Apparti mill-ġlied li ħareġ fil-beraħ dwar min għandu jmexxi – jekk hux il-mexxej skreditat tal-bieraħ jew il-mexxej mhux aċċettat tal-lum – il-Partit Nazzjonalista mhux kredibbli bħalissa għax mhuwiex koerenti f’dak li jistqarr bħala l-politika tiegħu.

Veru, qed isiru tentattivi biex minflok it-tilwim fil-vojt li kien parti minn ħajjithom fl-aħħar sena u nofs, tal-PN jillimaw xi stqarrijiet ta’ politika ekonomika u soċjali. Biss, xejn ma kien ċar f’li qalu. Pereżempju, kien jeħtiġilhom jagħtu t-tifsira tagħhom… serja mhux pwerili… għal dak li jinsab għaddej fil-pajjiż.

Dan għadhom mhumiex qed jagħmluh. Li tgħid li l-ekonomija qed tirrombla ’l quddiem fuq il-bejgħ tal-passaporti jew l-immigranti hi ħmerija manja.

Biex ikunu kredibbli, tal-PN iridu jistqarru fejn u kif ibiddlu kieku jingħataw iċ-ċans, il-mudell preżenti fit-tmexxija tal-pajjiż. Minflok, jagħtu l-impressjoni ta’ tribu li fl-aħħar intebħet kif il-qaddisin u l-gwerriera tagħha qatt ma kienu aħjar minn merċenarji. Dis-sejba ttrawmatizzat lill-membri tribali.

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LAQGĦAT POLITIĊI

Bħala parti mill-kampanja għal-elezzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew, attendejt uħud mil-laqgħat annwali tal-membri tal-Partit Laburista f’diversi imkejjen tal-pajjiż. Ħassejt ċerta nostalġija.

Għal snin twal, dik kienet waħda mill-ħidmiet li “kelli” nwettaq. Filfatt malajr drajt naraha mhux bħala dmir imma bħala pjaċir. Kienu jogħġbuni d-dibattiti dwar kif għandu jitmexxa ċ-ċentru Laburista tal-post u l-kontroversji dwar għażliet fit-tmexxija tal-bar jew fil-kompetizzjonijiet tal-billiards. Matul dawn id-disputi, kont tista’ tagħraf xinhuma l-ħsus tal-membri taċ-ċentru, bħala ċittadini impenjati fil-ħidma ta’ partit, u anke bħala ċittadini “komuni”.

Ħassejt mill-ġdid l-istess sentiment, anke wara dawn is-snin kollha.

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REFERENDUM

Ġimgħa ilu, fil-ġurnal influwenti “Le Monde” kien hemm rubrika twila dwar ir-referendum u l-użu tiegħu fit-tmexxija ta’ pajjiż. Sibtha interessanti anke fil-qafas ta’ diskors li ili ngħid dwar kemm hu minnu li l-użu tar-referendum jirrifletti tassew valuri demokratiċi.

Issa fl-Isvizzera, li ħadd ma jista’ jiċħad il-kredenzjali demokratiċi tagħha, ir-referendum hu għodda normali ta’ kif il-pajjiż jagħmel l-għażliet tiegħu. Jien kont wieħed minn dawk li pproponew l-Isvizzera bħala mudell għal kif pajjiżna jista’ jippożizzjona ruħu internazzjonalment. Imma mhux fil-kwistjoni tar-referenda.

Kif juri l-mudell Nażista tas-snin 20 u 30 tas-seklu l-ieħor, referendum jista’ jservi ta’ għodda li twassal għad-dittatura. Biss lil hinn min hekk, referendum fuq kwistjoni ta’ natura ewlenija jista’ jherri bil-qawwi il-qafas politiku ta’ nazzjon. Jekk ma jkunx marbut ma’ programm ta’ kif u fejn se titwassal il-proposta li qed issir lill-poplu – jew jekk wara l-proposta ma jkunx hemm organizzazzjoni serja biex twettaqha – x’jista’ jiġri?

Mhux bħal ma qed jiġri fir-Renju Unit dwar il-Brexit?

English Version – A credible PN?

Apart from the open quarrels regarding who should be the leader – whether yesterday’s discredited one or today’s, who many refuse to accept – the PN lacks credibility right now because it is incoherent in its policy statements.

True, efforts are being made to replace the empty controversies that had become part of the party’s lifestyle during the last year and a half. Nationalists have been refining some statements about economic and social policies. Still, there has been little clarity in their declarations. For instance they should provide their own description of what is happening in the country – and it has to be a valid, not a puerile version.

That description remains pending. Simply saying that the economy is lurching forward simply because of the sale of passports and immigration is the height of folly.

To be credible, the PN should declare where and how, given the opportunity, it would alter the present model on which the island is being run. Instead, Nationalists continue to project the impression of a tribe which at last has comprehended that its saints and warriors were never any better than mercenaries. That discovery has traumatised most members of the tribe.

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Political meetings

As part of the commitments in the campaign for the European Parliament elections, I attended some of the annual meetings held for Labour Party members in a number of locations. I could not help feeling nostalgic.

For long years, attending such meetings was one of the activities that I “had to” carry out. Actually I soon learnt not to consider it as a chore or a duty, but as a pleasant occasion. I used to enjoy the debates about how best to run the local Labour centre and the heated disputes about decisions that needed to be made in the management of the bar or the centre’s billiards competitions. In these disputes, one could recognize how the morale of members of a given centre – considered as citizens committed to the party’s approach, and also as “common” citizens – was shaping up.

Once more, I felt the same way now, even after so many years have elapsed.

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Referendum

A week ago, the influential “Le Monde” featured an extensive review about referenda and their role in national politics. I found it interesting even in the context of questions that I have long raised: how true is it that the recourse to referenda truly and validly reflects democratic values?

As things stand, in Switzerland – and there is no contest about its democratic credentials – referenda are a normal tool by which the country sets its choices. I was one of those who, in the past, proposed Switzerland as a model for how Malta could position itself internationally. But not by way of referenda.

The Nazi model dating from the 1920’s and 1930’s showed that a referendum can serve as a tool by which to create a dictatorship. However, beyond such considerations, a referendum on a matter that goes deep into the psyche of a people, can undermine totally a nation’s political framework. If it is not tied to a programme describing how the proposal being made to the people will be delivered and when – and if to back the proposal there is no serious organzation

Clearly, something quite like what is happening in the UK regarding Brexit…