The Times of Malta is running a poll. It asks “Should the electoral system be changed so that smaller parties have a better chance of being elected?” Don’t worry. J’accuse is not about to exhort you to go and vote in some online poll. No, what we do find interesting is the wording of the poll by the Timesters. They ask us whether the electoral system should be tampered with (guess who will do the tampering for which we will all be so grateful) so that the teeny parties which currently have no life (not MLPN of course) will be given a CHANCE to get elected. I’m sure it was not intended, but only in this country would we automatically type the phrase in that manner.
1. Do you agree that the country should wake up and smell the coffee and introduce proportional representation nationwide so that all the citizens’ choices will be adequately represented in parliament?
2. Do you think that a party that get’s between 7% and 10% of the national vote should have its place guaranteed in parliament?
or if you prefer the other perspective:
3. Would you like the MLPN to go on tampering with the electoral system in order to ensure that parties that get above 7% of the national votes will stay out of parliament while MLPN keep enjoying their hegemony?
You see what I mean. It’s not about any pompous asses giving a smaller party a CHANCE. It’s about a basic democratic right of representation being guaranteed. Utilitarian formulae and other similar circum tauri equating the good of “the two parties” with the good of the common people is rubbish. Even more rubbish is the assertion that until now the smaller parties have not garnered enough votes for the threshold. It fails to consider that the voter kept being faced with the “wasted vote” (twisted as it may be) excuse. Look at what happened in the EU elections. Now if the MLPN stopped feeling so pompously self-righteous about their presence in parliament it need not be a case of magnanimity that does the trick… but a double dose of guts and realism.