The Malta Independent 13 July 2020, Monday

Time to take bold decisions?

Victor Calleja Sunday, 24 May 2020, 09:04 Last update: about 3 months ago

Some major observers of the local political scene are smelling a rat. The hounds are out sniffing for clues. It seems Robert Abela has decided 2020 is the year he can make sure he remains premier. They think he is planning an election late in the year.

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Our recently-crowned king is sensing a great opportunity to consolidate his power. The odds are out, not on whether he will win but on how ginormous his majority will be.

The PN, our tired, jaded, out-of-sync Opposition, is gearing up to be dealt another knockout.

On the face of it, Malta is a democracy. We boast a Constitution, a Parliament, freedom of expression, institutions which should be functioning, and a veneer of rule of law. There are so many problems that it would take more than a mere article to discuss them all.

But even if we make believe that our democracy is functioning, it must live with its biggest obstacle, which no one wants to do much about.

The one who can put this deficiency right is definitely not going to. The strongest proof that he doesn’t intend to would be if he is really contemplating an election.

Political parties in Malta are not self-financed. They sell their soul to the highest bidder. Both the Labour Party and the PN have done so since the birth of our nation. Independence came, we won our freedom, but our parties were tied to big business. And when big business pays it does so only on one condition: that from big they move to becoming mega. Mega and mighty.

No political party in Malta can survive without huge handouts. Handouts are always given at a price. Nothing comes with no strings attached, especially when it involves big business and petty politicians’ minds.

If the latter don’t dish out favours, they don’t get the cash to run their parties, their media and their election campaigns.

Today ever subtler campaigns, strange goings-on in social media, are influencing voters’ thinking process. Without their realising, voters are brainwashed into choosing a party or a candidate, over all the rest. All this requires money, big money. And the party which offers most to big business lands the best deals.

Many businesses are known to donate to both parties. Logically that sounds like a just strategy but in reality what it ensures is that both parties are beholden to the business entity so the latter gets all it demands, whoever is in government. Also, businesses are too wily to stick to perfect harmony and give lavishly to one party but less to the other.

The bigger deal is always to the party which spells the better investment. And at the moment that is the Labour Party of Robert Abela and Co.

This should change and change drastically.

It won’t of course, because politicians rarely care about what is needed in a country. They care primarily about their position and that of their party.

The last thing we can expect Robert Abela to do is rock the boat. He can’t and won’t. Because he loves power even if his real power lies in the lobbies of big business.

The PN is just as guilty in this. When they could have started the change, the revolution, the upheaval of our undemocratic state, they didn’t. They never worked hard enough at it.

The two major parties, eternal enemies, are tied and united at the hip in striving not to deal their hegemony a deathblow. As long as developers continue paying, they are dictators.

These big guns demand more cars, more tower blocks, more roads, less trees, more corruption to oil it all.

Robert Abela, Joseph Muscat, Adrian Delia and many before them like to be seen as the safeguards and shields of democracy when they are mere assistants in the cause of big business, providing it with a structure.

Robert Abela and Co. should call a halt to this and entrust the financing of political parties to the state. Before that happens, Malta will remain a soulless jungle, run by people out to make a killing.

 

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