Il-futur ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

It-tnaqqis tal-voti li Alternattiva Demokratika kisbet fl-elezzjoni ġenerali ta’ tmiem il-ġimgħa l-oħra minn 1.8% għal 0.83% tal-voti totali kienet bla dubju daqqa kbira. Imma kienet daqqa antiċipata u direttament marbut mar-rifjut ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika li tipparteċipa fil-Front Nazzjonali mmexxi mill-Partit Nazzjonalista.

Mhux l-ewwel darba li Alternattiva Demokratika qalgħet dawn id-daqqiet. Ħarsu, per eżempju, lejn l-elezzjoni ġenerali tal-2003. Dakinnhar, id-daqqa kienet ikbar, għax il-vot mixħut favur Alternattiva Demokratika kien niżel sal-livell ta’ 0.69% tal-voti totali, l-agħar riżultat fit-28 sena storja ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika. Imma fi żmien sena dan reġa’ tela għal 9.33% tal-vot popolari fl-elezzjonijiet tal-2004 għall-Parlament Ewropew.

Tul is-snin Alternattiva Demokratika qatt ma organizzat ruħha fuq livell lokali jew reġjonali. Dan minħabba nuqqas ta’ voluntiera imma ukoll minħabba allerġija tat-tmexxija għal kull xorta ta’ burokrazija (anke dik l-iktar minima) kif ukoll minħabba l-profil tal-votant tipiku ta’ AD. Dan hu difett f’Alternattiva Demokratika li ilu preżenti sa minn meta twaqqfet liema difett qatt ma ngħata l-attenzjoni mistħoqqha.

Fil-fehma tiegħi, dan hu l-kawża ewlenija għan-nuqqas ta’ kapaċitá ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika li tilqa’ għall-attakki diretti mmirati lejn il-votanti tagħha. Hi ukoll ir-raġuni għala AD ma rnexxieliex, tul is-snin, tapprofitta ruħha daqstant miċ-ċaqlieq ta’ votanti minn partit għall-ieħor.

Huwa tajjeb li jkollok prinċipji soddi, imma n-nuqqas ta’ presenza kontinwa u organizzata fil-lokalitajiet inaqqas l-interazzjoni mal-elettorat, liema interazzjoni teħtieġ li tkun waħda kontinwa biex tkun effettiva. Dan fisser li waqt li AD setgħet tieħu d-deċiżjoni politika dwar l-involviment jew le f’allejanza pre-elettorali ma kelliex il-kapaċitá organizzattiva biex tilqa’ għall-konsegwenzi.

Tajjeb li l-qarrej jiftakar li Alternattiva Demokratika kienet taqbel li titwaqqaf allejanza pre-elettorali wiesa’ kontra l-korruzzjoni u favur il-governanza tajba. Il-punt ta’ nuqqas ta’ qbil mal-proposta tal-PN kien li fil-fehma ta’ AD l-allejanza proposta kellha tkun distinta mil-partiti politiċi individwali li jiffurmawha. F’Alternattiva Demokratika konna inkwetati li l-proposta tal-PN biex AD tissieħeb mal-istess PN billi tifforma parti mill-istess lista elettorali inevitabilment kienet ser twassal għal diversi sitwazzjonijiet li ma kienux aċċettabbli: bħal posizzjonijiet dwar proposti politiċi inaċċettabbli kif ukoll il-presenza ta’ kandidati mhux aċċettabbli. Ir-riskju kien kbir wisq u ma konniex disposti li noħduh.

Sfortunatament iż-żmien tana raġun. Dan seħħ, per eżempju, meta l-PN approva li jippreżenta lill-kandidat omofobiku Josie Muscat. Seħħ ukoll bid-dikjarazzjonijiet politiċi kemm ta’ Marlene Farrugia kif ukoll ta’ Simon Busuttil favur il-kaċċa fir-rebbiegħa kif ukoll favur l-insib. Seħħ ukoll bil-posizzjonijiet kontradittorji dwar iċ-ċirkwit tat-tlielaq tal-karozzi kif ukoll bl-emfasi ta’ Simon Busuttil dwar il-mina proposta li tgħaqqad Malta u Għawdex. Posizzjonijiet politiċi li huma kollha inaċċettabbli għal Alternattiva Demokratika.

B’żieda ma dan, il-PN, naqas milli jindirizza l-kontradizzjonijiet interni fi ħadnu dwar il-governanza tajba. Dawn jinkludu n-nuqqas ta’ Claudio Grech li jiftakar x’laqgħat kellu ma George Farrugia dwar l-iskandlu taż-żejt, il-kaz ta’ Beppe Fenech Adami dwar in-nuqqas ta’ deċiżjoni għaqlija meta aċċetta li jkun direttur tal-kumpanija Capital One Investments Limited, il-kunflitt ta’ interess ta’ Mario de Marco dwar il-grupp kummerċjali db kif ukoll it-taħwida ta’ Simon Busuttil innifsu dwar l-invoices tal-grupp db u l-assoċjazzjoni tagħhom mal-iffinianzjar tal-PN innifsu.

Dan kollu, safejn hu magħruf, ma kellu l-ebda importanza għall-Partit Demokratiku imma għal Alternattiva Demokratika kien kollu ostaklu għall-formazzjoni ta’ alleanza pre-elettorali għax kien imur b’mod sfaċċat kontra l-proposti elettorali favur tmexxija tajba. Dawn il-materji semmejnihom waqt il-laqgħa esploratorja li kellna mal-PN imma id-delegazzjoni tal-PN ma wriet l-ebda interess: tbissmet u injorathom. Meta jkun meqjus dan kollu, id-deċiżjoni ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika li ma tissieħibx fil-Front Nazzjonali mmexxi mill-PN kienet waħda tajba u dan għax, kif spjegat iktar il-fuq, kienet toħloq bosta diffikultajiet u kontradizzjonijiet.

Matul ix-xhur li ġejjin nittama li jkun hemm it-tibdil meħtieg f’Alternattiva Demokratika biex din tiġġedded u tissaħħah. Huwa tibdil meħtieġ biex AD tkun iktar effettiva u tkun kapaċi tikkomunika mal-votanti aħjar is-sena kollha, u dan minkejja l-limitazzjoni li għandha ta’ riżorsi.

Ippubblikat minn Illum : il-Ħadd 11 ta’ Ġunju 2017

AD’s future

The reduction of Alternattiva Demokratika’s share of the national vote from 1.8 per cent  to 0.83 per cent was a heavy blow. It was, however, anticipated and was directly linked to AD not accepting to form part of the PN-led National Front.

Alternattiva Demokratika has been there before, its share of the national vote having dipped in the past – particularly during the 2003 general election. On that occasion it went down further than this year’s performance and reached 0.69 per cent, the lowest point ever in AD’s 28-year history – only to rebound with a vengeance to win a staggering 9.33 per cent of the popular vote in the 2004 European Parliament elections, just 12 months later.

Over the years, AD has refrained from extending its organisational arm at a regional and possibly local level. This was primarily dictated by the numbers of available volunteers but also by an in-built allergy to anything deemed even minimally bureaucratic, as well as by the volatile profile of the typical AD voter. This is AD’s major weakness: it has been ever-present since the party’s foundation and has never been adequately addressed.

This weakness, is in my view, the major cause of AD’s inability (to date) to successfully withstand or substantially mitigate frontal attacks on its voter base. Likewise, it is the reason why AD has not been able to tap adequately and successfully into voter dissatisfaction with other political parties over the years.

Having sound principles is fine, but not having the organisational tools to propagate your views and effectively link up with grass-roots support is damaging. This lack of organisational capability signified that while AD could take the political decision on whether to form part or not of a pre-election alliance, it could not adequately handle the consequences of this decision.

It would be pertinent to remind readers that AD was in favour of establishing a broad based pre-electoral alliance against corruption and in favour of good governance. The basic point of contention regarding the PN’s proposal for the foundation of such an alliance was the need that it be distinct from its constituent political parties. At AD, we were worried that the PN proposal to add AD and as an appendage to the PN was unacceptable on a point of principle and would inevitably lead to being lumped with undesirable situations such as unacceptable policy positions as well as undesirable candidates. We were not prepared to take such a risk.

Unfortunately, we were proven right, for example, through the selection by the PN of homophobic candidate Josie Muscat as well as through policy declarations by both Marlene Farrugia and Simon Busuttil in favour of spring hunting and bird-trapping, as well as contradictory stances on the motor racing track, or Simon Busuttil’s emphasis on the tunnel between Malta and Gozo with which AD disagrees.

The PN, in addition, failed to address its internal contradictions on good governance. Pending internal PN governance issues include Claudio Grech’s amnesia in relation to meetings with George Farrugia of oil-scandal fame, Beppe Fenech Adami’s error of judgement in taking-up the directorship of Capital One Investments Ltd, Mario de Marco’s db Group conflict of interest, as well as Simon Busuttil’s mishandling of the db Group invoices saga and its relevance to the financing of the PN.

From what is known, these issues, did not bother the Democratic Party, but in AD’s view they were a serious impediment to the proper functioning of a pre-election alliance, as they run directly opposite to an electoral platform based on good governance. We raised all this during the exploratory talks held with the PN, but the PN delegation dismissed these concerns outright.

Given the above, Alternattiva Demokratika took the right decision in not joining the PN-led National Front. Any Parliamentary seat that AD could have gained had it joined the pre-election alliance without the above issues having being addressed would have been tainted.

The future for AD holds great potential. In the coming months changes will be made but these will be carried out at AD’s pace. These changes are an essential prerequisite for ensuring that AD can function more effectively and efficiently in such a way that it can communicate better with its voter base.

published by The Malta Independent on Sunday, 11 June 2017

Green and Clean: Parliament’s role

The general election is being over-shadowed by a web of corruption spun around the Office of the Prime Minister. It has been unravelling for months since the publication of the Panama Papers.

Months of debate has highlighted the need for Parliament to reclaim the authority which, over the years, it has ceded to government. All institutions require continuous Parliamentary oversight: even the civil service needs to be properly monitored by Parliament.

The PN are proposing labour-proof institutions. In reality the institutions need to be PN-proof as well – as both major political parties have had exclusive control of institutions over the years, bending them to their will.

The current mess is the direct result of a two-party system that spread its tentacles through the institutions creating empires with the specific aim of buttressing those in power and protecting them in their time of need. It is a two-party system which, over a 50-year period, has developed a winner takes all mentality, as a result of which only those aligned to the winner are deemed to be able to contribute to the well-being and development of the country. The rest, with few exceptions, have been repeatedly excluded, and it is Malta which, ultimately has lost the utilisation of substantial talent.

This is the background to Alternattiva Demokratika’s electoral manifesto. Entitled Vote Green – Vote clean, without ignoring other important issues, it focuses on matters of governance in addition to its core environmental proposals.

We have plenty of good laws. The problem is that, many times, the pool of talent from which those who implement such laws are selected is generally limited to those carrying the party card. Successive governments have often preferred the politically loyal to the technically and ethically competent. This has been possible due to the fact that Parliament has abdicated its responsibilities and assigned them to the government.

Parliament should reclaim the authority ceded to government to appoint authorities and it should proceed to screen those nominated through a public hearing by a Parliamentary Committee on the lines practised by the Senate of the United States of America. This screening by Parliament should  be applicable first and foremost to all constitutional authorities, as well as to all authorities set up in terms of law. Likewise, the appointment of Commissioner of Police, the Head of the Armed Forces, the Governor of the Central Bank,  the Head of the Civil Service and ambassadors, as well as all civil service grades from Director up to Permanent Secretary,   should be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

In addition to ensuring a more serious selection process, this would serve as a safety valve protecting the civil service itself from abusive action on the part of an incoming government as happened in 2013, when the Head of the Civil Service and practically all Permanent Secretaries were removed in the first minutes of a new Labour government.

The recruitment of people of trust on a large scale during the past 4 years has further politicised the civil service. It is a practice that has been on the increase even before March 2013. The engagement of people of trust throughout the wider public service was used as a stratagem to avoid the scrutiny of the Public Service Commission, a constitutional body established specifically to ensure a fair recruitment process. This should cease forthwith, with the engagement of people of trust being limited to the private secretariats of holders of political office.

The Standards in Public Life Act, which ironically was supported by both the PN and the PL, was approved by Parliament shortly before dissolution. It provisions were therefore not implemented. In particular, the appointment of a Commissioner for Standards in Public Life – to be tasked with investigating the behaviour of MPs – has not yet materialised and will have to be addressed by the new Parliament elected on 3 June.

Lobbying is not yet regulated. In fact, its regulation has been postponed as no agreement was reached between the PN and the PL about possible lobbying regulations.

AD considers that the next Parliament will have to address head-on whether Members of Parliament should be full-timers, thus severing all links with profession and/or employment and, as a result, substantially reducing instances of conflict of interest faced by Members of Parliament.

Parliament can, in the next few weeks, assume a central role in re-building the country’s institutions. It is the only way forward to ensure that ethical behaviour in public life is the norm, rather than the exception.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 21 May 2017

Simon Busuttil u d-dmugħ tal-kukkudrilli

Id-dikjarazzjoni ta Simon Busuttil dal-għodu li mhuwiex ser jittollera sitwazzjoni ta kunflitt ta interess bejn il-prattika professjonali tal-Membri Parlamentari Nazzjonalisti u r-responsabbiltajiet parlamentari tagħhom hi pass importanti l-quddiem.

Imma dan hu kollu dmugħ tal-kukkudrilli. Issa wara li nqabdu, qed ixerrdu d-dmugħ tad-dispjaċir. Għax inqabdu, u għall-ebda raġuni oħra.

Dan kien kollu antiċipabbli li jiġri. Min jaf kemm-il darba ġara u ħadd ma qal xejn għax ħadd ma nduna. Inkella kien hemm min ipprova jmewwet kollox bħalma ġara dwar s-sehem ta diversi viċin tal-PN li minkejja li tkellmu kontra l-bejgħ tal-passaporti kienu minn ta quddiem biex joffru s-servizzi tagħhom ta aġenti. Għax huma ukoll għandhom dritt jieklu, mhux hekk?

Ovvjament issa Simon Busuttil qiegħed jieħu passi sodi għax inqabad li kien laxk wisq fl-insistenza għal standards ta imġieba korretta fil-grupp parlamentari tiegħu.

Aħna fAlternattiva Demokratika ilna nitkellmu dwar dan. Uħud minnhom, imma, qieshom mejtin bil-ġuħ.

Nibdew niċċaqalqu ftit meta naqblu li wasal iżżmien li l-ebda membru tal-parlament ma jkun jista jagħmel xogħol ieħor ħlief dak tal-parlament. Spiċċa żżmien tal-parlament tad-dilettanti.

Li Mario de Marco mhux ser jibqa involut fil-kaz tal-Lukanda Hardrock ta Silvio Debono (u l-iżvilupp assoċjat magħha) hu pass il-quddiem, avolja ġie ħafna tard. Forsi fl-aħħar qed jagħrfu l-kitba fuq il-ħajt.

Jason Azzopardi mhux tad-daħk

jason-azzopardi-jwissik

Waqt li għaddejja l-polemika dwar jekk il-hijack tal-Afriqiyah Airways tat-23 ta Diċembru 2016 fi triqtu bejn Sebha u Tripli kienx wieħed reali jew finta toħroġ l-aħbar fuq it-Times of Malta tal-lum li Jason Azzopardi, l-avukat, is-shadow Minister għall-Ġustizzja, d-demokrazija u xma nafx xiktar, ser ikun wieħed mill-ko-difensuri ta dawk akkużati bil-ħtif tal-ajruplan.

Għal Jason Azzopardi jidher li ma fiha xejn li fil-għodu hu, l-partit tiegħu, sħabu u xi akkolti oħra jagħmlu l-argument politiku li dan ma kien hijack xejn biex imbagħad, wara, jdeffes imnieħru fil-każ.

Ovvjament għal Jason Azzopardi ma hemm l-ebda kunflitt ta interess, bejn ir-responabbiltajiet tiegħu ta’ Membru Parlamentari u d-difiża tal-hijackers tal-Afriqiyah Airways. Anzi għandu kull dritt li jizzattat. Jekk għadu ma fehemx li mhux postu hemm, għadu ma fehem xejn.

Ir-raġel af li mhux tad-daħk imma tal-biki. Ngħid il-veritá bdejt nitħassar lill-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni Simon Busuttil li spiċċa mdawwar bdawn it-tip ta nies.    

Il-klijenti ta’ Victor Axiak u Timothy Gambin

Delimara EIA contents

 

Fl-artiklu tagħha tal-bieraħ il-Ħadd fuq is-Sunday Times intitolat Of hats and despicability, Claire Bonello identifikat problema oħra kbira konnessa mal-proċess tal-permessi tat-torrijiet tal-Imrieħel u Tas-Sliema (Townsquare).

Victor Axiak u Timothy Gambin fil-passat riċenti kellhom fost il-klijenti tagħhom lill-gruppi ta’ Gasan u ta’ Tumas li jiffurmaw parti mill-konsortium li twaqqaf għall-Power Station tal-Gass f’Delimara. Għalihom Victor Axiak u Timothy Gambin għamlu xogħol li kien jikkonsisti fi studji dwar impatti ambjentali ta’ dak il-proġett. Axiak dwar l-ekoloġija marittima u Gambin dwar l-arkejoloġija marittima. Ir-ritratt ta’ hawn fuq juri paġna mir-rapport tal-EIA dwar il-power station li taħdem bil-gass f’Delimara bl-ismijiet ta’ Axiak u Gambin u l-oqsma li rrappurtaw dwarhom.

Il-mistoqsija ċara hi jekk hux etiku li Axiak u Gambin jieħdu sehem f’laqgħat tal-Awtorità tal-Ippjanar li fihom jagħtu l-opinjoni u jiddeċiedu dwar applikazzjonijiet tal-klijenti tagħhom.

Axiak ma attendiex għal uħud mil-laqgħat. Imma la hu u l-anqas Gambin ma ħassew il-ħtieġa li jgħidu li għandhom xi konflitt ta’ interess. Din x’serjetà hi?

L-imġieba korretta mhiex qegħda għall-politiċi biss iżda ukoll għal kull min hu involut fit-teħid ta’ deċiżjonijiet.

Fil-Korp tal-Pulizija …………. jew nejja jew maħruqa

Ray-ZammitMalta Police emblem

 

Dan l-aħħar ġranet il-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija ħareġ ċirkulari, ftit ġranet qabel ma’ l-Imħallef Michael Mallia ikkonkluda inkjesta fuq il-familja tal-Mulej (l-ex Deputat Kummissarju tal-Pulizja Ray Zammit u uliedu, żewġ Spetturi, wieħed ex u l-ieħor għadu fil-Korp).

Il-Kummissarju Michael Cassar f’din iċ-ċirkulari talab lill-pulizija kollha, bla eċċezzjoni, biex jinfurmah dwar l-interessi tagħhom kollha (apparti ishma fil-Borża) u b’mod partikolari dwar il-parteċipazzjoni tagħhom f’kumpaniji u impiegi part-time.

Il-Pulizija diġa, skond il-liġi, huma pprojibiti milli jkollhom interessi li jikkonfliġġu mad-doveri tagħhom u allura l-Kummissarju Cassar qed jgħid l-ovvju. Imma xi kulltant naħseb li trid tirrepeti l-ovvju għal ħafna drabi biex uħud jirrealizzaw li anke l-Pulizija huma soġġetti għal-liġi. Dan minkejja li uħud, minnhom. bħall-familja tal-Mulej,  jippretendu li huma l-fuq mil-liġi u li ħadd u xejn ma jista’ għalihom.

Il-Korp tal-Pulizija huwa korp dixxiplinat u allura ma nistax nifhem kif hemm min jippretendi li l-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija m’għandux ikollu l-aħħar kelma dwar x’impiegi part-time jistgħu jaċċettaw membri tal-Korp tal-Pulizja.

Nittama li l-Ispettur tal-Pulizja Sandro Camilleri mill-Union tal-Pulizja ma jippretendix li dawk il-Pulizija li jaħdmu ta’ bouncers fi clubs ġewwa Paceville jibqgħu hemm. La huma u l-anqas suldati li għadhom fis-servizz m’għandhom jitħallew jagħmlu dan ix-xogħol.

Għandu iżda, b’ġustizzja, jingħad li mhux il-Pulizija biss ikunu f’kunflitt ta’ interess f’ċerti impiegi part-time. Hemm diversi uffiċjali oħra fis-settur pubbliku li ma jagħmlulhomx għajb.

Xi ngħidu per eżempju meta jkollok persuna li taħdem id-dwana u fl-off tagħha taħdem part-time ma burdnar?

Hemm bżonn tindifa sewwa, mhux biss fil-Korp tal-Pulizija.

Kulħadd irid jiekol !

Mario @ Parliament

 

L-aħbar li Mario de Marco, bħala avukat, qed jassisti waħda mill-kumpaniji tal-iGaming li l-ġimgħa l-oħra kellhom il-liċenzja tagħhom sospiża terġa’ tipponta lejn waħda mill-problemi fil-politika Maltija. Il-Membri Parlamentari Maltin  huma part-timers u jridu jibqgħu jipprattikaw il-professjoni tagħhom sakemm għadhom Membri tal-Parlament. Dan jiftaħ beraħ id-diskussjoni dwar il-konflitt ta’ interess potenzjali li għandu l-Membru Parlamentari Malti f’din is-sitwazzjoni.

Ovvjament, kulħadd irid jgħix, kulħadd irid jiekol!

Il-GRECO [il-grupp ta’ stati kontra l-korruzzjoni fil-Kunsill tal-Ewropa] jgħid hekk dwar il-Membri Parlamentari part-time ta’ Malta fl-aħħar rapport tiegħu li ġie ppubblikat f’Ġunju li għadda:

“Parliamentarians, in Malta are generally part-time legislators who also maintain their private practices. The potential for a conflict of interest due to the personal and professional networks and business links built across Malta, make maintaining decisionmaking independence, and being able to publically demonstrate this independence, a live issue.” (Fourth Evaluation report – 2014)

Sadanittant f’Malta, għoxrin xahar ilu kien konkluż rapport imħejji minn kumitat kompost mill-Ombudsman, l-Awditur Ġenerali u l-Kummissarju Elettorali Ewlieni, intitolat Recommended Remuneration Mechanism for Holders of Political Office. F’dan ir-rapport hemm diversi proposti li wasal iż-żmien li niddiskutuhom bis-serjetà. Dawn il-proposti jinkludu dawk dwar il-possibilità li l-Membri Parlamentari Maltin jibdew jaħdmu full-time fil-Parlament.

Ma jagħmilx sens li l-Membru Parlamentari Malti fil-għaxija jikkritika lill-Awtorità (hi liema hi) dwar kif din qed taħdem u fil-għodu fil-Qorti jassisti lil min jikkontesta l-mod kif tkun ħadmet l-istess awtorità. Il-Membru Parlamentari għandu juri b’mod ċar li hu legislatur indipendenti. Għax sakemm jibqa’ part-timer dejjem ser ikun hemm dubju raġjonevoli li ta’ l-inqas xi drabi huwa jkun immotivat mill-interessi tal-klijenti tiegħu iktar minn kull ħaġa oħra.

Bejn Franco Mercieca u Chris Fearne

doctor

Illum huwa ċar għal kulħadd li l-oftalmologu Għawdxi Dr Franco Mercieca għamel għażla ċara. Bejn il-professjoni u servizz fil-Kabinett għażel li jmur lura għall-prattika professjonali tiegħu. Kif wara kollox kellu kull dritt li jagħmel, sakemm ma kienx hemm min għal xi żmien ħajru li seta jagħmilhom it-tnejn (jiġifieri l-prattika tal-oftalmoloġija u servizz fil-Kabinett).

Wara sena ta’ battibekki u taparsi eżenzjonijiet is-sens komun jidher li rebaħ.

Jiena u nikteb dan il-blogpost it-Times online irreferiet għall-kirurgu tal-pedjatrija Dr Chris Fearne li għadu kif inħatar Segretarju Parlamentari għas-Saħħa. Ġie kjarifikat li Dr Chris Fearne mhux ser jibqa’ jipprattika, l-anqas fl-isptar bla ħlas, ħlief għal 4 każijiet akuti ta’ pazjenti li kien qed jieħu ħsiebhom meta ħa l-ħatra.

Deċiżjoni tajba li tfisser illi d-dibattitu pubbliku dwar Dr Franco Mercieca ma sarx għal xejn. Tnaqqas il-potenzjal għall-konflitt ta’ interess. Ir-raġuni dejjem tirbaħ!

Prosit.

Parlament full-time?

parlament

Il-bieraħ ħadt sehem f’diskussjoni qasira fuq TVam flimkien mal-Psikjatra Joe Cassar (PN) u l-Avukatessa Deborah Schembri (PL).

Id-diskussjoni kienet dwar il-proposta ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika li l-Parlament għandu jaħdem fuq bażi full-time mhux bħal ma jaħdem il-lum, part-time.

Hemm ħafna xogħol li l-Parlament jeħtieġ li jagħmlu u ma jagħmlux għax ħin m’għandux.

Il-ħidma tal-Gvern ftit li xejn issir sorveljanza tagħha fid-dettall mistħoqq. Dak li għaddej fl-Unjoni Ewropeja ma jiġix mgħarbel kif meħtieġ. Dan minkejja li l-Parlament ta’ stat membru illum il-ġurnata bħala riżultat tat-trattat ta’ Liżbona għandu rwol importanti fil-proċess leġislattiv Ewropew.

Il-Parlament u l-Parlamentari għandhom bżonn lil min jassistihom fir-riċerka. Qasam injorat għal snin twal.

Kont sorpriż iżda bl-argument li dwaru qablu Joe Cassar u Deborah Schembri dwar li jista’ jkollok Parlament full-time imma l-Parlamentari mhux bil-fors ikunu full-timers. Jiġifieri dawn iridu sistema li tippermetti li uħud mill-Membri tal-Parlament jagħżlu li jkunu full-timers u lil oħrajn li jagħżlu li ma jkunux u dan minħabba li l-professjoni jew xogħol ieħor tagħhom jokkupalhom iktar ħin. Din hi l-attitudni li tirreżisti l-ħtieġa li kull Membru Parlamentari jagħti l-ħin kollu għall-Parlament għax sfortunatament għad hawn min irid li jibqa’ jkollu sieq waħda fuq naħa u s-sieq l-oħra fuq in-naħa oħra.

Għad għadna Membri Parlamentari li jippreferu jagħtu l-attenzjoni prinċipali tagħhom lill-professjoni. Jeħtieġ li issir għażla għax il-prattika tal-professjoni u l-ħidma parlamentari huma żewġ responsabbiltajiet li faċilment jikkonfliġġu u jistgħu joħolqu konflitt ta’ interess.

Nifhem l-attitudni, għax din ġejja minn persuni li uħud minnhom għadhom m’humiex konvinti l-anqas dwar il-ħtieġa li l-Ministri u s-Segretarji Parlamentari  għandhom jieqfu mill-prattika tal-professjoni tagħhom.

Ir-rappreżentanti tal-PN u l-PL donnu li jridu jħallu f’idejn il-Membri Parlamentari individwali biex jiddeċiedu huma dwar jekk ikunux membri full-time jew part-time. Iridu li jkollna kemm Membri Parlamentari tal-ewwel diviżjoni (full-time) kif ukoll dawk tat-tieni diviżjoni (part-time). Fi ftit kliem iridu jibqgħu jipprattikaw il-professjoni u fl-istess ħin jippruvaw jaqdu r-responsabbiltajiet Parlamentari.

L-esperjenza sal-lum uriet li Parlament part-time hu Parlament dgħajjef. Parlament part-time hu Parlament li jabdika r-responsabbiltajiet tiegħu f’idejn il-Gvern tal-ġurnata.

Huwa billi jkollna Parlament li jagħmel xogħolu kollu li l-pajjiż jista’ jimxi l-quddiem. L-ogħla istituzzjoni tal-pajjiż ma tistax tibqa’ tiffunzjona fuq bażi part-time.

Dan hu l-pass li jmiss għall-Parlament. Parlament iktar b’saħħtu jfisser demokrazija iktar b’saħħitha.