I’ve never been one for political parties, at least not in the local sense. They seem to me to bring out the worst in people as opposed to the best.
Blind allegiance to an organisation, no matter what it does or doesn’t do. Mob-like behaviour at public gatherings.
But I also recognise that politics with a big P is such an intrinsic part of life that it would be foolish for anyone to believe that it didn’t matter. It does, in a way that very little else does. Because without it, there would be no rule of law, no social justice, no civic duty. It would be total anarchy.
And so, off to the polls I go every election to do my democratic duty, a moment in which, together with my fellow citizens, for a brief day we hold the reins in our hands.
Voting has never been easy for me – I don’t feel a natural fit with any of the parties present on the local scene. In a pinch, I’m probably more aligned with green values as represented by Alternattiva Demokratika. That’s why I have voted for them in local elections. But somehow I’ve never been able to pull that trigger come general election time.
It’s unfair of me, I’m sure, but I find them to be too immature to govern, I find that they have done little to impress me over the years (when they could have done a hell of a lot having the least to lose) and this all boils down to me not affording them a comfortable number 1 vote at election time.
I have to admit, I really thought it would be different this time around, especially following the spring hunting debacle.
But then the unthinkable happened (at least, in my opinion, which after all, is what this blog is).
Malta currently has a prime minister who has refused to take any action despite clear indications that two of the most important people in his cabinet set in motion a series of events aimed at them being able to hide money in accounts which would never come under any scrutiny.
Let’s remember that the only reason we know of this at all is because of an unprecedented leak of papers from Panama. Nobody could have foreseen this. Indeed, this is why they forged ahead because they were confident in the secrecy of it all.
The Icelandic prime minister tendered his resignation immediately when the Panama scandal broke. Not so in Malta. Why we are different to the rest of the world, I will never understand.
To add insult to injury, the prime minister continues to studiously avoid media questions and is seemingly also interfering in the operation of the Police Force. The final nail in the coffin? Calling into question the judiciary, that most sacrosanct of institutions, which MUST remain untouched, untouchable for the safety of us all.
There is no doubt in my mind that what we are seeing here is a Trump in the making – where arrogance and a sense of supreme right begin to overshadow everything else, including reason. History teaches us that dictators start off in the most benevolent of ways.
This is the time to stand up and be counted, make no mistake.
The writing has been on the wall for a while, the system is rotten to the core. And this not just locally. But until it implodes, until something replaces it, this is the tool we have to work with, so we have to make sure that it works to its very best!
This election is unusual not only for the circumstances that warranted it, but also for the option of having a coalition in government for the first time. Granted, it may not be the traditional understanding of coalition, but it will certainly enjoy a wider variety of voices represented in parliament and a further means to keep the government in check.
I write ‘further’ for let’s be clear here – we, the same people who are dumbfounded and dismayed by Malta’s current predicament, have the same amount of responsibility to hold this potential government to the highest of standards.
It is OUR future we are talking about here, OUR country. This does not belong to any political party. It belongs to us. They are there to serve US and we have to make damn sure they do.
So this Saturday I will be voting for the force that I think has the most chance to make this happen. I will be voting for the younger candidates, for the ones whose values most represent mine, for those that have social justice and the environment as core values. I will cross-party vote between the coalition represented by FN and the green party, AD. I will not, however, give one single vote to the candidates who chose to stand by a, at best, shady candidate, at worst, a man whose need to dominate overshadowed everything else, even the good his party achieved in government these past 4 years.
(Side note: Oh and there’s one other candidate who won’t be getting my vote on the FN list – he’s the one who somehow got hold of my number and sent me an insane number of smses despite my asking him to desist and my attempting to block my number. Respect, without it, you are nothing).