Political parties should be state-financed, Partit Demokratiku argues

Marlene Farrugia’s Partit Demokratiku has put forward proposals that promote ‘equal opportunities for all’, including giving political parties fixed campaign grants and the introduction of equal parental paid leave

The Partit Demokratiku is pushing for the provision of a childcare facility inside the parliamentary building
The Partit Demokratiku is pushing for the provision of a childcare facility inside the parliamentary building

Providing equal opportunities for all ranges from the political sphere to the place of work, the Partit Demokratiku has argued as it put forward a number of proposals that promote equality and more.

The Labour Party last week published its ‘Lead’ initiative aimed at increasing female participation in politics and increase the number of women candidates in the hope that gender representation is balanced out in parliament.

Today, the Partit Demokratiku said it was strongly in favour of increasing female participation in the public sphere.

“As a party, during the last election we had a list which consisted of 40% female candidates and which was the highest among all the lists put forward by other parties,” the party,which describes itself as “Malta’s third party” and is led by MP Marlene Farrugia, said.

The PD said that its proposals – which range from party financing to giving MPs a full pension – would increase equal participation through positive affirmation without the need of introducing quotas.

It argued that political parties should be state-financed and that fixed campaign grants are given to political parties.

Political parties, it added, should be able to present the electorate with a gender balanced list from the outset and leave it in the hands of the electorate to elect those who they deem fit.

“Our representatives in parliament should be full time MPs. Parliament hours should be fixed and paralleled with office hours. Other work which is related to parliament should be carried out within a framework of flexibility.

“The salary should reflect the level of commitment and the responsibility demanded by the position. After serving in two full legislatures, MPs should be entitled to full pension.”

Echoing calls that several MPs have made in recent years, the PD said research assistants should be available for both government and opposition MPs to help them with their parliamentary work.

The PD urged the government to ensure that government boards are gender balanced: “We believe that education is the key and the government should lead by example and embark on an intensive educational endeavour.” 

Partit Demokratiku also called for the introduction of equal parental paid leave in both the public and private sector.

“It should be left up to the parents alone to decide the amount of time taken off from work after a baby is born. The parents should have an amount of time which is shared between both parents as they deem fit and without being discriminated between either or of the parents,” the PD said.

The PD called for an extension in the working hours of childcare centres, whilst reiterating that a childcare facility should be made available inside the parliamentary building for MPs with young children.

“It is only through the introduction of measures which make it easier for people to equally participate in our public sphere, that we will achieve gender balance in our country,” the PD said, adding that it was making itself available to listen and discuss measures to be pushed for implementation.

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