this week: Ladder to success
War on our doorstep
War is looming in Iraq and as the whole world preoccupies itself with
the implications, in Malta we remain oblivious to the impending military
As George Bush and Tony Blair make impassioned pleas for war, we Maltese
are subjected to unbearable televised press conferences from the leaders
of our political parties.
In a highly charged environment, Malta is revving up to an electrifying
electoral campaign dominated by spark and colour on one side and more
of the same on the other.
It is no understatement to state that this week the Nationalist party
has failed to galvanise steel to its image.
The Malta Labour Party, on the other hand, is full of so called Franciscan
vigour and bright ideas! The party led by Alfred Sant is also trying
hard to look younger and more dynamic.
The Labour party was certainly the first off the block and has captured
attention how much substance is behind the sparkle remains debatable,
but the PN has a bit of catching up to do.
If Alfred Sant wants to win votes, he will have to do better than sparkle
and shine. The Labour Party will have to find a way of convincing the
electorate that it can deliver where the PN has failed. This will be
no easy job given the MLPs track record and its unwillingness
to change its tack on the EU.
This newspaper has no ill feelings about the natural democratic transition
of power from one political party to another. However, it does have
very serious reservations about the misgivings and opposition to EU
The latest referendum results confirmed everyones worst fears:
that although the electorate voted in favour of accession, the outcome
could not be interpreted and translated into a binding result.
More so with the unbelievable interpretation presented by Dr Alfred
Sant who declared victory when he should have heralded defeat.
The suggestions made in the past that the referendum and election should
have been held on the same day seem to be more palatable, albeit too
late in the day.
The next few weeks are crucial weeks for the campaign for Europe. It
is a sad and sorry situation where the affirmation of whether we should
become members of the European Union, or not, depends on a vote for
the PN or for AD.
This debasement of politics and democracy is a result of the polarisation
that has overtaken our social fabric making every issue a debatable,
controversial and confrontational one.
There is an air of sureness in the PN camp, which is shocking
Scenes from 1996 return to haunt, with the PN camp talking of a sweeping
The tone is indicative of the over-confidence and cockiness in some
segments of the PN camp.
Of one thing we are sure.
Not that Labour will not be elected, but rather that denying Malta entry
into the European Union will lead to a slowdown in our development,
whether it be in business, investment, opportunities, education, or
in the widening of our scope in the cultural, political and social sense.
It will undoubtedly send the wrong message to the European Union, leaving
Malta in a rather awkward and embarrassing situation.