I have written about quite a handful of candidates and European Parliament hopefuls now, and I have also commented in general on the campaign, with its flaws and imperfections, the stingy debates, the comments on the billboards and their effectiveness or not, the excessive spending, which has to be justified with the Electoral Commission and which no amount of imaginative accounting will make it sound credible, but again we choose to close one eye… or three.
I was hoping for a campaign that would have us citizens as its main topic, I was hoping for a campaign that centred on how the candidates were preparing to make the lives of the Maltese better, how to ensure that not even one opportunity is missed and I was hoping for a campaign where at least, as a bare minimum, candidates from opposite parties would be able to debate as human beings, with respect towards each other, with no interruptions, debate on topics that should be debated, not, as we have witnessed so far, a decibel competition. To be fair, the audience doesn’t help, but then again, the platform on which the debates were held has only one aim, to increase its audience and its revenue and certainly not to ensure that anything tangible comes out of these head to head clashes. It is clear that what I and many others who are tired of the usual shenanigans were hoping for did not materialize on the larger scale. However, I have noticed that on both sides of the political spectrum there are a number of candidates, which unfortunately can be counted on one hand who have managed, without useless fanfare, to conduct a clean campaign, free of personal attacks, cheap tricks and pastizzi parties. These few, some of which I have already commented on, ought to be given some serious consideration when it comes to Election Day. We often grumble that our politicians do not deliver, that they only come and knock on our doors once every five years, and yet, we still vote for the same people, year after year, election after election. This is the right time to make a change, to be the change that our country needs, and to ensure that those who represent us have only one agenda on their diaries; to represent us. We do not want and we do not need politicians that use their seat in Brussels for personal gain, as a stepping stone for one post or another, we do not want our MEP’s to use the Brussels seat to further a particular agenda, whatever this agenda maybe. We want our MEP’s to do their job – as MEP’s. We want our MEP’s to be able to think global, to work for Malta, yes certainly, but to do away with the mentality that our country is the centre of the Universe. If we do not work together to save the world, we certainly cannot save Europe and if we do not save Europe then we definitely cannot save Malta.
The European Parliament seats have been used for too far too long to fight petty politics. This cannot go on. We have six seats in the European Parliament, so we do not have the luxury to make even one bad choice. A lot of time, years, have been wasted already. We need MEP’s who are capable to work in silence, away from the limelight. We need MEP’s who are capable of ushering in this country a new era, a new way of doing politics. We need six MEP’s that are capable of working together, certainly not agreeing about everything but open to dialogue and discussion. We do not want MEP’s who are ready to pounce on every opportunity to mud sling their counterparts.
Our politicians often speak of the importance of a team, and that is what our six MEP’s in Brussels should be. A Team. We need politicians that are not afraid to cross the traditional blue/red barrier. We need MEP’s that bring unity, MEP’s that make us proud irrespective of their political allegiance.
It will not be easily to elect this kind of team. Partizan politics is ingrained very deep in our roots, but my hope lies within the new voters. We have given 16year olds the opportunity to vote. I just pray that these new voters are not already brainwashed to form part of the system, and as rebellious as 16 year olds may be, I hope against hope that they will be courageous enough to identify candidates that can make a difference. As for the rest of us, we, who complain that politicians only knock on our doors every five years, let us build up courage and do what we should have done years ago and vote with our minds. Both the PL and the PN have candidates that can do a whole lot of good. There are candidates that have a lot of positive energy that they can use to make a difference, in the lives of the Maltese, and of our fellow Europeans. We have a week or so to make our decision, take a good look at what all are offering and decide. For your own good.