Parliament. They’re are at it again. The two Parties that have twisted the Constitution into their own image and likeness are once again tinkering with the basic law of the land. The latest excuse is boosting women’s rights. The changes to the law include a special mention of that situation where ‘only two Parties’ get elected to parliament.
Once again, Labour gets to ride on the spurious wagon of gender and rights. Over the years, the PL in government has become proficient in laws that seemingly champion the rights of minorities. For the most part, they involve inexpensive solutions since such changes only happen on paper without the need to invest any significant money in the process. They are therefore cheap and popular.
Women have become the latest pigeonholed sector of society to benefit from this reasoning. We now have this package that would supposedly compensate for the paucity of numbers by annexing to parliament several unelected women.
It seems nobody thought this through beyond what was assumed to be positive PR – what could possibly go wrong? Who would dare speak against such a move anyway?
It should not have taken the hapless gaffe of a government ‘consultant’ to draw attention to the absurdity of such compensation mechanisms. This goes beyond the cloud and smoke created by the misogynistic comments of a government lackey. Worst of all is the fact that the new quotas are still there to safeguard the PLPN’s grasp on parliament.
We only had to see what happened with Gavin Gulia’s record-setting time in parliament. Here, again, were the Parties doing what they do best – abusing our electoral system to place whichever unelected stooge they would prefer gets a seat in parliament. To the PL and the PN, the Constitution seems to be nothing more than a doormat on which to wipe their feet on their way into parliament and the consequential gravy train of power and influence mongering.
Representation. The formula for representation has been turned on its head. Our Constitution has been beaten into submission by successive legislatures and changed to reflect an insipid blue-red dichotomy that pervades every chapter of the book. I will never tire of pointing a finger at the culprits responsible for the weakening of our basic laws – the two Parties who turned every domain of our public institutions into their playground.
Currently, Lovin Malta is attempting to challenge the Party stations and the alleged violation of the Constitution. This tiny battle would, however, be futile if it does not acknowledge the wider war. It is a war for survival and preservation of the Constitution from a destructive Party-induced paralysis. It would be narrow-minded to focus solely on the battle on broadcasting when the harsh reality is that our whole polity has been constructed in binary terms. It is useless to claim to fight for a strong Constitution and its application on the one hand while succumbing to the dichotomy game on the other.
The basic law. Constitutions are important instruments that underlie the body politic. In moments of high tension, a Constitution might be the last refuge of a democratic society. Upholding constitutional values could be the saving grace of a nation in search of resetting its identity.
As the United States has found out over the last days, the line between constitutionality and chaos can be exceptionally fine. Even leaders and long-established parties can end up being a threat to a nation and it takes a strong Constitution to stand up to them.
Our leaders and politicians have not learnt that their role is to serve. Our Constitution is in danger of further dilution through reckless amendment. These times of crisis, health and economic, will yet prove to be very testing and it is not clear whether our Constitution can survive the onslaught.
Until the people realise what is at stake we remain at the mercy of the two plagued houses.