The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

Time for a Hail Mary

Rachel Borg Saturday, 6 July 2019, 08:54 Last update: about 3 months ago

The most sensitive point for people who look to the opposition now, is the feeling of abandonment, of not having anyone there to do some good, to stand up for what is right and speak the truth.  It is an opposition consumed in its own failure to be a proper representative of the people who wish to have alternative opinions on matters that really count, like anti-corruption, a sustainable economy, family matters, education and better paid jobs, freedom of speech.

As precious time goes by, with so many serious issues that are not even touched upon by the delegates, we feel more than a sense of frustration at how the MZPN (the youth section of the Nationalist Party), who tried so hard and meaningfully to contribute a discourse and ideas to revive the party, could be dismissed in such a trivial way.  Many are also fed up with the soap opera politics.

This mentality of having to win, to compete, has overtaken any thought process and purpose from the party and subjected it to a single-issue of if you can’t beat them join them and spoilt the very essence and mind of the collective members of the party who are now forced to commit to the chosen one, Adrian Delia and his sustainers, with the same commitment that they made to the party and the people or get branded as trouble makers.

If the sole purpose of a political party was to be elected at any cost, then why do children even bother going to school and to get an education?  Not every child achieves the worldly results society recognizes.  Some are gifted to find their own path, to be creative and to become their own thinkers.  To be able to form morals, is essential.  Freedom of thought and mind is developed by experience and education can help make sense of it.  Making the best for ourselves and others along the way is important if we are to choose between arrogance and knowledge.  So why is there so much emphasis in our country on winning?

Naturally, if a political party feels that its values and representation can do good to the country, then they would be keen to become elected and have an opportunity to realise their programme.  But before it thinks of becoming elected, the party needs to convince the electorate that they have something to offer them which is valuable and can do good in their life and make changes which are necessary to a democracy. 

Not all good political parties are electable.  Some serve their purpose for a particular issue or represent a minority which can never generate the votes needed to get elected.  But they are no less important to the process of democracy. 

In the case of the Nationalist Party, the business of being an opposition party, has been inverted and subverted and now speaks only to that single-purpose vocational group intent only on seeing that the leader they elected will win. For them, even if he cannot win an election, then he must be kept there to win the internal argument.  That pride has blinded them to their very own judgement. 

It is ultimately, pride which has driven these past years from 2008 -2013 to present day.  The pride of people who felt they deserved more, were entitled to more, wanted to be recognized more.  Adrian Delia repeats the mantra of asking for forgiveness and asking those who felt hurt to come back to the party and he can talk to them to fix their grievances.  He has drawn the pride around him.  Only now they are even more entrenched in their anger and cannot face that they have been betrayed by false hopes and coddled.

Adrian Delia is not the leader who can solve this dilemma and restore their pride in the honour of the party.  On the contrary.  It has been humiliated by its own shame.  There can be no way back without acceptance that not all that the party had done in the past was bad and not everyone who opposed Delia was against the party.  Rather, one group’s pride was another group’s battle.

Anyone who does do battle and fight for the morals of the party is condemned and discriminated.  But they are not the losers.  They are what little is left of the future of the party, if they can remain faithful to their principles. 

In truth, if a party cannot do good – and by that I mean good things, not “well” -  in its present state, then it is obliged to make changes and restore the proper order of values and service before it stands a chance of making it to the starting line, let alone winning.

Dealing with this should come from the leader, to explain to those who continue to believe otherwise, that the party should try to do what is good and decent and even though he may have been seen by some as the right person to take on Joseph Muscat, a party cannot stand on that alone.  The party no longer offers an alternative to Labour and it certainly has not restored the pride and drawn back the many voters who want to see some good being done for them and for their country.

It is a party which is being held at ransom by a few, who may appear to be many, but whom in truth are a small minority in the potential future electability of the party.

Time to ditch the New Way and start the Future Way.  Only when they are in a position to actually do good and are seen to be doing it, can the party hope for a better future.

 

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