Partit Demokratiku notes that both major parties have admitted to habitual clientelism whenever one or the other is in power, and that there seems to be no political will to do something about this problem in our democracy. The Hon Jose Hererra makes reference to politicians having a “customer care structure to cater for constituents” and says that clientelism is the most democratic possible system.
On the contrary, Partit Demokratiku believes that clientelism is the bane of democracy, and is the foundation of our country’s problems. In the past months, the Rule of Law has been extensively discussed in Parliament and beyond, yet it would seem, in a hypocritical fashion. There can be no strong Rule of Law when politicians across the board who claim to be serving the common good of the people admit that they will give preference to those who vote for them, and allow them to call in favours.
For every person that is allowed to skip the queue in hospital, for every person who gets a job just because of who they know, for every person who gets a hand up in life and an advantage over those around them for bowing to authority, there is somebody else who suffers as a direct consequence. Partit Demokratiku believes that the system of clientelism is a cancer to the goal of meritocracy and that it undermines the success of the nation – for what point is there to work hard or study hard or pay one’s taxes if a few phone calls can make the need for all of that irrelevant. What point is there in pontificating on the fundamental right of expression if the political scenario is such that it instills fear in citizens who speak up, for fear of the repercussions. What point is there in discussing the the Rule of Law if our politicians regularly violate its spirit.
Partit Demokratiku reiterates that it will lead the charge in the name of good governance. For all mistakes which have been made in the past, Partit Demokratiku believes that now the time has come for all politicians in Malta – now that they have admitted their mistakes – to come together around the table and institute the necessary checks and balances to prevent future abuses. Independent institutions will mean that everyone has a more equal and fair chance in life. This is true liberty, rather than having to kneel to political authority to get ahead, when it is politicians who should be serving the people.
As politicians have now admitted that all are guilty, Partit Demokratiku believes that the road to good governance is now open, as between them, they can agree on a level playing field, so that nobody has an advantage over the other. In this fashion, clientelism may finally come to an end, and Malta may enjoy a fairer society. Partit Demokratiku believes that good governance, the Rule of Law and independent institutions will lead to a more efficient, forward-looking and adaptable country with a stronger economy and a better quality of life.