Every once in a while, a group of people whose chemistry is totally compatible comes together to form a dream team. This happens mostly in sport, with the Fergie’s fledglings of 1992 being the first example that comes to mind.
I will not be so generous so as to call the team of journalists that formed the initial line up of Super One back in the 90’s a dream team but many of them have certainly made the grade, with Joseph Muscat actually making it to the very top, Chris Cardona becoming minister and deputy leader for Party Affairs, Julia Farrugia and Glen Bedingfield making it to Parliament and our subject for today Miriam Dalli, securing a place in the European Parliament with a first count of over 23k votes.
Her looks might deceive you, her docile smile unarm you but beware, behind those looks, is a politician as astute as they come. A lady with an agenda, a woman determined to achieve her goal even those she summarily dismisses any speculation about her future role in politics.
MEP Dalli sits on two very important committees in the European Parliament and she has made the most of her position especially in the Environment, Public health and food safety committee, incidentally one of the largest in the EP. Her crusade on emissions has proven to be very effective especially when considering the fact that passenger cars and light commercial vehicles constitute a large chunk of our traffic. Having said that, her defence of our passport selling scheme during the debate concerning EU values and the proliferation of corruption and crime through Golden Visas failed to convince many.
Chosen as MEP of the year in 2017 for her contribution in Public Health, Miriam has also focused on the plight of children and adolescents with special needs, in particular those effected with autism, she was and still is very hands on, doing work that is not always reported on the media, work that is indispensable to make the lives of these people a tad better.
Her re-election is not even up for speculation, and considering the present scenario she could easily add another 8k to her previous tally. Such a result should help her assure pole position for the election that really matters to her: leadership of the PL.
Premier Muscat has, on several occasions, speculated on the time he will step down, and whilst never really committing himself, I would say that he is wise enough to leave while he is on the crest of the wave. I am also a firm believer that he will not leave without giving the wannabe successors a good run for their money. We have already heard that Minister Fearne is gearing up for the race, and that Ian Borg fancies his chance, Robert Abela will most definitely be a contender but this could all change should MEP Dalli confirm her intention.
The prospect of becoming Malta’s first female Prime Minister is an opportunity too enticing to let it pass by, and those who know Miriam Dalli know only too well that she simply does not let golden opportunities pass her by.
She would make a great PL leader for sure, but the question is how would she fare as Prime Minister?
Joseph Muscat is successful because he managed to persuade a good chunk of Nationalists that they will not be marginalised or ostracized in anyway. He gave them his word and convinced them that they could still work and make (possibly more) money with Labour. The 40000 victory margin vindicated his strategy, and a good chunk of that vote is not a switch vote anymore but a labour vote, until he remains in charge that is.
The only problem with Miriam is that she is so much of a diehard Labourite that she will have to work harder to convince those switchers that she will follow the footsteps of Dr. Muscat. She needs to tone down her aggression, do without talk of us and them, me more conciliatory and adopt Muscat’s stratagem of luring voters over the fence.
It may not be as easy as it sounds, she needs to gain the trust of men who are used to doing business with men, but on the other hand she might have the capability of looking at the future of the country through a different lens. Her being away in Brussels has shielded her from all the corruption controversy and I am sure that when the time is right she will use that as her trump card.
MEP Dalli will be back in Brussels come May 2019, that is a sure thing, whether she will make it for a whole five years or move on to something is another question.