It might be political expediency but who cares?

The PN is a stuffy old party stuffed full of lawyers who need airing every now and again as they are so stuck in a time warp. Hold on, let’s revise that a little: the most reactionary and stone-aged PN spokespersons are not lawyers.

Let’s go through the list of cave-dwellers in the PN fold or who formed part of the party till a short while ago: Tonio Fenech, an accountant; Michael Axiaq, a medical doctor; David Agius, political whip; Edwin Vassallo, a businessman, and Ivan Bartolo, not of 6pm fame but the one from Mosta who works in social services and is a media person.

Mr Bartolo didn’t oppose or say he is going to vote against the same sex marriage bill but he did say he understood the offence caused by the advert depicting Jesus enjoying a pizza during the Last Supper.

Whatever he had opposed ages ago—perhaps civil union—even Claudio Grech is seen as a very conservative, illiberal politician. And even he is not a lawyer—just a so-called forward-looking management guru.

I don’t understand the logic but being steadfast in prejudices which need to be flushed down the drain is considered praiseworthy by Christian standards.

I imagine it’s very Christian to tell any, and all, non-heterosexual couples not to indulge in sex. Or rather actually they can do so but face the wrath of the church, priests and ultimately God. Admitting that non-heterosexual couples can marry will obviously mean accepting homosexual unions. But why not? What value is there in exclusion?

Of course it is impossible not to wonder if  Joseph Muscat government’s enthusiasm to pass this law as quickly as possible is all part of a mischievous plot. All conjured up to turn the spotlight away from the soon-to-be-forgotten Panama Papers debacle.

Is it all political posturing and expediency to show how divided the PN is and how unsuited for the 21st Century? All not just possible but more than probable.

However, the central issue still holds. If the PN wants to remain relevant it needs to sweep away the cobwebs and move on.

Tradition, values, old ways, Christian Democratic credentials are all good things which cannot be discarded or forgotten. But that doesn’t mean remaining stuck in an obsolete mindset.

In the past, the PN made Malta proud over and over again, regenerating the country from a piteous state of third-worldism to a vibrant, EU state boasting a well-oiled economy.

Now is the time to move forward and accept the new realities of the world, not just by voting for laws that increase inclusion but by embracing them openly.

Only then will the PN be able to regain its voice as a truly liberal, free-thinking party.