We’ll continue the reforms that make our society better | Edward Zammit Lewis

Many competent individuals, especially the younger generation, would be willing to enter the political scene because they strongly believe that they can make a difference for the better within our society

Many individuals, who would also possess an extensive academic background, would generally react negatively to the word ‘politics’.

This is due to the fact that many associate this term with negativity, betrayal, corruption and also personal attacks. This is highly undesirable given ‘politics’, since Ancient Greece, was and still is an important tool to lead people, a nation, and create wealth and wellbeing.

One factor for this negative perception is possibly the general negative tone delivered by the media. I am strongly convinced that there are many competent individuals, especially the younger generation, that would be willing to enter the political scene because they strongly believe that they can make a difference for the better within our society.

The development of civil society, through proposals on specific and current matters, is an important aspect. Our politics should not be about blue or red, but about ideas. Once the intention is genuine and without any side or hidden agenda, such a context should be encouraged.

This is what people want from politics. A political ‘competition’ with clear and objective rules, where we compete on proposals and ideas for our nation to advance economically and socially. There is no doubt that most individuals involved in politics, and those aspiring to enter the scene, agree with this. The few that go against such principles are causing the harm to the rest. Most politicians, past and present, make many sacrifices, including personal, for the collective and common good. As a nation, there is no doubt that our democracy has vastly developed since Independence, becoming a Republic, and to present days.

The Opposition

Clearly the present Opposition is not fulfilling its obligation to ensure a better and effective style of politics, that respects all individuals involved, or willing to get involved, in politics. The Opposition cannot function in an efficient manner, given its current divisive state. As a government we are finding it difficult to consult with the Opposition on certain issues, as the Opposition is unable to coordinate internally and come up with a clear, united position.

What we are seeing is a Leader of the Opposition with no control on his own party that he is supposedly leading, with 19 of his MPs voting to oust him, amongst an outcry for his resignation. On the contrary, such elements are given even more prominence rather than being brought in line as it should be. A clear symptom of chaos and a ‘free for all’ situation within the PN.

The leader of the Opposition is abdicating the constitutional obligations delivered on this key role. The contribution in Parliament is very poor and void of any concrete proposals on which the electorate can choose from.

This puts more pressure on MPs from the government’s side, to continue working for the good of the country while scrutinizing the party internally, to ensure the highest levels of governance, both at party and at government level.

This is the real threat to our democracy today. It is crystal clear that it is only the PL that can lead and develop our country. Over the past years the PN regretfully got overcome by varied degrees of protagonism, egoism, hypocrisy and a know-it-all attitude of certain factions that actually see themselves above the Party. With this attitude, the PN cannot go anywhere.

On top of it all, and after also having rendered their Party practically bankrupt, they now want to benefit from public and taxpayer funds to have more money to waste, as their track record clearly shows!

Abusing parliamentary privilege

Generally, the so called ‘Parliamentary Immunity’ is an important tool for an MP. Through this privilege, any MP can raise possible cases and instances of irregularities or abuse of power, yet without having all proof as would be required in a court of law, that can contribute as a check and balance on the administration of the day.

However, certain MPs are abusing this privilege due to their highly irresponsible actions by simply throwing around baseless allegations in the knowledge that no measures can be taken against them in this respect.

Such irresponsible actions are again another factor that is keeping valid persons away from politics.

Personal attacks have regretfully become order of the day for some elements within the PN. The personal life of anyone, unless it impinges on the political work, has no place in politics. We have recently seen a series of personal attacks involving personal life matters that were and are highly condemnable. This is neither the society nor the politics that I want to be part of.

I conclude by quoting what ex-President Barack Obama stated during the 2008 US Presidential Election Campaign: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

We that represent today’s political generation, need to continue working relentlessly for change. We cannot postpone this call for change.

We will continue to push reforms that will make our society better and we will not allow a handful of individuals, with their own side-agenda, to disrupt this programme of change that is very much in motion. We can ensure a better tomorrow also through mutual real respect between all politicians and ensuring a political competition that is not based on personal attacks, lies, or envy but on the common good for all Malta and Gozo, now and in the future.

This is constructive politics to me and this is exactly the reason why I have embarked, and still am, on this challenging, yet exciting, political journey, to effect this much needed change in Maltese politics!