As things stand today, Malta really and truly has got just the one strong political party that is ready to govern this tiny rock. And this statement is not being said by someone that has been part and parcel of PL since his conception, but someone that just four years ago contested the General Election with PN.
One might question my intentions in asserting that opening statement and also question what has changed over the last four years. A very valid question indeed. To answer the first one, my intentions have always been the same: I want to see a revamped PN. A better, stronger, fairer and more focused PN that on its best day will give PL a run for its money with the only winners out there being none other than the people. I was part of PN ever since 2001, or as we used to call it – the eve of Malta’s accession to the European Union. Those days, PN was focused and knew where it wanted to go. Those days, it was a pleasure to work in PN and together we managed to give Malta the gift of a lifetime, to join the European Union.
Sadly, from that day onwards PN lost its focus. Ever since that election PN started losing votes and it was at that time, at the tender age of 14, that I officially joined the first of the many committees that I participated in within PN. My message was always the same: regroup and regenerate and stop basking in old glory.
History showed us that this wasn’t done. PN won the 2008 election with a hairline majority, and that means that within a few years of joining the EU, PN had already lost thousands of votes. Fast forward 13 years from the PN’s slim electoral victory in 2008 and one can see that nothing has changed. PN failed to regenerate on so many levels. Leaders came and went, direction changed a few times too, yet the same problem persisted.
PN failed to regenerate on so many levels.
Whilst the party in Government has been regenerating itself ever since coming to power in 2013, PN has failed to push enough youths through its ranks for them to become MPs today. This means that when the next electoral test will come, PN will be presenting the same line-up it did back in 2017 and 2013 with some very minor and cosmetic changes, whilst PL is going to present a line-up that is totally different from what we saw in 2013, and more polished than the 2017 one as well.
When PN failed to regenerate and introduce new blood in their top echelons they paved the way for two whole generations (Millennials and Gen Z’s) to move far away from PN once and for all. A testament to this is the parliamentary group itself. How many millennials can you name in PN’s parliamentary group? I can name all of them on one finger!
Frankly I am not going to point out names of which MPs should make way in the PN, however I am very sure that Bernard Grech himself knows who these gentlemen are. A few months ago, he said that he is going to take unpopular decisions that affect various MPs, yet once again he failed to take the necessary action for one reason or another, and the same old names will once again fill PN’s ballot sheet.
With all that happened in the last four years, PN should be on track to win the next election, yet still, polls are still telling us that come next June 2022 (at the latest of course!) PL will be celebrating another victory.
In the meantime, my advice to the PN is the following.
Please, you ignored me and my generation for the last twenty years, if you do not respect us that’s fine but at least respect the country.
Regenerate before you will continue to disintegrate.
Alan Abela-Wadge is a former PN Councillor in Msida, and former PN General Election candidate.