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In support of an independent mayor

Floriana has an independent mayor supported by the PN. Labour cries foul, thus betraying its aversion to anything which goes beyond the two-party system.

James Debono
7 August 2012, 12:00am
Floriana's independent mayor Nigel Holland.
The Labour party has issued a statement describing the election of independent mayor Nigel Holland as anti democratic.

Nigel Holland is a decent person admired for his civic pride. He was elected in the local council as an independent. Nobody can accuse him of being a PN stooge, having taken independent stands throughout his previous mandates. In this way, he earned the respect of the people of Floriana. 

As happens in most European countries, majorities at local and national level are formed by post-electoral agreements between different parties or independents. A big country like Australia has a Labour government supported by a Green and two independents.

Having a relative majority does not give you an automatic right to power. If an alternative majority exists, such an arrangement is legal, legitimate and democratic.

Thankfully, at local level there are no laws guaranteeing relative majority rule.  Imposing any such laws would restrict representation and the role of smaller parties, independents and civic groups. At local level every vote counts because even if independents and smaller parties are not elected, their votes are transferred to other candidates. 

It is also worth pointing out that at national level the relative majority clause does not apply if more than two parties are elected to parliament.

In Floriana, Nigel Holland was elected in his own right as a free agent who can choose with which party he can form an alliance. Thanks to this arrangement Floriana got an independent mayor. Obviously, it is up to the people of Floriana to determine if Holland made the right choice in the next council election.

By stamping its feet instead of reaching out to Holland, Labour is showing its deep aversion to anything which goes beyond the bi-polar logic.

Ironically this is the same party, which up to some time ago argued that parties should not contest elections. Up until 1999, the Labour Party used to support all independent candidates. I never subscribed to this view, as it is up to voters to choose between candidates of the three parties and independents. 

But it is rich for the same party to object to an independent mayor simply because he is supported by the PN.

James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...
COOL BREEZE
Independent is construed as anti-democratic?Why welcome to the principle that the EU was founded on the true bastion of anti-democracy
COOL BREEZE
Independent is construed as anti-democratic?Why welcome to the principle that the EU was founded on the true bastion of anti-democracy
rassac
Kif jista' jinghad li Nigel Holland kiseb ir-rispett tal-Furjanizi meta gie sfiducjat mill-Furjanizi u ma tawhx aktar minn ftit aktar minn mitt vot? Anzi minghalija anke naqqas fil-voti.
rassac
Kif jista' jinghad li Nigel Holland kiseb ir-rispett tal-Furjanizi meta gie sfiducjat mill-Furjanizi u ma tawhx aktar minn ftit aktar minn mitt vot? Anzi minghalija anke naqqas fil-voti.
Basil Borg
At Mellieha the party that got most NO 1 votes was the PL, and yet a nationalist mayor is in place. Do we have one rule two measures: when the PN gets less votes and gets a mayor:is this democratic? Or should the PL obey with a nod when the same PN answers with civil commotion?
david paul pace
It would be good to note that Mr. Holland needed the help of labour voters who gave him their second third or forth preference to get elected.
m borg
Knowing James's right wing leanings such an article doesn't come as a surprise. It is s repetiontion of the 1982 general elections were the majority ended with a minority of seats. That time it was constitutionally right this time it is not as the council laws states that he/she who gets the higher number of votes would be mayor. Not even the combined votes of gonzipn and nigel do not add up to at least 1 vote above what labour got.
Ramon Casha
"In this way, he earned the respect of the people of Floriana" -- not enough for them to give him a substantial chunk of the votes though. Let's face it, PN did not vote for him because they like him, or because they think he's the best person for the job. They voted for him to snub PL.
godwin scerri
IF YOU HAVE NOTING TO HIDE PRINT MY TWO COMMENT.JAMES YOU ARE NOTHING ELSE BUT A PN STOOGE.
Nigel Holland
Sur Fava, Nieħu pjaċir naqra li qed tgħid li fl-istqarrija tas-Sezzjoni Kunsilliera tal-PL imkien ma tpoggiet taht il-lenti l-intergrita' tiegħi, mill-kummenti tan-nies, jidher proprju li dak hu l-każ. Il-każ tal-Floriana jidher li jiġbed l-attenzjoni meta kellna riżultati fuq livell lokali, il-Mosta din is-sena u l-iMqabba 7 snin ilu, li pproduċew riżultati bil-maqlub ta' dak li kien hemm fl-ewwel għadd u Alla jbierek la naħa u l-anqas l-oħra ma offriet li ċċedi s-sindakat, iżda fil-Floriana biss nippretendu li kulħadd jimxi bl-hekk imsejħa demokrazija waqt li bnadi oħra jgħaddi kollox. Id-demokrazija ninvokawha meta jkun hemm xi individwu għax f'każijiet oħra naġevolaw il-partitokrazija. M'għandhiex dubju bħalek '... li l-Kunsillieri Laburisti fil-Floriana, se jibqghu jaghtu bhal ma dejjem ghamlu, is-sehem shih taghhom biex bil-hidma li jaghmlu jtejbu l-livell tal-hajja tar-residenti taghhom, u dan irrispettivament ikunux qed imexxu l-kunsill jew le...' għax dik hija xi ħaġa li dejjem iddistingwiet il-kunsillieri Furjaniżi, ħarġu taħt liema bandiera ħarġu. Pero' l-aktar ħaġa li ġegħlitni nikteb hawn hija l-mistoqsija tiegħek: 'Ghax bl-istess argument tieghek, x' zamm lis-sur Holland milli jipproponi lil xi kunsillier Laburista biex ikun vici Sindku?' Naħseb issa li mhux ser jiġi xi ħadd hawn u ma jgħidx li ma jafx il-pożizzjoni tiegħi fuq dan il-punt li, nerġa ntenni, hija l-pożizzjoni li dejjem żammew il-kunsillieri indipendenti Furjaniżi, cioe' dik li kieku l-kunsillieri Laburisti appoġġjaw in-nomina tiegħi bħala sindku jien kont ser nivvota li jkun hemm viċi-sindku Laburista. U din qatt ma kienet kwistjoni ta 'pjaċir' iżda konklużjoni loġika li dejjem waslu għaliha l-kunsillieri indipendenti Furjaniżi. L-indipendenti Furjaniżi dejjem żammew l-istess riga fir-rigward tal-ħatra ta' sindku u viċi-sindku. Huwa ħaddieħor li bidilha! Nieħu l-okkażjoni biex nirringrazzja in-numru kbir ta' kollegi sindki u kunsillieri, inkluż dawk li servew fil-passat, talli ferħuli għall-ħatra tiegħi. Dawn tal-aħħar ukoll jistgħu jaħilfu kif imxejt magħhom u kif aġixxejt f'laqgħat tas-sindki u l-viċi sindku u nirringrazjahom tar-rispett kbir li dejjem urewni. Insellem lilek ukoll.
godwin scerri
TO MALTA TODAY MANAGEMENT: I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH THE WAY YOU CHOOSE COMMENTS FOR PUBLICATION. IF YOU CALL YOURSELF INDEPENDENT YOU SHOULD HAVE PUT UP MY COMMENT IN RESPONSE TO RC COMMENT BELOW, WHICH I POSTED AT 10.39, BUT FROM WHAT I CAN SEE AND STATED BY JAMES GRECH YOU ONLY SCREEN COMMENTS THAT DO NOT RING BELLS TO YOU, OTHER COMMENTS THAT DO RING A BELL LIKE THE ONE POSTED BY RC YOU DO NOT SCREEN.I HOPE FOR THE SAKE OF DEMOCRACY SOMETHING THAT YOU BOOST SO MUCH ABOUT, THAT THIS COMMENT IS POSTED ON, OTHERWISE I WILL COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT YOUR ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS.GS
eddy privitera
I am amazed that now, that an independent mayor has been elected at Floriana local council as a result of an agreement between GonziPN councillors and Mr. Holland, the rule by the party obtaining the majority of votes , is no longer seen as being the " democratic way " since it represents the wishes of the majority of voters ! James Debono keeps unconvincing me with some of his arguments !
daniel li
RC your id suits you well Rotten Cucumber.
godwin scerri
SUR RC FIRST OF ALL IT TAKES A BIGGER IGNORANT TO CALL SOMEONE IGNORANT, AND FROM WHAT YOU HAVE WROTE IT SHOWS HOW STUPID SOME PN SUPPORTERS ARE, AND THINK YOU NOW EVERYTHING, NOW WONDER THE SHAMBLE STATE THE PN PARTY IS IN.THERE WAS NO NEED FOR THE PL TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT WITH NIGEL HOLLAND. HE (NH) SHOULD THANK HIS LUCKY STARS THAT HE WAS ELECTED AFTER BEING REJECTED BY THE FLORIANA PEOPLE AS A MAYOR. IF NIGEL HOLLAND HAD ANY COMMON SENSE, WHICH HE HAS NOT LIKE YOU, HE SHOULD HAVE SUGGESTED HIMSELF TO SUPPORT THE CANDIDATE OF ANY PARTY PL OR PN WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF VOTES TO BECOME MAYOR, OR MAYBE NIGEL HOLLAND IS IGRANFAT MAS SIGGU TAL POTER LIKE YOUR PRIME MINISTER IS.
James Grech
I don't want to go into the merit of the article per se, though I think that Mr Debono here has jumped the gun in his conclusions and showed more where his true colours are, rather then keeping to the facts and the rules that govern local councils. I would like to bring to the attention of MT the comment posted by RC below. Such foul and offensive language should not be tolerated. Furthermore, since it has been stated by MT that comments are being screened, the mind boggles as to how such a comment was displayed in the first place. MT take note.
Victor Calleja
Nigel Holland is a decent person admired for his civic pride. He was elected in the local council as an independent. Nobody can accuse him of being a PN stooge, having taken independent stands throughout his previous mandates. In this way, he earned the respect of the people of Floriana. All true but he gathered the least number of votes. His election to a mayor is very undemocratic.
Larry conti
James,mela madekx taqbel fil-maggoranza? Mhux min igieb l-iktar voti imexxi? Jew issa dik spiccat ukoll kif urina sihbek il-prim ministru meta ivotta KONTRA irrieda tal-poplu fil-parlament ?? Mela Nigel ga l-inqas voti mil-kunsill kollu u imexxi hu????
Tony Fenech
James I ask who got the most first count votes in the Floriana council? Having a relative majority does not give you an automatic right to power. I agree, but aren't you forgetting something that you forgot to mention on your blog? There was a deal between Mr. Holland and the PN council members were he obliged in return by voting to elect as a deputy mayor a PN councilor? It is obvious, no doubt about it. Honestly speaking is that fair for such a council to have a PN majority, let's put it this way Mr. Holland had the least votes as elected councilor and just scraped through to be elected , by just 15 votes if I can recall. Now who is bi-polar logic, may I ask?
Mario Fava
Sur Debono, Fl-istqarrija tas-Sezzjoni Kunsilliera tal-PL imkien ma tpoggiet taht il-lenti l-intergrita' tas-Sur Nigel Holand. Il-bazi tal-istqarrija huwa illi Kunsillier li gie elett fl-ahhar count u li ma kellux l-appogg tal-poplu Furjaniz, bil-manuvri li saru mill-PN spicca biex sar hu Sindku tal-Lokal. Il-Mistoqsija hija din: Jekk Kunsillier jikkontesta ghall-elezzjoni tal-Kunsill Lokali, x' ghandha tkun il-prijorita' assoluta tieghu, dik li jsir Sindku jew li jservi tkun xi tkun il-kariga li jkollu? Nistaqsik jekk int personalment thossx li huwa gust li Partit li jgib maggoranza relattiva u numru kbir ta' voti iktar mill-Partit jew kandidati indipendenti ohrajn, ma jkunx hu li jmexxi l-Kunsill. Naccertak li l-Kunsillieri Laburisti fil-Floriana, se jibqghu jaghtu bhal ma dejjem ghamlu, is-sehem shih taghhom biex bil-hidma li jaghmlu jtejbu l-livell tal-hajja tar-residenti taghhom, u dan irrispettivament ikunux qed imexxu l-kunsill jew le. L-argument kollu m' huwiex kontra l-persuna tas-sur Holland izda kontra l-mod kif gie elett Sindku. Sur Debono, meta tikkritka trid tiggieled l-argument u mhux il-persuna u dan hu propju likien hemm fl-istqarrija tas-Sezzjoni Kunsilliera tal-PL. Ghax bl-istess argument tieghek, x' zamm lis-sur Holland milli jipproponi lil xi kunsillier Laburista biex ikun vici Sindku? Huwa f' dan il-kuntest li fl-istqarrija kien hemm il-kelmiet 'jirreciproka l-pjacir'... u 'pjacir' kienet miktuba fil-parentesi. Certament li l-konkluzjonijiet tieghek, li ghandek kull dritt ghalihom, huma ferm differenti minn kif inhuma tal-maggoranza tal-poplu Furjaniz u nies ohra li ghandhom is-sens komun u fehemu l-argument fl-intier tieghu. Personalment konvint li jekk trid, anki int tasal ghal din il-konkluzjoni. Dan qed nghidu fuq livell personali u mhux f' isem is-Sezzjoni. Mhux soltu nwiegeb l-artikli tieghek u mhux se nerga', pero hassejt li kelli nispjegalek ahjar il-kontenut tal-istqarrija la darba ma rnexxilekx taghmel dan mill-ewwel. Grazzi u nsellimlek
RC
The Labour Party is infested with ignorant people like gs who cannot understand that it is in fact the PL who were incapable and too bloody minded and arrogant to come to an agreement with Nigel Holland to form a majority... as James rightly said a majority was formed and presumably an agreement on the programme for the council between the majority of councillors.... if gs is so idiotic that he cannot count, tough luck. Injuranza grassa ta' pacocci li jibilghu kull ma jghidilhom il-'moviment'... moviment maghmul mill-labour biss ghal giehna...lanqas xi tfisser il-kelma moviment ma jafu. Cwiec.
godwin scerri
JAMES YOU ARE TALKING RUBBISH AS USUAL, IF NIGEL HOLLAND IS INDEPENDENT AS HE CLAIMS HE IS AND HAS NOTHING AGAINST THE LABOUR PARTY AS HE SAID, AND BEING THE LAST CANDIDATE TO BE ELECTED WITH THE LEAST VOTES HE(NH) SHOULD HAVE SUPPORTED THE LP CANDIDATE WITH THE MOST NUMBER OF VOTES TO BECOME MAYOR,AND YES HE IS A PN STOOGE BECAUSE HE IS BEING USED BY THE PN, SO MUCH SO THAT HE SUPPORTED A PN CANDIDATE FOR DEPUTY MAYOR TO RETURN THE FAVOUR.HOW IS THAT FOR A STOOGE.