The Malta Independent 24 September 2017, Sunday

A much-needed political reawakening: Why Adrian Delia is the clear way forward for the PN

Pierre Portelli Wednesday, 6 September 2017, 10:23 Last update: about 18 days ago

There is little doubt that Dr Adrian Delia has shaken the Nationalist Party to the core. A litigation lawyer and the now-ex President of a local football club, he has somehow rekindled the ardent passion in the party that had been dying since the Divorce Referendum in 2012. That alone was enough to get me to listen to him speak and to understand better what his vision for the party was – but there is more to him than first meets the eye.

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Assertive and confident, Delia has managed to congregate a huge chunk of the party behind him, even though he could be considered a novice in politics. His calls for party unity and his philosophy that the party should come first and foremost have resonated with both the older and the younger generations alike. That is no piece of cake.

More importantly, however, this is extremely important for the party, particularly as beyond its main aim to win the general election, the PN also needs to serve as the country’s Opposition. And it is through that Opposition that we can ensure that bad governance, corruption and nepotism don’t become normalised more than they already have… In many ways, the responsibility of the PN towards the nation hasn’t been this pronounced since the days of the EU Referendum.

In fact, I believe that as Dr Busuttil bows out of his role as Party Leader, we need to ensure two things: firstly, that we keep all the good that the party has achieved under his leadership, including the incessant fight against corruption, and, secondly, that we take a good, hard look at ourselves in order to understand our shortcomings and failings.

Delia, in my opinion, can lead the party in doing both – particularly as he clearly champions the man and woman on the street, whose lives politicians should seek to make better. That is, after all, what the Nationalist Party has always been about and it is for that reason that the electorate chose to trust the party to lead the country time and time again in the past.

Beyond the votes, the party needs to understand the problems that affect the citizens of Malta on the daily, which, in the short run, can be more visibly detrimental to our way of life than corruption. So, while our opposition to what is happening in the highest office cannot and shouldn’t stop, we also need to go back to the time when politics were somewhat more personal. Of course, this is not to say that the government – or anyone else, for that matter – should be handing out government jobs and planning permits. The kind of personal politics we need is the kind that understands how things like traffic and social issues can affect communities differently.

Through his charisma, Delia has already managed to engage the public to react and become involved. Now, should he win, my hopes are that he builds a new way of politics based on the party’s mantra of integrity and honesty. A new way of politics that can find a balance between working hand-in-hand with businesses in an open and free way but which is also done sustainably.

Only through such a clear roadmap could the party once again be a voice for everyone. Only through such a clear roadmap could the party be the opposition that’s needed to stop corruption from eroding everything we hold dear.

Can Delia do it? I think he has the right attitude for it.   

Pierre Portelli – PN Sliema Local Councillor

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