Why the electorate should choose representatives wisely

I have clearly underlined in various previous articles that all analysed public perception exercises in these last years point to a decisive Labour majority from the voting public. Irrespective of the coup d’états, the skulduggery and hollering within the Nationalist Party. Irrespective of the depiction of a Malta which is totally different than the real Malta we experience on a daily basis, the Nationalist Party still cannot analyse one teeny, weeny survey and be happy about it.

Ceterus paribus, the Maltese voter is still not ready to trust the opposition as a viable alternative to Labour. And that includes not just a slight percentage point above the required fifty percent mark. It includes numbers touching and sometimes even surpassing the forty thousand mark. And this phenomenon has been constant in the last ten political elections held locally, two of which were general elections. Where the Nationalist Party was all but wiped off the floor.

A sad story indeed for Maltese democracy, which is being let down on a daily basis by a narcissistic, vengeful, arrogant and out-of-touch opposition who blames the voters instead of embarking on a long and cathartic mea culpacleansing.

But for Labour supporters, this is more good news. It will mark a defining three term win for Labour, all executed with historic and unprecedented majorities. It will consign yet another opposition leader into the footnotes of history. It will ensure that by the year 2027, that is the date of the next general elections, all the new voters on the electoral register would have been in the process of being baptised when the last nationalist government was still in power.

Personally, I would have lived through two sets of three term wins for Labour. So, technically, such a win should not bother me one iota.

But yet another Labour landslide win will inevitably make Labour more complacent. The age-old consensus that ‘history repeats itself’ might very well rear its head here on a number of Labour representatives who will be elected to parliament. It happened in the past and it can surely happen again. And it happened under the watch of both political parties.

What happened, one might say? Well, the knowledge of having so much political power with no real political adversary prompts a number of politicians to make stupid decisions. To relegate constituents to a mere rubber stamping necessity once every five years. To end up walled in an ivory tower, far from the wishes and needs of one’s electors, whilst being surrounded by sycophantic pieces of nasty work who steer their minister along paths which might be oblivious to the needs and necessities of the same people who put them there.

No one should consider himself invincible in politics, business and battle. We have, on more than one occasion, witnessed supposedly great people become mere fractions of what they once were. It is a trait which is evident throughout all the different countries and not just a local phenomenon: the French ex-President being arraigned in court and found guilty; the most popular British Prime Minister becoming instantly radioactive due to foolish political and military decisions taken for the greater glory of another nation; the Italian senatore a vita whose good name remains sullied long after his death due to his intercessions with the Mafia; the disgraced EU commissioner who got thrown out and arraigned in court…the list can go on and on for days on end.

It is imperative that the electorate chooses wisely the people’s representatives in the coming general elections. 

It is therefore imperative that the electorate chooses wisely the people’s representatives in the coming general elections. Especially the labour voting electorate. Their choice has to be seen as an essential tool by which the Prime Minister can then properly choose his cabinet from a pool of keen, dedicated, honest and committed list of team players. His team.

Voting for one’s representatives in parliament is not a game. Certainly not a beauty parade or a bonanza of iffy funding for tents and billboards and fridge magnets. One votes for suitable candidates who can deliver and have the necessary intelligence, zeal and experience to commit to political management whilst guarding and being careful with public monies.

Being a female candidate – or a male candidate for that matter – should be neither here nor there. Being an ex-One TV acolyte should not be enough if one does not have other necessary qualities in abundance. Changing one’s surname so that one would be high up on the electoral list is also not the best criteria to choose a district representative.

Most importantly, if the parliamentary candidate under scrutiny is not constantly in interaction with his/her electorate throughout the five years of legislation, then there is something wrong. You do not get to representing one’s constituents by smiling on TV without trudging and lumbering the streets of one’s district and being there for one’s constituents.

So, to answer my own question, if a landslide Labour win also brings with it a good and healthy choice of government members of parliament who are deemed as assets and team players, then I would be more than happy to witness such an electoral result.

It was indeed Napoleon Buonaparte who stated that ‘in politics, stupidity is not a handicap.’ Bertrand Russell explained it a bit better by stating that ‘the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.’

At this most important junction of political history, during the second phase of the coronavirus pandemic, during an international economic slowdown, the last thing that Labour leader Robert Abela needs as district representatives are cocksure, injudicious members of parliament.

God knows there are more than enough of these fine specimen within the opposition party.

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