The largest problem Malta has is its institutional failures. It is unfortunate that people do not see these failures when everything necessary to their daily lives, like a roof over their heads, equal pay for equal work... is ticking along just hunky dory. As you know by now, my family and I had seriously traumatic problems when we moved to Malta nearly 7 years ago. I doubt whether I would have been any the wiser re these institutional issues if we hadn’t had these experiences.
We have to face it. Malta has NO checks and balances. In fact, worse still – Malta has a facade of checks and balances, behind which, the illusion of any state accountability is very easily exposed. The lack of serious will to keep the Executive of our country in check, to make sure that the ordinary citizen, and the ordinary resident, of Malta is treated with respect, is of huge concern.
What is the inevitable outcome? Journalists, with political axes to grind take advantage of this gaping lacuna and give a partisan twist to what should be a coming together of ALL Maltese of All political views in a situation of such serious magnitude.
What should have happened, in my opinion, when these allegations first came to light, is that ALL of us should have descended on Castille, bananas held aloft, demanding the resignation of Konrad Mizzi, the Prime Minister, Keith Schembri. That’s what the Icelandic people did for much less provocation. That’s what the Romanians did earlier this year. Why not US, for goodness’ sake? How craven are WE?
Instead, as institution after institution failed in its sworn duty to look after the interests of our nation and its people, journalists with no political axe to grind, the few people with no political axe to grind - were treated to accusations of coming down on the side of PL and defending the indefensible, when all these people were doing was searching for a way out of the frightening deadlock Malta finds itself in. . “You’re not clamouring for JM’s head? Then, off with your head!” was the general refrain.
What should also have happened is that institutions should have stepped in and, without fear or favour, checked and balanced our Executive. Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, PEP, should have been held to account for having Panamian companies, when the Panama Papers revealed that they had secret companies in Panama. Civil servants should have accompanied Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister to Azerbaijan. The Police Commissioner should have immediately ordered the sealing of Pilatus Bank. The FIAU should have published its report into the deficiencies of Pilatus Bank immediately. There are many more shoulds that our institutions didn’t.
Also, the Prime Minister should have resigned, pending the result of an investigation into the allegations. All resources should have been diverted to our institutions to verify or refute the serious allegations. Of course, the Prime Minister is not legally obliged to do this. But the fact that he doesn’t speaks volumes about the extent of the responsibility he feels towards the greater good of Malta.
But to actually allow ourselves a situation in which we could have a general election, without any resolution as to the guilt of our PM or otherwise – why can’t people see how dangerous this is? Are PN supporters banking on a PN victory? What happens if PL, and therefore Joseph Muscat, wins the next general election anyway, even with these accusations levied against him?
On the other side, hackles of prickly defensiveness were raised as our illustrious leader was pilloried and criticized, of course only by PN supporters. I saw no evidence of PL voters doing the same.
What are we? Football supporters? Is this how we behave when we should be holding our political class to account?
“You’re criticizing PN so therefore you must be PL?”
“You’re expressing your intention to spoil your vote at the next general election because you cannot, in all conscience, vote for either political party? You fool - you are wasting your vote and not participating in the democratic process.”
Bħallikieku, voting for a supposedly lesser evil is exercising your democratic rights, ħej. When did tactical voting become the epitome of morality? For me, this is nothing less than perverting the democratic process. How are we ever going to move away from this appalling, longstanding status quo if we don’t vote with our consciences?
Did the outcome of the Democrats’ choice of Hilary Clinton over Bernie Sanders teach us nothing? No one will know now whether Bernie Sanders would have defeated Trump. But I suspect that he would have.
To those who will attempt to put ‘moral’ pressure on people to vote PN instead of spoiling their ballot paper – please understand that just as you feel it is your moral duty to vote for PN, we feel that it is our moral duty to not vote for PN or PL.
Yes - whichever way you look at it – the fixing of this will take a long time. But any compromise with principle will only delay the inevitable – there will be other stalemates in the future. Of what kind is uncertain. But, with hindsight, we can all see that the seeds for this recent impasse of Herculean proportions were sown a long time ago.
Can we do foresight, this time round? Please?