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Author Topic: Alternattiva Demokratika - AD  (Read 1194 times)
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« on: May 07, 2006, 01:49:29 PM »

Heheh xi hlew l AD qed jahseb li l elezzjonil i gejja se jgiebu xi 23000 vot :D

Watch it, both of you!
by Edward Fenech

This week I was really spoilt for choice on what topic to write about. I was first inclined to write about Dr Austin Gatt's cheap verbal attack on the tourism industry during the opening ceremony of the AMITEX fair. Somebody I thought I knew termed his insults as decisive classic Austin. I prefer to call his diatribe arrogant ignorance, evidence of the man's lack of understanding of the rough waters in which the tourism industry is currently swimming. Dr Gatt's rude and rough antics are really starting to remind me of the type of behaviour of certain Labour ministers during the closing years of the Mintoff / Mifsud Bonnici era. Leadership-by-insults.

I was also considering taking Tonio Fenech to task for his quickly withdrawn price order crusade, an endeavour that I am sure, many Nationalists die-hards would prefer to now consider to have been a mere Freudian slip. However, the man has done enough damage to his as yet untainted reputation and it is simply not my style to drive nails into anybody's coffin.

Minister Censu Gatt's so-called reform of the white taxis was also a candidate for this week's piece. For those of you who missed the news, all I will tell you is that two key pillars on which the reform is built are the introduction of uniforms and the mandatory use of meters. Earthshaking, ha.

Indeed, I may even regret not taking a shot or two at any of the above. However, it would be a colossal disservice to lead my readers into believing that the issues above were of any importance in comparison to the seriousness of the breakdown of tri-partite talks on electoral reform, Tuesday before last. I have sat in all four meetings. What was really amazing was not the fact that the talks ended abruptly and inconclusively. I would be completely naive to think that either of our adversaries would give democracy a chance. I wasn't even amazed at Joe Saliba's trademark ruthless manipulation and corruption of the matters discussed in the meetings, by diverting attention on Gozo's status as an electoral region; ironically the only matter on which there was consensus in the talks. What was mind-boggling was the manner in which both parties, without a second thought, binned democracy. Let me explain.

The starting point for these negotiations was a report concluded in 1995 in which a straight five per cent national threshold was proposed. Guess by whom Dr Lawrence Gonzi, in the days when democracy must have meant something to him. Alfred Sant endorsed this threshold a few months ago in a public discussion on the university campus. Alternattiva Demokratika's aim was to walk out of the negotiations with (at least) a confirmation of this threshold, and perhaps something better and more representative of the will of the electorate. Suspecting that our adversaries would be intransigent, and wishing to break what, even during the early stages of the discussion started to look like an impasse, the Greens put forward an additional proposal to Gonzi's 1995 proposal of a straight five per cent national threshold. We proposed that the issue of governability must be distinguished from that of parliamentary representation. In order to work towards such, we proposed a split-threshold mechanism that would set a national threshold depending on the electoral result.

Specifically, we proposed that should one party garner more that 50 per cent of the votes then, since that same party is guaranteed a majority of parliamentary seats, no governability issue would arise. Either the Reds or Blues would enjoy a five-year dictatorship. We proposed that in such circumstances (when one party is guaranteed governability) the threshold should be low. Third party representation would constitute no threat to governability. In such a case, two parties in opposition would surely be more effective than one.

We conceded however that an issue of governability would arise should no party reach the 50 per cent mark. In order to ensure governability, we therefore proposed that in such cases a ?high? threshold could apply. In such a case the third party would only gain parliamentary representation if it obtained critical mass. We believed that this proposal was fair and workable. We still do. I suspect you may believe so too.

Joe Saliba and Lawrence Gonzi (and other anonymous souls in the strategy group) however did not agree. Joe's first reaction to our proposal was a cursory issa naraw (we will see later). Some weeks later he returned to the negotiating table and said NO! His rejection of our proposal was confirmation that the Greens would have made it to Parliament had he said YES. The reality is that Joe doesn?t want us elected, let alone in a coalition with his party. That the Nationalist Party want us out of the picture is not news ? the Greens are used to such behaviour from the party that claims to be both Christian and democratic. What is shocking and contemptible however is that Joe?s counter proposal was the establishment of a straight and non-negotiable 7.5 per cent national threshold? How did Lawrence Gonzi?s threshold increase from five to 7.5 per cent? In effect this means that the Greens would need to get some 23,000 votes to win the right to sit in Parliament. 22,999 votes will not get us there! That this number of votes equates to the amount garnered by Arnold Cassola in the European Parliament elections is coincidental only to those drunk on NET News.

During this charade, Michael Falzon, chief negotiator for the Labour Party, said little apart from declaring his party's uncompromising position that Labour be guaranteed a majority of seats should they get more votes that the PN; irrespective of whether they actually get 50 per cent or more. He was talking of what the Italians call a premio di maggoranza a premium of parliamentary seats for the party getting a relative but not absolute majority. Not a completely outrageous proposal, except for the fact that Labour expected this premium with as little as 45 per cent of the overall vote. Furthermore, Michael said his party would only consider electoral changes for the 2013 election! Democracy would have to wait another seven years. So what? It is truly amazing that after two decades in opposition Labour is still so uncertain of its victory. I tried explaining to Michael that a high threshold in the case that no party achieves an absolute majority would have almost the same effect as the ?premio di maggoranza?. He wouldn't listen. Poor Michael! I almost started feeling sorry for him, until he said that this mechanism was necessary because the country cannot experiment with coalitions. If you consider the Greens an experiment Michael, what about the experiment that has already failed Alfred Sant Doesn't he scare you?

It is clear that our adversaries are intent on retaining Malta's unrepresentative, and hence undemocratic, electoral system. Since they call the shots there is little the Greens can do about the electoral system. What we won?t do is quit. If either of the Blues and Reds believe that their cheap tactics-in-tandem are going to eliminate us from our country?s political scene, they are damn wrong. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the people, the Greens are infected with a disease called tenacity. We are bloody hardheaded and will not give up. Not now, not ever. In fact we intend fighting harder and we will reach further. We will be the people?s watchdog, scrutinising every move you make. You will never shake us off. Indeed both of you now need to WATCH IT ? see you both in 2008!

Edward P. Fenech is the spokesperson on finance, the economy and tourism of Alternattiva Demokratika ? The Green Party

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Watch it, both of you!

Destructive virus
Please, Vince, go on with the pilgrimage
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 12:49:59 PM by etoile noir » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2015, 05:36:59 PM »

Gharaw xi irid dan il-harja ta' ziemel shuna!
Ja mbecilli!
Tliftu l-ideologija taghkom!
Kontu right wingers fil-bidu inthom! Illum tridu lill-Ewropa u lill Malta mimlija Africani primittivi, ghax hekk qal il-leader taghkom! IL-PEDOFELU!
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 02:44:23 PM »

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