I’ll start this by reminding everyone about what we were used to in the past 30 years. 1 month of promises, lots of political favours (disguised by the term ‘power of incumbency’), 1 lie on the eve of an election for good measure, 4 years of austerity budgets, one last decent budget before the following election. Repeat.
I’m 30 years old and I honestly don’t remember such a feelgood factor in the country, as the last four years. Not only could people keep up with their bills, but also afford the odd luxurious treat to themselves and family every now and again. No more queueing to redeem vouchers, no more energy saving bulb handouts, no more underpaid workers, no more begging for a job.
The experienced outgoing party had claimed that if Joseph Muscat made it to power, all would stall (gas down gol-hajt, bozoz homor, bailout). So, the country went out on a limb. They had had enough of the lies, vilification and deceit of the PN. I would say, the electorate voted PN out and PL in with a vengeance. The largest electoral victory in the history of this country. Undeniable.
Out with the old, in with the new. In came a Prime Minister, who put forward targeted proposals, united Malta anew and instilled confidence like never before. Boom. As the Maltese expression goes, ‘Pajjiz miexi fuq ir-rubini’. Undeniable.
We’ve had an opposition who would know no shame. Following the largest corruption scandal in Maltese history, involving oil and millions, they took to the streets to oppose the IIP. Arguably, one of the best initiatives ever created. The wealth generated trickled down. Free childcare removed a huge stumbling block in order for women to empower themselves. The confidence was there. Businesses put their money where their mouth was. Jobs were created, the work force increased and the economy skyrocketed like no other country in the EU. Undeniable.
This government not only did this to champion the economy. It also championed civil rights. From a country ostensibly known to be very conservative re civil liberties, (also due to our deep religious/cultural beliefs) to a country where a gay couple can unite to form a family and also adopt. Joseph Muscat also supported the divorce campaign from the opposition and also pushed forward the IVF program. Again; championed! Undeniable.
Which leads me to health. The phrase ‘Out of stock’ has been practically abolished. Waiting lists halved. The practice of denigrating patients in hospital corridors ended. Services kept improving. New medicines introduced. New health centres, or hubs if you will. Again, another success story. Undeniable.
Last but not least, the energy sector. Reduced bills from day one, rather than after two years. A measure which reached every single individual or commercial enterprise in the country. Who cares for a few hundred euros, when the country is doing so well, right? The two most vital factors to me had nothing to do with the bills, albeit important. Firstly, a company which was on its last legs was saved from bankruptcy. (PN would have sold Enemalta for €1, PL got €230,000,000 for one third of the company). Secondly, and most importantly, the cleaner air we now breathe. Priceless. And all this, whether you like it or not, is thanks to one man, Konrad Mizzi. Undeniable.
Now yes, people will criticise this government, for its governance. But let’s not forget, Simon Busuttil was the deputy leader who defended his party tooth and nail in the midst of the oil scandal. Simon Busuttil is also the leader, who concocted the ‘Cedoli’ scheme to bypass fair party financing. Simon Busuttil is also the leader who allegedly financed his party salaries through false invoices to wealthy businessmen (Seabank). Simon Busuttil is also the leader who defends Beppe Fenech Adami, despite him being under investigation for money laundering practices for drug cartels. Simon Busuttil was also the same leader who had a chance to shine when confronted with the George Pullicino/BWSC scandal. But the champion of good governance failed his test once again. Undeniable.
This election I voted early. I truly believe that the best days for my country are yet to come. I voted for continuity. I voted for a better Malta. I voted for the best future for my children. Hand on heart, I can say that with a clear conscience, I stood up to be counted, I chose Malta, I voted PL.
After all this, we will go back to work on Monday, as one Malta. So, keep debates decent and celebrations civil. Our country has proven time and time again, that nothing can stop us when we are truly united.