Tomorrow the 25th of May, Malta will go to the polls to elect six Members of the European Parliament and more than four hundred and fifty local councillors. More than 350000 are eligible to vote to elect the MEP’s whilst almost a hundred thousand more than that will be eligible to vote for the local elections. As tradition has it, today, the day before the voting, is Silent day. Supposedly a day during which one can reflect and ponder before making the final decision for which party to vote and to whom to give the first preference.
The huge influx that social media has on our daily lives has reduced the effectiveness and the significance of this day immensely even though it is a well know secret that this day was never too silent and both parties and candidates visit the most sceptic of voters to try and secure their support and ultimately their vote, many a time with some promise or another. In silence and away from the cameras and the reflectors, the meetings held on this day are many a time much more effective than the campaign per se… which makes us think if we should have more silent days and less fanfare. Politics is not a one size fits all mould. Every family, every household, every strata of society has different needs, different ambitions and as such one to one contact is very important. We also have to take into consideration that not everyone feels comfortable displaying his political allegiance in public for reasons we all know too well considering the insularity of our country.
It is however important to reflect on what impact this vote will leave on our lives. I have no doubt that all the candidates for both elections have the interests of our country and our towns and villages at heart but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and as such we have to ensure that we choose the best to represent us. As hard as it may be we have to think with our minds and not our hearts when making the decision. This applies not only when choosing the party of our choice but maybe most importantly our number one candidate. Ultimately a political party is made up of people and it is of no use to choose the right party and the wrong candidate.
I would like to think that the candidates themselves will take some time to do some serious thinking and reflect on the responsibility that we will entrust them with. Holding office is a huge onus. Being at the service of your fellow countrymen is no easy task and nothing short of total commitment will get the job done the way it should be done. This is not something that can be taken lightly, there is no probation when holding office and elected members must keep in mind that they can be game changers during their tenure.
I hope and pray that when this election is over, the electorate would have chosen the best candidates possible, irrespective from which political spectrum they come from. I also hope that in this age and time, our elected representatives will try and find as much common ground as possible, to work together on issues that unite us and to resort to dialogue and not confrontation when opinions differ. Only in this way we can achieve the political maturity needed to make the country a better place to live in and make the citizen the fulcrum of every political decision that is taken.