Beyond the flags there’s another country

Have you ever heard of one proposal from the PN in two years? You'd think a national vote would change that, but still, today, there are no new or fresh ideas

The Labour Party has presented 400 candidates for local council elections to be held on 25 May
The Labour Party has presented 400 candidates for local council elections to be held on 25 May

In the olden days, political debate was superficial and complex arguments were condensed into simple tag-lines and one-liners. There was little discussion because the tribal side of politics reigned.

This is no longer an absolute. Of course, tribalism in local politics is there and it is noisy. Often, we think it is all that exists.

However, there is a silent majority, who are more analytical and rational. They have regular jobs and regular lives. Their parents might have belonged to one party or another, but they are less rooted. They think and reason and try to understand the complex world we live in.

This is why I cannot understand the reasoning of the Nationalist Party today. It still focuses on the tribal side of politics, and that alone. In the past two years have you ever heard of one proposal? You'd think a national vote would change that, but still, today, there are no new or fresh ideas. The Government moves along pushing the boundaries with projects such as the Gozo tunnel, and drives the energy to create and propose. You cannot say the Government is simply proposing for the sake of winning votes. The electric cars changeover proposal, for example, is not something you put forward to win a popularity contest – if you were to put it to a vote in a referendum today it would lose by a big margin. But it's the aspiration for a better Malta, for a better country.

It's a Government which would rather propose 10 big ideas and succeed in seven of them than not propose anything. The Nationalist Party seems to just find problems and does not have the sense to understand that it should be a government-in-waiting, preparing a plan for the country.

I think the PN move towards the far-right is a panicky move, with the idea being to create some Salvini-type movement against immigrants. As a country, we can do better than this. As more wealth pours into Malta, our focus should be on sustainable growth, infrastructure and mitigating the downsides of it while being aggressive in safeguarding the environment. Yes, the environment is very important, especially in these times of growth. We must make sure that built-up areas are used efficiently, so that the take-up of the green environment is minimal.

The proposal by this Government to create the largest open space is important. Regulation in the construction industry, and making sure those working in this space are abiding by the rules, is equally important.

We are striving for a better country. The wealth that the country is creating is our next big test. Will we build a better country with it and improve people's lives? The Labour Party is ready for this test, and it is telling you how it can be done – more open spaces, better jobs and salaries and sustainable growth. The PN on the other hand? It just wants to close doors. It does not understand that beyond the party flags, there is another country and another society. And in a country where tribalism is only part of this landscape, what the PN is proposing is simply not good enough.

More in Blogs