Electoral campaigns come and go. The electorate’s decision, though, has a lasting effect. Not just on the successive five years but beyond. The changes and reforms affected by successive Governments impinge on the future of a country, its population, and future generations.
For example, social measures introduced in the 1970s still have an effect on the wellbeing of today’s society. Civil liberty reforms enacted during the last 9 years have not only revolutionised our society with immediate effect but will live on as the new normal for upcoming generations.
The economic boom after the 2013 election was not a means to an end, but also provided the means to tackle a global pandemic that posed a very risky outlook (to put it mildly) for our economic standing and future. That means jobs, standard of living, businesses and social wellbeing amongst others.
Timely and courageous decisions proved to be crucial. Two years down the line, and we’re speaking of a country with its lowest unemployment rate in history, and an economic forecast which tops the European chart for the years to come. These are facts with no room for interpretation or coincidental factors – but only the direct result of timely decisions.
The electorate will keep this in mind as we head to the polls next Saturday, but for many (and understandably) its already in the past tense. What is important is tomorrow and beyond, which obviously does hinge on where we stand today.
What is important is tomorrow and beyond, which obviously does hinge on where we stand today.
During the last weeks, all political parties have had the opportunity to communicate their vision for the country’s future. From where I stand – and yes, I do have an obvious bias; whilst the Labour Party has clearly and in detail shown its vision for the future of this country, the Opposition was still busy trying to fill in the missing gaps (more like craters) in its manifesto. It’s useless boasting that your manifesto was published within 100 hours of the election announcement if even at first glance one realises that it’s a quick collation of a number of disjointed measures bundled up into a document.
The Nationalist Party has also managed to ‘forget’ its own policy documents, apart from various social sectors which were overlooked. Subsequent new versions were released, and a ‘framework’ is still understood to be in the pipeline. The overarching ESG condition was clearly taken up by the PN with no research on its ramifications, and applied unilaterally to all measures from tax incentives to extra-curricular activities, which means that practically absolutely nobody will be in a position to benefit.
Why is this important? Because if a political party had 5 years to prepare its programme and managed to mess it up in a way you cannot make up (even if you try hard), that says a lot on its ability to govern a country. If it managed to create a new definition for ‘amateur’ in manifesto preparation, one can only imagine what happens if we were to experience its implementation.
A week is always long time in politics, let alone during a campaign. With all our flaws as a Labour Party, we’ve shown over the past years that we’re determined to tackle where we should have done better. On the other hand, if given the chance by the electorate, we’re resolute to build upon on the many positive stories this country has to tell.
Our priorities were presented in a bold unequivocal manner for this reason.
Robert Abela has faced an unprecedented pandemic just months after being sworn in office. He’s managed it from an economic and health perspectives in an excellent manner – not faultless, but he surely passed the test with flying colours. This is not Labour Party talk, but World Health Organisation and European Commission talk, amongst others.
His vision for the coming years and proven track record are what gives me all the strength I need to continue campaigning with thousands of others for his first mandate as Prime Minister. It’s what our country definitely needs.
A week to go, which will shape the years to come.
Daniel Micallef is the PL Deputy Leader for Party affairs