The Malta Independent 27 July 2017, Thursday

Opinion: Rediscovering the PN’s voice

Adrian Delia Sunday, 16 July 2017, 11:00 Last update: about 10 days ago

The last few weeks have been challenging and interesting. Since putting forward my candidature for leadership of the Nationalist Party, I have often been asked whether or not I feel the PN has any chance of winning the next election after two landslide defeats. My answer has always been one of hope, explaining that if and when the party rediscovers its voice within Maltese society, there is no doubt in my mind that we will make it at the next election.

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This is what I plan to do if elected. The PN's voice has always been very strong and identifiable. With it, we have captured the nation's imagination and transformed the country. Our vision for our islands radically changed the political, social and economic landscape of Malta and Gozo and this has never changed. What has changed, however, is the way our voice is projected or communicated. There is no doubt that we have not yet recognised the changing communication landscape, often relying on tried and tested models which, as we have seen, do not work in a fast-changing society.

My vision for the PN is simple and can be summed up in one word - excellence. This is what our country deserves in all spheres and this is where I would like to steer it.

Before we get there, we need to develop the tools to be able to communicate our vision to the people. We need to capture Malta and Gozo's imagination and afford them the luxury to dream - irrespective of gender, socio-economic background or education. Each and every Maltese and Gozitan can expect to aspire to a better standard of living and quality of life - be it the condition of their roads and pavements, the quality of their job and the education of their children, or the efficiency of their health care system and, more importantly, the environment we live in.

To do this we must develop the best and most up-to-date technologies in communication. An idea is only as good as the manner in which it is communicated; a proposal as good as the way it is articulated. Our agenda deserves the widest possible audience. We must not only deliver our vision but must extend our reach, increase our audiences and enable them. We need to ensure people are listening to our message and not merely hearing us.

It is for this reason that I have already outlined my plans for a total regeneration of the PN's media: television, radio, newspapers and online. The time has come to consolidate what we have achieved to date and make it work for our vision.

To begin with, the PN will speak with one unified voice. Our message will be strongly in favour of progress underpinned by the common good. We will work hand-in-hand with all sectors of society to guarantee a better future for our children while ensuring that each and every one of us can aspire to a better quality of life.

We will work to convince people of our vision and not deceive them through personal attacks. Our voice will be respectful of those that hold differing opinions - because it is these differences that truly make for a healthy democracy.

We will be an inclusive party. All those talented individuals that wish to contribute will find their voice within the Nationalist Party. Our media will be open to all those who wish to showcase their talent and add value. To do this we will invest in research and resources so that our programmes offer the best entertainment, thus widening our reach.

To do this we need to attract the best talent to the PN media. A Media Academy will be established which will not only train existing staff and help them achieve their full potential but also serve to attract new talent to our media thus ensuring that our vision is translated in the best and most effective way.

Naturally, this cannot be done without strengthening the media arm of the PN. By this I do not only mean strong in communicating a message and vision but, crucially, financially strong. My aim is to work on a three-year plan that will ensure the PN's media is financially viable, enabling us to keep reinventing ourselves and keeping us relevant.

Lastly, we will be looking at further strengthening our digital media presence to ensure that we are tapping into the latest tools and extending our reach beyond our comfort zone, as well as reaching out to people throughout the legislature and not only in the run-up to an election.

My vision is to excel in everything we do. Our media is one crucial pillar - the tool that will enable us to excel in the way we communicate ensuring we do so in a language that each and every one of us understands. In this way, we will rediscover the PN's voice and with it the voice of the people, for this is my aim - to ensure that the two are the same.

Adrian Delia is a candidate for the Nationalist Party leadership


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