Elections in Wonderland

We seem to have slipped through the looking glass the moment the election date was announced. True to the score that gets re-enacted every five years or so, we are asked to suspend belief and play our part. As voters in a liberal democracy, we are expected to go through the motions of weighing the pros and cons of different candidates and political party programmes and we are expected to convince ourselves that we still have a strong say in the running of the nation.

We are supposed to take as given the fact that a Cabinet of politicians who are either actively or passively involved in corrupt practices will present themselves once again as the most viable option for the majority. The incumbent Party will return to the pure territory of the phantasmagorical promises – a greener, richer, brighter future. In doing so, it will hide the track record of the last five years sculpted in concrete, mired in greylisting, and blackened with scandal after scandal after scandal.

The promises that have already rained upon the naïve electorate in just two days of campaigning should provoke a sense of revulsion in any seasoned voter who should by now be able to see beyond the empty hypocrisy. Forget that. The poll results will confirm that a vast majority of the electorate is taken in by the unsubstantiated promises of riches. The corruption virus is now officially endemic.

The main Party in Opposition got off the starting blocks with an apparent schism that could either mean the purging of uncomfortable elements or the beginning of a huge rift. It could be a commendable step towards a clearer, more focused Opposition. We are yet to see an all-out commitment to systemic reform though. The Nationalist Party is aware that this is a moment of crisis that requires solutions that go above and beyond a clash of electoral policies. Whether it acts on this awareness is another thing altogether.

Essentially, the election campaign, or at least the early stages of the campaign, is lacking a platform that advocates the real change that this country needs. It is a platform that would be above all the rhetoric and usual Party propaganda. This platform would be the anti-system platform and its presence could be manifested in either a list of candidates outside the Party sphere who campaign solely on constitutional reform or in the utopic resort by large numbers to the use of the empty ballot paper to express disapproval of the fare on offer.

This election should have been a walkover for any decent opposition given the track record of this government. Too many scandals to sustain. Too many implosions of projects. The dark cloud of responsibility for the assassination of a journalist should have been enough fodder to end Labour’s tenure in Castille.

Instead, we are back to voting for the lesser evil. We are back to holding our noses to vote PN because an abstention or a vote for anyone else would lead to a catastrophic landslide by an already corrupt government running on impunity.

Mark my words. The system has once again disenfranchised thousands of voters. It has reduced their discretionary power when voting to the bare minimum. This is not a situation that can be tolerated much longer. Voting should not be an exercise in damage limitation.

The electoral process should not be a stroll through wonderland. The main parties should not have an automatic right to the vote of the people, otherwise, we risk reliving Brecht’s conundrum. He wrote of a government that had lost confidence in the people following an uprising. The solution? That the government should “dissolve the people and elect another”.

At this rate, it could almost become a reality.

                           
                               
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Mick
Mick
2 months ago

That the government should “dissolve the people and elect another”. That’s exactly what has happened in this Dystopian state, Gahan’s walk amongst us and have the greater voting power to sustain the Mafia in power.

Simon Oosterman
Simon Oosterman
2 months ago

Giving one’ first vote to ADPD and the rest to the ‘lesser evil’ of the other two will give us the only chance for real change without the damage done by abstention or wasting one’s vote. ADPD parliamentarians will support the party that adheres to meritocracy, transparency and accountability.
Green sweeps Clean. Grab this chance!

Marc Sant
Marc Sant
2 months ago

It does not work that way. The party winning a majority of 1st count votes is automatically given 1 parliamentary chair more than the opposition so ss to be able to govern without needing to compromise with the opposition.

D. Borg
D. Borg
2 months ago
Reply to  Marc Sant

Only IF

  • that party garners an ABSOLUTE majority, or
  • only 2 parties are elected, or
  • the party with a majority of 1st count votes already has a majority of seats
Gee Mike
Gee Mike
2 months ago

I think that what you are proposing will have disastrous effect on PN seats in parliament. The likely hood of giving 75% of seats to Labour with 55% of the vote be on a reality. If ADPD get near to a quota from PN votes then PN will lose 13 seats PL will get them. A seat quota is lost in every district, it will not come from PL votes they have an iced bun eco system they cannot afford to lose. PL are pumping millions of € into their people. Do not look at National debt, it’s shocking!

D. Borg
D. Borg
2 months ago
Reply to  Gee Mike

I beg to defer with your assessment.
As long as those giving 1st preference votes to ADPD use the STV system and subsequently vote to credible PN candidates (or vice versa) – this will NOT have any effect on the number of seats Labour gets, and neither on the aggregate seats the PN and ADPD get between them.
The only set-back would be if ADPD is not given enough 2nd preference votes to garner a quota – as this may lead to Labour getting elected even with a relative majority (as Gonzi did in 2008).

D. Borg
D. Borg
2 months ago

ADPD and/or any credible (& honest) third party/candidate (like Cassola) in parliament – and ideally within a coalition government, would release us from the indirect servitude to the PLPN and their unscrupulous donors.
Nonetheless it is a paradigm shift for anyone who has always voted the PLPN – especially those with the illogical habit of only block voting one party.
These voters should seriously consider giving their 2nd preference vote to ADPD/Cassola, so that Abela will need to garner an ABSOLUTE majority of votes/seats to remain PM. Moreover having a third voice in parliament will lead to objective evaluations with no strings attached – amongst the puerile tit for tat of the PLPN broken record.

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