Constitutional reform: identifying the basic building blocks

Malta’s Constitution should be regarded as a living document: one that reflects our values and aspirations. These, naturally, change over time and it is consequently logical that they are reflected in an up-dated Constitution.

Unfortunately, we have only very rarely had the opportunity to consider updates to our Constitution, except in times of political turmoil. The current endeavours of HE President Marie-Louise Coleiro-Preca in leading a steering committee to pave the way for a Constitutional Convention is unique in our constitutional history: it is an experiment which should be allowed to mature.

In its present form, Malta’s Constitution is mostly the result of political backroom dealings and compromises over an almost 60-year time-frame – and the results are, at times awkward. Gaps have developed over the years, that are being exploited by those who seek power at all costs.

In order to improve our Constitution, we cannot start afresh. Our point of departure is the baton handed over by our predecessors, warts and all. It is not easy, as there are many vested interests to be overcome – primarily of those who seek to avoid the adoption of constitutional norms which ensure that authority is at all times exercised in a responsible manner.

The invitation by the President to Alternattiva Demokratika-The Green Party to air its views on constitutional reform at a meeting of the Steering Committee earlier this week was welcome.

AD’s views and proposals on the matter have been in the public domain for quite some time. We need to start at the basic building blocks of democracy. Malta’s electoral legislation needs to change in order to ensure that every vote cast by a Maltese citizen is valued.

Having lived through the political turmoil of the 1980s, I am aware of the difficulties faced in producing a workable solution. The electoral constitutional amendments of 1987 have since been tweaked a couple of times but, however, both the original amendments as well as the improvements made have only served the interests of the PN and the PL. Amendments were always drafted with the specific intention of excluding other political parties from an effective participation in the electoral process and this has to stop.

It is essential to ensure that proportionality between the votes cast and the parliamentary seats elected is not a right reserved for the exclusive perusal of the PN and the PL. This, I submit, is the cause of all the problems faced by our young republic. The deliberate exclusion of alternative voices in Parliament has ensured that Malta’s political engagement has developed into a politics of confrontation, squeezing out the politics of consensus.

This is not all. It is also time to tackle, head on, the issue of gender balance in our parliamentary elections. Humiliating quotas intended to correct results are in my view unacceptable: gender-balanced party lists are the only practical way forward.

In addition to addressing the applicability of proportionality to everything we also require an overhaul of the method of voting. Gender-balanced party lists are used in various European countries specifically to address the gender mismatch in parliamentary representation. Gender balance is not just for man and women: it should also include those who identify themselves with neither of these genders.

A revised Constitution should recognise the fact that, today, the country,  embraces ethical pluralism. Hence, instead of the Constitution being linked to one religious set of beliefs, the Roman Catholic, it should spell out its respect for all religions compatible with the democratic state.

During the meeting with the Constitution Reform Steering Committee, AD emphasised that, unlike in 1964, Malta is now a lay state and this fact should be reflected in the constitutional reform through an abrogation of article 2 of the Constitution. This would reflect the great strides forward made by the Maltese nation as a result of the referendum on divorce, as well as through the introduction and recognition of civil rights for the LGBTIQ community.

Alternattiva Demokratika also discussed the need for the President of the Republic to be elected by an electoral college that is much wider than Parliament. Local Councils should be involved in the election of the President.

Revision of the Constitution should widen the use of the referendum by extending it further to include the introduction of propositive referenda, as a result strengthening the democratic process.

In the coming weeks, Alternattiva Demokratika will be publishing a detailed document containing all of its proposals on Constitutional reform, which will include proposals to strengthen the country’s institutions. Protection of the environment in all its aspects will also feature in such proposals as it is essential that a government that ignores –  or does not give sufficient attention to – the guiding principles in Chapter 2 of the Maltese Constitution should be held accountable.

After five wasted years, the first steps in the process leading to the constitutional convention have at last been taken.

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L-IVF mhux kapriċċ: (2) Pluraliżmu Etiku

Min jikkritika l-IVF fit-totalitá tagħha, inkella aspetti partikolari biss, naħseb li jagħmel dan bi skopijiet tajba. Ikun jixtieq jaqsam magħna lkoll il-valuri “tajba” tiegħu jew tagħha.

Ovvjament nafu li ilu li spiċċa ż-żmien li naħsbu b’moħħ wieħed. Kulħadd illum jipprova jogħmod dak li jisma’ u jasal għall-konklużjonijiet tiegħu. M’aħniex differenti minn pajjiżi oħra f’dan. Bħala pajjiż għaddejjin minn process li pajjiżi oħra ilhom żmien twil li għaddew minnu. Illum il-ġurnata m’għadniex iżolati u allura r-ritmu tat-tibdil għaddej b’mod aċċelerat għax aħna influwenzati minn dak kollu li naraw u nisimgħu.

Kif ġara waqt id-dibattitu nazzjonali dwar ir-referendum li wassal għad-divorzju, kulħadd illum qed jirrealizza li f’pajjiżna l-pluralitá tmur lil hinn miċ-ċikkulata u t-toothpaste. Anke lil hinn mix-xandir. Illum nitkellmu ukoll dwar pluraliżmu etiku. Għandna fil-pajjiż valuri differenti, diversi drabi konfliġġenti, li jeżistu fostna fl-istess ħin. Huwa dan li jġib l-argumenti u li jagħlef id-dibattitu pubbliku u per konsegwenza jnissel il-ħtieġa ta’ bidla li tagħmilha possibli li dawn il-valuri jikkoeżistu.

L-argument ewlieni etiku huwa dwar meta tibda l-ħajja. Jekk tibdiex mal-konċepiment jew f’xi żmien ieħor. Dan hu argument li diġa ffaċċajnieh waqt id-dibattitu pubbliku dwar il-Morning After Pill.

Il-ħajja fir-realtá ma hiex switch li tixegħlu jew titfiegħ f’xi mument partikolari. M’hemmx mument partikolari imma hu process ta’ numru ta’ siegħat fejn wara li sseħħ il-fertilizzazzjoni (l-konċepiment) iċ-ċelluli li jirriżultaw jibdew jimmutiplikaw, jiżviluppaw u eventwalment tibda l-ħajja. F’dan il-mument ikun għad ma hemm l-ebda bniedem: għalhekk hu ġustifikabbli li tintuża l-Morning After Pill li twaqqaf il-proċess kollu. Għall-istess raġunijiet huwa ġustifikabbli l-iffriżar tal-embrijun li jkun qed jifforma. Fid-daqs dan ikun daqs ta’ tikka!

Dan hu l-argument kollu li dwaru hemm opinjonijiet differenti.

L-argument ikompli dwar x’jiġri wara li toħroġ l-embrijun li qed jifforma mill-friża. Jekk il-proċess ikompli m’hemmx problema. Imma jekk jieqaf, hemm min iħoss il-kuxjenza tniggżu għax jaħseb li jkun temm ħajja.

Huwa għal din ir-raġuni li Alternattiva Demokratika qed tgħid li min għal raġunijiet ta’ kuxjenza ma jaqbilx mal-iffriżar għandu jkollu d-dritt li juża l-IVF mingħajr iffriżar. Dan ovvjament jista’ jillimita is-suċċess tat-trattament tal-IVF. Imma min ikollu din id-diffikulta etika għandu kull dritt li japplika l-brejk fuq il-konsulenti li qed jagħtuh it-trattament.

Min-naħa l-oħra min m’għandu l-ebda diffikulta dwar l-iffriżar għandu jkollu kull dritt li jibbenefika ruħu mit-trattament sħiħ.

Din hi materja serja ħafna u qed nagħmlu tajjeb li qed niddiskutuha f’mod intens. Huwa sinjal posittiv anke bħala pajjiż.

 

ikompli : (3) Mill-friża għall-adozzjoni

Pluraliżmu anke fil-valuri

Wieħed mill-argumenti qawwija li lewnu d-dibattitu dwar id-dħul ta’ Malta fl-Unjoni Ewropeja kien li Malta ħtieġilha tidħol fis-seklu għoxrin qabel ma taħseb biex tissieħeb fl-Unjoni. Kien argumentat li kien hemm il-ħtieġa ta’ progress fuq ħafna fronti qabel ma Malta setgħet tissieħeb fl-UE. In-naħa l-oħra tal-argument, ovvjament, dejjem kien li s-sħubija minnha innifisha setgħet tkun il-katalist għat-tibdil tant meħtieġ fis-soċjetá Maltija. Għax il-bidla tista’ ddum biex isseħħ, imma fl-aħħar mhux possibli li tkun evitata. Kif jgħidu, tardare sí, scappare no!

Malta ssieħbet fl-UE fl-2004. Il-bidla fis-soċjetá Maltija għadha għaddejja, kultant b’ritmu mgħaġġel ħafna. Ir-referendum dwar id-divorzju li sar f’Mejju 2011 ħoloq terrimot, li, nistgħu ngħidu illi għadu għaddej.

Il-liġi dwar l-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieġ li l-Parliament approva iktar kmieni din il-ġimgħa kienet pass ieħor f’din id-direzzjoni. Kienet deskritta bħala “immorali” (Edwin Vassallo), “Marxista” (Clyde Puli), “kommunista” (Herman Schiavone) kif ukoll “tal-Korea ta’ Fuq ” (Tonio Fenech).

Dawn it-tikketti juru kif jaħdem moħħ dawk li qed jirreżistu din il-bidla. Mid-dehra ħadd minn dawn il-kritiċi tal-leġislazzjoni dwar l-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieg ma fehem li dan il-pass kien ukoll il-konsegwenza loġika tal-emenda kostituzzjonali, approvata mill-Parlament fil-leġislatura l-oħra liema emenda kienet iċċarat li d-diskriminazzjoni minħabba l-ġeneru kienet ipprojibita ukoll. L-intolleranti fost l-Insara fostna jgħidu li dawk li jappoġġaw l-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieġ huma “bla valuri”. Dawn għadhom ma irrealizzawx li l-valuri tagħhom m’humiex l-unika valuri. Qed ngħixu f’soċjetá bi pluralitá ta’ valuri. Ħadd m’għandu monopolju, la dwar il-valuri u l-anqas dwar dak li hu tajjeb jew ħażin.

Uħud mill-kelliema ewlenin tal-Opposizzjoni, minkejja li ddikjaraw l-appoġġ għal-liġi taħt konsiderazzjoni, xorta dehrilhom li kellhom jużaw il-ħin ta’ diskorshom bi kliem dispreġġattiv dwar dak propost. Dan il-lingwaġġ mimli insulti użat fid-dibattitu parlamentari sfortunatament jirrifletti fuq l-Opposizzjoni Nazzjonalista kollha, anke fuq dawk li għamlu sforz ġenwin u qagħdu attenti li jużaw  lingwaġġ konċiljattiv biex jikkomunikaw ħsiebijiethom.

L-opposizzjoni konservattiva qegħda fir-rokna. Min-naħa l-waħda riedet tħabbar mal-erbat irjieħ tal-pajjiż li issa kkonvertiet u ser tkun fuq quddiem biex tiddefendi d-drittijiet tal-komunitá LGBTIQ. Min-naħa l-oħra iżda, l-Opposizzjoni ma setgħetx tinjora l-fatt li għad għandha dipendenza qawwija fuq appoġġ minn l-agħar elementi ta’ intolleranza reliġjuża fil-pajjiż, dawk jiġifieri li għadhom iqiesu d-drittijiet LGBTIQ bħal materja ta’ “immoralitá pubblika”.  Edwin Vassallo kien l-iktar wieħed ċar fi kliemu meta iddikjara li l-kuxjenza tiegħu ma tippermettilux li jivvota favur dak li huwa ddeskriva bħala proposta leġislattiva “immorali”.

Fi ftit sekondi Vassallo (u oħrajn) ħarbat dak li kien ilu jippjana Simon Busuttil sa minn meta kien elett Kap tal-PN.  Dan wassal lil uħud biex jispekulaw dwar jekk l-Insara intolleranti, id-demokristjani u l-liberali fil-PN jistgħux jibqgħu jikkoabitaw wisq iktar.

Dan kollu jikkuntrasta mal-mod kif ġiebu ruħhom il-konservattivi fil-Partit Laburista. Dawn, minħabba kalkuli politiċi, ippreferew li jew jibqgħu ħalqhom magħluq inkella qagħdu attenti ħafna dwar dak li qalu. Jidher li tgħallmu xi ħaġa mid-dibattitu dwar id-divorzju!

L-approvazzjoni mill-Parliament tal-liġi dwar l-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieġ huwa pass ieħor il-quddiem favur il-pluraliżmu tal-valuri. Il-Parlament aċċetta l-pluraliżmu tal-valuri u iddeċieda li kulħadd jixraqlu r-rispett. Għandna bżonn nifhmu, lkoll kemm aħna, li qed ngħixu f’soċjetá bi pluralitá ta’ valuri li lkoll jixirqilhom ir-rispett. Hu possibli li ma naqblux, imma li ninsulentaw lil xulxin minħabba li nħaddnu valuri differenti ma jagħmilx sens. Xejn m’hu ser jibdel il-fatt li ħadd ma għandu monoplju fuq il-valuri li f’numru ta’ każi jikkontrastaw.

Malta illum introduċiet l-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieġ. M’aħniex ser indumu biex nindunaw li dan ser jagħmel lis-soċjetá tagħna waħda aħjar, għal kulħadd.

ippubblikat fuq Illum : il-Ħadd 16 ta’ Lulju 2017

Value Pluralism

One of the arguments made during the debate prior to Malta joining the European Union was that before it did so, Malta should open its doors to the 21st century. It was argued that much progress needed to be made before Malta could join the EU. The flip side of this argument was that EU membership could be the right catalyst for change that Maltese society needed, because change can be obstructed and delayed but, in the long term, it cannot be stopped.

Malta did join the EU in 2004 and the opening of the doors (and windows) of change is currently work-in-progress. The divorce referendum held in May 2011 opened the floodgates to a recognition of the fact that Maltese society was in a state of rapid change, making up for lost time.

The Marriage Equality Reform legislation approved in Parliament earlier this week was another step. It was described as “immoral” (Edwin Vassallo), “Marxist” (Clyde Puli), “communist” (Herman Schiavone) or even “North Korean” (Tonio Fenech).

These labels identify the frame of mind of those resisting change. Apparently, none of these critics of marriage equality legislation has yet realised that this step is the direct legal consequence of the Constitutional amendment, approved by Parliament some years back, which spelled out in unequivocal terms the prohibition of discrimination based on gender.

The intolerant Christian right argues that legislation proposing marriage equality is the result of a society which has lost its values. They have not realised that their “values” are not the only ones around: we live in a society where a plurality of values is a fact. The Christian right has no monopoly: either on values or on what is right or wrong.

A number of leading Opposition spokespersons, notwithstanding their declaration of support for the proposed legislation, deemed it fit to hurl never-ending insults against the proposals being debated and all that these represented. This insulting language used during the parliamentary debate is a sad reflection on the whole of the PN Opposition, even on those who sought to apply the brakes and in fact used more conciliatory language to convey their thoughts.

The conservative opposition is in a tight corner. On the one hand it wanted to announce in unequivocal terms its recent “conversion” to championing LGBTIQ rights. At the same time the Opposition could not ignore the fact that it is still chained to an intolerant Christian right which labels LGBTIQ rights as morally reprehensible. Edwin Vassallo was the most unequivocal when he declared that his conscience would not permit him to vote in favour of what he described as an “immoral” legislative proposal.

In a couple of seconds, Vassallo and others blew up what had been carefully constructed by Simon Busuttil since assuming the PN leadership, causing some to speculate whether the cohabitation of the conservative Christian right, Christian Democrats and liberals in the PN can last much longer.

In contrast, even if for political expediency, the conservatives in the Labour Party parliamentary group have either kept their mouth shut or else watched their language. It seems that they have learnt some lessons from the divorce referendum debate.

Parliament’s approval last Wednesday of the Marriage Equality Legislation is another step in entrenching the acceptance of value pluralism. Parliament has accepted value pluralism and decided that it was time to respect everyone.

We need to realise that we form part of a society with a plurality of values, all of which deserve the utmost respect. It is possible to disagree, but insulting people because they have different values than one’s own is not on. A society with a plurality of values is a fact and nobody will or can change that.

Malta has now introduced marriage equality. As a result, our society will show a marked improvement that will have a positive impact on all of us.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 16 July 2017

Awguri Malta

Malta illum uriet maturitá kbira meta l-Parlament approva bi kważi unanimitá l-liġi dwar l-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieġ.

Hi siegħa importanti li l-Parlament qed jaċċetta pluraliżmu fil-valuri u jistma lil kulħadd l-istess. Kien ikun ħafna aħjar kieku l-vot favur kien akkumpanjat minn diskors konċiljattiv. Għax hemm bżonn iktar rispett lejn il-valuri ta’ xulxin, b’mod partikolari meta dawn ikunu differenti.

Hi ħasra li għad hemm min iqis valuri differenti minn tiegħu bħala immorali. Li ma naqblux hu possibli imma li ninsulentaw lil xulxin fuq il-valuri bażiċi li nħaddnu hu tal-mistħija. Il-pluraliżmu tal-valuri hu fatt li ħadd ma hu ser iħassar.

Dejjem nittamaw li xi darba niftħu kapitlu ġdid, fejn ir-rispett jiġi l-ewwel u qabel kollox.

Edwin Vassallo m’għandux żewġt uċuħ

Bħalissa l-pariri lil Edwin Vassallo mhux nieqsa. Min jgħidlu biex iżomm sod u min jgħidlu biex iwarrab.

Jiena mhux ser inżid ma dawn il-pariri.

Imma nosserva li kuntrarju għal xi uħud, inkluż  madwaru, Edwin Vassallo m’għandux żewġt uċuħ. Qed jaġixxi skond dak li jemmen u skond dak li jgħid. Oħrajn  huma kuntenti u sodisfatti jgħidu kull xorta ta’ diskorsi u argumenti kontra l-proposti, imma mbagħad iddikjaraw li ser jivvutaw favur. Fosthom dawk li qed jaraw l-aħħar tad-dinja toqrob bħala riżultat tal-emendi fil-liġijiet diversi biex l-istitut taż-żwieġ ikun wieħed ugwali.

Għal dawn ta’ l-aħħar il-politika tal-konvenjenza (meta jiddikjaraw li taparsi huma favur) tirbaħ fuq il-politika tal-konvinzjoni. Imma m’humiex konxji li l-vot  tagħhom favur ftit jiswa’ meta tqis u tiżen dak li qed jgħidu. Għax in-nies kapaċi tqis u tiżen, anke jekk mhux dejjem turi dan.

Jiena u nikteb tħabbar li ser tkun organizzata protesta siekta favur iż-żwieġ nisrani bejn raġel wieħed u mara waħda. Hu ovvju li dawn l-organizzaturi għadhom ma irrealizzawx li l-emendi fil-liġi jgħoddu biss għaż-żwieġ ċivili u li kull xorta ta’ żwieg reliġjuż mhux mittiefes. Jiena ma nifhimx kif min dejjem iddikjara li ma jirrikonoxxix iż-żwieġ ċivili, issa qiegħed jinkwieta dwar it-tibdil li ser isir lil dan l-istess żwieġ ċivili . Għax, safejn naf jiena, dak li ma taqbilx miegħu ftit jimporta jekk hux tond jew kwadru!

Imma t-tkeskis f’dan il-pajjiż donnu m’għandux limitu. Għadna ftit il-bogħod biex nifhmu xi tfisser li tirrispetta lil min ma jaqbilx miegħek. Għax min ma jaqbilx miegħek, ma jfissirx li m’għandux valuri, imma li għandu valuri differenti. Valuri li lkoll kemm aħna għandna l-obbligu li nirrispettaw.

Dan hu l-uniku parir li fil-fehma tiegħi jgħodd għal Edwin Vassallo.

Meta l-kuxjenza ta’ Edwin Vassallo kienet bil-vaganzi

 

Meta smajt uħud mid-diskorsi fil-Parlament dwar l-emendi fil-liġijiet diversi li ser jintroduċu l-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieg ma kontx sorpriż. La b’dak li intqal u l-anqas bil-lingwaġġ magħżul.

Il-linġwaġġ konċiljattiv ta’ Claudette Buttigieg, Carm Mifsud Bonnici u Mario de Marco kien ta’ ġid avolja ma tantx jidher li jista’ jwassal ghal-soluzzjoni għad-differenzi dwar il-lingwaġġ tal-liġi proposta.

Imma imbagħad dak li qalu Herman Schiavone, David Agius u Clyde Puli diffiċli biex tifhmu meta akkumpanjat b’dikjarazzjoni li wara kollox qalu li ser jivvutaw favur.

Bla dubju dak li qal Edwin Vassallo kien l-iktar diskors li jistona. Għax kif tista’ tgħid dak il-kliem wara li tkun ikkontestajt elezzjoni bħala kandidat f’isem partit politiku li ukoll wiegħed l-ugwaljanza fiż-żwieġ?

Imma donnu l-kuxjenza ta’ Vassallo mhux dejjem taħdem! Qabel l-elezzjoni ma nigżitux meta l-Kap tieghu Simon Busuttil kien qed jitkellem dwar żwieġ bejn persuni tal-istess sess.

Forsi kienet bil-vaganzi!

Meta Joseph Muscat jikkopja …………………..

Joseph Muscat 13

 

Il-pass li jmiss, qal Joseph liż-żgħażagħ Laburisti hi liġi dwar id-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga (għall- użu personali).

Kien jagħmel tajjeb ukoll Joseph kieku ipprova jispjegalhom għaliex waqt il-kampanja elettorali li għaddiet ipprova jevita diskussjoni dwar dan is-suġġett. Fil-fatt, sal-lum, l-unika partit politiku  f’Malta li ħa posizzjoni ċara dwar id-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga waqt kampanja elettorali kien Alternattiva Demokratika. Huwa ta’ sodisfazzjoni għaldaqstant li dwar id-dikriminalizzazzjoni tad-droga Joseph jidher li ser jimxi fuq il-passi ta’ AD. Kif wara kollox mexa fuq il-passi ta’ AD dwar id-divorzju kif ukoll dwar il-vot mas-sittax!

Kellu bżonn jimxi fuq il-passi ta’ AD fuq affarijiet oħra ukoll, bħal, ngħidu aħna, l-kmamar tal-Armier u l-kaċċa u tant affarijiet oħra!

Min jaf, forsi jasal ukoll! Għax  anke Joseph  għandu d-dritt li jikkopja.

Busuttil fuq il-passi ta’ Gonzi : għan-niżla

Gonzi.Busuttil 2

 

F’diskors riċenti Simon Busuttil qal li hu bniedem differenti. M’għandux x’jaqsam mal-predeċessuri tiegħu. Qalilna li għandu ideat differenti għax iħares il-quddiem wara li tgħallem mill-iżbalji tal-passat.

Fost l-iżbalji tal-passat hemm il-posizzjoni ta’ Lawrence Gonzi li sfida l-vot tar-referendum favur id-divorzju.  Hemm ukoll il-posizzjoni inumana li l-Gvern Nazzjonalista immexxi minn Lawrence Gonzi ħa kontra t-transesswali. Dwar dan kien għamel apoloġija Mario de Marco għan-nom tal-PN.

Minn dan kollu l-PN ma tgħallem xejn. Għax kuntrarju għal dak li qal Simon Busuttil, taħt it-tmexxija ta’ Busuttil innifsu l-PN ma ivvutax favur il-Liġi li introduċiet l-Unjoni Ċivili. Busuttil baqa’ miexi fuq l-istess passi ta’ Gonzi, jisfida ir-raġuni u s-sens komun.

Il-lum f’artiklu (b’mod ironiku intitolat The Right Man for the Job) miktub minn Frank Psaila  li sal-elezzjoni ta’ Marzu 2013 kien Direttur Informazzjoni tal-PN, Busuttil ġie għal darba oħra ikkritikat b’dan l-iżball. Żball li iktar kmieni f’dan il-blog jiena iddeskrivejtu bħala wieħed li mhux ser jintesa.

Jekk hux the right man for the job jew le, ma jinteressanix. Li hu ċar pero hu li m’hemmx differenza minn ta’ qablu.  Miexi fuq il-passi ta’ Gonzi: għan-niżla (jekk hu possibli li tinsel iktar l-isfel).

The PN (now) needs you

PN. arma imkisra

Some, myself included, have received an SOS from the PN. The PN needs “our” input. It implores those receiving its SOS that it urgently requires the inputs of well-intentioned volunteers. Today’s PN leadership wishes to rebuild the party. That is, it wants to reconstruct what its predecessors have demolished.

Now such an exercise requires first and foremost an accurate appreciation of how and why the PN is in its present state.

When one reads through the report analysing the circumstances which led to the PN’s routing, which report was coordinated by current PN Executive Committee President Ann Fenech one can get an inkling as to why the PN is in a state of shambles. This comes through not just by reading the actual report (at least that part of it which is public) but through the line of thought which links each of the 38 pages of what is described as an Executive Summary of the actual report.

Apparently, according to the Ann Fenech report, everyone is at fault, except the PN. The PN was misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Ann Fenech’s report speaks of authorities and civil servants who “sabotaged” the PN-led government. Unfortunately Ann Fenech fails to bring this argument to its logical conclusion: that the PN Ministers and their private secretariats were an incompetent bunch if they did not notice this “sabotage” and take the appropriate action. They were even assisted by Boards, and Committees leading Authorities, sometimes at an exorbitant rate of pay, who at times were more of a rubber stamp than an Authority.

If this reasoning is not analysed and acted upon the reconstruction exercise will be futile as the foundations are the result of a  very weak reconstruction philosophy.

The PN has still not apologised for defying the divorce referendum result in Parliament. Nor has it sought absolution from the cultural community for defying reason in its persistence on the roofless theatre at the Royal Opera House site in Valletta. The PN’s stance on the roofless theatre was one which left no doubt that in the PN’s view everybody was in the wrong, except the PN.

The PN’s arrogance and its lack of social conscience personified in former Minister Austin Gatt and his entourage directing the “reform” of the Malta Drydocks as well as the Public Transport Reform seems to be a non-issue in Ann Fenech’s report.

Also surprisingly absent in Ann Fenech’s analysis is the PN’s shift away from the political centre under Lawrence Gonzi’s stewardship. Lawrence Gonzi inherited a left-of centre PN but when he left the leadership handed over a conservative party to Simon Busuttil. Ann Fenech’s report (as published) is silent on the matter. Most probably Dr. Ann Fenech and fellow co-authors Prof. Mary Anne Lauri, Dr Simon Mercieca, Ms Rosette Thake and Mr Malcolm Custó do not have an inkling as to the actual consequences of the PN in government during the period 2004-2013 moving along a conservative path.

Finally there are those who consider that those who did not support the PN in the March 2013 general elections had no valid reason to do so. In their view they did so as a result of an incorrect appreciation of the situation.

Some have supported and even voted in favour of specific measures adopted by the Lawrence Gonzi led government. These same persons are in the forefront now in 2014 supporting residents who are protesting against these same measures originally adopted by the PN led-government.   How is it possible for the PN and its leadership to be credible when some of its MPs act in this manner?

Crocodile tears will not lead to a reconstruction of the PN.

Published in The Independent Saturday August 16, 2014