Coalition building: beyond the arithmetic

It is pretty obvious that the primary – and possibly the only – objective that the Nationalist Party seeks to attain through its proposed coalition is to numerically surpass the Labour Party when the first count votes are tallied after  the forthcoming general election. Should this materialise, it could be a stepping stone on the basis of which, possibly, it could return to office on its own or in coalition.

The rest, that is to say beyond the first count vote tally, is all a necessary evil for the PN.

In contrast, Alternattiva Demokratikas objectives go beyond arithmetic. Alternattiva Demokratika favours a principle-based coalition, ethically driven,  in conscious preference to a pragmatic-based one that is driven exclusively by arithmetic considerations.

A principle-based coalition asks questions and demands answers continuously. The path to be followed to elect the first Green MPs is just as important as the objective itself. This is not simply  a minor inconsequential detail: it is a fundamental difference in approach.

Alternattiva Demokratika is continuously being tempted to discard its principled approach on the basis of a possible satisfactory result being within reach: now is the time, we are told, to join Simon Busuttils coalition in the national interest.  

Alternattiva Demokratika has always given way to the national interest. It is definitely in the national interest to discard (at the earliest possible opportunity) the two-party system that is the cause of the current political mess. In this context, at AD we do not view the PN (or the PL for that matter) as a solution. Both are an intrinsic part of the problem. Even if they are not exactly equivalent, together they are the problem. Parliament has been under the control of the two-party system  without interruption for the past 52 years. This is ultimately responsible for the current state of affairs as, due to its composition, Parliament has been repeatedly unable to hold the government of the day to account.

It is the worst kind of political dishonesty to pretend that the PN is whiter than white when criticising the Labour Partys gross excesses during the past four years. Labour has been capable of creating the current mess because the last PN-led government left behind quasi-toothless institutions, such that, when push came to shove, these institutions were incapable of biting back against abuse in defence of Maltese society: so much for the PNs commitment to good governance.

The PN is also  still haunted by its own gross excesses including:

1) Claudio Grechs incredible declaration on the witness stand in Parliaments Public Accounts Committee that he did not recollect ever meeting George Farrugia during the development of the oil sales scandal, George Farrugia being the mastermind  behind it all.   

2) Beppe Fenech Adamis role in the nominee company behind the Capital One Investment Group/Baltimore Fiduciary Services . In quasi similar circumstances, former Labour Party Treasurer Joe Cordina was forced to resign and was withdrawn as a general election candidate.

3) Mario DeMarcos error of judgement (with Simon Busuttils blessing) in accepting the brief of Silvio Debonos db Group in relation to the provision of advisory legal services on the Groups acquisition from Government of land at Pembroke, currently the site of the Institute for Tourism Studies, and this when his duty a Member of Parliament was to subject the deal to the minutest scrutiny and thereby hold government to account.

4) Toni Bezzinas application for a proposed ODZ Villa at the same time that, together with others, he was drafting an environment policy document on behalf of the PN in which document he proposed that this should henceforth  be prohibited.

5) Simon Busuttils alleged attempt to camouflage political donations as payment for fictitious services by his partys commercial arm, thereby circumventing the Financing of Political Parties Act.

How can the Nationalist Party be credible by declaring itself as the rallying point in favour of good governance and against corruption when it took no serious action to clean up its own ranks? Apologies are a good start but certainly not enough: heads must roll.

A coalition with a PN that closes more than one eye to the above is bound to fail, as the behaviour of the PN and its leadership is clearly and consistently diametrically opposed to its sanctimonious declarations.

These are very serious matters: they need to be suitably and satisfactorily addressed as a pre-condition to the commencement of any coalition talks.  Time is running out and this is being stated even before one proceeds to identify and spell out the red lines – ie the issues that are non-negotiable.

Addressing the arithmetic issues concerning the general election and then ending up with a new government with such an ambivalent attitude to good governance would mean that we are back to the point from which we started.    Nobody in his right mind would want that and Alternattiva Demokratika would certainly not support such double speak.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday – 16 April 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.

Il-mozzjoni Parlamentari numru 322 : kriżi ta’ imġieba

ethical-politics

 

Nhar it-Tnejn li ġej, fil-Parlament, ser jiddiskutu mozzjoni ta’ sfiduċja fil-Gvern. Hi l-mozzjoni numru 322, mressqa mill-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni, dwar il-kriżi attwali kkawżata mid-dokumenti li ħarġu mill-Panama li l-Opposizzjoni issejħilha “kriżi ta’ korruzzjoni”.

Li l-Gvern mexa ħażin ma għandi l-ebda dubju. Kellhom jittieħdu passi tmien ġimgħat ilu dwar il-“kriżi” u ma sar xejn s’issa.

Imma kemm hu korrett li jingħad li din hi “kriżi ta’ korruzzjoni”?

Fil-bidu nett, meta faqqgħet il-kriżi, l-unika informazzjoni pubblika kienet dwar il-ħolqien ta’ kumpaniji fil-Panama għall-Konrad Mizzi, Ministru, u Keith Schembri (il-Kasco) Chief of Staff fl-Uffiċċju tal-Prim Ministru. Iktar tard sirna nafu li kien hemm kumpanija oħra lesta biex titwaqqaf għal persuna oħra li ismu għadu mhux magħruf.

Mill-informazzjoni li ħarġet s’issa sirna nafu li Keith Schembri ried jinvesti fir-riċiklaġġ fl-India u fir-remote gaming. L-informazzjoni dwar x’ried jagħmel Konrad Mizzi mhux ċara għax hemm biss il-kelma tiegħu li l-kumpanija fil-Panama riedha biex tamministra l-ġid tal-familja. Hekk ta’ l-inqas qal li kien il-parir li tawh, u mexa fuqu. Għalkemm dak li qal Konrad Mizzi la jagħmel sens u l-anqas ma jitwemmen, s’issa ma ħarġet l-ebda informazzjoni oħra li tagħti verżjoni differenti jew li tikkuntrasta ma dak li qal hu. Bl-assi li iddikjara li għandu Konrad Mizzi ma jagħmilx sens li tmur il-Panama!

L-aħħar informazzjoni li ħarġet kienet dwar l-attentati biex jinfetaħ kont jew kontijiet bankarji f’wieħed minn diversi banek madwar id-dinja. Dan minnu innifsu m’huwiex indikazzjoni ta’ korruzzjoni. Ovvjament jista’ jintuża għalhekk ukoll! Il-kontijiet bankarji ma nfetħux (s’issa) għax il-banek talbu depożitu minimu sostanzjali!

Dan kollu jfisser li,  l-kriżi li bdiet b’suspetti kbar ta’ korruzzjoni, bl-informazzjoni li nafu sal-lum, għalkemm għad baqa’ kemm dubji kif ukoll suspetti, iktar milli  “kriżi ta’ korruzzjoni” hi “kriżi ta’ imġieba ħażina” bil-Prim Ministru, wara tmien ġimgħat għadu ma ħa l-ebda pass kontra dawk responsabbli. Xejn iżda ma jeskludi li iktar tard toħroġ informazzjoni li issaħħaħ l-argument dwar il-korruzzjoni. Imma s’issa din l-informazzjoni mhux magħruf li teżisti. Suspetti biss.

L-imġieba ħażina ta’ Konrad Mizzi toħroġ mill-fatt li huwa fetaħ il-kumpanija fil-Panama f’ġurisdizzjoni li minna nnifisha tnissel suspetti kbar ta’ korruzzjoni u li bħala riżultat ta’ dan kollu tefa’ dell tqil fuq il-Gvern u fuq il-pajjiż.

L-imġieba ħażina ta’ Keith Schembri l-Kasco toħroġ mill-fatt li filwaqt li ilu għal dawn l-aħħar tlett snin jipprova jagħti l-impressjoni li nqata’ min-negozju tiegħu xorta għadu qed jippjana investimenti ġodda għalih, b’mod li qed joħloq dubju perikoluż dwar fejn jibdew ir-responsabbiltajiet tiegħu lejn il-Gvern bħala l-id il-leminija tal-Prim Minsitru u fejn jispiċċaw l-interessi tiegħu ta’ negozju.

Din hi l-kriżi reali li għandu quddiemu l-pajjiż. Hi kriżi ta’ serjetà kbira, mhux eżatt kif qed jgħid il-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni. Imma xorta hemm ġustifikazzjoni li jirriżenjaw kemm Konrad Mizzi kif ukoll Keith Schembri. Xorta timmerita mozzjoni ta’ sfiduċja fil-Gvern għax wara tmien ġimgħat għadu ma ċċaqlaqx.