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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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).

Il-pass li jmiss ta’ Cyrus Engerer

Cyrus with Joseph

Meta Cyrus Engerer iddeċieda li jwarrab minn kandidat għall-Parlament Ewropew f’isem il-Partit Laburista ħa deċiżjoni tajba. Kienet tkun deċiżjoni ferm aħjar kieku ma ppreżentax ruħu bħala kandidat qabel ma kellu deċiżjoni finali tal-każ kriminali kontra tiegħu fil-Qrati. Hekk wara kollox għamlu persuni oħra fil-Partit Laburista li kellhom il-ħsieb li jkunu kandidati u dan kemm għall-Parlament Ewropew kif ukoll għall-Kunsilli Lokali. Safejn hu magħruf din kienet il-posizzjoni tal-Partit Laburista. Posizzjoni kemm ċara kif ukoll raġjonevoli.

Għalhekk hemm min għandu r-responsabbilta’ li jispjega għaliex Cyrus ma nżammx milli jikkontesta kif wara kollox inżamm ħaddieħor. Iżda mhux hekk biss.

Issa li l-każ fil-Qrati ġie konkluż, b’dak li għamel, Cyrus ipprova jagħmel użu mill-preġudizzju omofobiku u dan biex jimbarazza lill-ex-sieħeb tiegħu.

Cyrus Engerer huwa il-koordinatur tal-grupp dwar id-drittijiet LGBTI fil-Ministeru tad-Drittijiet Ċivili immexxi minn Helena Dalli. F’din il-posizzjoni għandu r-responsabbilta li jikkordina l-ħidma ta’ diversi persuni u u flimkien magħhom iħejji proposti dwar l-introduzzjoni ta’ drittijiet LGBTI f’Malta. Ħadem ħafna f’dan il-qasam w l-ħidma li għamel kienet ħidma utli. Tat il-frott.

Id-deċiżjoni tal-Qorti m’hiex deċiżjoni taċ-ċajt. Tfisser li min kien inkarigat biex jikkordina t-tkissir tal-ħitan tal-omofobija instab ħati li uża l-istess omofobija bħala għodda ta’ tpattija.

L-arloġġ ma jistax jitressaq lura. Dak li sar sar.

Naħseb li anke Cyrus innifsu jirrealizza illi l-mod kif ġieb ruħu ma jagħmilx ġieħ lir-responsabbiltajiet li jġorr. Iktar ma jdum jaħsibha x’ser jagħmel iktar ser jitfa’ dellijiet fuq dawk ta’ madwaru li b’dedikazzjoni ħadmu flimkien miegħu (ukoll) biex kellna avvanz sostanzjali fid-drittijiet ċivili tal-persuni LGBTI.

Jekk Cyrus jemmen fl-utilita’ ta’ dak li għamel b’risq il-komunita LGTBI għandu l-obbligu li jwarrab immedjatament. Biex ma jitfa l-ebda dell fuq ix-xogħol utli li għamel hu u bosta oħrajn.

AD on Civil Union legislation

 

 

new identity

 

PR 14-04-2014 AD welcomes the introduction of civil union legislation; hopes this leads to full equality

 

Angele Deguara, AD representative on the LGBT Consultative Council, said: “As a party that believes in equality and social justice, we are happy that finally gay couples will have similar rights to those of other couples. This is a big step forward for us as a democratic country. We will join other countries which have recognised that gay couples who love each other and want to spend their life together should be protected by law. We hope that this law will pave the way for eventual equality in marriage.”

Prof. Arnold Cassola, AD Chairperson, said: “Alternattiva Demokratika believes that there should not be any discrimination on any basis in Maltese society, including sexual orientation, as stated in the Maltese Constitution and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union citizen, which has been signed and ratified by the Maltese Government. Today is a historical day for Malta and we are proud to have given our contribution to enhance awareness about equality and social justice. As members of the European Greens, who have been promoting equality for gay couples for many years, we adhere to the same political ideals. We hope that this law will lead to the legal protection of other couples, such as those in cohabiting relationships, as was promised by the political parties.”

 

PR 14-04-2014 AD tilqa’ bi pjaċir l-introduzzjoni tal-liġi tal-unjonijiet civili; tittama li twitti t-triq għal ugwaljanza sħiħa Angele Deguara, rappreżentanta ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika fuq il-Kunsill Konsultattiv dwar l-LGBT, qalet: “Bħala partit li nemmnu fl-ugwaljanza u l-ġustizzja soċjali, aħna kuntenti li l-koppji tal-istess sess fl-aħħar se jkollhom drittijiet bħal koppji oħra. Huwa pass kbir -il quddiem għalina bħala pajjiż demokratiku li ningħaqdu ma’ pajjiżi oħra li wkoll għarfu li koppji tal-istess sess għandu jkollhom protezzjoni mil-liġi bħal koppji oħra li jħobbu lil xulxin u jixtiequ jqattgħu ħajjithom flimkien. Nisperaw li din il-liġi twitti t-triq għal ugwaljanza anke fiż-żwieġ.”

 

Prof. Arnold Cassola, iċ-Chairperson ta’ AD, qal: “Alternattiva Demokratika temmen li m’għandux ikun hemm diskriminazzjoni fis-soċjeta Maltija fuq l-ebda bażi inkluż l-orjentazzjoni sesswali, kif sanċit mill-kostituzzjoni Maltija u miċ-Charter tad-Drittijiet fundamentali taċ-ċittadin tal-Unjoni Ewropea, li tagħha l-Gvern Malti hu firmatarju. Illum huwa jum storiku għal Malta u aħna kburin li tajna l-kontribut tagħna biex ikun hawn iktar kuxjenza dwar  l-ugwaljanza u l-ġustizzja soċjali. Bħala membri tal-Ħodor Ewropej li ilhom snin twal jaħdmu u jippromwovu l-ugwaljanza għall-koppji tal-istess sess, aħna f’dan ir-rigward inħaddnu l-istess politika. Nisperaw li din il-liġi twassal ukoll biex koppji oħra, bħal dawk li jikkoabitaw, ikollhom ir-relazzjoni tagħhom protetta mil-liġi kif kien imwiegħed mill-partiti politiċi.”

Għalfejn l-Aħdar?

greening

Naħseb li hi l-intenzjoni ta’ kważi kull min jinvolvi ruħu fil-politika li jara soċjetá li taħdem aħjar. Iżda x’inhu l-aħjar? Għax fil-waqt li lkoll naqblu li nimxu lejn l-aħjar mhux dejjem naqblu la ma x’inhu l-aħjar u l-anqas mat-triq li tista’ twassalna hemm.

Il-ħidma politika ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika hi assoċjata’ mal-għarfien tal-politika ambjentali bħala ċ-ċentru tal-ħidma tagħha. Filwaqt li dan hu minnu, mhux l-istampa kollha, għaliex il-ħidma favur id-drittijiet ċivili kif ukoll dik favur politika soċjali iktar umana dejjem kienu aspetti importanti tal-politika Ħadra.

Id-Dikjarazzjoni  l- Ħadra ta’ Canberra approvat fl-2001 f’laqgħa tal-Pariti Ħodor fuq livell globali tfisser fi ftit kliem it-triq il-Ħadra madwar id-dinja. Dikjarazzjoni li imbagħad hi applikata minn kull partit fit-tifsila  l-iktar addattata għal pajjiżu.

Sitta huma l-punti bażi tal-ħidma ħadra madwar id-dinja: l-għarfien ekoloġiku, l-ġustizzja soċjali, d-demokrazija partieċipattiva, in-non vjolenza, s-sostenibilita’ u r-rispett tad-diversita’. Huma marbutin flimkien, ħaġa waħda: programm wieħed u sħiħ. Madwar dawn titfassal u tinbena ħidma adatta għar-realtajiet ta’ kull pajjiż. Fuq dawn il-punti hemm konvergenza ma partiti politiċi oħra. Fuq uħud mill-punti naqblu iktar ma xi partiti filwaqt li fuq oħrajn naqblu iktar ma oħrajn.

Il-kuntrast tal-aħdar politiku mal-partiti l-oħra jimmanifesta ruħu l-iktar fil-politka ambjentali imma diversi drabi jidher ukoll f’oqsma oħra bħall-ġustizzja soċjali jew id-drittijiet ċivili. Jimmanifesta ruħu kemm fid-diskrepanza bejn dak li jingħad u dak li jsir inkella fir-ritmu li bih jitwettaq dak li dwaru jkun hemm konvergenza ta’ ħsieb.

Il-politika ħadra tmexxi l-quddiem politika progressiva li tesiġi mill-bniedem li jerfa’ r-responsabbilta’ ta’ egħmilu. Responsabbilta’ fil-konfront ta’ bnedmin oħra kif ukoll responsabbilta’ fil-konfront tal-ekoloġija. Ġustizzja soċjali u ġustizzja ambjentali li jirfdu lil xulxin. Dipendenti minn xulxin għax waħda mhiex sħiħa mingħajr l-oħra.

Din hi l-politka. Li dak li nippropnu kif ukoll dak li nfittxu li nwettqu nagħmluh dejjem bl-aħjar mod possibli. Il-politika mhix bilanċ ta’ interessi iżda sforz kontinwu biex nimxu sewwa dejjem.

It-triq li twassalna għal ħidma sewwa hi diffiċli mhux ftit għax kontinwament trid titħabat ma’ interessi egostiċi li jfittxu li jipperpetwaw l-istatus quo. Dawk jiġifieri li huma kontra kull bidla għax bidla għalihom tfisser li huma ma jibqgħux jiddominaw.

Ma rridx ninftiehem li kull bidla hi neċessarjament tajba. Kif ikolli l-opportunita’ infisser matul il-ġimgħat li ġejjin hemm ħafna li jeħtieġ li jinbidel. Imma daqskemm huwa importanti li jinbidlu bosta ħwejjeġ, daqstant ieħor hu importanti l-mod kif issir il-bidla. Mhux biex ma jintrifsux kallijiet iżda biex waqt li jkunu eliminati inġustzzji jew żbalji li saru tul is-snin ikun assigurat li dawn ma jkunux sostitwiti b’inġustizzji jew żbalji ġodda.

Hemm bżonn li l-inġustizzji u l-iżbalji innaqqsuhom, mhux  nibdlulhom isimhom.

Fix-xena politika Maltija għal ħafna snin indrat id-diska li jew ikħal inkella aħmar. L-aħdar fl-arena politika demokratika jfisser li hemm alternattiva demokratika għall-alternanza bejn l-ilwien  tradizzjonali.  Alternattiva poliitka li teżisti fil-parlamenti kollha Ewropeji inkluż dawk tal-iċken żewġ pajjiżi, San Marino u Andorra.

Nittama li dawn il-ħsibijiet tiegħi jservu għal diskussjoni ċivili li permezz tagħha lkoll nagħrfu aħjar l-alternattivi li għandu quddiemu pajjiżna.

kif ippubblikat fuq iNews, il-Erbgħa 21 t’Awwissu 2013.

Snippets from AD’s electoral manifesto: (18) Sexual Orientation. Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transexuals (LGBT).

gay-pride-1009-1280x960

The following extract is taken verbatim from Chapter 15 of AD’s Electoral Manifesto

Sexual Orientation. Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transexuals (LGBT).

There should be full equality between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples in every aspect of life. The state should open the institution of civil marriage to same-sex couples and hence provide the same rights and obligations to all couples (irrespective of whether they are heterosexual or of the same sex).

Full equality should also be guaranteed, among others, for the right to IVF treatment and to adoption regardless of sexual orientation and civil status.

There should be a national human right and equality plan ensuring full inclusion of LGBT persons in Maltese society. This plan should be developed following a dialogue with the Maltese LGBT community.

There should be a constitutional amendment by means of which discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity would be prohibited.

The state should immediately recognise the gender identity of persons who have assumed a new gender identity and this should be reflected in the person’s official documents such as identity card and passport. The state should allow these persons to marry.

Protocol 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights should be ratified, and Malta should take a more active role in the promotion of human rights of LGBT

L-Estratt segwenti hu mehud kelma b’kelma mill-Kapitlu 15 tal-Manifest Elettorali ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

Orjentazzjoni Sesswali.Lesbjani, Gays, Bisesswaliu Transesswali (LGBT).

Għandu jkun hemm ugwaljanza sħiħa bejn koppji tal-istess sess u koppji eterosesswali f’kull aspett tal-hajja. L-istat għandu jiftaħ l-istituzzjoni taż-żwieg ċivili għall-koppji tal-istess sess u għaldaqstant jagħti l-istess drittijiet u obbligi lil kull koppja (kemm dawk eterosesswali kif ukoll dawk tal-istess sess).

Ugwaljanza sħiħa ghandha tkun garantita ukoll, fost oħrajn, għad-dritt għall- IVF u għall-adozzjoni, irrispettivament mill-orjentazzjoni sesswali u l-istat ċivili ta’ dak li jkun.

Għandu jkun hemm pjan nazzjonali għat-tisħiħ tad-drittijiet u l-promozzjoni tal-ugwaljanza tal-persuni LGBT f’kull qasam tal-ħajja. Dan il-pjan għandu jiġi żviluppat bi djalogu mal-komunita’ LGBT.

Għandu jkun hemm emenda fil-kostituzzjoni li permezz tagħha d-diskriminazzjoni fuq bażi ta’ orjentazzjoni sesswali u identita’ tal-generu tiġi ipprojbita.

L-istat għandu immedjatament jagħraf l-identita` tal-ġeneru ta’ persuni li jkunu assummew identita’ ġdida u din għandha tkun riflessa fid-dokumenti uffiċjali tal-persuna bħall-karta tal-identita` u l-passaport. L-istat ghandu jippermetti li dawn il-persuni jiżżewġu.

Għandu jiġi ratifikat Protokol 12 tal-Konvenzjoni Ewropea tad-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem u Malta għandha tieħu rwol aktar attiv fil-promozzjoni tad-drittijiet tal-persuni LGBT fuq livell internazzjonali.

Il-Labour: jgħid ħaga u jagħmel oħra

Il-Grupp Parlamentari Soċjalista fil-Parlament Ewropew (imsejjaħ il-Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) mhux konvint li l-Ministru tal-Affarijiet Barranin Malti Tonio Borg hu l-persuna adatta għall-Kummissarju tal-Unjoni Ewropeja. Ġie rappurtat fil-medja lokali li s-soċjalisti għandhom diffikulta’ dwar il-posizzjoni li ħa Tonio Borg dwar id-drittijiet tal-omosesswali meta l-Parlament Malti iddiskuta t-tibdil fil-liġijiet tal-kera u irrifjuta emenda imressqa mill-Opposizzjoni fil-Parlament imma iktar qabel proposta ukoll minn Alternattiva Demokratika.

Hannes Swoboda President tal-Grupp Soċjalista fil-Parlament Ewropew fi stqarrija maħruġa nhar il-25 t’Ottubru 2012 qal hekk dwar Tonio Borg:

“Regardless of the circumstances surrounding Mr Dalli’s resignation, we will look carefully into the qualifications of his proposed successor. In view of some comments from Mr Borg on the rights of homosexuals we intend to question him closely on whether his views are compatible with Europe’s fundamental values on civil liberties and non-discrimination.

“There has already been one case where the European Parliament rejected a candidate who could not convince MEPS of his readiness to accept basic European values. We do not need a second Rocco Buttiglione.”

Ma jidhirx li l-4 membri parlamentari soċjalisti Maltin oggezzjinaw għal dan. Imma f’Malta b’mod ipokritu jibqgħu jgħidu li qed jappoġġaw il-kandidatura ta’ Tonio Borg.

Bħal dejjem il-Labour jgħid ħaġa u jagħmel oħra: f’Malta jitkellem favur Tonio Borg. Barra qiegħed jappoġġa lil min jikkritikah. M’humiex kapaċi jkunu konsistenti.

Hekk kienu u hekk jibqgħu. Jagħmlu dak li jaqbel fil-mument. F’Malta jitkellmu favur il-kandidatura ta’ Tonio Borg. Barra minn Malta jilgħabuha ta’ progressivi!

Sadanittant Alternattiva Demokratika kienet ċara daqs il-kristall. Il-Grupp tal-Ħodor fil-Parlament Ewropew kif fisser Arnold Cassola, kelliemi għal Affarijiet Internazzjonali u Ewropej ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika m’huwiex konvint li Tonio Borg hu l-persuna adatta biex tkun Kummissarju Ewropew u dan minħabba l-posizzjoni tiegħu fuq drittijiet ċivili u drittijiet umani. L-issue m’hiex biss dwar il-posizzjoni ta’ Tonio Borg fuq id-drittijiet ċivili tal-gays imma ukoll fuq il-posizzjoni tiegħu dwar r-refuġjati . Il-Ħodor Ewropej huma xettiċi dwar Tonio Borg fid-dawl ta’ rapporti mill-Kummissjoni Għolja dwar ir-Refuġjati u Amnesty International.

Tonio Borg għandu ħafna x’jispjega. Jekk ma jispjegax ser ikollu ħafna diffikultajiet.

Id-Divorzju : ħawwadni forsi nifhem (3)

(3) Bejn kalkoli u realta’  

L-issues f’dan id-dibattitu qed jiżviluppaw kontinwament. Il-posizzjonijiet huma fluwidi ħafna b’mod partikolari fiż-żewġ partiti l-kbar. L-ebda wieħed mill-partiti l-kbar m’hu kompatt. Dan hu normali f’pajjiż demokratiku u f’soċjeta’ li qed tinbidel. 

Il-PN ħa posizzjoni kontra l-introduzjoni tad-divorzju.  Huwa konxju li fil-PN innifsu hemm opinjonijiet oħra. Mhux biss ta’ dawk li esprimew ruħhom pubblikament. Iżda ukoll ta’ dawk li fissru l-fehma tagħhom wara l-bibien magħluqin. Kemm fil-laqgħat formali tal-Kumitat Eżekuttiv tal-PN kif ukoll f’laqgħat oħra informali li jsiru kontinwament.

M’għandix dubju li fil-grupp parlamentari tal-PN hemm min ser isibha diffiċli biex jittraduċi fehma favur id-divorzju b’vot favur fil-Parlament. Dan minħabba l-kalkoli politiċi. Dan hu riżultat tal-fatt li s-soċjeta’ tagħna qed tinbidel bil-mod. Dak li qed jgħidu u jagħmlu l-Membri Parlamentari mhux neċessarjament li jirrifletti l-valuri tal-votanti. 

Il-familja ukoll qegħda fi stat ta’ metamorfosi. Il-familja reali m’għadhiex dik tradizzjonali iżda l-istat miexi bil-mod wisq biex jirrikonoxxi l-uġiegħ ta’ nies u l-forom ġodda ta’ familja li ilhom is-snin li nibtu fostna. Mhux il-punt jekk taqbilx jew le. Iżda li tiftaħ għajnejk għar-realta. 

Il-Labour għandu nukeju immexxi minn Joseph Muscat u rappresentat prinċipalment minn Evarist Bartolo li jaċċetta d-divorzju. Pero’ għandu numru mhux żgħir ta’ Membri tal-Parlament li huma inċerti dwar x’ser jagħmlu. Ta’ l-inqas dik l-impressjoni li jagħtu ħafna minnhom ħlief Adrian Vassallo li fuq din il-materja tad-divorzju għandu ideat ċari u huwa iktar konservattiv mill-PN.  Bosta mill-Membri Parlamentari l-oħrajn qed jistudjaw, huma inċerti, għad iridu jaqraw il-liġi, qed jieħdu l-pariri …………. għadhom qed jagħmlu l-kalkoli.

Il-Labour qiegħed fi stat ta’ transizzjoni bejn il-veduti konservattivi li qed tirriġetta bil-mod s-soċjeta’ Maltija u viżjoni progressiva tas-soċjeta li tirikonoxxi l-uġiegħ tan-nies u r-realta’ ta’ forom alternattivi ta’ familja.

Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) hi l-uniku partit politiku kompatt dwar id-divorzju. Il-fatt li  hu partit żgħir u bi storja riċenti hu ta’ relevanza kbira għal dan.

AD biss għandha l-appoġġ tal-votanti tagħha favur id-divorzju. Dan għax sa mit-twaqqif ta’ AD fl-1989 iddikjarat ruħha favur id-divorzju u inkludiet proposti konkreti f’dan is-sens f’kull programm elettorali u ċjoe f’dawk għall-elezzjonijiet ġenerali tal-1992, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2008.   

 

Qegħdin f’salib it-toroq : fit-triq diffiċli bejn il-kalkoli u r-realta’. L-uġiegħ tan-nies qiegħed hemm fejn jarah kulħadd jistenna l-Parlament jiċċaqlaq.

Ir-referendum jidher li ser ikun l-għodda magħżula biex tħoll il-kobba. M’hiex l-aħjar għodda. Għax id-drittijiet ċivili naddottawhom billi nimmaturaw u nifhmu li hemm opinjonijiet differenti li jistgħu jeżistu flimkien. Opinjoni ma teskludix oħra.

M’huwiex faċli li tgħid x’ser tkun il-konkużjoni. Għalhekk l-inċertezza fost il-Membri tal-Parlament li huma imdorrijin jiddeċiedu f’termini ta’ maġġoranza u minoranza hi kbira.

Għad jonqos ir-rispett ta’ opinjonijiet differenti u r-rikonoxximent tal-fatt li forom differenti ta’ familja diġa’ jezistu.  Avolja l-istat Malti ma jirrikonoxxihomx. L-introduzzjoni tad-divorzju hu pass importanti f’din it-triq tal-għarfien tar-realta’. L-uġiegħ tan-nies qed jistenna.

Malta : Still in the Middle Ages

‘Malta still in the middle ages’ – AD participates in anti-censorship march

 

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party is participating in the anti-censorship march organised by the Front Against Censorship.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: ‘It seems though Malta has joined the European Union, in many aspects we are still in the middle ages. It is disturbing that state institutions should decide what is acceptable and what is not within the arts. This is reminiscent of dictatorial regimes – from North Korea to Iran – whose state structures aim to create a monolithic conformist identity, devoid of freedom In advanced modern societies where individuals are reflexive, such imposition from the state is unacceptable’.

‘In various respects, proposed legislation on censorship increase repression on freedom of speech. AD believes that no artistic production should be banned, provided there are clear guides such as age classification and warnings on content shown. AD is also firmly in favour of educational reforms which enhance the reflexivity and responsibility of individuals, such as the teaching of comprehensive sexual education and the values of tolerance and respect. A difference should also be made between art and the spreading of hate such as that of the neo-nazi type’.

‘If the recent decision of the Civil Court on the “Stitching” play were to be applied consistently, then, we might as well close down our film-theatres for showing films full of violence and explicit content. We might as well ban MTV for showing provocative videos and empty bookshelves for having books that are deemed “incompatible”‘.

Yvonne Arqueros Ebejer, AD spokesperson for Civil Rights, added: ‘Freedom of expression is a civil right.  It is a cornerstone of a democratic society. This right also protects opinions that shock, disturb or offend, as long as they do not incite violence or hatred. However, the right to freedom of expression has come under pressure from various sides. Greens will continue to resist attempts to compromise the right of expression, even where it may clash with religious or other beliefs.

‘AD supports the Front Against Censorship and we once again, together with the European Green Party, we express our solidarity with Mark Camilleri and Alex Vella Gera who were taken to court due to their respective roles in Realta’ newspaper’.

‘Whilst other political parties are ultimately stuck in time when it comes to freedom of expression,  Alternattiva Demokratika – the Green party is clear and consistent in its position for the modernisation of censorship laws as befits a modern democracy’.