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Considering not voting? Read on | Mario Mallia

AD candidate Mario Mallia writes: Before you stick your voting document to a fridge magnet till it turns yellow, you have a chance of making something out of it

11 May 2017, 1:21pm
That ministries and government departments become PN or PL kazini depending on the incumbent in Castille, is a fact we have learnt to take for granted
That ministries and government departments become PN or PL kazini depending on the incumbent in Castille, is a fact we have learnt to take for granted
You might feel this as a Catch-22 situation. 

On the one hand, we have a PL incumbent who parades the economic trump card which he has tainted by rot in just four odd years. On the other, we have a PN proposal with a huge baggage as large as the 2 million square metres of open land given up for development at the stroke of a pen as part of a so-called rationalisation – otherwise not so rational – exercise.

In so many respects, it’s the pot calling the kettle black. On the one hand, we get the PL cosying up to a bloated construction industry that seldom had it so good. On the other a PN that finds no problem courting the Malta Developers’ Association boss to persuade him to stand on its ticket at the same time as taking the trouble to sound greener than green. 

The list goes on. The PN accusing (rightly) the PL government of turning a blind eye to a minister and chief of staff opening up secret companies and related accounts as laid bare by Panama Papers, whilst at the same time doing nothing to censure its deputy leader for being a director of a nominee company for a secret outfit possibly involved in money laundering. It seems that secrecy and politics have become very strange bedfellows with impunity on both sides of the political spectrum. 

That ministries and government departments become PN or PL kazini depending on the incumbent in Castille, is a fact we have learnt to take for granted. The employment of ‘persons of trust’ has long become a convenient camouflage for bare-faced nepotism and cronyism. 

For many, politics has become little more than a bout of festa-partiti. Add to that the knack of some politicians who do the opposite of what they preach. Writing platitudes of how to preserve ODZ areas on one day and applying for a private villa on ODZ the day after hardly inspires confidence in the political class. 

Amendments to the constitution needed to breathe life into our democratic system of checks and balances have remained on the shelf for so long that they have ended up as lifeless barnacles attached to drift wood. PN governments give way for PL governments and vice-versa, but the barnacles remain. As lifeless and inconsequential as ever.

In the meantime, the police commissioner remains an appointee of the prime minister of the day who moves only when he is told to do so by the hand that feeds him. Politically tainted appointments to the judiciary have been going on for decades by one prime minister after another. The state still appoints and controls the Broadcasting Authority, the Public Service Commission, the Electoral Commission, Commission Against Corruption and other constitutional organs as if it is the only way to do things. The culmination of this malaise keeps erupting time and again scalding common mortals who look towards the same institutions for protection from the state to no avail. 

The impasse has long become structural. Little does it matter who runs the show because the score remains the same. The traditional parties have become the embodiment of this state of affairs which they have milked for their own advantage. They have made themselves seemingly indispensable.

You might feel that politics (read institutionalised parties) cannot be relied upon to undertake surgery on self to rid the workings from growths that have plagued our democracy for so long. 

Faced with such uninspiring prospects, you are tempted on giving up on the political process altogether. 

The urge is to ditch all and let go. 

Therein lies the tragedy. Giving up on the political process is like giving up on a life support system. 

This is where third party politics comes in. It is a genuine attempt by discerning citizens to think out of the box and imagine a world beyond the current political hegemony and its fatal grip. Alternattiva Demokratika has been around for practically 30 long years. It has managed to mainstream so many ideas ahead of their time, nudging forward our country in a number of areas that include the environment, social policy, minority rights and so much more. In spite of all the odds.

In the prevailing score that spells politics of convenience, Alternattiva Demokratika has dared to be different. Concerned citizens within it have opted to contribute as politicians, freed from the shackles of convenience and power at all costs. AD has managed to carve out interstices in an asphyxiating political matrix, for politics to be able to roam and dream that little bit more. 

If you want change, you have to vote for it. It is as simple as that. Opting out will leave things as they are. Big time.

So before you stick your voting document to a fridge magnet till it turns yellow, you have a chance of making something out of it. Alternattiva Demokratika needs your support to take head-on the structural shackles that have enslaved our country for so long. 

Vote Green, vote clean. Take the plunge.

Mario Mallia is Alternattiva Demokratika candidate on the 2nd and 8th Districts

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