12 MARCH 2003

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Toon this week: A captain always goes down with his [partner]ship

When a man lost all reason and confirmed his undemocratic credentials

It was a crass case of democratic deficit and warped thinking when Alfred Sant declared victory at the Ta’ Qali counting hall. He inverted the numbers and declared victory.
His puerile and laughable statements are based on mathematical principles known only to Alfred Sant. Anyone who chooses to follow his mathematics must either be blind or bereft of mathematical acumen.
This is a sad moment for democracy and a sadder moment for the Labour party. Not only has it concocted an anti-European stance, but it has brushed aside the foundations of democratic understanding.
Yet Alfred Sant’s stance was not entirely surprising. It confirms an approach that is based on immature political thought, a lust for power and a lack of respect for the norms of democracy.
On 8 March, nearly 92 per cent of all Maltese chose to vote.
The voter turnout was overwhelming. In national elections the turnout is traditionally 95 per cent. Of these, a small percentage, about two per cent, are usually invalid votes. Dr Sant chose to ignore them.
With hindsight it is clear why Alfred Sant chose not to vote in the referendum. His train of thought was focused on the fact that in a large turnout scenario he had to find a good enough reason to take ownership of the voters that opted to stay at home.
The votes that have been ‘taken over’ by Dr Sant also include the dead, who still appear on the electoral register.
In a normal democracy and with a thinking respectable public, Dr Alfred Sant would have either taken a step back from the limelight or resigned. He has chosen to claim victory for his party when there is little evidence of such a victory.
Dr Sant’s undemocratic streak leaves us no alternative other than the one that looks at us in the face: not to vote for the Labour party at the upcoming elections.
Voting for the MLP will spell disaster for our future. It should not be the case, but it would be.
In the general elections a vote for the Labour party will take this country back in time. A vote for Alfred Sant is worse than a shot in the dark. It is a vote for intolerance and non-democracy.
The only way forward is for Dr Sant to resign, to make way for a new leadership that can offer Malta an alternative Labour party to serve as an alternative government.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, 2 Cali House, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 02, Malta
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