Voters held to ransom

As speculation about a possible November election intensifies, the dilemma of those who don’t want to vote PL or PN becomes more and more pressing. A few days ago, we were treated to yet another political survey, showing that the PN continues to trail miserably behind the PL, and Opposition Leader Bernard Grech is an even lamer duck than his predecessor was.

While the gap between the parties appears narrower than that emerging from The Times’ survey in July – which showed the PL leading by 50,000 votes – and Malta Today’s in the same month – which saw Labour ahead by 40,000 – the survey published by the Malta Today two days ago still reported a massive lead of 33,400 votes for the PL.

This doesn’t surprise me. The last few years have made it clear that the majority of Maltese voters have abandoned any principles and values they may once have had, and are happy to be represented by a corrupt and murderous government.

Anyone who would vote for PL now, with all we know about its involvement in the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, its brazen corruption, cronyism, phantom jobs for ministers’ chums and their usurpation of State funds to bribe their electoral district constituents to vote for them next time, has to be dishonest and ill-intentioned.

There can’t be a single adult left on the island who isn’t aware of the shocking scale of this government’s malfeasance. Yet they still, in their many thousands, choose the incumbent crooks.

However, those few remaining Maltese voters who truly value integrity and have at least some concept of what honour means, are now political orphans. They can’t, and won’t, vote for the PN as it’s currently composed, either.

You can’t turn away in horror from what the PL is doing and instead embrace a political party that’s stuffed to the gills with shady characters, many of whom are hiding secrets as damning as some of their counterparts on the government benches.

Bernard Grech was manoeuvred into place in an exercise that seems more distasteful by the day. The ousting of his predecessor, Adrian Delia, was a long-overdue event, but the revelations about Grech’s own shortcomings just before his election put paid to any sense of relief.

And, indeed, they should have put paid to any idea of him leading the PN too. The surveys keep driving this point hard, yet for some reason, the PN is failing to listen. Malta Today’s survey found that only 29.5% of all respondents said they trust Grech, while almost 27% of those who voted PN in 2017 do not trust him.

Almost a third of the PN’s voters don’t trust the Party Leader. Talk about frying pans and fire.

The PN appears to have a death wish. The arrogance it was accused of pre-2013 is apparently so deeply ingrained that it simply can’t see the damage it’s doing to itself. But for those of us who wouldn’t vote PL if we were tied to a burning stake and roasted alive, what alternative is there?

Do we really have to hold our noses and vote to make prime minister a man who failed to pay his taxes for most of his working life? Or to put in power those who went cap in hand to sleazy businessmen renowned to be keen to have an MP or two under obligation to them?

Because, whatever the mindless rabble of die-hard supporters may say, this type of businessman always calls in the debt. Perhaps not immediately, perhaps not overtly. But eventually, every piper has to be paid. And when the debtor is a PL or PN minister, it’s the taxpayer who’ll be doing the paying.

So, no, for anyone who wants rid of the foetid PL swamp because they abhor corruption and dishonesty, the PN as it’s currently constituted is no solution. There are too many tainted characters, too many sordid secrets.

At the moment, and with the prevailing scaremongering about third parties being wasted votes, there’s very little choice. The squeezed few, those who think we deserve better than either of the Parties can offer, are withdrawing altogether.

According to Malta Today’s survey, 12.4% of voters say they wouldn’t vote if an election was held tomorrow, while 9.9% replied they don’t know which way they’d vote. Together, that’s over a fifth of voters that have either given up or are battling with a compromise. Or, in some cases, they’re simply afraid to admit their true preference to the survey caller.

So, while that percentage may be higher than the number who actually don’t plan to vote at all, for Malta, it’s still a significant number. Voter turnout in 2017 was 92%, and in 2013 it was 93%. In 2008, it was 93%; in 2003, it was 97%. In 1998, it was 95%, and so on, all the way back to the earliest days of our independent nation.

Yet, quite apart from what newspaper surveys may tell us, from conversations with friends and acquaintances, it’s clear that the disillusionment and sense of hopelessness are growing fast.

It’s well past time for a change. The two-party system has been glaringly inadequate for Malta for a long time. The two main Parties simply toss power between them, 10 years here, 15 years there, like a football in an even slower than usual game.

The arrogance people complained of in the PN pre-2013, and in the PL since 2013, the complacency, the smugness: these are a direct result of the absence of any other alternatives for the electorate to choose from. And this suits the two main Parties right down to the ground, of course. Indeed, they perpetuate it deliberately by scaremongering about the perils of voting for any third or fourth party that might emerge.

This attitude is effectively holding voters to ransom: elect us or you unleash Armageddon.

The vast majority of European countries have three or more political parties represented in their parliaments. Malta’s failure to allow more voices, more viewpoints and more ideas into its political arena is a symptom of the puerility of the Maltese political system, the lack of understanding of the importance of diversity and choice among the majority of voters.

Things could be different, but only if we have the imagination to make them different.

                           
                               
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saviour mamo
saviour mamo
17 days ago

It should be clear as crystal that if Labour wins the next general election, it will mean that the people endorse corruption. It shows that the democratic watchdogs are not working. Certainly it is not a democratic will because there is no democracy.

Jools Seizure
Jools Seizure
17 days ago

The way I see it, things will not change; at least not in the little that remains of my life. I too lived in hope for several decades hoping that the Maltese would mature politically. Here we are 57 years after independence having made a dog’s dinner of this country. It was a mistake on my part to stay, a mistake which every self-respecting, resourceful, hard-working and intelligent young person would do well not to repeat.

My decision is not to vote. After all, abstention is my right as well. If that means 5 more years of labour corruption, a 67% majority that entitles them to change the Constitution or whatever nefarious deeds they may have in store for us, then so be it. I will not be held to ransom. Since our politicians never gave me a country where dishonesty, corruption and nepotism are harshly punished rather than actively encouraged, I had to procure my own solution and that was to encourage my children to leave. Heart- breaking, yes, but life is too valuable to throw away in this hell-hole.

D. Borg
D. Borg
17 days ago
Reply to  Jools Seizure

Not voting – is one’s right, BUT will effectively mean voting to retain the status quo.
A political landscape where the PLPN control with varying degree of audacity all public institutions (including the Electoral Commission), and play to the tunes of the fat pockets who temporarily finance the inane and wasteful propaganda, only to then claim more than their pound of flesh in inflated direct orders, juicy appointments, shocking “development” permits & concessions – which we all end up paying from our taxes and/or deteriorating quality of life.
Simon Busuttil had rightly pointed out that a credible no-strings attached coalition partner will ensure that any PN Prime Minister will remain faithful to the Electoral Manifesto, and help a righteous PM to ward off “pressure” from his/her own party stalwarts/donors, avoiding the usual blind eye to corruption and power arrogance.
Thus rather than passively letting the PLPN retain the duopoly which they have protected with an inflated national threshold, non-voters should envisage how giving their first preference vote to 3rd party/ies in sufficient number (even in one district) can finally free us & our children from the factually dangerous duopoly we’re enslaved in.

Jools Seizure
Jools Seizure
16 days ago
Reply to  D. Borg

I can’t disagree with what you said but each one of us deals with the problem as best he or she can. You seem to place your hopes on third parties. My opinion of them is not positive at all. AD unfortunately never progressed beyond pressure group status while the PD is the creation of those Farrugia bright sparks who worked so hard to give us Joseph Muscat and Labour. In contrast to you I have no hopes to place on anyone. I’m just trying to distance those near and dear to me from a land where idiocy reigns supreme.

D. Borg
D. Borg
16 days ago
Reply to  Jools Seizure

I’m trying to do likewise, but I’m also concurrently striving to change the status quo.
AD ‘never progressed beyond pressure group status’ – mainly due to the inflated national electoral threshold purposely devised & retained by the PLPN, and crucially also because those who feel disenchanted by the PLPN opt to passively stay away from the voting booth rather than help 3rd parties deflate the duopoly.

Jools Seizure
Jools Seizure
16 days ago
Reply to  D. Borg

Again, I cannot but agree with you. The minute a third party of some substance and credibility presents itself on the local political scene, I might conceivably be persuaded to vote. I’m not holding my breath though.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
17 days ago
Reply to  Jools Seizure

A no-vote is also a vote for corruption.

Jools Seizure
Jools Seizure
16 days ago
Reply to  saviour mamo

Then things won’t get better will they, just like they have not got better for all these years. It’s strange how abstention is frowned upon by the mainstream parties isn’t it? They probably view it as a threat to their vice-like hold on public opinion. Keep on lapping it up mate.

Mica
Mica
15 days ago
Reply to  Jools Seizure

So because you are approaching your end of life it does not matter to you if PL gets 67% of the votes, changes the constitution, turns Malta into a One Party State dictatorship. Thank you for your egoism, a true patriot.

Simon Oosterman
Simon Oosterman
17 days ago

If the none voters and half of the undecided give their first vote to ADPD and the rest to the PN, we’ll get a third party in Parliament and, quite possibly, deny the PL a majority.
It will require some tactical manoeuvring, like how many ADPD candidates in each of the districts, possible alliances, etc., but it can be done. The question is: do the Maltese want to?

carlo
carlo
17 days ago

could it be that these surveys are manipulated to brainwash people’s minds?
Could it be that these surveys are only being used to prepare for a fraudulent election result?
Better make sure that the voting boxes are well sealed and empty before casting the votes or that no other ballot boxes are placed with pre voted votes, in favour of muvument korrott as this muvument korrott cannot afford to loose the election as they are well aware that if they loose the election most of ministers including the most corrupt pm Malta ever had, will finish up in jail.

By the way, i hope that no computer based software is used as this can also be manipulated as were the tumas group’s slot machines.

I will never TRUST THE MUVUMENT KORROT or what the most corrupt dodger or his puppets say – they are all liars and their only aim is to control the gahans’ brains or to make the rich richer. Shame on you.

adriang
adriang
17 days ago

Perhaps it’s time to start writing about ADPD… or maybe not? I honestly do not know what to think about ADPD. Perhaps it is time the media (like yourselves) start writing a little more about them – good or bad.

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
17 days ago

I think this contribution smacks too much of skepticism, not to say fatalism.

That one should keep harping on failure to adhere to Tax payments on time – even if somehow ‘deliberately’ resorted to – and forget the absolute need for a clean-up of the social milieu where required (and earnestly longed for by a silent majority) simply does that.

carmelo borg
17 days ago

Bicca ugieh ta ras lil min se ittieh il vot hux? Li ma tivvutax mhiex solluzjoni ghax tkun qed tpaxxi lil haddiehor

Joseph Ellul-Grech
17 days ago

“A vote is like a rifle: Its usefulness depends upon the character of the user” — Theodore Roosevelt

Mica
Mica
15 days ago

I find this article very negative. It is clear that the attack on PN with all its defects does in no way help the situation. As things stand fragmentation will only strengthen the PL. If things were different and the Parties were head to head then I would agree if we could have another two Parties represented in Parliament. I say two and not one because then we will have a situation of control from a minuscule representation. Once Malta back in the 60’s had a wide spectrum of Parties competing for representation but then a natural process of affiliation and integration happened and we are where we are today.

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