Debono will vote against budget, 9 March most probable election date

Nationalist MP Franco Debono spent the weekend in Rome in preparation for what may well turn out to be his last grand act tomorrow, when he is expected to vote against his government’s budget and prompt early elections.

Nationalist MP Franco Debono.
Nationalist MP Franco Debono.

Yesterday, the MP confirmed that he would be holding his last parliamentary speech on Monday when he votes against the budget - an act that effectively means the Prime Minister must call elections, which are believed will be held in early March.

He sounded in combative mood when contacted by MaltaToday. "In Rome the taxi driver told me the roads were blocked, because students had been protesting on a weekly basis. It's an everyday reality there, but in Malta students carry the prime minister on their shoulders instead of rebelling against the system," the rebel backbencher said.

Debono said that tomorrow's budget vote will see "the foundations for a modern democracy laid... It's the only way the government and the political class will realise that the democratic institutions in Malta are crumbling," the MP said, who will go down in history as having brought Lawrence Gonzi's government down, even though it is well into its final year of its second legislature.

"The political system in Malta is sick," Debono said, again listing his major gripes such as the lack of an anti-corruption watchdog when Malta had fallen in the Corruption Perceptions Index, the lack of a party financing law, or a Whistleblowers' Act.

"There is no parliamentary autonomy, no resignation culture, we have an electoral system that makes it practically impossible for a third party to get elected, out-dated Standing Orders and a desperate need for justice reform and archaic broadcasting laws."

Debono is expected to not only list his grievances in tomorrow's speech, but also to illustrate his thesis of the democratic deficit prevailing in Malta and its parliament - a hallmark speech that will puncture the heart of the Nationalist administration he has so often criticised.

"Since Malta's independence, one party has ruled for 25 years while another ruled for 16 years uninterruptedly. There is no alternation in power, because the system is geared for the party in power to retain power," Debono said.

The MP will call for the need to rewrite the Constitution "from scratch", saying the national political system lacks the discipline and the political culture of the British system that it has tried to emulate, unsuccessfully.

Debono was unfazed about the prospect of a political legacy where he is held up to contempt for having voted against his own government.

"Ironically, many of the reforms and ideas I have been pushing will be included in all the political parties' electoral manifestos," Debono quipped.

Debono had long announced his intention not to support the Nationalist government when a 6 January 2012 Cabinet reshuffle left him out of a possible justice minister's role, after he vocally campaigned to have Lawrence Gonzi split the home affairs and justice ministry.

He had already abstained on a vote of no confidence moved by Labour against transport minister Austin Gatt over the public transport reform back in November 2011, and he subsequently abstained on a vote of no confidence against the government.

But after having voted in favour of the Opposition's motion that forced the resignation of home affairs minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici, Debono turned his attention to Gatt once again: the straw broke the camel's back was the privatisation of the car parks.

"It's like a riddle here in Malta, if you do not speak out against a minister he will not resign; if you speak out against him he will not resign to give an impression that he will not give in."

Asked what will happen of the PN after the election, Debono said: "I do not care what will happen from the PN. It is their business."

Debono pointed out that the PN was successful in governing for a whole legislature because together with others he permitted the government to fulfil its legislature, insisting that this fact alone frees him from any accusations which could be levelled against him once Parliament is dissolved and elections are called.

His take on Labour, was that he has no ties with the Opposition - a perception fuelled by Labour's keen strategy to pounce on the government's internal troubles.

"Labour must shoulder its responsibility for the state of democracy in Malta because it never offered an alternative to the PN in the last 25 years," Debono said, who also claimed he was offered the opportunity to contest past elections with Labour on the fifth district.

"I have always been a man of principle and this will never change," Debono said.

Asked whether this is the last we have heard of him on the political scene, Debono said: "I do not know. I have not thought about it."

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fenea, what a load of codswallop! Your GonziPN will go down in history as the most inept, corrupt and slimy Government in Maltese history. A Government full of bull...t, except where their pockets are concerned.
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I share Dr Debono's sentiments about our Parliamentary procedures, etc., in fact I have held the same ideas for a number of years, well before Dr Debono spoke out. I am sure countless others agree, too, that we have a mere travesty of the British Parliament, where our politicians ape their British counterparts -without embracing the seriousness of that institution. The present government was jesuitical, in the sense that it survived by splitting hairs, to 'win' an argument, not to uphold Democracy. The present contortions to put the Opposition in a bad light just because it does its duty in refusing to vote in favour of the Budget is a flagrant example of this, and of bending the precedent.
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IL-PROTESTI FI ZMIEN IL- LABOUR BISS ISIRU.
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politiku li ivvendika ruhu min shabu ghax ma hax dak li ried. DIK ISSEJHILA INTEGRITA, ONESTA U TA EZEMPJU. franco se jibqa imnizzel fl-istorja politika ta pajjizna il politiku responsabbli li cahhad lil maltin min numru ta beneficcji. bil vot tieghu u bla vot, l-elezzjoni xorta wahda se ssir fid 9 ta' Marzu 2013.
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Franco, your vote will get the ball rolling, you will change history this duty, honour and sagrifice is yours, you will be remembered as the first catalyst for change, a revolutionary, but the Maltese people must use their vote and be as brave and as visionary as you are, to bring the change our country so desperately needs. Monday is a defining moment in Maltese history. Muscat has a heavy load on his shoulders to make the reforms, our country expects every man to do his duty and help these true patriots.
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Franco, your vote will get the ball rolling, you will change history this duty, honour and sagrifice is yours, you will be remembered as the first catalyst for change, a revolutionary, but the Maltese people must use their vote and be as brave and as visionary as you are, to bring the change our country so desperately needs. Monday is a defining moment in Maltese history. Muscat has a heavy load on his shoulders to make the reforms, our country expects every man to do his duty and help these true patriots.
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Politiku ta intekrida kristalijna,realista,onesta kbira u ta ezempju ghal futuri politici taghna!!
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A NOTE TO FRANCO DEBONO. Come tomorrow you might be a true patriot for these Maltese Islands, that has been used, abused, pilfered and burdened with bad administrations in energy, transport and finace. This parliament is holding its breath until you can proves to the Maltese & Gozitans alike that you mean what you say and you said enough so that people can understand the frustration one feels when dealing with a clique of cabals and oligarchs that has ruled the realm for the sake of getting themselves fat at the public trough by abusing their power. I hope that quotes from the speech of Oliver Cromwell of April 20, 1653 will sustain you to fo your duty and put an end to the miseries that this GonziPN administration has inflicted on the Maltese people during these last 5 years. OLIVER CROMWELL,” It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go! Franco only you have the power to instill democracy back to our nation.
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The vast majority of times Franco makes sense, especially to unbiased, untied,(by political, cultural and/or economic links to any party) and voters that simply want the best for the island's future, without an overdose of politics. When shall we achieve an economy that does not favour politicians? This enlightened section of the population does not include University students, as these have been morally ruined by the socialist system adopted by the PN in Government,(birth to death for free). Now you might call it ambitious or day dreaming, but Franco Debono's passion for justice and correct politics matches Mintoff's passion for anything Maltese. He comes from the same era and background as Labour's Muscat, and must by force of circumstances, share many similar values. Best of luck Franco, for having the courage, and stamina, and honesty, and rectitude to show the way. May Malta's future include many more like you.
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Pertinent Quotes: “There is...an artificial aristocracy(Oligarchy) founded on Wealth and Birth, without either virtue or talents(as Confirmed by Dr.Gonzi).... The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provisions should be made to prevent its ascendancy.” “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.” TJ And one for Franco from the Gospel: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
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Pertinent Quotes: “There is...an artificial aristocracy(Oligarchy) founded on Wealth and Birth, without either virtue or talents(as Confirmed by Dr.Gonzi).... The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provisions should be made to prevent its ascendancy.” “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.” TJ And one for Franco from the Gospel: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
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Pertinent Quotes: “There is...an artificial aristocracy(Oligarchy) founded on Wealth and Birth, without either virtue or talents(as Confirmed by Dr.Gonzi).... The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provisions should be made to prevent its ascendancy.” “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants.” TJ And one for Franco from the Gospel: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
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Simple solution boys and girls... And what would be a check-mate move for Joseph Muscat, which hopefully he's seen... Amend the motion to pass the budget but have no confidence in the government at the same time. You see, the problem is that the PN wish to use the budget as an election gimmick, even though 99% of the air from those sails has been taken away by the PL commitment to enact the same budget. If they TRULY thought the budget was sooooooo important to pass, they'd have to agree to split the motion... If JM proposes it, it's win-win for him; PN acceptance and budget passes, government falls, PN rejects it, and their budget ruse is laid naked and dead...
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Many many people are awaiting his vote against the budget so that, apart from putting down HIS government, they get rid of him and his odious, childish character forever, thus meaning that his political career is over too!
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Dr. Debono should have taken this decision a year ago, but better late than never! It's the biggest Christmas present for the Maltese & Gozitan people, that we are going to get rid of the extreme arrogance of many ministers, just a flashback of the 80's but in a different style. The prime minister should have resigned the day after the referendum result, if he truly believed in democracy, but he choose to hang on to power! How can a government passes a law with it's prime minister voting against it? There's no room for stupid and silly mistakes like this in modern democracies. Many floaters like me took a decision on that event, and in March we will vote against the political/catholic GONZIPN system!
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When he is not talking about himself the fellow actually makes some very valid points.