental principles. However  in article 5 of the same Act it is then stated that these cannot be enforced in a Court of Law!

When I had the opportunity of discussing the Environment and Development Planning Bill with Mario de Marco (then Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Tourism and the Environment) I had proposed on behalf of the Greens that the declarations  in articles 3 and 4 of the Bill should not be just guiding principles. They ought to be made enforceable by our Courts subject to the introduction of  a suitable transition. Unfortunately Dr de Marco did not take up the Greens proposal.

As things stand today, article 3 of the Environment and Development Planning Act announces very pompously that the government,  as well as every person in Malta, has the duty to protect the environment. Furthermore it is announced that we are duty bound to assist in the taking of preventive and remedial measures to protect the environment and manage resources in a sustainable manner.

Article 4 goes further:  it  states that government is responsible towards present and future generations.  It then goes on to list ten principles which should guide government in its endeavours.  Integrating environmental concerns in decisions on socio-economic and other policies is first on the list. Addressing pollution and environmental degradation through the implementation of the polluter pays principle and the precautionary principle follows immediately after.  Cooperation with other governments and entities enshrines the maxim of “think global, act local” as Malta both affects and is affected by environmental impacts wherever they occur.  The fourth guiding principle is the need to disseminate environmental information whilst the fifth one underlines the need of research as a basic requirement of sound environment policy.  The waste management hierarchy is referred to in the sixth principle followed immediately by underlining the requirement to safeguard biological diversity and combatting all forms of pollution.  Article 4 ends by emphasising that the environment is the common heritage and common concern of mankind and underlines the need to provide incentives leading to a higher level of environmental protection.

Proclaiming guiding principles in our Constitution and environmental legislation is not enough. Our Courts should be empowered in order that they are able to ensure that these principles are actually translated into concrete action.   Government should be compelled to act on the basis of Maltese legislation as otherwise it will only act on environmental issues when and if forced to by the European Union as was evidenced in the past nine years.

Greening the Constitution by extending existing environmental provisions and ensuring that they can be implemented will certainly be one of the objectives of the Greens in the forthcoming Constitutional Convention.

published in the Times of Malta 18 May 2013

Mill-Manifest Elettorali ta’ AD dwar bidliet fil-Kostituzzjoni: (2) Riforma Elettorali

(2)    Riforma Elettorali

Malta għandu jkollha sistema elettorali bbażata fuq rappreżentanza proporzjonali assoluta bejn siġġijiet u voti mitfugħa f’elezzjoni, ikkoreġġuti b’għatba ta’ 2.5%. Dan il-prinċipju jista’ jinkiseb bl-istess Sistema ta’ Vot Trasferibbli filwaqt li jitwessa’ l-mekkaniżmu Kostituzzjonali attwali li jiżgura proporzjonalità stretta bejn l-għadd ta’ voti u siġġijiet u li jimxi minn wieħed li japplika biss f’każijiet fejn żewġ partiti biss jiġu eletti fil-Parlament, għal wieħed li japplika għall-partiti kollha li jaqbżu l-għatba nazzjonali ta’ 2.5% tal-ewwel għadd tal-voti. Malta għalhekk għandha jkollha għatba doppja, bi kwota distrettwali ta’ 16.6% li tippermetti li individwu jiġi elett minn distrett, u kwota nazzjonali b’għatba ekwivalenti ghal żewġ kwoti biex partit politiku jiġi rrappreżentat fil-Parlament.

………………………….

Id-dritt li ċ-ċittadini jikkontestaw l-elezzjonijiet lokali, ġenerali u Ewropej għandu jkun inkorporat fil-Kostituzzjoni u mhux imħolli f’idejn il-konvenjenza tal-gvern tal-ġurnata.

(siltiet mill-Kapitlu Numru 6 tal-Programm Elettorali ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika)

Snippets from AD’s electoral manifesto: (17) Electoral Reform

The following extract is taken verbatim from Chapter 6 of AD’s Electoral Manifesto

Malta should have an electoral system based on absolute proportional representation between seats and votes cast in elections subject to a 2.5% threshold. This principle could be achieved by retaining the Transferable Vote System while widening the current constitutional mechanism ensuring strict proportionality between number of votes and seats from one which applies only in cases where two parties are elected to parliament, to one which applies to all parties surpassing the national threshold of 2.5% of 1st count votes. Malta should therefore have a double threshold, with a district quota of 16.6% that would allow an individual to be elected on her/his own steam for one’s district and a national quota with a threshold of 2.5%, equivalent to two quotas for a party to be represented in Parliament.
L-Estratt segwenti hu mehud kelma b’kelma mill-Kapitlu 6 tal-Manifest Elettorali ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

Malta għandu jkollha sistema elettorali bbażata fuq rappreżentanza proporzjonali assoluta bejn siġġijiet u voti mitfugħa f’elezzjoni, ikkoreġġuti b’għatba ta’ 2.5%. Dan il-prinċipju jista’ jinkiseb bl-istess Sistema ta’ Vot Trasferibbli filwaqt li jitwessa’ l-mekkaniżmu Kostituzzjonali attwali li jiżgura proporzjonalità stretta bejn l-għadd ta’ voti u siġġijiet u li jimxi minn wieħed li japplika biss f’każijiet fejn żewġ partiti biss jiġu eletti fil-Parlament, għal wieħed li japplika għall-partiti kollha li jaqbżu l-għatba nazzjonali ta’ 2.5% tal-ewwel għadd tal-voti. Malta għalhekk għandha jkollha għatba doppja, bi kwota distrettwali ta’ 16.6% li tippermetti li individwu jiġi elett minn distrett, u kwota nazzjonali b’għatba ekwivalenti ghal żewġ kwoti biex partit politiku jiġi rrappreżentat fil-Parlament.

Qabel ma tfaċċa Franco Debono

L-Onorevoli Franco Debono donnu jaħseb li qabel ma tfaċċa hu ħadd qatt ma tkellem dwar il-liġijiet elettorali u l-finanzjament tal-partiti.  Fil-fatt fil-blogpost tiegħu tat-8 ta’ Settembru 2012 qalilna :

“If AD had any sort of rudimentary strategy they would take up my proposals for reform in the electoral law and party financing instead of playing Austin Gatt s game who has been against both.” [Nota miżjuda t-Tnejn 10 ta’ Settembru 2012: il-blogpost hawn fuq ikkwotata jista’ jkun hemm diffikultajiet dwarha għax għal xi hin illum tneħħiet minn fuq il-blog ta’ Franco Debono. Ma kien hemm l-ebda spjegazzjoni għal dan.]

Tajjeb li jkun jaf li id-dinja kienet teżisti ħafna qabel ma tfaċċa Franco Debono.

Alternattiva Demokratika ilha titkellem fuq dawn l-issues (liġijiet elettorali u finanzjament tal-Partiti) għal snin twal u dan flimkien ma issues oħra bħall-Whistleblowers Act u FOI (Freedom of Information Act) sa mit-twaqqif tagħha fl-1989.

Ikun aħjar li kienu min jtkellem u/jew jikteb jiċċekkja ftit l-affarijiet qabel ma jħarbex jew jiftaħ ħalqu.

Koalizzjoni ? Ma min ?

Silta mill-intervista li Andrew Azzopardi ghamel lil Carmel Cacopardo.

Jekk trid tara l-intervista kollha :

aghfas hawn ghall-ewwel parti

aghfas hawn ghat-tieni parti.

Mistoqsija :  L-AD tikkonsidra tagħmel koalizzjoni ma’ wieħed mill-partiti l-kbar?  Jekk jinħoloq dan ix-xenarju liema partit tagħżlu?

 

Tweġiba : It takes two to tango.

L-idea ta’ koalizzjoni kienet minfuħa ftit iżżejjed waqt il-kampanja elettorali tal-2008. Teoretikament hemm żewġ possibilitajiet għal koalizzjoni. Jew qabel elezzjoni ġenerali inkella wara, meta jkun magħruf ir-riżultat.

Fix-xenarju Malti koalizzjoni pre-elettorali jkollha l-iskop illi partit kbir bħall-PN jew il-PL jiftiehem ma’ AD biex jiġi ppreżentat front wieħed elettorali. Bħala riżultat jingħaddu flimkien il-voti taż-żewġ partiti fl-ewwel għadd. B’hekk ikun iktar possibli li t-total tal-voti miksuba jkun maġġoranza assoluta jew relattiva u per konsegwenza il-front uniku ppreżentat jkun intitolat għall-maġġoranza ta’ siġġijiet parlamentari. Fil-prattika li jkun qed isir hu li l-partit il-kbir ikun qed jutilizza l-voti li jgib il-partit iż-żgħir billi jipprovdi mekkaniżmu biex dawn jingħaddu flimkien. Bil-liġi elettorali li għandna biex dan iseħħ ikun meħtieg li tkun ippreżentata lista elettorali waħda li fiha tiġbor il-kandidati kollha taż-żewġ partiti.

Issa AD m’hiex disposta illi tippreżenta l-kandidati tagħha taħt l-ebda isem ħlief dak ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika. Allura din il-possibilta’ ta’ koalizzjoni pre-elettorali hu ċar li  m’hux possibli li tkun ikkunsidrata u dan sakemm ma jkunux emendati l-liġijiet elettorali.

Koalizzjoni wara l-elezzjoni ġenerali tiddependi l-ewwel minn jekk ikollokx membri parlamentari eletti w it-tieni minn jekk il-membri parlamentari eletti jkunux meħtieġa biex tkun iffurmata maġġoranza parlamentari.  Jekk dan ikun neċessarju kollox imbagħad ikun jiddependi minn ftehim programmatiku f’liema każ AD timxi mal-programm elettorali tagħha u dan billi tiffoka fuq l-issues prinċipali u tipprova tasal fi ftehim fuq issues oħra.

Dan kollu jfisser li AD fil-preżent m’għandha l-ebda preferenza partikolari għal koalizzjoni. Jekk jinqala’ l-każ tista’ tiftiehem ma dak il-partit li miegħu tasal fi qbil fuq programm politiku ta’ ħidma li jkun ibbażat fuq il-programm elettorali. Imma dan biss wara riżultat elettorali li joħloq il-ħtieġa li tkun iffurmata koalizzjoni.

Il-programm elettorali ta’ AD għall-elezzjoni li ġejja kważi lest. L-Eżekuttiv tal-Partit diġa iddiskuta kważi l-kapitli kollha b’mod individwali. Jonqos l-aħħar tlett kapitli  li ser niddiskutuhom dalwaqt. Wara nerġgħu naraw il-programm elettorali kollu b’mod komplet u integrat. Imbagħad ikun lest għal-konsiderazzjoni tal-laqgħa ġenerali.

AD discusses electoral reform with Speaker Michael Frendo

 

A delegation from Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party comprising of Chairperson Michael Briguglio, Arnold Cassola and Carmel Cacopardo met the Speaker of the House Michael Frendo yesterday. During the meeting, AD’s judicial protest on the electoral system and AD’s proposals for electoral reform were discussed.

 

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said:’The Nationalist and Labour Parties, keep doing their utmost to exclude all other political parties from parliament. The PN and PL conveniently fail to recognize  the fact all countries in Europe, including micro-states such as Andorra and San Marino, have more than two parties in Parliament’.

 

‘The Gonzi proposals in the 1990s for a five per cent threshold of votes on a national basis for parliamentary representation were never put in place. To make matters worse, Malta’s unique electoral system has been changed in a way that only strengthens the two-party duopoly. Besides, Labour’s recent decision to stop participating in the Parliamentary select committee which discusses electoral reform has frozen the whole process’.

‘Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party has proposed a fair and responsible electoral system,  similar to that of highly-developed democracies such as Germany. Given that no progress has been made on this issue, last Monday we presented a judicial protest on the matter. Voters who vote for parties not elected in parliament are being discriminated through the current electoral system’.

 

AD protests in Court on discriminatory electoral legislation

 

 

Today morning Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party presented a judicial protest against the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker of the House and the Attorney General calling on them to end the discrimination inherent in Malta’s electoral law.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson said: ‘No progress has been made as regards electoral reform since the positive proposals of the Gonzi commission back in the 1990s. Such proposals then gave due importance to the need for fair representation of political parties in Parliament and the Gonzi Commission had actually proposed a five per cent threshold of votes on a national basis for representation in the House of Representatives. But these proposals were never put in place. Actually, Malta’s electoral system has been changed in a way that only strengthens the two-party duopoly. To make matters worse, Labour has now decided not to participate in the Parliamentary select committee which discusses electoral reform’.

Through its proposal for a 2.5% national threshold AD is proposing a fair balance between democratic representation of voters and functional governance. We are for true proportional representation for all citizens, where each and every vote counts the same. Unlike the PN and the PL, which work as a duopoly that excludes others from the electoral process, AD is putting forward responsible proposals’.

‘AD’s proposals on electoral reform focus on the need to ensure that the number of votes are reflected proportionately for all political parties with regard to the number of seats and not only for the PL and the PN, as is the situation now. Indeed, in the 2008 election the PN’s relative majority of 1,580 votes has been rewarded with extra parliamentary seats while AD’s 3,810 votes have no parliamentary representation whatsoever. We are for a double threshold, with a retention of the existing district quota of 16.6 per cent that would allow an individual to be elected on her/his own steam for one’s district and a national quota of 2.5% of the votes cast (equivalent to
two quotas) for a party to be represented in Parliament. This system would be similar to that of highly-developed democracies. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that all countries in Europe, including micro-states such as San Marino, are represented by more than two parties in Parliament’.

Prof. Arnold Cassola, Spokesperson for EU and International Affairs, stated: ‘Whilst not interfering in internal member electoral systems, the EU is always insisting with non EU countries that they should have fair electoral systems.  The same thing is requested of EU candidate countries, like Turkey, whose electoral system with a 10% threshold is not deemed to be fully democratic by the EU.  We ask the EU Commission and European Parliament to note the antidemocratic aspects of Maltese electoral law, whereby it is only the two parties in parliament whose votes are translated proportionately into seats in parliament, to the detriment of  third parties.’

***

Fil-Prim Awla tal-Qorti Civili   

Illum   21 ta ‘ Gunju 2010
Lil           1. Onorevoli Prim Ministru, Berga  ta Kastilja, Pjazza Ta Kastilja, il-Belt, Valletta
             2. Onorevoli Kap tal-Oppozizzjoni, Partit Laburista, Triq Mile End, Hamrun.
             3. Speaker Kamra tar-Rapprezentanti, Il-Palazz, il-Belt Valletta.
             4. Avukat Generali, Il-Palazz, il-Belt Valletta.

Permezz tal-prezenti ittra ufficjali Michael Briguglio (K.I. 202375 M) f’ismu proprju u fl-isem u l-interess tal-partit politiku Alternattiva Demokratika qed jipremetti:

Illi prezentement is-sistema elettorali Maltija hija wahda li tifavorrixxi biss il-partiti l-kbar u cioe il-Partit Laburista u l-Partit Nazzjonalista, u dana ghax l-Artiklu 52 tal-Kostituzzjoni jipprovdi illi jiskatta mekkanizmu korrettiv fil-konfront ta’ żewġ partiti biex jirristawra l-proporzjonalita’ bejn voti miksuba u membri parlamentari eletti.

Illi dan il-mekkanizmu jiskatta biss meta jkun hemm zewg partiti biss li jkunu eletti, u ma jkoprix il-possibilta li jigi elett/ta membru parlamentari ta partit oltre iz-zewg partiti l-kbar.

Illi dan hu diskriminatorju fil-konfront ta partiti bhal ma hu il-partit mittenti peress li is-sistema taghti vantagg lill-zewg partiti kbar u tpoggi lil partiti ohra fi zvantagg.
Illi l-partit mittenti ilu s-snin shah jilmenta li s-sistema elettorali hi rrangata biex tiffavorixxi liz-zewg partiti l-kbaru fil-fatt fil-passat ha sehem f’diskussjonijiet mal-partiti l-ohra biex tinstab soluzzjoni u meta dawn id-diskussjonijiet waslu fl-ahhar il-partiti l-kbar abbandunaw id-diskussjonijiet bejn tlieta u ftehmu wahedhom
Illi wara l-elezzjoni 2008 twaqqaf Select Committee tal-Parlament b’terms of reference li jinkludu titjib tas-sistema elettorali.

Illi fis-sajf tas-sena 2008 rapprezentanti tal-partit mittenti Alternattiva Demokrattika iltaqa’ ma l-Ispeaker ta dak iz-zmien Onorevoli Louis Galea u ghaddietlu proposti f’dan ir-rigward.
Illi sa s-sena 2010 ma kien hemm l-ebda risposta mill-Ispeaker jew mis-Select Committee u l-partit mittenti rega’ talab li jsiru il-laghat fuq il-ligi elettorali. L-Ispeaker Onorevoli Louis Galea kien stqarr li ghalkemm ma kienx ser ikompli fil-kariga tieghu hu kien gja hejja pjan biex is-sitwazzjoni tkun indirizzata.

Illi ricentement ir-rapprezentanti tal-Partit Laburista iddikjaraw li l-membri tal-partit fis-Select Committee fuq indikata gew irtirati mill-istess Kumitat u dana minhabba tilwima mal-Gvern dwar incidenti fil-Kamra.

Illi dan ifisser li ser nerggha nigu f’sitwazzjoni fejn lejliet l-elezzjoni is-sitwazzjoni diskriminatorja ma tkunx indirizzzata.
Ghaldaqstant, intom qeghdin tigu interpellati sabiex mhux aktar tard minn ghaxart’ t’ijiem minn notifika ta din l-ittra ufficjali tghaddu ghall-emenda u tibdil tal-ligi li hija diskriminatorja fil-konfront tal-partit mittenti. Fin-nuqqas ta’ tali azzjoni rimedjali  il-partit mittenti huma sejjer jintavola il-proceduri gudizzjarji opportuni minghajr ebda pre-avviz iehor.

Ghal kull buon fini jigi dikjarat illi din l-ittra ufficjali qeghda tigi inter alia intavolata sabiex isservi l-finijiet ta’ l-Artikolu 460 tal-Kapitolu 12 tal-Ligijiet ta’ Malta. 

Avv. Claire Bonello
206/1, Wisely House
Old Bakery Street
Valletta

Louis Galea should ensure fair electoral reform

Louis Galea should ensure fair electoral reform. Speaking about parliament’s select committee on electoral law reform, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that it is disappointed at the fact that in one and a half years the only thing the select committee seems to have agreed upon with regards to the reform on the electoral system is to widen the threshold for expenditure by candidates at elections. Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, asked:’Is this being done to ensure that PN and PL candidates who broke the law by exceeding expenditure limits, could come off scot free? We augur that Louis Galea will not be remembered for chairing a select committee that only managed to cover up for such candidates. We strongly urge Louis Galea to ensure that before he leaves for the Court of Auditors, the electoral law is changed so that the number of votes are reflected proportionately for all political parties as regards the number of seats, and not only for PL and PN, as the situation scandalously is at the moment’. In the meantime, a delegation of Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party, comprising Michael Briguglio, Ralph Cassar, Arnold Cassola and Carmel Cacopardo met Louis Galea last week to discuss issues relating to the select committee (electoral reform, regulating political party financing and broadcasting) as well as Dr Galea’s nomination to the EU Court of Auditors. As regards the reform of the electoral system Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party is proposing a double threshold, with a district quota of 16.6% that would allow an individual to be elected on her/his own steam, and a national quota with a threshold of 2 quotas for a party to be represented in parliament. This system is similar to that of highly developed democracies such as Germany. ‘AD is proposing a fair balance between democratic representation of voters and functional governance. We are for true proportional representation for all citizens, where each and every vote counts the same. Unlike PN and PL which work as a duopoly that excludes others from the electoral process, AD is putting forward responsible proposals’, added Briguglio AD’s proposals can be read at:

http://www.alternattiva.org.mt/filebank/documents/sistemaelettorali.PDF

Electoral Reform

Alternattiva Demokratika illum għaddiet lill-Ispeaker l-Onor Louis Galea il-proposti tagħha għal riforma elettorali .

 

Bejn l-1987 u l-2007 saru bosta tibdiliet fil-liġijiet elettorali.

 

L-ewwel li min jikseb maġġoranza ta’ aktar minn 50% tal-voti jiggverna. Iktar tard saru emendi li jassiguraw proporzjonalita’ bejn il-voti miksuba u l-membri parlamentari li jiġu eletti f’isem il-partiti politiċi.

 

Il-posizzjoni attwali hi li l-proporzjonalita’ bejn voti miksuba u n-numru ta’ membri parlamentari eletti f’isem partit politiku hi assigurata biss f’żewġ ċirkustanzi :

 

a)      meta partit politiku jikseb iktar minn 50% tal-voti u

b)      meta jkun hemm żewġ partiti politiċi biss fil-parlament.

 

Alternattiva Demokratika qed tipproponi li l-propozjonalita’ ma tkunx privileġġ għall-kbar iżda dritt ta’ kulħadd.

Is-sistema elettorali għandha tinbidel b’tali mod illi jekk Partit Politiku fl-ewwel għadd jikseb mhux inqas minn 2.5% tal-voti mitfugħa għandu jkollu dritt ta’ rapprezentanza parlamentari.

 

2.5% ifisser madwar żewġ kwoti fuq livell nazzjonali, jew 8,000 vot. Dan ifisser bil-proposta ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika illi jekk partit jikseb mhux inqas minn total ta’ 8,000 vot fuq id-distretti kollha flimkien ikollu dritt ta’ rappresentanza parlamentari. Fil-fehma ta’ AD b’hekk jinkiseb bilanċ bejn il-governabilita’ u l-vot popolari.

 

Il-proporzjonalita b’hekk ma tkunx xi privileġġ tal-partiti l-kbar iżda dritt ta’ kulħadd skond regoli ċari.

 

Issa nistennew u naraw kif il-Kumitat Magħżul tal-Kamra ser jiżviluppa id-diskussjoni.