This has been an interesting week. Loads of interesting stuff happening which, on their own, might seem insignificant. But then, when properly looked at as a chain of events with inevitable cause and effect repercussions, the stories they underline make for great stuff.
So what did these last days offer an interested analytical bystander?
Well, we learned this week that the Pope will be visiting Malta in the early days of April, immediately after we celebrate our 43rd Freedom Day celebrations. That particular week would have been ideal as an Election Day date. But the exigencies of the Pope naturally supersede all local needs.
With Prime Minister Abela also obliging us with the news this week that general elections will be a done deal during the first half of this year, everyone and their mother went into overdrive in trying to suss out when precisely the general elections will be held.
The 12th of March seems to be the most popular date, but other dates in May and June have also been mentioned by those who think they can suss out and interpret the Prime Minister’s train of thought on the subject matter.
But other happenings were observed during this week. A political has-been from the opposition party, in the form of Therese Commodini Cachia, opted to stir up a public attack on ex leader Adrian Delia, breaking the PN statute in the process.
Apart from a contested hauling in of these two characters in front of the leader of the opposition (was this done over the phone or in a physical meeting? Different explanations were given by different PN officials), at least one other incident happened which was a direct result of this Commodini Cachia faux pas: a PN Councillor from Balzan resigned due to his Party’s lack of action against Therese Commodini Cachia for attacking ex-PN leader Adrian Delia.
This resignation should not be taken lightly. True, this PN Councillor from Balzan is not a political heavyweight. Andre Grech opted to leave the PN fold and become an independent Councillor because, he stated, the Nationalist Party has become a party of haters and enough is enough.
Andre Grech’s resignation from the PN should not be taken lightly.
The opposition party has been witnessing resignations and defections to the other side for weeks on end throughout these last years. A great many of their party stalwarts have also publicly stated that they will not seek re-election in the coming general elections. The status of those resigning within the opposition party came from all its branches and organs: locality and district officials, councillors, party officers, members of parliament, parliamentary candidates…
When your numbers are dwindling, month in and month out, you cannot afford to lose anyone from your bandwagon, irrespective of how big or small he is. And you certainly drop the dead wood and bad apples that are the main contributors to your poor ratings in the first place. Not exalt them to leading the party to yet another ‘ghal gol-hajt’ episode.
In the meantime, survey after survey has shown a consistent drubbing for the opposition party. And rightly so. Never has a local political party been so splintered into factions and groupings. Never has a local political party ended up in a state where its own personalities publicly try to destroy each other. Never has a leader of a local political party been shown to be literally there as a token figurehead, with all the shots being taken by an oppressive and conservative nucleus within their own party who are holding on to dear life to cling to power they so desperately cherish – power which the nationalist party activists themselves are so hesitant and reluctant to entrust them with again, after many an abuse in the past.
I actually feel sorry for the good-hearted and genuine people within the opposition. They have been cast aside by sociopaths, narcissists and sycophants who now have the upper hand within a once awesome Nationalist Party.
It is precisely because of this rancid state of affairs within the opposition party that the atmosphere this week related to a potential election date on a national level developed in such a cool and calm manner.
Whilst plausible dates were being bandied about, the main thought on all and sundry’s mind was not about the outcome of the elections. Nobody has any real doubts about the outcome of the election. Including Bernard Grech. Including Jason Azzopardi. Including Karol and Robert Aquilina.
It is the strangest general election that I will have witnessed throughout my career. Bernard Grech and his supposed loyal team have done nothing whatsoever to increase brownie points for the opposition in the next elections.
On the contrary, they have ensured a dismal result and a questionable future for the Nationalist Party. One needs to see which faces survive the coming electoral onslaught within the opposition party ranks and if they will be in a position to revive and rejuvenate and re-integrate it for the sake of the nation.