Kienet inizjattiva tajba ħafna dik li ħa l-gvern li jdaħħal proċess ta’ skrutinju parlamentari fuq ħatriet eżekuttivi li jsiru f’karigi għolja, kemm fiċ-ċivil “tradizzjonali” kemm fil-korpi amministrattivi u regulatorji li faqqsu bil-kbir fl-aħħar deċennji.
Ma nara xejn ta’ barraminnhaw filli l-gvern ikollu l-maġġoranza ta’ deputati membri tal-kumitat ta’ skrutinju. Ma nafx kif jista’ jkun mod ieħor f’demokrazija parlamentari, sakemm il-laqgħat tal-kumitati konċernati jkunu publiċi. U sakemm ma jiġrix bħala ma ġara fil-kumitat tal-kontijiet publiċi, li l-membri tan-naħa tal-gvern ikunu ministri. Jekk jiġri hekk, kif jistgħu dawn jgħarblu d-deċiżjonijiet ta’ xi sieħeb tagħhom fil-kabinett?
Żewġ affarijiet se jkunu neċessarji biex din l-inizjattiva utli tirnexxi. Irid ikun hemm xi forma ta’ protokoll li jiddefinixxi l-kriterji li fuqhom għandu jitmexxa l-iskrutinju; li għandu jinkudi kwistjonijiet relattivi għall-karriera personali u professjonali ta’ min qed jiġi mifli, kif ukoll dwar it-twemmin ideoloġiku tiegħu.
Ukoll, għandu jkun hemm mill-bidu nett, lista sħiħa tal-karigi publiċi li se jkunu soġġetti għall-proċess ta’ skrutinju.
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L-SPD
Il-partit soċjali demokratiku Ġermaniż għaddej mill-aktar fażi iebsa tal-istorja tiegħu minn żmien l-aħħar gwerra dinjija. Tilef matul is-snin, qrib in-nofs tas-segwaċi tiegħu. Qatt ma kien daqshekk demoralizzat. Jagħmel x’jagħmel, baqa’ jitlef il-voti.
Matul l-aħħar koalizzjoni mas-CDU-CSU, ħafna mir-riformi soċjali li ddaħħlu fil-pajjiż oriġinaw mill-SPD. Ħadet il-krettu Merkel, għalkemm opponiethom. Ħalliha li mbagħad, fl-episodju tar-refuġjati reġgħet tilfet ħafna minnu.
Jiddispjaċini għall-SPD. Nawguralu li malajr jerġa’ jirranka. Dejjem kien ħabib ġenwin tal-Partit Laburista Malti, anke meta ma qabilx mal-għażliet tiegħu.
Għadni ngħożż it-tifkira taż-żjara li fl-1985, Leo Brincat u jien għamilna fil-kwartier ġeenrali tal-SPD f’Bonn. Hemm kellna laqgħa simpatika ħafna ma’ Willy Brandt.
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BLA ELEZZJONI
Ma nafx kemm hi idea tajba li l-ħatra tal-Kunsill tal-Assoċjazzjoni tal-Kunsilli Lokali sar bi qbil bejn il-partiti. Iċ-ċaħda ta’ elezzjoni demokratika li hi stabbilità b’liġi għandha dejjem titqies bl-akbar riżerva.
Jekk dan sar biex titnaqqas il-pika partiġġjana bejn il-partiti fil-livell tal-kunsilli lokali, naqbel mal-għan, imma issa l-froġa saret – il-partiti jinsabu ġol-kunsilli – u din bħala raġuni biex tbiegħed l-għażla b’vot ħieles ma treġix.
Jekk l-elezzjoni ġiet evitata biex ma jiġrix bħal fil-każ tal-KSU fl-Università, fejn naħa waħda tispiċċa ġġorr kollox hi, nara dan bħal għan siewi. Imma messu jintlaħaq b’mod differenti.
Meta n-nies tara li hemm wisq antagoniżmu fieragħ bejn il-partiti xejn ma tieħu gost. Meta tara li l-partiti bdew jindehsu wisq flimkien, tibda tissuspetta li qed isiru ftehimiet okkulti biex jagħtu wens u vantaġġ lil klikek magħżula.

English Version – The right initiative

Well taken was the government’s initiative to introduce a process of parliamentary scrutiny over high executive appointments, in the “traditional” civil service and also in the administrative and regulatory corporations that have greatly multiplied during past decades.

There’s nothing out of this world if the government side is going to have its majority of MPs in the committee that will conduct the scrutiny. One finds it difficult to say how in a parliamentary democracy, it could be otherwise, so long as the meetings of the committee concerned are held in public. And so long as on the government side, members are not ministers, as is the case for the committee which oversees public spending. For if that is done, how can these members oversee the decisions of their comrades in the cabinet?

If this useful initiative is to succeed, two criteria will have to be met. There needs to be some document which defines the rules that the scrutiny will have to observe. It must include matters that relate to thepersonal and professional career of whoever is undergoing scrutiny – as well as to his/her ideological persuasion.

Moreover, right from the start, a full list of the public appointments that will be subject to such scrutiny should be made fully available.

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SPD

The German social democratic party is experiencing its most difficult times since the end of the Second World War. Over the years, it has lost practically half its adherents and has rarely been so demoralised. No matter what it tried to do, it has kept losing votes.

During their last coalition with the CDU-CSU, most of the social reforms that were introduced followed from SPD proposals. Mrs Merkel got the credit for them, even if initailly, she opposed them. That she then lost much of that credit during the refugees saga is beside the point.

I’m sincerely sorry for the SPD. I hope it will soon regain momentum. It always was a genuine friend of the Malta Labour Party, even when it disagreed with our chosen options.

I still treasure a memory of a visit that Leo Brincat and myself made back in 1985 at the SPD headquarters in Bonn. We had there a very cordial and instructive meeting with Willy Brandt.

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No election

One wonders how good an idea it was for the appointments to the governing body of the association of local councils to have been effected by agreement between the parties. Setting aside the process of a democratic election that is established by statute should always be subjected to great reservations.

Granted that this might have been done to reduce the partisan clash between the parties at local level. One can only agree with such an objective. However, one must also take into account the fact that partisan clash is now the status quo. Conflict between the parties is part of local council management. So, as a reason to prevent councillors from coming to their own decision, it hardly makes sense.

The election might have been sidelined to avoid a ridiculous situation like that at the University Students’ Council where one side takes all. Again one can agree that this is a worthy aim. Still, such an objective could have been reached differently.

People do not like at all a situation in which there is too much lurid antagonism betwen the parties. On the other hand, when they see that the parties come too close to each other, they start to suspect that hidden agreements are taking shape to comfort and assist the members of anointed cliques.