Mill-Manifest Elettorali ta’ AD dwar bidliet fil-Kostituzzjoni : (1) Parteċipazzjoni wiesgħa

Forum tal-President 1

(1)    Parteċipazzjoni wiesgħa

Kull diskussjoni dwar bidliet profondi fil-Kostituzzjoni għandha titmexxa bl-akbar ftuħ u trasparenza u tiġi diskussa kemm fil-Parlament, (li għandu jsir istituzzjoni professjonali b’Parlamentari full-time), kif ukoll f’forum rappreżentattiv li jkun jinkludi rappreżentanti tal-organizzazzjonijiet tas-soċjetà ċivili, il-partiti politiċi kollha u l-Kunsilli Lokali. Il-proċeduri u d-diskussjonijiet għandhom ikunu aċċessibbli online u s-suġġerimenti taċ-ċittadini għandhom jiġu diskussi wkoll. Il-bidliet għandhom jiġu approvati b’referendum.

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

Alternattiva Demokratika: ħarsa l-quddiem

May 2011. divorce referendum result

Ir-riżenja ta’ Michael Briguglio hi issa aħbar pubblika. Kif jiġri dejjem, bħala Viċi Chairman ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika jiena issa qiegħed naġixxi ta’ Chairman minn floku. Fil-prattika dan ifisser il-koordinazzjoni neċessarja biex tissejjaħ il-Laqgħa Ġenerali Annwali fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin meta l-membri ta’ AD naħtru team ġdid biex imexxi l-Partit.

Wara ftit iktar minn ħames snin involut b’mod attiv f’Alternattiva Demokratika jiena naħseb li qed joqrob iż-żmien biex nieqaf u nagħmel il-wisa’ għal persuni oħrajn ta’ eta iżgħar li bl-enerġija u l-ideat tagħhom jistgħu jkomplu jibnu fuq dak li hi Alternattiva Demokratika illum. Jekk ma jkunx din is-sena jkun is-sena li ġejja u dan dejjem jekk it-team il-ġdid ikollu bżonn l-għajnuna tiegħi.

Fi ħsiebni nibqa’ attiv ta’ l-anqas sal-Laqgħa Ġenerali Annwali naqdi dmiri lejn il-membri li eleġġewni kif ukoll lejn il-5,506 votant li għoġobhom jivvutaw lill-Alternattiva Demokratika bħala l-ewwel preferenza tagħhom fl-elezzjoni ġenerali. Dan hu obbligu li naqdieh bil-qalb.

Kienu ħames snin ta’ ħidma kbira li fihom ħdimt ma’ tlett Chairmen differenti: Harry Vassallo, Arnold Cassola u matul dawn l-aħħar tlett snin u nofs ma Michael Briguglio. Kull wieħed minnhom ta’ l-kontribut tiegħu għall-bini ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika biex hi dak li hi illum. Ma kull wieħed minnhom ħadt pjaċir naħdem għax kull wieħed minnhom kien dedikat.

Il-ħidma politika mhiex faċli. Tirrikjedi sagrifiċċji li nagħmlu lkoll kemm aħna. Sagrifiċċji li nagħmluhom għax nemmnu li l-ħin dedikat għall-politika huwa investiment fit-titjib tal-pajjiż. Hi ħidma li permezz tagħha nagħtu kontribut biex il-ħajja ta’ madwarna tkun aħjar.

Il-ħajja madwarna tkun ħafna aħjar jekk nagħrfu nirrispettaw iktar lil xulxin: jekk ma nħallux il-preġudizzji li kull wieħed minna ġemma’ matul ħajtu itappnu l-mod kif inħarsu lejn dawk ta’ madwarna. Li inkunu kapaċi ngħidu dak li naħsbu huwa importanti. Imma huwa daqstant ieħor importanti li nkunu kapaċi nisimgħu dak li jrid jgħid ħaddieħor.

Li ninkuraġixxu d-diskussjoni miftuħa hu tajjeb. Imma fil-partiti politiċi b’mod partikolari hu importanti li dawk li jħaddnu ideat minoritarji ma jħossuhomx emarġinati.

Ilni kważi 40 sena attiv fil-politika l-parti l-kbira minnhom fil-Partit Nazzjonalista u kelli l-opportunita li nosserva li f’kull wieħed mill-partiti politiċi jinqalgħu ċirkustanzi li bħala riżultat tagħhom partit jagħmel għadu tiegħu minn dawk li jikkritikawh. Xi kultant minflok ma wieħed japprezza lil min kapaċi joħodha kontra l-kurrent u jlissen il-fehma tiegħu l-partiti politiċi għandhom ħabta li lil dawn jagħmluhom egħdewwa. Din iċ-ċirkustanza  hi riżultat li għadna ma fehmniex biżżejjed li l-partiti politiċi f’dan il-pajjiż huma wieħed mill-ftit postijiet fejn l-ideat jitħabbtu flimkien. L-enerġija li tirriżulta meta jitħabbtu flimkien dawn l-ideat tista’ tkun enerġija pożittiva imma sfortunatament għandna nuqqas ta’ persuni li kapaċi japprezzaw kif din l-enerġija pożittiva tingħaraf u kif tista’ tkun użata.

Sfortunatament din hi d-diżgrazzja ewlenija tal-politika Maltija. Flok nikkompetu b’mod pożittiv naħlu wisq enerġija fin-negattivita u fis-suspetti. Ir-riżultat hu li qed naħlu ħafna talenti.

L-awgurju tiegħi hu li nitgħallmu iktar. Li nagħrfu iktar dak li hemm pożittiv f’kull wieħed minnha. M’huwiex faċli. Imma naħseb li hu possibli.

For those who can think: food for thought

Chamber of Commerce and Industry 1

Helga Ellul, retiring Brandstatter CEO in Malta  was interviewed by the Sunday Times on December 23, 2012. The last part of the interview was as follows:

How did the uncertainty on the election and the slim majority in Parliament impact business?

The problem is that in Malta with just two political parties it is always a close run and this makes it very difficult for whoever wins to govern.

Whereas in other countries we have more parties and coalition governments and different constellations, in Malta it is so close knit that if it is not a clear majority than it will be very difficult to govern.

The perception is that coalition governments will bring more instability.

In Germany we do have that (instability) but it is not all negative because a party has to come out with a proper programme and then change according to the coalition, which may not be the worst of it. Coalitions would encourage parties to look at the overall picture and adjust accordingly.

Voting at the Hospitals and Retirement Homes: (3) Political Parties and the lists of patients/residents

stored data

So far, in parts 1 and 2 we have identified that twenty four hours after the publication of the writ establishing the date of the general elections the Electoral Commission shall form a sub-committee, chaired by a Commissioner together with a representative of each of the political parties. The Electoral Commission shall delegate the running of the general election  in retirement homes and hospitals to this sub-committee. The duties of this sub-committee are wide ranging.

The sub-committee shall receive from the administration of the Hospitals/Retirement homes lists of patients/residents. These shall be submitted to the sub-committee within three days from the publication fo the writ identifying the general election date.  In addition a list of all staff expected to be on duty up to the day following election day shall be furnished by the administrators to the sub-committee.

The list of residents in retirement homes shall include names, ID card numbers, last known address, age, ward number, name and address of next of kin and the electoral district where the resident is entitled to vote.

The details of all patients in hospitals is also to be submitted. It shall include names, ID card number, last kniown address, ward number, name and address of next of kin. This list is to be updated daily until the day preceeding the election.

Full details of staff at both retirement homes and hospitals will also be furnished by the administrator: the information shall include name, ID card number, grade, address, as well as their expected working hours up to the day after the election .

The sub-committee shall supply to the political parties the lists containing the information on residents, patients and staff. The information supplied to the political parties shall be updated regularly.

Staff members in hospitals and retirement homes are expressly prohibited from engaging in propaganda for any political party or candidate. Severe penalties shall apply if they ignore this: general interdiction for a period of 10 years.

The political parties will thus be informed in detail of who the residents in retirement homes as well as hospital patients are, their last known residence as well as details as to their next of kin. It is to be pointed out that in respect of hospital patients information as to the ward where the patient is receiving treatment will also be communicated to the political parties thereby indirectly informing them of what’s wrong with the voter’s health.

to be continued : tomorrow (4) Voting documents & voters choices

Voting at the Hospitals and Retirement Homes: (2) The draconian powers of the sub-committee

conference_table_large

In part 1 we identified that twenty four hours after the publication of the writ establishing the date of the general elections the Electoral Commission shall form a sub-committee, chaired by a Commissioner together with a representative of each of the political parties. The Electoral Commission shall delegate the running of the general election  in retirement homes and hospitals to this sub-committee.

The sub-committee has 4 basic duties established in subarticle 81(2) of the General Elections Act. These duties are listed as follows:

  1. that no undue pressure is bought to bear on voters in retirement homes and hospitals,
  2. that proper and adequate facilities are given to all political parties to canvas voters
  3. that adequate arrangements for voting are made in view of the special needs of such voters
  4. that no political party enjoys an unfair advantage.

The sub-committee in terms of subarticle 81(3) of the Act is given the authority to ensure that

  1. immediate steps are taken to remove and substitute members of staff gravely suspected to have attempted to influence voters
  2. arrangements are made for receipt/delivery of propaganda material and for canvassing dring visiting hours by candidates and political parties contesting that electoral division
  3. complaints from political parties/candidates are speedily investigated and rectified when found to be justified.

These dragonian powers were agreed to unanimously by Parliament as they were agreed to by the PN and the PL. It is not known whether Trade Unions were consulted. Most probably they were not.

to be continued : tomorrow (3) Political Parties and the lists of patients/residents