The Armchair Critic | The Court of Public Opinion

When it’s finally the end of the week, some of us may enjoy nothing more than getting glamoured up to go out for dinner and share a glass of wine with friends (maybe two, it’s the weekend, we deserve it). Others, like to stay home to recharge, and maybe even get a cheeky take out while catching up on the week in politics. This is one of those times.

What are we criticising?

Grech’s conduct at last night’s rally and Abela’s appearance and interview on the programme ‘Awla’.

What do we know so far?

Malta is one step away from getting off the FATF greylist. Today it was Grech’s turn at visiting Junior College. What a trendsetter at playing ‘V2V’ games-and he scores! Abela inaugurated a new state-of-the-art MRO hangar and will appear on ‘Awla’. 

Abela takes the ‘stand’

The programme is called ‘Awla’ after all. We will not  go into deep detail- it is Friday, we like to keep it light hearted. A guarantee gives one a piece of mind- at least as Abela thinks it’s the case. So, Abela knows what is going into the manifesto, but the manifesto itself has not been made available to the public just yet. We need to see the manifesto to make an educated decision people! But at least, from what the Labour Party has provided us so far, we have a brief idea of what to expect. 

He reminds the audience of the tax credit proposal which incentivises extra curricular activities for children, when discussing social justice- noble, the increase in children’s allowance. There are a couple of good endorsements here- from a chairman of a sports entity and a educator. A take on disability and inclusivity- this should be good. Abela acknowledges that while a lot of work has been done, the Government must strive to consistently improve standards for this sector. Oh- new proposals. Let’s get scratching. Abela pledges that if re-elected, CDAU services currently offered for this sector will be extended to be benefitted from in schools. Parents who are the primary carers of their children who may have a severe disability and cannot undertake employment because of their caring duties will start receiving a benefit of 4,750 euros per year. We feel like Abela’s pragmatic approach is improving- which is something imperative in a campaign seeking to improve the quality of social welfare. 

We think our favorite endorsement so far and one, which we think is probably the most powerful, is the proposal by a woman who made use of IVF services. Contrary to what Bernard Grech may think, some people’s happiness can also exist when one has the choice of being able to have children, immaterial of the method of conception- not just allegiance to a particular party. Her recital echoed a story which does not shy away from life’s possible difficulties and obstacles. And yet, she remained optimistic about her journey with IVF and how the Labour Party’s proposal takes into account this need which many people may need, rare as it may be, but may not speak openly about it. For a second, we almost forgot we were watching a programme- because this woman’s story was sympathizing and mind-opening at the same time. 

And now, back to Abela. Abela argued that if the Nationalist Party changed it’s manifesto about 4 times, does it really have a plan to lead? Abela admitted that the Labour Party’s road in Government so far was not always straight, and that mistakes were made, but when mistakes are made, there was always a way to solve them. Abela maintained that everyone who has the privilege of a democratic vote, should exercise their obligation to have their say and that while appraisals are good, voting on election day is what ultimately matters. Refreshing so far, anyway, let’s rank.  

Today’s Ranking

You can say ‘Awla’ is the simulation of a ‘court of public opinion’. ‘Awla’ is a Maltese term, which translates to court hall in English and typically consists of different people, who have expertise or opposing views in the subject matter discussed. They all contribute to the discussion and today’s was no different. Although Abela spoke in this event, the people and what they have to offer ultimately got more limelight. This boils down, to a nicely palatable balance. We even got the opportunity to hear someone’s story and how a proposal can fundamentally impact this person’s life. These are the things we love to see. Where the Labour Party can improve however, once again, is its approach to the more modern generations and strengthening their current solid foundation. The party cannot get its head stuck in the sand and not keep up the pace at being five steps ahead.  

Solid Answers: 8

Pragmatism: 9

Clearly spoken: 8

Presentation: 8

Grech continues the streak

It looks like Grech did well on his visit to Junior College today, he even scored in a small penalty shoot out with the students of the school. However, let’s see how he scores in his day in politics. We will be giving our two cents on yesterday’s event under the tent. Candidates make their speeches, and here comes Grech- fireworks start upon his arrival. Grech addressed potential voters in the town of Qormi, a branch of District 6. A councilor who took a brief break of contemplation from the political scene returns to the ranks of the Nationalist Party after being pulled under the rug by the Party. The councilor’s sentiments seemed to have fairly changed. We have heard of the PN’s mission of bringing back the prodigal sons of the party. Maybe the Nationalist Party’s way of showing that it’s completing some of the puzzle? 

Oh and here we go- a blow at the Labour Party for not releasing the electoral manifesto. Okay, his jokes are improving- anything is better than the cake. The aim is to introduce new blood, we already know this. And that everyone who has national interest at heart, is open to join the Nationalist Party’s cause. He also thanked Clyde Puli for his work for the Nationalist Party. You may recall that Puli stepped aside as a candidate just a day after the Nationalist Party started its campaign race to the finish line and said that the door of the Nationalist Party is open for whatever Puli decides to do in the future. Grech also thanked everyone who helped in the set up for the rally and acknowledged their role in delivering the message- recognition is always nice. 

On the FATF greylisting- Grech had pledged before to immediately move Malta out of the greylist in a miraculous period of time, but said the effects will be difficult to restore. More jibes about alleged plagiarism from Abela’s end and that the Nationalist Party is no longer stuck in the past, nothing groundbreaking. Ah finally, a subject worth taking note in Grech’s speech. He mentions IVF, which he claims is a subject which he holds to heart. He claims that one should not be insensitive to those who for some reason, cannot conceive a child- we agree, so far. Grech adds that their contribution to society is still valid and that, huh? Those who cannot conceive should help the Nationalist Party to….help other people’s children so that they can succeed as if they were their own children? What kind of oxymoron is this? If you are going to bring up IVF- the very least one can do is put forward proposals which help these same people, or mince your words in a way which does not come across as insensitive. And now how manipulative the Labour Party is and the ‘new’ economic sectors, which is the star proposal by the Nationalist Party. Okay, we are no longer interested. Let’s rank. 

Today’s Ranking

Yesterday’s rally was the equivalent of visiting a well-praised restaurant which serves mouth-watering steaks, but upon visiting, your particular meal was frozen before being cooked- so the result is, a rubbery and chewy disappointment. The Nationalist Party once again shows that while it does have good intentions and these intentions were echoed in the proposals, how they are projected by its cohorts may show an entirely different analogy. The IVF explanation by Grech, when put side by side by the reality of those who have struggled with conceiving and have greatly benefited from reproductive technologies does not sit well. While Grech may have meant something else, delivery is after all everything and a key factor. At least Grech showed us that he is good with the younger generation. 

Solid Answers: 7

Pragmatism: 5

Clearly spoken: 7

Presentation: 6

4.9 13 votes
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