Malta Nationalist Party Illusions
I am writing these comments, after seeing Smash TV program, ‘Kullhadd Jighd Tieghu’ on the 11th of June. The guests where Mr. Pierre Portelli and the new PN whip Mr. David Agius. I could not understand how both guest kept shifting the argument from debating PN’s renewal ‘nidgeddu’ onto the MLP, as if the MLP is the only party in dire straits. The PN’s fountain for arguments seem to be focused on the MLP and don’t know how to take deep look into the PN’s structures, that although they are sounder than that of the present MLP they too have deep rot.
The fact of the matter is (in my point of view as a floating voter that rarely exercises my right to vote), that it is true that since Mr. Mintoff stepped down from party leader, the MLP has not had a real party leader that could lead. First MLP leader after Mintoff there was Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, he was a man that let his mouth rule the brain, his speeches where cumbersome as he used to make one mistake after the other, he could not communicate what he really wanted to say or mean because although he might have had it straight in his mind he could never get it out straight from his mouth, his speech gave him up that he was not a leader and eventually the electorate side lined him for what he was.
He was succeeded by Dr Alfred Sant, and the MLP instead of progressing and choosing a leader, again they choose a loser to lead, obviously the electorate welcomed the MLP change and wanted to test him out for want of change from an arrogant PN Government. The MLP Government lasted only 18 months and thanks to Mr. Mintoff, the MLP had to go for new elections. I say thanks to Mr. Mintoff because the way Dr Alfred Sant ran the Government was on a day by day basis with no near/medium or long term plans and visions. This obviously created uncertainty and the economy started to suffer with no clear vision of what the next day is going to crop up. The MLP kept confirming Dr Alfred Sant as leader even after speeches that more than often contradicted previous speeches he made, in other words he proved himself that he is no leader simple as that, he might have been a good politician but certainly never a leader. His image and character portrayed him as a strange (stramb), obstinate (rasu iebsa) and unapproachable (Supperv),one had to read between the lines of whatever he said as he could not be trusted as one should when he is a leader, if it’s any consolation the British Labour Party leader Gordon Brown is destined to the same fate because of matching character, ask any psychologist that specialize in human traits. To make matter worse he surrounded himself with ‘yes men’, he was never a listener anyway, his arrogance in treating the floating voting public was pathetic to say the least, but he loved listening to himself and the hard core labour voters praise and blessings. The MLP MP’s where not courageous enough to side line him for not wanting to be the ones that ‘rocked the boat’ ,as when the party machine wanted to head hunt the electoral defeats they obviously did not want their heads under the axe, so Dr Sant was left leading labour into electoral defeats one after another. Who on God’s earth, in today’s world want to follow and be lead by a loser? The electorate kept showing them the light, but Dr Sant’s MLP was so blind that even the brightest of searchlights would have made any difference to the leader or those he surrounded himself with. So the MLP, I guess were actively pursuing being the second best and made sure that they stayed second best, after all there were those that were still making a career out of it. These last two MLP leaders had a too squeaky voice for leaders compared to other known leaders that possessed a strong assertive and reassuring voice, voice is one give away that a leader can’t hide no matter what he tries to portray for an image.
At long last, the MLP had a change of leader after the last electoral defeat. This time we had a choice from five interesting members contesting the leadership, all of them had a good arguments as to how they would lead and the vision that they have to revamp the MLP on the road to an electoral victory. Dr Joseph Muscat was chosen as the MLP new Leader, his first speeches where impeccable with a clear vision of how he is going to lead and how he is intending to restructure the MLP with the help of party, ex-party and other professional members of the public. He promised inclusiveness, interactive communication with the public, pledging an open arm invitation to those that where side lined by previous MLP administrations, to assist the PN government in issues of National interest but on the same line underscoring that the MLP will pursue the PN government to follow up on his pre-election promises and pledges to the public in such as way that each one will have to be implemented and that any deficit from pledges not implemented will be the PN’s downfall in due course, Dr Muscat promises a positive adversary, where he will declare and apologize to the Maltese public for past bad management and wrong doing of past MLP administrations but also reminding of the benefits and good done of previous MLP administrations, he will also praise the PN where good is made but I am sure that he will go down on them as a ton of bricks where the Government is wrong. The EU is now a closed issue; he is/was the only Maltese MEP to ever become a party leader. He is also seeking the help of his leadership race adversaries to help in revamping the MLP.
What a breath of fresh political air, Welcome Dr .Muscat.I am saying this with no ill intentions for the other MLP leadership contenders. As a floating voter I would have welcomed any of the five in lieu of the past leader. We don’t only wanted a change we needed one badly. Having said that, there is a few shadows that Dr Muscat need to shed from the very start. He need to prove he is not ‘Dr Sant’s Poodle’ anymore and that he is now somewhere in between a pit-bull when he needs to take tough stands on issues creating hardships and the nicest of puppies when needing to meet the public’s interests and needs. Another show stopper, is the MLP administration and the party’s media, a complete overhaul is required in these fields and must be run by professionals on modern management systems, the likes of Jason Micallef are out (who has been Dr Muscats shadow on every news bulletin clip and newspaper photos so far, after all he is the one that stated ‘Behind Joseph Muscat there is no one (except his wife)’ ‘Wara Joseph Muscat ma hemm hadd’) even if he stuck his neck out too far in support to Dr Muscat to the detriment of the other contenders in pre-leadership race, the media must be seen to run impartial with no exaggerated extremes and sensationalism on the most pitiful of issues and give equal opportunity to MP’s and to those independents or those of different political views. The last issue is on the local MLP centers, they must restructure to inject new MLP blood into the party where they will be involved in creating an MLP platform from where ordinary citizens are heard and their message transmitted to the party leadership so that matters of urgency can be dealt with at the shortest of time from a party that cares and listens, they will be the centers’ of preparing MLP future MP’s and leaders and revamping politics in the young and future political members of the public.
Now, this is a far cry, from what the PN party and Government’s impression why they were and are in Government now. There is the illusion that it is because of all the economic good and restructuring that has taken place. The truth is that they had no contesting alternative for a PN government. Sant even handed the last election on a silver platter to the PN after having a trump card in the form of the Mistra scandal involving a now PN MP that the result of the investigations is still unknown to an eager waiting public that saw the best Malta environmental protector sell out the public trust for personal gain. The PN is also guilty that although quite a few of the PN’s Ministers from the past administration although being unelected in the last general election and totally rejected by the electorate, Dr Gonzi and the PN did not take heed to the electorate, that is disrespectful to the electorate and their own voting public. Those that did not make it to parliament where still recycled by the PN into having some governmental role and also given a golden handshake (I am led to believe in a monetary form) eventually they will pay the price (the PN), a heavy price for that matters. Mr. Gonzi is seen as an honest leader, but a true leader proves his leadership by implementing the changes that the electorate and the Maltese public demands. There has been Ministerial changes that Mr. Gonzi must be applauded for, but by keeping those that were seen corrupt or those that took politics as a career instead of a mission is doing him or the PN any favors. If the MLP’s changes are successful, then the next election will probably see the biggest defeat in the PN’s history. Gone are the days where the public was naive and taking the political parties for granted, gone are the days when each camp was comfortable with the status quo, where the electorate was 50/50 on each side, now they have to contend and convince an ever increasing floating voter section that take everything into account, from the economy to actions and most important accountability. Gone are the days of cover ups and exposure of corrupt elements and eliminating such elements from their midst should now be the norm.
As one can see, the PN is in Government not because of their own efforts and merits but rather due to the opposition’s efforts and the circumstances, their biggest asset for winning the election was not their campaign but rather Dr. Sant’s and the MLP administration persistence in failing. Will things change in five years time? It all depends on the MLP, but the majority of the electorate want the change and are crying out loud for a change but there was nothing to change with so far.
Listen and give the public the reasonable things that they are demanding, they are empowered ones every five years, anything in between those five years are dictated upon, told to live in hardships, sacrifices, bearing the costs of banal mistakes and just plain and simple ignored. That voting power used once in five years can prove embarrassing in a post election post mortem as then everything will be analyzed, and heads normally role, especially of those in the limelight. After an election everything will be forensically analyzed and the ones found at fault will be disgraced by their respective electorate. Does one want to be disgraced due to another’s incapability of running his Ministerial responsibilities, who knows, Politics is a funny business that is full of surprises. So far since the election the PN has only shown inconsistencies with its past in the form of the ’Partnership for Peace unilateral decision’, the Mistra scandal in-actions and slowly hidden from the public eye, the much promised MEPA reform (not a cosmetic reform, a real reform even if it means revenue to the party from property and construction industry is lost),The cost of living increases since the election (looking more like payback time to those showing support to the PN than the ‘Min Barra il Pajjiz’), Political party revenue disclosure, Whistle blower’s act, Consistently abiding with EU regulations instead of waiting to be taken to ECJ from a Government that believed in the EU (stop embarrassing Malta for unjust Government expectations be it income or environmental),and last but not least is the end of arrogance and implementing accountability by demanding resignations from those that do not meet their goals and public expectations.
We are patient, we will wait for five years, but then don’t expect pity or favors (except for the few that trade favor for favor).May the contest begin and the best will be the winner, but most of all, I hope that the gainer will be Malta’s prosperity for its citizens and may it be the envy of bigger and richer states. Will it be PN or MLP next time, will another party manage to infiltrate the airtight system we have to date (where any other party other than the PN and MLP are marginalized and the system monopolized by the two big parties), only time will tell but with an ever demanding public one can’t automatically tell.
There you have it, and it’s an honest opinion projected by most, accepted by most and denied by those that should know better. There is no hatred or mal intention in all I said above, it’s just an honest opinion that I have of Politics as they are now, even if the Political parties and politicians says I have a wrong picture of politics this is the picture they made me form in my mind. My Criticism hopefully will simulate change within the political system to reflect the participation of the electorate and the citizens of Malta in all fields, domination or changes decided by the few in a party is not democracy but more like Stalin’s dictatorial system, a democracy doesn’t allow for half measures, it’s either in full or it’s a non democracy.
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