The Malta Independent 17 July 2024, Wednesday
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Not a post-mortem, a positive plan ahead

Darren Carabott Sunday, 23 June 2024, 08:37 Last update: about 25 days ago

A great deal has been said in the wake of the MEP and local council elections, to analyse the result which took most by surprise. Some sort of inroad by the Nationalist Party was expected, especially given the greater context of things, however no one, not even the most talented statisticians predicted it would be so significant.

Let’s make it abundantly clear. Labour won and the Nationalist Party lost this round. However, a great shift of no fewer than 34,000 votes changed parties, and that is not something to smirk at. This was not just a matter of the Labour Party losing support, but it was also about the PN gaining traction. We must appreciate the departure point, and the unfair uphill faced by the opposition at every step of the way.

The Metsola factor played an insanely great part in the equation. Madame President’s outstanding, record-shattering performance is just a glimpse into the electorate’s appreciation for the woman’s work, and standing in the world. It was a statement against the state-sponsored censorship and Labour party-fuelled campaign of lies. Same goes for David Casa who was confirmed Malta’s longest-serving MEP, notwithstanding the character-assassination campaign he was on the receiving end of, nonstop.

The team of candidates both for the MEPs and Local Councils worked tirelessly to reach out to the electorate and the results showed. The Nationalist Party regained its third seat, kudos to the tireless Peter Agius, and flipped a number of localities, some of which after more than a decade.

However, I don’t wish to focus solely on the result as such. I am more interested in what comes next, where does the Nationalist Party go from here, and how will this result serve as a springboard for more successes in the future.

It is evident that a new approach of doing politics, adopted by the Nationalist Party is leaving its mark. Yes, the Nationalist Party and the Opposition must remain a strong voice for justice and what is right. It must always continue to champion the fight against corruption and be a welcoming home for anyone who feels that the ‘u ija mhux xorta’ attitude has poisoned every aspect of our lives.

However, the Nationalist Party has to continue to seek fresh ways of approaching new sections of the electorate, especially those who feel completely alienated by the entire political show. A line-up of young and promising faces both at a national as well as local level has delivered results. We must continue to build on this and approach an alarmingly large portion of the electorate who is falling through the cracks. We must understand what it is that makes them tick, what excites them, what bothers them, and what their aspirations are.

At this point I feel dutybound to tip my hat at the leadership of the party especially Dr Bernard Grech, who have led a positive campaign that sent a clear message of hope.

Now the Nationalist Party must continue to build on this result. It must continue to present solutions to the issues that concern the electorate. That is the only way that the Nationalist Party can ever be seen as an alternative, government in waiting. I truly believe that the party has what it takes to achieve this. We have a formidable Parliamentary group, an inspired executive and a dedicated army of volunteers who have only been re-energised by the recent events.

We must invest in better marketing of our messages, and more effective ways of getting them across, including digital and 21st Century methods. Sadly, the Government has unlimited resources which it isn’t ashamed of misusing in its favour, and in the most arrogant and blatantly dishonest of ways.

Finally, I must call out on all people of good will, who dream of a better Malta, who cannot accept the status quo. The Nationalist Party and the Opposition need you. Not just as candidates, but in all positions and structures. We need people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, a rainbow of ideas and energies that truly reflects the Malta we dream of.

The Nationalist Party has always been the home for dreamers and visionaries. It is time to dream again!

 

Hon Dr Darren Carabott is the Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Security and Reforms, and President of the Public Accounts Committee.

 

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