It occurs to me that the Auditor General and the Ombudsman are appointed by two thirds of Parliament. And still they do not act in the interests of the man in the street without fear or favour from the Executive.
For years now, I have been trying my utmost to put a stop to the Arms / tenant state sanctioned scam. The NAO and the Office of the Ombudsman were both absolutely useless and ineffectual, when I approached them. Both entities are autonomous and yet there is a clear reluctance to hold the state to account at the behest of an ordinary civilian. Even though I clearly explained the extent of the theft from tenants by Arms, it made no impression. The theft continues even today.
Therefore, my opinion is that making the appointment of the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General subject to the approval of 2/3 of Parliament is not going to change much. I doubt very much that a Police Commissioner and Attorney General appointed in this way would have behaved differently to the current Commissioner and Attorney General.
How do we create checks and balances which work? We need these institutions to act immediately when they are shown evidence that something is wrong.
Franz Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission, recently said that politicians should welcome clear checks and balances because these would make their job easier.
Could it be that politicians need to have this kind of mindset for our institutions to function as they should? My opinion is that our politicians do not have this mindset. They resist any check and balance to any (abuse) of their powers.
I think that just as important as changing the mechanism by which heads of institutions are appointed, is the willingness of our politicians to be held under the most rigorous scrutiny.
In a post Daphne Caruana Galizia world, how are we going to achieve this? Even her relentless exposure of politician misdeed after misdeed was not enough to change the mindset of our politicians to one willing to be held accountable and subject to checks and balances.
However, is it possible that more and more people are seeing the dysfunction since her assassination? Will this heinous crime be the turning point?