Seeing Red

Gonzi chooses to see AD as red. Harry believes they Blue-Green looks nicer than Red-Green or Simply Red. Did Gonzi really see AD as red or is it the black and white vision that sees a threat to blue hegemony as meaning red? That is really the question. PN could claw back it’s 2/3% difference (depending on which poll you believe) by promising a review of the political system and urging its supporters to move away from block-voting while endorsing the second or third preference for AD. Now how could the spin-masters at PN ignore this particular piece of handywork? Will it come as a last-ditch attempt when the writing has long been on the wall?

Gonzi sees AD proposals being closer to Labour

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said today that there was no issue of a possible PN coalition with Alternattiva Demokratika because what he was seeing from AD were proposals which were more akin of the MLP. Dr Gonzi was asked about his views on a coalition after Nationalist MP Clyde Puli ruled out the possibility when speaking on television on Monday. “We have a general election coming up and there are no issues of alliances,” Dr Gonzi said.”From what I am hearing from the AD, it would appear that there is an alliance between the AD and the MLP. Our position is clear – we are going in for this election, we are offering our political programme, which is built on concrete projects addressed towards building on the progress that the country has registered after EU accession and euro adoption and we believe that our country can make a big leap of quality. To date, I have heard nothing but criticism against the government from AD and cannot see how I can have an alliance with someone who is talking in exactly the same way as the MLP” Dr Gonzi said.

AD leader Harry Vassallo in a statement this afternoon said he was curious to know whether the Puli outburst would be endorsed by his party leader. “I would indeed be very surprised if Dr Gonzi shares Clyde Puli’s fundamental aversion to everything Green since he spent several sessions discussing a possible coalition with the Greens in 2003,” Dr Vassallo said. “Clyde Puli certainly does not express the sentiment of his party’s supporters across the country who would have no objection to a Blue-Green coalition and would certainly prefer it to a Red-Green coalition and very much more to a Red single party government,” Dr Vassallo said.

All this and more from the Times. Alas, di-ve has long stopped reporting politics thanks to the people behind the scenes with the handy palette… in di-ve’s case they opted to force it into the drab grey category.

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142 responses to “Seeing Red

  1. Jacques, I totally agree with your analysis/suggestions. If things stay as they are i.e. PN facing a potential loss, AD preference votes in order to elect AD are essential to avoid an MLP single-party government.

    I would be unwise of PN to promote a block-vote whispering campaign and face the prospect of a debacle similar to the one of the EP elections.

    Convinced Nationalists should follow their Number 1 for PN with a Number 2 for AD. This insures their vote and, in my opinion, is more productive than trying to counter any surge in AD votes.

  2. As Gandalf said to Saruman atop Orthanc (in the film, at least): “There is only one Lord of the Rings, and he doesn’t share power.”

    Stop deluding yourselves that the PN will ever acknowledge the truth in your arguments. Gonzipn would rather spend five years in opposition than share power with AD even for one day.

  3. Why specificallz Gandalf and Saruman? Why not the Highlander soundtrack by Queen – There can be only one! Or better any of the myriad western quotes stile This town ain’t big enough for the two of us.

    There’s a new book by Richard Dawkins in the pipeline. “The AD Delusion”.

  4. Heh heh. Didn’t know your blog had a “speed commenting” option. Quick on the draw, as another western quote would put it…

  5. I guess it’s more of an academic argument than a delusion. gonzipn surely would prefer losing the election than sharing power. But nothing wrong in hoping in the people beyond the gonzipn simalcrum;

  6. Mark, why should “convinced Nationalists” give any votes at all to AD? It’s another party, or have you forgotten? I don’t see any convinced Nationalists telling you what to do with your no. 2 vote. I think you’re missing something here: you’re the ones who created the problem in the first place. Nobody takes kindly to attempted blackmail, however well-meaning – or is well-meaning blackmail a contradiction in terms?

    And Raph, PLEASE stop quoting Lord of the Rings. ‘Lord of the Rings fan” is a cipher for ‘anorak’ – not good for your pulling-power.Or does that sound too much like your big sister’s friend?

  7. By the way did you guys read sunday times editorial? isn;t it just wonderful that the independent media is so unfettered by partisan bias?

  8. Jacques, inthom il-maltin ta barra, taf jekk inthomx intitolati ghal hames bozoz b’xejn?

  9. Mark, Daphne is right. Convinced Nationalists should not vote anything else than nationalists. It is the ones who are no longer convinced by the nationalists who should be aware that a number 2 vote to AD will not harm the PN’s governmental aspirations (actually, convincing them to vote number 1 NOTWITHSTANDING the dwindling conviction in anything PN stand for (or still stand for) is a gain in itself). In other words Mark, leave the convinced nationalists alone – just as we leave the convinced labourites alone – it’s like speaking to deaf ears anyway. What Daphne and others need to see is that they cannot go on blackmailing people into not using their vote wisely. Wisely as in, sure, vote PN if you do not want the bumbler back in power, but also give shape to the vote of change by switching to AD down the ballot.

    No blackmailing there… just logical reasoning… the blackmailing deal was drafted with the electoral reform in 2007… and is being polished by Gonzi’s declarations about some phantom AD-MLP alliance…. now tell me Daphne who is being irresponsible ?

  10. David Friggieri

    Forget Gandalf, Raphael.

    Follow Jesus:

    Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

    Go Harry Go!

  11. Oh, sorry Daphne, didn;t notice you joined the speed commentators’ club. And I’m glad you specified big sister’s friend, not mine. Personally I find anoraks comfortable, pulling power overrated and party apparatchiks/paid political hitpersons little short of nauseating. Give me hobbits and orcs any day.

  12. David: by “follow Jesus”, do you by any chance mean vote PN?

  13. David Friggieri

    I mean the real Mr. Jesus, man, not Jesuspn.

    Just wear the slippers, grow your hair, cultivate a beard, chill out and vote AD. Sartorially it’s the future, Daphne darling, and it’s coming to get you!

  14. Quite a nice development of the idea, Jacques. Possibbli flimkien, Daphne? 😉

  15. Well, the hair’s grown and the beard’s cultivated, that’s for sure. Finding it hard to chill out, though. I had forgotten how utterly anal this country really is. I suppose it’s just as well that every five years or so an election comes along just to remind us.

  16. how about this, Daphne, for PN’s pulling power?

  17. Actually, Gonzi was pretty restrained. I don’t think a coalition with someone who equated himself with Aung San Suu Kyi, his men as “dissidents” and inviting someone to lunch without “going through the proper channels” as “politics as practiced by the regime” is viable. Actually he’ll make a great coalition partner with Sant especially during one of the Labour leader’s “Goooonzi” moment or when he’s impersonating an ATM.

    And Jacques, Vassallo does not think that Blue-Green is better that Red-Green. He thinks Nationalist Party supporters prefer the former over the latter. Presumably, Labour supporters would go for the second choice. In ordinary circumstances, Vassallo would have said “OK, I’m calling the guys at Mile End” but, of course, he what he wants to do some more fence-sitting.

    So — finally — cards on the table.

  18. Dear Jacques,

    You do need to come over to Malta and speak to the people in order to understand why some people are reluctant to tick 1 in the blue box. I can assure you that nobody gives a s..it about the electoral reform and its potential ‘injustice’ towards AD. The issues which bothered the masses during the past five years were others.

    I think that AD should stop worrying on how many seats it will obtain in parliament or on possible (or impossible) coalitions. It should concentrate on getting more votes than AN per non perdere la faccia ed evitare una figura di mer.a. Volate basso amici miei, volate basso………..

  19. Il-PN uzaw lil AD fl-2003 u tawhom daqqa ta harta jumej qabel l-elezzjoni … mur ara kemm iridu jaghmlu xi tip ta` koalizzjoni maghhom! l-AD se tkun strumentali ghar-rebha tal-Partit Laburista, punto e basta.

  20. Being slightly ignorant politically speaking, could someone enlighten me why a Labour government is being seen as a potentially tragic development? Are they all incompetent? What is the basis of this fear? I would appreaciate a reply from you guys – Mark, Jacques, Daphne, Raphael, Fausto …

  21. alex, what’s even worse is this……apparently to keep labour out a coalition needs to be formed between the greens and PN. This means that two minority parties will join forces to keep the party with a relative majority out of power……and that is democracy!!!

  22. Alex – very good question. A Labour government would be a tragic development because it would reform the public gravy train service to the exclusion of all those whose services have been so generously rewarded by gonzipn. Which is why the only ones who seem to really give a toss about the outcome of the election are the ones with a lot to lose. And surprise! they’re all frantic at the prospect.

    Another thing to bear in mind is that past experience has shown us that pre-electoral promises mean bugger all. If MLP wins, Sant will not halve the surcharge or anything like that. he will simply cite the excuse that “he didn;t know the true financial situation of the country” because of all the statistics-fiddling, and then make up the words and music as he goes along, like he did in 1996-1998.
    And if gonzipn wins, he will simply forget all his promises of reform, reasoning to himself that now that the electorate has voted for HIM – GONZIPN – and not the party, then he has a god-given right to dispose of this country howsoever he pleases. By the way, this includes encouraging and whipping up religious fanaticism, and then training it on liberal minorities whom he privately despises with a puritanical passion… as evidenced by his actions (not words) over the past four years. (but then, it seems some people have forgotten tonio borg’s letter-writing campaign in June 2005, when elections were still in another galaxy, far far away.)

    So the choice is really between a bunch of bumbling amateurs with the economic knowhow of a dog-biscuit; and a sinister, anti-liberal movement which will manage the country’s finances OK, but woe betide you if you fail to share their ultra-Catholic, sphincter-tighteningly misogynistic foetus fetishism.

    Then there is AD, which fondly thinks that it can form a coalition government, but only with the party which a) has already excluded the possibility a priori, and b) represents the diametrically opposed worldview of the european greens; and c) which would, in a coalition, gobble up the hapless coalition partner Green MP and spit out the pips before he could say “Shit what am i doing in the Government of God…?”

    Aren’t you just dying to cast your vote?

    PS – just noticed Rupert Cefai’s comment. Yes, rupert, well spotted. We are wtnessing the beginning of a “pentapartito” situation that brought Italy’s situation to the pass it is currently in. Coalitions are only bad news when the stated aim is to keep one party out of power – FOREVER. Interestingly enough, even our own dismal political situation is attibutable to efforts made in the 1960s to keep a single party out of government – although on that occasion, it was not a coalition, but an excommunication edict wot did it. Lest we forget where the “gonzipn” motif really comes from…

  23. Alex wants to know what is so scary about a Labour government. It’s not a Labour government per se that’s scary, but the fact that the party remains thoroughly unreformed since 1987, except for losing the thugs and having the spotlight of scrutiny on corruption. And make no mistake, they’ve toned down the corruption not because they’ve become Saint Marys, but because they’re concerned about exposure. Back in the past, no journalist ever dared write about them because the consequences were (1) getting your newspaper building burnt down, (2) being illegally arrested, (3) finding a bomb on your doorstep, or (4) having members of your family transferred from pillar to post, deprived of bank loans, subjected to summary foreclosure on overdrafts, or denied business licences. Are you very young, Alex? Too young to remember that Sant was already prime minister, perhaps? Then maybe you should go to the newspaper archives and read a few catastrophic headlines.

    Calm down, Raphael, for heaven’s sake. Can’t you accept the fact that not everybody loves, likes or wants to vote for AD? Can’t you see that with the support of a minuscule percentage of the electorate you have absolutely no right to throw your weight around or seek to call the shots in parliament? What are you gunning for now, minority rule?

    AD is a political party, and not a special needs case deserving of privileged treatment. Like all political parties, if it can’t stand the heat….and the same goes for its politicians, all traipsing around playing at virgins and martyrs. How come we’re not allowed to criticise them? Because they’re special needs? Come off it: if we can insult and denigrate Lawrence Gonzi and Alfred Sant, then we can insult and denigrate Harry Vassallo too. He may be sacred to you, but bear this in mind: he’s a party leader and hence, not sacred to anyone else.

    Another point that mystifies me: people like me who support a political party that is not AD are ‘apparatchiks’, but all the AD activisits on this blog are – what, fans? Housewives? Men-in-the-street? Innocent bystanders? Or paid-up members of AD? Unfortunately, you lot are beginning to sound as dangerously defensive as Sant’s lot: if intelligent people who you would rather like to have on your side don’t support your cause, then it’s because they ‘being paid’ not to support you, or worse, being paid to attack you. Come off it: accept the fact that not all intelligent people with liberal views like or support AD.

  24. That’s depressing stuff, Raphael!

    btw Is the Astrid Camilleri who appeared with Gonzi, “the” Astrid Camilleri ?? Food for thought there..

    On a lighter note, another juicy quote from the Lord of the Rings:

    PIPPIN: And whose side are you on?

    TREEBEARD: Side? I am on nobody’s side. Because nobody is on my side. Nobody cares for the woods anymore.

  25. For the record. This blog is not an AD blog. Nor does it in any way speak for or endorse any of AD’s policies. The agenda of this blog, if it has any, is one for change of the political landscape in Malta. By change is meant the reintroduction of legitimacy and accountability, the full enfranchisement of every citizen and a system of governance that is rooted on values and vision rather than pandering to the lobbies.

    Now that that is put aside a few other notes. AD, as I feared, makes an easy target for marketable anti-freevoter campaigns. It allows those of the same mind as Daphne and Fausto to paper over the real troubles of this democracy. Sure, go ahead crticise AD, criticise the minority that puts the card on the table. In the meantime we ignore basics such as a PN campaign that is more and more shedding light on the fact that the only candidate PN feels comfortable enough to present is Lawrence Gonzi. Jesmond Mugliett cancels another press conference, Pullicino is relegated from his MEPA duties and now (wonder of wonders) we have a green programme for Malta as the government promises to cut the environment deficit it has created!

    I will not even go into why labour is not an alternative. Sorry Erezija but I think that the answer to your question lies in the first part of your statement. If you cannot see through the baseless “program” labour purports to offer then you either have not read enough or seen enough – and this is not based on historical performance but simply on the shallow manifesto and electoral promises we hear from day to day.

    And AD? Well Ad is a vehicle to breaking the hold. I do not think coalition will do them any good. Much as Gonzi might not admit, coalition IS an electoral issue because AD made it so. Whether he can see it as one of the considerations people are thinking about is another thing and frankly his problem. Coalition will not work not because of what Daphne and all the other selective historians point out (Italy being of course the only country run on coaltions) but because no partner will ever allow AD to get out of it scott free. Any coalition AD will form part of will be its first and last as voters switch back to the partner it had.

    Having said all this, the fact remains that we have a sorrz political landscape. PN apparatchiks already find it difficult to summarise the benefits of a PN government beyond the “At least It’s not Labour”. PN is squeezing the last few ideas out of its pocket and is hanging on in denial that a change in political thinking is needed. The country has not yet properly adapted to the issues of governance and subsidiarity of day to day politics in the Union. PN is doing nothing to help such adaptation. (always assume Labour would do even less with the bunch of no-brainers trying to bring about the bidla).

    The discussion and provocation for change is and will remain the main issue for this blog. Realisation in PN camp, Labour camp and even AD that this change is the only proper good start for change is what we can only (faintly) hope for. Getting people to realise the real problem beyond the spin, manhunting and character assassination that the gurus are so adept at doing is another. Yes, we too can be arrogant. We too can wave the flag of being the Intelligent Free Thinkers of this island. We will not call anyone stupid for thinking different, but of course nothing stops us from thinking so.

    For our children, and their children’s children then.

  26. Daphne, stop projecting your own partisanship onto others. I lost interest in AD when the party proved it was perfectly willing to compromise on issues which are (or should be) fundamentals to any real european green. I seem to remember even writing an article about it in the malta independent when I still worked there. And getting a rather touchy reply from Harry telling to vote for tonio instead. Or have you forgotten all that?
    I suppose it;s now part of the gonzipn startegy to simply pass off any criticism of the Nationalist party as a covert attempt to get AD into parliament through the back door. It is unlikely to work in my case because i have already publicly fallen out with AD, and have not since fallen back in.
    But i suppose this is difficult to digest for parties like the PN, which still rely on an ancient, primeval and quite frankly long-since expired sense of national tribalism for their own survival.

  27. What some people find disconcerting about certain arguments is not the conclusion of the arguments per se (i.e vote PN) but the surprisingly emotional and simplistic manner of argumentation. There are candidates and officials in the PN fold who are actually capable of making subtle and reasoned arguments that are persuasive and conducive to a positive outcome from their perspective . Irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with them, it is an undipustable fact that Robert Musumeci and Ranier Fsadni (just to mention a few examples) have made sound, rational and compelling arguments in the PN’s cause. The electorate wants a tranquil discourse based on reason. Arguments laced with snobbery, hubris, and deep-seated negative emotions can only have counterproductive results .

    Even Hillary Clinton had to rein in her attack dog (Bill) when she realised that his over-the-top comments and overenthusiasm was putting the electorate off. So can we have a mature and civilized election for once, like a true EU member state? It’s bad enough already that our bi-polar system automatically tends to promote tribal instincts , with the far-right fanaticism of Josie Muscat and Norman Lowell to boot!!

  28. Every Nationalist right now is terribly missing Eddie Fenech Adami. Love him or hate him, with Eddie things never got so much out of hand.

  29. Oh and another thing… a question i asked on an earlier post has to date remained unaswered.

    How high a price will we all be willing to pay just to keep out the Labour Party forever?

    There must come a time when it will be a case of: OK the price is not right. Admittedly, my beef is with the abortion constitutional amendment issue, and on this I am now clearly a minority of one. But there will be other issues which will piss other people off as badly as this one infuriated me. Will we accept a constitutional definition of the family to pre-emptively rule out cohabitation rights for gay couples… as in fact has already been suggested? Will we see the end of assisted fertilisation, because the sonia camilleris of this country are so very Catholic, and… oh look: so is gonzipn?

    Coming back to Alex’s original question: the best thing about Alfred Sant by far is his secularism. And when he goes, secularism goes with him… because let’s face it: the rest of his party is hardly characterised by big thinkers, and given a chance some of them would annex Malta wholesale to the vatican without giving the matter a second thought.

    Besides: where are the PN’s secularists, now that his holiness gonzipn has hijacked the entire party? Daphne wrote on one of these comments that she thinks Malta would stand a better chance of introducing divorce with a committed anti-divorce party in power forever. Honestly: what sort of crap logic is that?

    Rather than bitch and moan and call us all stupid, Daphne would do better to explain to liberal voters why on earth they should continue voting for an arch-conservative party over other more liberal options.

  30. Interesting you should say that, Raphael, because I had assumed that criticism of the party, its leader and its policies was allowed in AD, and that it didn’t bring about a permanent state of mutual rejection. Maybe this is why it is so difficult for you to understand that I can disagree loudly and very publicly with any number of Nationalist Party policies, and denigrate several of its politicians in print, and still support it and get on well with everyone else. It’s this ‘all or nothing’ approach of intolerance that so gets me about Harry and AD. I think if you knew a little bit more about the Nationalist Party you would find that it’s an extremely broad church that encompasses everything from altar boys to atheists, right-wing conservatives to left-wing liberals. The only people who don’t find space there are the ones who don’t get on with anyone else, or who insist that it’s their way or no way. I’m a pretty sharp observer when it comes to personality traits, and over the past few years I have realised how remarkably similar Harry Vassallo and Alfred Sant are. Now don’t all rush at me at once with fangs bared. At least bother to consult a character expert to get a professional opinion before you pounce.

  31. Again I ask. Setting aside AD… do you not see that PN has no new ideas? Do you not see that the supposed new wave of politicians can never come from inside this “broad church” (which I cannot exaclty see) of yes men? Do you not recognise that even a PN government is a threat to the future of politics in the country… although a more stealthy threat than the MLP one?

    Anyone… not just Daphne of course… try to answer that honestly without character assassination or mentioning AD and it’s whole set of issues.

  32. Raphael, make it a minority of two!!

  33. A church can be as broad as it likes, but it only has one Pope. Pope Ratzinger said he wanted an exclusive church, and I am beginning to think the PN is remodelling itself along these lines. Certainly they have taken great pains to exclude anyone who doesn;t fit in with their declared conservatism. Of course there is the occasional token pro-divorce candidate a la Georg, but as long as the leader remains who it is (which can be very long, btw- the PN has had three leaders since 1950) and as long as the party structures continue to give that leader a plenipotentiary hold on party policy, the PN will continue to turn its guns onto its own disrguntled supporters – for yes, one thing they always forget… liberals have had little option but to vote Pn since the Mintoff days….

  34. David Friggieri

    Interesting stuff here, in particular Daphne’s insider depiction of the PN as a broad palette of views – “from altar boys to atheists, right-wing conservatives to left-wing liberals” as she puts it. Daphne’s probably right: over a cocktail at the waterfront or at some lavish dinner for the in-crowd, quite a few of her PN pals will get all lefty-liberal and ‘open minded’ with their cutting edge opinion-columnist friend. Perhaps even going as far as to crack the odd joke at the expense of ‘dawk l-antikwati’ Tonio and Lawrence as champagne glasses are lifted in merriment.

    This points to another huge deficit in our political system. It gives no room for intelligent PUBLIC disagreements on issues WITHIN the parties themselves. Result: kullhadd fil-purcissjoni wara l-kappillan or else…

    It reminds me of those nauseating rumours we used to hear before the referendum about this or that Labour candidate being in favour of EU membership ‘in private’.

    The words spineless and opportunists come to mind.

  35. PN’s church may be as broad as can be, but it surely has no space for active and visible ‘correnti’, as the Italians would have it. Italian parties, in fact, are frequently characterised by a left, right and centre within their structure, creating a dialectic which moves the party onwards. It is frequently a public and open discussion which is accepted as a natural part of the dynamism of politics, and enriches the development of a party’s ideology. Someone in the end must win, or at least reach a compromise, and that determines the party’s future platform. It can be extreme too, like Turigliatto bringing down the left because he is too left, or else having a parliament made up of 39 parties (not 3!), which are constantly in a state of internal fragmentation, or with dangerous and opportunistic voltagabbana.

    If there are these correnti in PN (or MLP, for this matter), they are ably silenced, and the party’s policy is formulated by a very limited group of people. Surely the PN embraces liberals of all hues, pro-divorcists, atheists, gays, what have you…but they surely do not influence the party’s policies and to date have not brought any progress or innovation to a party whose conservatism has not modernised (vide Alleanza Nazionale, the Tories and others), and is dangerously veering towards confessionalism, if not kept in check. In this broad church, I guess the dominating factions are the hysterical born-again Jesus freaks and the lay pragmatics. Other currents, if there are, have surely worked against their cause: such as David Casa who votes against EU legislation on homphobia and then, according to the article below and the general grapevine, seems to be an avid frequenter of gay bars. (http://www.illum.com.mt/2008/02/10/interview.html)

    Its not only PN’s problem, however. The MLP, partly because of too many years in opposition but also because of Mintoff’s dominance, has lost all trace of the enlightened discussion of the 30’s and 40’s, and reminds me of a band club than of a modern and liberal socialist/social-democrat movement. This can be seen in Sant’s u-turn on divorce, and in a dangerously inward-looking fringe (Adrian Vassallo, Michael Falzon) which is left to plod on freely.

    The sum-zero political situation is exactly this: two parties that have annulled each other because they thrive on each other, and exist only out of fear of one another. Daphne and others might argue that one chooses a party that has better ideas or that can manage the country well…but this idea is one bereft of any moral dimension. Gonzi may have given us finanzi fis-sod, but he’s got a bumbling Tonio Borg who may infringe on essential civil rights. Mintoff and Co were fixated on ‘il-kaxxa ta’ Malta’, but their excessive thrift meant mediocrity, and their primitive class consciousness brought about the nightmare all of us know about.

    The leadership of both parties are nothing more than campaign strategy groups, and have foregone any vision for the country which goes beyond pounds, shillings and pence. You might call me an immature dreamer or a stupid dolt, for expecting a little bit more from politics, and not succumbing to some Berlusconian chimera that you can be a filthy-rich businessman in no time, or else ‘kulhadd sinjur zghir’ like AN are aiming to transform us. But I guess there’s more to life. The party leaders, by and large, don’t: they’ll keep Xaghra l-Hamra and Ramla pristine not because they believe in ‘quality of life’ and ‘ecology’ (which they use as electoral buzzwords), but because there were ‘some young men in jeans’ (as Daphne once called AD folk) who made a ruckus and embarassed them, and could dent their percentages in the polls. But Lawrence Gonzi takes the merit for having been struck by a blinding light, like Paul of Tarsus, on the way to the putting green.

    In their fixation on retaining power at all costs, or wresting it from their enemy, they forget all the rest. And that’s why no-one ever gave Tonio Borg, Michael Falzon, Adrian Vassallo, and the Bus 13 guy a good clip on the ear.

  36. Voltagabbana!?!
    What a fantastic word!
    But what does it mean?

  37. turncoat, pinnur (in Italian)

  38. I think the country is going through a crisis, and this crisis goes beyond whether there’s PN in government or MLP. The main problem, I believe, is a complete change in mentality that the whole country needs to do, otherwise we will keep dragging our feet.

    Some people mention the PN as being a party of economic stalwarts. I couldn’t disagree with this statement more. Indeed there have been some remarkable economic achievements attributable to the PN, but lately even the PN is dragging its feet. Firstly, how can I trust the economy in the hands of people who are comfortable with nepotism, who actually practice this abomination themselves? Nepotism is one of the biggest hindrances of an economy. How can a person be productive if he knows that in this country, nothing is based on merit, but on who you know? Secondly, how can I trust my economy in the hands of a party who thinks it’s ok for a project initially costing 1 million to cost 2.5 million … who thinks that it’s ok to resurface a road, only to dig it all up the following week to change the kanen tad-dranagg and have it resurfaced once again. If this squandering didn’t not occur, this same money may be used on other projects. Probably, if all money on the road infrastracture was well spent, we wouldn’t be complaining with potholes any longer! And finally, how can I trust the economy in the hands of a party who is not capable of safeguarding the rights of its minorties? Quoting the very interesting interview with Patrick Attard (AD) on Illum: “Lawrence Gonzi fil-billboards qed jgħidilna ‘Flimkien Kollox Possibbli’. Imma lil Gonzi ma tarahx ma’ xi koppja gay jew ma’ xi koppja li għaddejja minn separazzjoni. Jiġifieri eluf kbar ta’ nies diġà huma minsijin.” Yes, this is sad but true fact which hinders the wellbeing a not-so-insignificant minority of people who contribute greatly to the economy. At the end of the day, it’s this same economy which will end up suffering. Finally regarding the electoral campaign of the PN in this election, it smacks of a tired PN, a PN without fresh ideas, a PN ashamed of its own ministers, a one-man show, desparate to invent last minute program proposals and lies about its political adversaries. I’m not voting for this.

    As regards the MLP, I admit I have a certain admiration for Alfred Sant. for his honesty and secular stand as a politician. What I don’t like is his impulse, stubbornness, lack of communication skills and, perhaps, lack of vision (though I am hoping that come March 10th, he will make me change my mind on this). Also, I believe Alfred Sant is shackled by a party which is largely pretty much similar to its PN counterpart. Alas, I don’t really see MLP as a new beginning, rather a cold shower for the PN to get its act together once again (hopefully!) … however this means that for the MLP, such a thing will be further postponed.

    As regards AN, my precious time is not worth discussing this group. If there’s any progress in mentality that the Maltese have managed to do (indeed there is a little), this party is the party to vote if one wants to reverse all that.

    AD … well, I believe this is the party whose policies I admire the most. But I think it should make its voice heard for its own policies sake. If its electoral campaigns will consist simply of seeing which disgruntled voter’s vote it will be getting, then it won’t get my vote.

    Well, my whole point is that Malta has seen better days. Malta needs a change in mentality which none of the major political parties will give. Unfortunately people are just short sighted, and they only think it is a question of whether it’s PN or MLP which is in government.

  39. David Friggieri

    Yes, Gold Roast. Believe it or not, this most Catholic of Catholic countries is in a moral crisis. Largely abandonded by its cowed intellectuals; in thrall to two all-invasive political parties whose only distinguishing factor is their claim to being more ‘serious’ than their rival; dependent on a State religion for moral guidance…

  40. It is becoming quite clear form this campaign that, rather form the old motto, MLPN, created by AD, we should start talking about MLPAD movemenet. It looks like that these two parties have formed a strategic alliance, and this is quite clear from Claire’s Bonello’s articles. Previously, she was subtly campaigning for AD, but all of a sudden she is all over the place on the internet attacking thise who criticize not only AD but also MLP, especilly Alfred Sant. She is trying very hard to soften Sant’s image in her writings.

    It is quite natural that AD and MLP form an alliance for various reasons: 1) they are both left wing parties (actually it’s not yet clear who leans more tot eh left); 2) In Italy and in various other countries they are constantly allied together; 3)they were the winners of thelocal MEP election and realized that together they can damage the PN; 4)they share a deep hate towards the PN and finally 5) they share a temporary common goal to remove the PN from powere at all costs, even if this might be costly to Malta

  41. And isn’t the rampant money squandering, the corruption, the nepotism, the rape of the environment, the various levels of discrimination, also costly for Malta? We talk of the PN as though they are economic gurus, but the Gonzi government has not been very successful in this aspect, except maybe for chopping down the deficit for the introduction of Euro. I wonder if any of you have followed Malta’s economic performance since joining the EU. Countries like Slovenia, Czech Republic and Estonia, which were poorer than us before joining the EU, have now overtaken us or hot at our heels. Estonia, with a GDP growth of 10% per annum, is being referred to as the Baltic tiger and we are ecstatic because our best performance in the last 5 years was 3.5-4%. Is this how good the PN government was in boosting the economy? I’m no Labour fanatic, I voted ‘Yes’ and PN previously because I believe in the EU, but let’s face it … PN has certainly not made this country’s journey within the EU a success story so far.

    But yes, economy aside (though the two are linked), the Maltese islands (as perfectly summed up in two words by David Friggieri) is undergoing a “moral crisis”: the secular wind blowing from Europe versus the quasi-theocratic state the PN leadership wants to turn this country into. That’s very Arab of Lawrence Gonzi and Tonio Borg … it’s a contradiction that these were the same people who wanted us to become Europeans. This is further confirmed by David and Simon’s behaviour at the European Parliament, which certainly doesn’t cast a good light on us as a “tolerant” European nation.

  42. In an article two weeks ago DCG said that Harry Vassallo was a nice guy and if he contested with the PN she would certainly give him her number one. Just up on this page she vomits on him and says that he is like Alfred Sant? Are the two halves of the brain connected, or what?

  43. Daphne, just a little question, the ‘flimkien’ in ‘flimkien kollox possibli’ who does it include? does it include everyone or only those supporting the PN. Apparently as soon as you are critical of the PN, you are automatically excluded from the ‘flimkien’. Maybe, ‘flimkien kollox possibli basta taqbel maghna’ or ‘ghal min maghna kollox possibli’ would be more appropriate.

  44. Simon says…clap your hands (and vote PN)

    Seriously, it seems the electorate cannot harbour any kind of hope and dream of making this country a better place to live in, unless the PN is involved.

    There was absolutely nothing wrong in believing that the PN can oust a corrupt and violent MLP government in 1987.Yet it is irresponsible to vote for a party which could trigger a sweeping change in 2008. It is irresponsible to get rid of an archaic political system. It is irresponsible to vote out the politics of division, controlled by omnipotent lobbies and led by fear. It is irresponsible to vote out the fear of losing votes which does not allow the two main parties to act in the country’s best interests. It is irresponsible to vote for accountability, good governance, secularity, inclusion, sustainability and democracy.

    The pro-democratic movement which joined forces with the PN in 1987 cannot be claimed any longer by the PN. The pro-democratic movement does not belong to the PN. The two main parties have to get out of this mindset trying to be everything to everyone. My greatest fear is that even AD seems tempted to follow suit. Yet however incoherent, erratic and disorganised the Greens are, they are the only ray of hope in this depressively bulldozed country.

  45. Simon is implying that I am covertly campaigning for the MLP. Well here’s some news for you Simon. I support AD and do my best to convince people to vote for a party whose ideals I believe in. I will criticise Lawrence Gonzi if he should be criticised (I thought it was still allowed). I do so openly. I will not gag myself as Daphne does because the election is approaching. I will not criticise the government’s policies or lack of them, its inaction for 4 and a half years and then write fawning pieces about how nice Gonzi and Kate look on the Fosos. It seems this is what you want. I’m not convinced that is the best way to go. I will vote for AD because it has been consistent and credible and because I want to see it survive. If that’s too much for you to take, then join the panicky scaremongerers working in the PN propaganda bunker. I wouldn’t want to be there

  46. Edward, as you have known for the last 30 years or so, given that we grew up across the street from each other, I have a name and so it is not necessary, or even particularly civilised, to refer to me by my initials. I don’t call you EF. And do please stop making yourself ridiculous, Claire. As you so correctly remarked, I have been criticising the government and the prime minister for four years – well, rather many more years than that, actually. On the other hand, I have yet to read a single critical piece you have written about Harry Vassallo and AD, and the first critical piece about the Labour Party that you seem to have written was last Sunday’s (very mild) one, which read more like a half-hearted attempt to ward off the accusation that you are obsessed with the government to the point of behaving as though the alternative government does not exist. And the alternative government is not AD. I’m sorry, but AD is digging its own grave by behaving like some kind of messianic cult, with Harry as cult leader. You’d probably meet with more success if you were to turn yourselves into a religion, and I’m sure that some of you would be happier with that situation, the way you go on.

  47. It’s funny how Daphne’s criticism of the PN dries up as soon as the election campaign starts. Then we get hilarious pieces from Daphne about how married women all want to vote for Gonzi because of his appealingly nice wife and how endearing his smile is and what a good speaker he is. It could have been a Hello style piece of the adoring type. Suitable copy for the messianic cult of Gonzipn I’d say. Any time I write a similar article about Harry (or anyone else) please come and bash me on the head with a statuette of Gonzi and Kate. Seeing as you have already decided that I am a hate object, you shouldnt mind going down that path.

  48. I missed your earlier comment, Raphael. Alfred Sant isn’t secular. He’s an opportunist who doesn’t believe in God or religion. The two are different. I’m have my own personal beliefs, but they don’t come with a drive to foist them onto others, and as you know, I’m very secular in my approach. Sant, on the other hand, wishes to foist his (lack of) beliefs onto others. He attended his daughter’s baptism, held when she was almost three years old f(or the express purpose of obtaining a baptism certificate with which her mother could put her down for entry to the Sacred Heart under the preferential section as the child of a broken home) under protest, sitting near the door of an otherwise echoingly empty St Gregory’s Church while the rest of us filled a paltry two rows at the front. And he didn’t hold the child during the ceremony. He sat there glaring with folded arms while the child’s uncle stood in for him. Are these the actions of a reasonable secular man, or of a man determined to foist his beliefs onto his wife and daughter, refusing to cooperate if he didn’t get his way? The big mystery to me is how the woman now universally known as ‘Doctor Mary Darmanin’ can degrade herself so badly by hanging onto the coat-tails of a man who cast her off two decades ago, and in the most dreadful circumstances which shocked me then and still shock me now. So much for self-respect and feminism. She was on television last night praising the ‘justness, honesty and incorruptibility’ of the man she referred to as ‘my leader’ and ‘Doctor Alfred Sant’ instead of ‘my former husband’. It’s an odd country if I am alone in thinking this absolutely ridiculous and shame-making.

    Sant is an opportunist. He has no principles, moral, secular, religious or otherwise. Why else would he abusing the so obvious vulnerability of his former wife by accepting her presence with his mother at general conferences and other public gatherings, or her participation in Super One shows, to bolster up his image as a family man? Some family!

    My original reason for disliking this man had nothing to do with politics, you may be surprised to know, and everything to do my observation of how ill-used his wife was. I think it’s wrong to take advantage of people who love you when you don’t love them back.

    Sant is the kind of person who will do whatever it takes to get a vote. Though he believes in divorce (after all, he went through a divorce by another name), he won’t introduce it because the hard-core of conservative voters will object. At least you can say this about Gonzi: the reason he is reluctant to introduce divorce is because of personal belief, not votes. He will eventually have to come round to the fact that his personal religious beliefs should not affect legislation, and as a reasonable man, he will, especially when he comes to terms with the escalating problems caused by the absence of divorce legislation. You’re dreaming if you think that Sant will be the one to do it. The man can’t make a straight decision, to start with.

    J’accuse Disclaimer: This comment contains assertions about the private life of Alfred Sant. The owner of this blog is not in a position to verify the veracity or otherwise of such assertions. While it is not my policy to censor comments, I encourage readers to ensure that any commentary is factually correct.

  49. You have my absolute assurances that it is factually correct. I was at that baptism, which was a joint family one with my second son – ‘family’ because ‘Doctor Mary Darmanin are first cousins.

  50. Daphne Vella Caruana Galizia bint Michael von Bidnija – will that do?

    We did grew up across the road, but gee we are now light years apart now

  51. I missed out something there: Dr Mary Darmanin and my husband are first cousins.

  52. I am not in the slightest surprised that your “original reason for disliking this man had nothing to do with politics.” You have made that amply clear in your 10-year career in Sant-bashing, by writing reams of articles which have never had anything to do with politics at all, but everything to do with personal spite. Sad fact of the matter. Daphne, is that your hatred of 1970s Labour thuggery and the GRUDGE you bear against labour for having arrested you at 19 has blinded you to such an extent that – irony of ironies – you have become a thug yourself. Because that is the definition of a person who makes a career out of bullying others and trying to force them to vote one way or another out of fear of the consequences. And who uses her public profile to direct popular hatred against a tiny minority for daring to think differently.
    A thug, Daphne. Nothing more, nothing less.

  53. No, Edward, we’re not light years apart. We have very similar opinions about several issues. We just disagree on what the solution is, that’s all. Incidentally, I think it’s interesting that the same street produced you, me, Rene Rossignaud, John Attard Montaldo and Michael Falzon ta’ Muse and Harry ta’ AD round the corner. There must have been something in the water.

  54. I think the something in the water was just on your side of the road as all the rest didn’t spend their life as armchair critics.

    J’accuse note: From another armchair critic (I do not intend taking up politics myself) – this is just what I am talking about in the latest post (MODERATION).

  55. David Friggieri

    Yesterday at the Theatre du Poche, the play On Religion brought up a scenario amazingly similar to the one Daphne has just described. A vociferously secular (actually anti-religious) mother refuses to attend her son’s religious funeral in spite of the fact that her son – who planned to become an Anglican priest (to his mother’s sheer horror) – had expressed the wish to be given a religious funeral. The pain caused by the dilemma was brought out very well. Very human.

    Strong families are great but when everything (even politics and ideas) is boiled down to whether you’re a successful family man (hugging your wife on stage, spending time with your kids etc etc), I can’t help agreeing with the great Andre Gide who once said “familles je vous hais!”

  56. Oh my oh my… Daphne the pseudo-liberal defending AT ALL COSTS our own brand of ‘Christian’ democrats who operate more of a mafia-style conglomerate than a party… to use her own words a ‘messianic cult’ first with EFA and now with Gonzopn as chief. Every election it’s ‘apocalypse now’, of course some spineless people (who probably are scared shitless of loosing some contract or other… mafia at work…) fall for it.

    Vote Gonzi Get Caqnu
    Vote Sant Get Tumas

    Anyway vote for whoever you want. I’ll vote for AD of course… and yes I DO NOT CARE if either Gonzi or Sant is PM… probably according to the queen of spin (pay cheques from Joe Saliba…and Anglu Xuereb too remeber?)… I’m immature and irresponsible… boo hoo! boo hoo! FLIMKIEN KOLLOX POSSIBLI :))

    J’accuse Question: Ralph. One question. How does this help alternattiva’s cause? Speaking for myself I can subscribe to the idea of a third party, one with a different programme, cards on the table manifesto etc I can even bear with the idea of a campaign based on coalition (although as I already said I do not see it as useful to bringing about change). But tell me… how does this “If you can’t beat them join them” attitude help your cause? Do you not realise that this kind of attack is old style? Voter alienation is not something MLPN have a monopoly on. The more AD show that it’s more of the same the more you distance people from their cause.

  57. David Friggieri

    For the full quote, in all its French splendor:

    “Familles, je vous hais! Foyers clos; portes refermees; possessions jalouses du bonheur.”

    Thank God for the French.

    Enjoy Val’s day folks. I’m off to watch Sweeny Todd the Barber. Will it be as vicious as the electoral campaign?

  58. Relax, Raphael – conduct unbecoming, I’m afraid. It would be ‘personal spite’ if I had been the rejected wife. And thank you for noticing that I’ve only been writing about Sant for 10 years, despite disliking him for 20. Out of respect for that rejected wife, I kept quiet throughout the first four years of his leadership, and was even thinking very hard about the dilemma of how to write about the prime ministerial contender in the run-up to an election and still not upset her – though heaven knows why I should have bothered about this – then one fine day I opened a newspaper and found that she’d written an extremely unpleasant personal attack on me. So all’s fair, I suppose. The mistake you make is in thinking that because I know the details, then it must be personal. No. It is precisely because I know the details that I also knew before the rest of you found out through direct experience how unsuited this man is to leadership and still more so to running the country. In 1996 I was the only one saying so, if I remember correctly, so much so that on the night he lost the 1998 election, my editor called and asked “Would you like to write a piece titled ‘I told you so?'” I happen to be one of those people who believe that private lives are a reflection of public lives, and vice versa – and that a politician’s private life is a sound indicator of what his public life is going to be like. I wasn’t wrong about Sant’s potential as leader and prime minister, as it turned out, and I made my analysis purely on the basis of his character, personality and his behaviour in his ‘personal’ life. I think you’ll find that Gonzi inspires such high trust precisely because of the soundness of his personal life. People instinctively mistrust those with messy personal lives. They might like them as friends but they wouldn’t necessarily want them as leaders. This doesn’t just apply to ‘Catholic’ Malta; it’s the case right across the western world. Look at how Sarkozy has fallen in the popularity ratings, for one.

  59. http://www.haloscan.com/comments/faustomajistral/5557864672498085336/

    Daphne, this is an answer to your eugenic post on Fausto’s blog, and all the dangerous gobbledegook throwing cancer, DNA and Sant’s personal life all in one sinister basket.

    With all your Slimiza pretensions (I’m a 3rd generation Slimiz myself, btw), you sound like a bitter woman who spends her life prying on other people’s lives and tut-tutting about their moral choices. Raphael Vassallo called you a thug: I just think you are a bitter woman who cannot admit her grudges, which is alarming for a woman of your age. I also increasingly see you as a woman devoid of compassion and a capacity for forgiveness, and your liberalism and criticism of categories such as born-again Christians and people who attend prayer-groups now seems to me just a superficial array of cocktail-party posing.

    You disappoint me as many people told me what a nice person you are, but the vitriol that you’ve been spouting in your personal campaign against one man/one half of the population scares me. You also remind of Maria Micallef Leyson’s vitriol against Harry Vassallo, which is definitely not coming from a grudge-free zone.

    Re your remark about AD (on Fausto’s blog), I can vouch for AD that they dont do personal politics. They are not intersted in Dr Darmanin and would not give a toss about Dr and Mrs Gonzi’s personal lives. You would and you do.

  60. Of course there is another side of the whole third party debate which has failed spectacularly to make it onto the national agenda. Anyone who watched the news over the past couple of days will have noticed that Gonzi has now promised to reform Mepa himself if reelected. In fact, anyone who has observed the PN closely over the past two years will have noticed an undeniable overall greening effect. The party which three years ago didn;t even know the meaning of the word “environment” – and which still equates it with roads and pavements in maltarightnow;s choice of visuals -is now visibly concerned by the fact that it is losing votes to AD. And suddenly, it is falling over itself to do in five minutes all the things it spent the better part of 20 years ignoring. This would simply not have happened without the threat of a haemorrhage to a third party. But to be effective, the threat has to be seen to be real. In this case, it has already been carried out in the MEP elections in 2004… which, surprise! Marked the beginning of Gonzi’s green turnaround.
    And yet, all the talk to date has been about coalitions, and the possibility or impossibility thereof,.. because we live in a nation which lacks political sophistication, and cares only for raw power. If Malta had political commentators who actually took an interest in politics, instead of defending their own patch, they would surely acknowledge that smaller parties tend to be catalysts for change in the larger ones. For better or for worse, mind… I am surprised that no one seems to care about AN’s latest billboard, threatening to close down the Balzan open centre. This is probably because the threat of a haemorrhage in this case has not yet been tested and seen to be real. If AN eats into “their” share of the vote in this election, we can rest assured that one or both parties will be fishing for the xenophobi vote in the next.

  61. Raphael’s last comment sums up the beneficial effects of smaller parties – ones which pose a “threat” to others. If the smaller parties’ policies make sense then there is a good chance that the electorate will consider voting for them. As soon as the major parties sense that there is a possibility of voters turning away from them for this reason, they will take up the minor parties policies. Environmental issues are a case in point. Ad has been promoting the idea of Gozo as an eco-island for ages – now the Prime Minister has taken it up. This is just one example which is evident to all – members of messianic cults or not.

  62. Mark, I thought AD was the party of martyrs and virgins, dictating morality to everyone else? Or does morality only begin and end with money and development? It doesn’t. Unfortunately, like Alfred Sant, there are too many of you projecting your own problems onto others. If people have told you that I am a ‘nice person’ then take their word for it that I am one. After all, they probably know me and you have never met me. I’m not the bitter one here, I’m afraid, though this blog is rife with bitterness. Success and a well-adjusted personality don’t breed bitterness; disappointment and thwarted objectives do. Sadly, you make the common mistake of misogynists in dismissing any high-profile woman who is critical of a high-profile man as ‘bitter’. At the end of the day, Maltese men are true to their roots and when they see another man being ticked off by a woman, they metaphorically clutch their own – well, don’t make me say it. Marisa Micallef doesn’t criticise Harry Vassallo because she’s ‘bitter’. She criticises him because he’s a politician deserving of criticism. Maybe you didn’t read the piece in which he described Malta’s democratically elected government as a regime? Isn’t that a bit like Alfred Sant saying that partnership won the referendum? Both are equally disparaging of the sovereign verdict of the electorate. And what’s that thing he has with describing AD activists as dissidents, and comparing himself to the heroic woman of Burma? Before long, you’re going to be laying palms at his feet and shaking out the incense when he enters the room. Oh sorry, we’re not allowed to make fun of the AD leader; he’s a sacred cow. There’s a bitter man in the running for prime minister. There’s a man who seems increasingly bitter running AD, and another bitter man running AN. There isn’t, on the other hand, a bitter man running the Nationalist Party, or a bitter woman writing my column. So go on, Mark – do the Maltese male thing: when a woman says something you don’t like, insult her, and if she stands close enough, give her a thump.

  63. Actually Daphne is very welcome to make fun of whoever she likes. The only problem is one of consistency. Two weeks ago she was writing about Harry Vassallo being decent, intelligent and articulate (not exactly laying palms at his feet and doing the thing with the incense but still). Now he’s bitter. Which is the right version?

  64. Did I pass any misogynistic comments? Have any of my posts mentioned or implied gender? It’s just pure coincidence that you and Marisa are women. You could have been four-legged androids with red armpits, and my judgement would have been the same.

    I think you’re getting the wrong end of the stick. And you’re too engrossed in your success, your perfect psychic balance, your pop psychology, and your absolute certitudes.

    I guess I have treated you fairly and adressed you very politely, if you’d bother to read my posts well.

    La lingua batte dove il dente duole.

  65. Plus….Harry was a right plonker when he talked about Burma, and when he said and did other things. If AD does not reach its targets and dies out, I’ll design for myself a new personal politics if any. Imut Papa, jitla’ iehor. And I guess the rest of us.

    You’re still getting the wrong end of the stick.

  66. From what I am reading here, and Harry’s articles in the media, plus AD’s proposals to the Budget with the typical left wing taxes, it seems that AD are slowly and steadily morphig themselves into a radical left wing party. The tone is typical of the radical left, no global movements and other extreme left organizations in Europe and the US. I used to admire AD for a while, and even voted for them. I lost my respect since the famous Sant’ Antnin recycling plant saga. I am sure that they are influenced by the Italian Greens, of which Cassola is an MP, who are more left wing than PD (ex DS and ex PCI) and new Socialist Party. In fact they formed an alliance with Rifondazione Couminista and Comunisti Italiani

    As regards this coming election, I prefer to be a realist, and Claire, please note, I am far far deatached from the PN propganda bunker you mentioned. I am not saying that the PN are perfect, in fact I also feel that half of the cabinet need to be changed. However the PN needs to be weighed against the alternatives available today. For the time being, Labour is not an option either. It is far off, say the UK Labour Party or the US Democratic Party. It would have been better for AD to remain more moderate and centrist party.

  67. And what a lovely St Valentine’s evening we’re all having……

  68. Simon I think you’re quite far off the mark about the left wing taxes. The tax cuts they proposed (prior to the last budget incidentallY) are not very left wing. And their workings were published too (unlike those of PN). As for the Sant Antnin saga I suggest you read the relevant report by the MEPA AUditor when published (this wekend). It might shed some light upon the process

  69. Buongiorno Simon!!!!!!

    Ti quoto in toto su Harry Pecoraro Scanio…………

    I’ve been harping on this for ages!

    In the meantime, I guess I shall give the Maltese electoral campaign and AD’s grandiose delusions a break while I follow the Italian one enjoying every moment of the collapse of the left-winged parties there………….godo come un porco in calore…..

    Me ne frego!

    Ciriciao gente.

  70. A completely tangential question (inspired by the unjustified misogyny accusations): what’s the gender balance like in Election 2008? Has much changed since the 1958 elections?

  71. Part of the problem affecting the gender balance in this election has its roots in what I said about misogyny in Malta: it isn’t overt, but more dangerously covert and even subconscious. Listen to the way men (and women) talk about women in public life (she’s bitter) and compare it to the way they talk about other men in the same role. Do I hear anyone say that Alfred Sant or Harry Vassallo are bitter? Let’s see now: would this be why Boob-Job Jason thought it perfectly acceptable to answer a question about my valid arguments, on a prime-time television show, by saying, in effect, what do I care what she says when she’s had every part of her body fixed? Putting aside the fact that it is untrue, which actually makes it a compliment, the reality is that he thought it was an insult because somebody had led him to believe it was true. This is the way women are discussed in public life. Did I hear a deluge of objection from men? No. Ma’ tarax. But if I mention in passing that the great leader wears a wig and that this speaks volumes about him, the heavens open and it rains down locusts. Vide Raphael’s hysterical sticking-up-for-poor-Sant-against-Daphne, above. Not many women are prepared to expose themselves to this kind of thing. Fortunately, I have the hide of a rhino. Let me give you another example – for years and years, I have been portrayed in cartoons in the Labour press and even in Malta Today as a haggard witch (because little has changed since medieval times here, and women we don’t like must be witches). The net result is that people who see me for the first time in real life are perplexed, and I would hazard a guess that this is what prompted Boob-Job Jason’s outburst (she’s not a witch, therefore she must have had plastic surgery). This kind of attack doesn’t only come from men: it is particularly bad with other women, who view a woman in the spotlight as somebody mopping up a limited resource: men’s attention. Hence the fact that the most vicious attacks on women come from other women, particularly in my case. I adopt a policy of not retaliating – except where a political point has to be made – but it oftens feels like standing still in the school playground while the other girls gang up and cat-call. Nice.

  72. Daphne: On the one hand I can see that there is, possibly, a different set of weight and measures used when weighing up public persona depending on whether they are men or women. It is one of many possible forms of wrong discrimination – such as whether they are married, divorced, black, white, disabled, catholic, muslim, Gozitan, Slimiz etc. I agree that this inability to assess actions just for what they are – and not for who is doing them – is a big drawback.

    On the other hand I have a problem with your own measure (or maybe I am not understanding it). Why is it ok for you to complain when Jason MIcallef passes comments about what he wrongly believes is some boob job while it is not ok for Mark et al to complain about your picking on the wig? As Ali G would say… is it coz you iz a woman?

    When it comes to the wig in question I believe that it has no place in political arguments. I will defend the right of any satirist to poke as much fun as he wants at the wig – something that would be normal in any other democracy – even coalition plagued Italy can make fun of Berlusconi’s facelift. But I do not agree that there should be any connection made between having a wig and the kind of politics that one has. Same goes for the boob job – should any woman decide to have one, it should have absolutely no incidence on the judgement one makes of her political actions.

    Therein, I believe, lies the difference.

  73. Same as in baptisms of convenience and scowling outiside San Girgor. It reminds me of when Labourites went out in trucks with bulls, in clear reference to someone’s unfortunate (and also very particular) marital circumstances….legend has it that big bad Mintoff pulled the plug on this display of thuggery…

  74. Concerning all this baloney about who is more likable and “sound” between Sant and Gonzi: on one specific issue (possibility of coalition), one person is definitely being more reasonable than the other!

    On his part, Gonzi is summarily dismissing this possibility outright, making it clear that he has no intention of proffering the hand of co-operation in the spirit of his campaign slogan….

    On the other hand, today’s l-orrizont reports that in yesterday’s interview on PBS, quote: “Dwar il-proposti tal-partiti ż-żgħar li ssir koalizzjoni, Alfred Sant qal li jekk ikun il-każ, il-Partit Laburista jara xi jkunu ċ-ċirkostanzi ta’ dak iż-żmien.”

    Now Sant might have his own reasons for his ambiguous reply, but that is exactly the reply I would have expected from Gonzi, given his purported sound and reasonable disposition!

  75. Daphne, when you talk about Dr Mary Darmanin, is it the same Mary Darmanin you publicly butchered in an article entitled (If I remember right) “Champagne Socialists”?

    And for someone who attaches such importance to the proper use of words, you seem not to know the definition of “hysteria”. I suggest you read a few of your own earlier articles. Like: “Labour’s Trojan Horse” shortly after the MEP election in 2004.

    Choice quote: “Am I shouting too loud for you?”

    “Shouting”? try “screeching”…

  76. Oh great, so now you’re sticking up for Doctor Mary and Doctor Alfred – it’s clear that you’re motivated more by hatred of the Nationalist Party than anything else (this is not a reference to you, Jacques). Raphael, ex-wives (or wives for that matter) who don’t want to be butchered should stay out of the political slaughterhouse. A wife might have a political role to play, but an ex wife certainly does not – still less an ex wife who consistently makes herself pathetic (in the true meaning of the word). If you don’t want to be criticised, stay out of the public arena. But do you seriously expect nobody to discuss her when she parades herself around at general conferences and on Super One. And you are somebody who – let me check – works for Malta Today? The same newspaper that went to town on the police commissioner, producing some tart to describe what she got up to with him, while his wife and children suffered paroxysms of agony? So we can do that, but we can’t say that a man wears a wig when he does (the undiscussed elephant in the room), or that a woman is risible when she refers on television to the father of her children as il-mexxej taghna or doctor Alfred Sant. Something you may not know, Raphael, because your archives have clearly let you down. The article called Champagne Socialists was written in response to Doctor Mary’s entirely unprovoked declaration of war on me – and a very nasty one at that. The problem is that few people noticed it, because when they see an article by ‘doctor someone’ in The Sunday Times, they assume it’s going to be boring and turn the page. Maybe you should look it up? I take exception to the fact that you speak without knowing certain matters that I am not at liberty to discuss here.

    Jacques, there is a good reason why it was wrong for Jason to say what he did: it isn’t true, full stop. Are are we now going to say that lies are acceptable? On the other hand, it is true that the leader of the opposition has a whole wardrobe of wigs for different occasions, and that they are beginning to look increasingly precarious and ridiculous. How many of you know men of 60 with black hair? If you think it’s normal for men to wear wigs, and that it says nothing about personality shortcomings, then maybe you should ask a psychiatrist about it, rather than a columnist. You must know as I do that the wearing of that wig is one of his signal weaknesses – not because of the wig as such, but because it speaks volumes about deep-seated insecurities that manifest themselves politically.

    Why did I cite the baptism incident? Because the way he behaved then is EXACTLY the same way he has behaved about Malta’s membership of the EU. Those of you who imagine that there is a division between the personal and the political must believe that politicians are schizoid, rather than exactly the same person in private and in public. A person’s shortcoming (and positive traits) manifest themselves in public life in precisely the same way they manifest themselves at home. Or do you all have a different personality you put on to wear to work? When I listen to arguments like these that I’m reading here, I begin to understand what I find incomprehensible: why women pick men who are so obviously going to be rotten husbands while thinking they’re going to be amazing, why men go for a woman with a long history of cheating and then wonder why she cheated on them, why people take jobs with employers who have a bad track record and then wonder why there’s something wrong with their payslip. I won’t go on. Self-delusion is one of the comforting mysteries of human nature.

    J’accuse comment: I still have doubts about the wig’s bearing on the politician – whoever he may be… Let me get personal… about myself… I never liked my teeth and have a huge complex about them – and dentists paint a dim picture about the possible solutions of teeth stained from birth and a mouth too small to hold them all (yep). Does that say something about myself? Possibly. Does it have a bearing on my political thoughts? That I desperately wish to hide a defect? Boqq. Perplexed.
    On a different note I too am completely puzzled by women’s choice of husbands… and boyfriends at that… (same goes for men and cheating women business) but aren’t we delving a bit too deep into human emotional nature? What I mean is, are you suggesting that politicians need to lead a pure life? Was Clinton not a good politician? Is Hillary to be trusted if she can harp on about family values after what happened? Where do we draw the line? Back to the MLPNAD issues we have some people routing for a government that in Labour’s words never took direct action on corruption (in some cases hoping for presidential pardon). Political integrity right now is questionable at normal administrative level… digging deeper will probably disqualify most of the candidates apart from a veritable Mother Theresa. I am thinking aloud here… can’t say I have a position on this.

  77. “Ex-wives who don’t want to be butchered should stay out of the political slaughterhouse”. Politics is not a slaughterhouse and commentators are not there to “butcher” anyone for reasons which are totally unrelated to policies, political life and track record in office. There are many aspects of people’s private lives and relationships which are known only to them and which might go a long way to explaining the way they behave. Picking on specific incidents out of context, describing people’s misfortunes with gleeful relish and leaning on the “the public’s right to know” argument is repulsive. This holds true whether the person being described is a Nationalist supporter, a Labour supporter,an AD supporter and even if he holds public office. Commentary is not a blood sport

  78. What emerges from all this is the following:

    1) Daphne’s visceral hatred for Alfred Sant has nothing to do with politics, but everything to do with his treatment of her own cousin 20 years ago.

    2) The moment Daphne is herself under fire, she resorts to the misogyny card.

    3) That Daphne doesn’t have any response to the charge that she is, by her own definition, intimidating people who express their intentions not to vote PN by holding them up as objects of public hatred.

    I have no more words to waste on Daphne Caruana Galizia.

  79. Dispassionate said that Sant is being more reasonable than Gonzi on the question of a coalition. Yes, rhetorically he is far more reasonable. But as intelligent voters I’d suggest that you look at the two men’s records on coalescing conflicting views. The MLP majority in 1996 came to blows in Parliament, was defeated by one of its own MPs, and experienced two resignations of high profile ministers all in less than two years. Does that bode well for an MLP-led coalition government? Gonzi’s record is not clean either – the messy Dalli affair is a case in point – but let’s not be fooled by the sales pitch of the two party leaders. Gonzi is a far more conciliatory figure; in fact I suspect that he could do with more backbone within his own party.

  80. A self-righteous suggestion: could we discuss the issues rather than this he-said, she-said finger-pointing exercise.

    Daphne made a valid point: misogyny is alive and well in Malta and women are held to a different standard. How often have you heard ‘mhux ahjar tiehu hsieb it-tfal?’; I know I have more often than I’d like to count. The fact of the matter is that the gender balance in these elections reinforces the stereotype that middle-aged men are uniquely qualified to be political leaders.

    Now Daphne does play the misogyny card a bit too much for my liking, but she’s right to some extent. People barely bat an eyelid when a Secretary General of a political party falsely accuses her of having had extensive cosmetic surgery (when the issue was the publicity of a potential PM’s health). Then there is a huge furore over the mention of AS’ wig. I happen to agree that the wig is telling; not of all men who happen to want to hide their glorious skulls, but it says a lot about the man in question. Of course Daphne’s seething hate for the man does not do her arguments justice, but lets be honest – I have seen with my own eyes that the man has a love of wine that is not of the same ilk as a connoisseur’s, he is a failed leader and an undemocratic one at that, and he has a family history that is not a matter of misfortune but of personality flaws. That is an issue in this election. Daphne’s writing style and ethics are not, and to be frank they are given more importance than they deserve.

  81. David Friggieri

    Is it relevant whether Hillary Clinton has had a facelift or not?

    If not relevant, how is a facelift any different to the wearing of a wig?

  82. David, I understand your point and it is difficult to explain the nuances of the way I consider the facelift and the wig in a different light. It is relevant that Hillary Clinton had a facelift – she had to package her image in such a way that would be palatable. Consider her youthful hairstyle post-Super Tuesday. I do not think that it is a matter of pure vanity or the insecurities of a woman jilted by her philandering husband, but more a concerted effort to make her image acceptable to a public that has never before seen such a high profile female candidate (misogyny again). The wig is relevant for two reasons – firstly, it changes colour according to the image that AS wants to portray; as Daphne pointed out recently, it has gone from youthful black to statesmanlike grey and back again. Secondly (and I’m struggling to explain this sentiment), it reflects the man’s desire to cover up the obvious and pull a fast one on people. It also is part of the package of his personality, and to my mind it reflects flaws that I find it difficult to put my finger on without making generalisations that I do not believe to be true.

  83. justin – two weights two measures!!!

  84. Rupert, you may be right there, or maybe I’m not expressing myself clearly.

  85. Ok maybe no boob job but a nose job yes…ejja say the truth …come on… u like nose job , he likes wig. big deal.

  86. No, Justin is correct: in people with a highly developed sense of emotional intelligence, the instinctive (unexplainable) reaction to a person is usually correct. We can’t explain why the wig sends out the wrong signals, but we pick up those wrong signals and they act as a warning. Thank you, Justin, for understanding what I am trying to explain amid the hysteria. And Raphael, Mary is not MY cousin. She’s my husband’s cousin. People react nervously to men in wigs. They do not react nervously to women in make-up. It is not culturally acceptable for a man to wear a wig. It is culturally acceptable for a woman to wear make-up. A man who wears a wig crosses a barrier, not a barrier as great as a man wearing make-up, but halfway disturbing.

  87. David Friggieri

    “A man with a wig crosses a barrier”

    Almost as bad as the barrier crossed by serial killer Anton Chigurgh in the Coen brothers’ latest film, no doubt.

  88. Victor Laiviera

    What Justin means to say is that whatever Sant does is bad as far as he is concerned. QED.

  89. Yes, Mr Laivera, and whatever Alfred Sant does is right as far as YOU”RE concerned, just as, as far as you were concerned, everything that Mintoff and Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici did was right too. No auto-criticism there, I see.

    BOD (Bored of Daphne?): you’re increasingly silly. If you are under 18, I understand. If you are over 18, I would be worried if I were you. Go back to your comics and leave the grown-ups alone.

  90. highly developed sense of emotional intelligence………..umli hafna Daphne

  91. No Victor, I do not mean to say that whatever Sant does is bad. I never said that and I do not think that is the case. Please do not put words in my mouth.

    That being said, his overall record as PM and as a political leader is terrible and I would not like to see him elected PM again. His record is not black – I do not think in terms of black and white – but it certainly is a pretty dark shade of grey. If he does not win this election I hope that Labour will do itself and the country a favour and elect a better leader in his place (as it should have done 5 or 9 years ago).

  92. Victor Laiviera

    Who would have thought that DCG woudl descend to the “yah-boo sucks to you” kind of debate?

    Is it a sign of panic?

  93. Victor Laiviera

    Justin, don’t you realise that we would/will he having this kind of debate whoever was/is the leader of the MLP? The plain fact is that for many years, the PN has adopted, as its main policy, the demonisation and character assassination of the leader of the opposite party – rather than fight the political fight on the basis of policies and results.

    Its main tools in this “dirty war” are apparatchiks like DCG, Beck, Bondi and Peppi Azzopardi.

  94. No Victor, I respectfully disagree with you: CET/VAT, political crises galore, huge deficit, nonsensical stipend reform (how much did the payment of interest on loans cost the government?), distortion of referendum result, hanging on to the party leadership at all costs and the list goes on. These are facts (issues), not propaganda. There are a number of people in the labour party that I respect; one up and coming candidate was an invaluable figure in my social policy team when I was social policy commissioner of KSU (elected with the support of Pulse and Graffitti and the opposition of SDM, of which I was a former chairperson). I do not see red and run.

  95. Victor Laiviera

    A case in point. The deficit for 1988 was artificially blown up because, on taking office John Dalli made huge payments which were not really due till 1999 – thus inflating the deficit for 1988 and reducing the deficit for 1999.

    Apart from the fact, of course, that the deficit was created by the PN in the first place – or have they managed to make you forget that?

  96. I think it is automatically assumed that Alfred Sant should have a dark gray image with the floating voter. I personally don’t see it that way. I do believe his personality doesn’t help people trust him as a stable leader, but my only qualm on Alfred Sant’s political past is his “Partnership Rebah” stand after the referendum. As regards his previous stand on the EU, as much as I disagree with him back then and still do now, I still understand his line of thought on wanting a partnership rather than full membership. The thing is, Malta frequently makes the mistake of comparing itself with countries like Italy, UK, Spain, Germany, etc… when due to our size we should rather look at Andorra, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Luxembourg, San Marino, Isle of Man or Monaco to really make comparisons. Out of the countries mentioned, only two are in the EU, so it is not normally the case that a microstate like Malta opts for membership. I believed in the EU back then because I believed that only membership would bring about a needed change in mentality of the Maltese, and I think Alfred Sant was too utopic in his Switzerland-In-The-Med vision. If it wasn’t the EU, I am pretty certain we wouldn’t be all discussing corruption, the environment, efficiency of government expenditure, etc… We would just be accepting things as they are, helplessly accepting that some things are just ingrained in the Maltese culture.

  97. No Victor they have not made me forget that the deficit existed pre-election 96, but nor will you make me forget the financial mismanagement and fiscal nonsense that exacerbated it between 96 and 98 (which you conveniently brush off).

  98. Victor Laiviera

    Could you be more specific?

  99. I don’t think I’ll bother. I already mentioned the removal of VAT and introduction of CET. If that does not suffice, I will let you assume that I wear blue shades.

  100. Victor Laiviera

    You know, I thought you would say that. Ok, we all know, with hindsight, that the replacement of VAT with CET was not such a good idea.

    But as far as the “financial mismanagement and fiscal nonsense” goes, I am still waiting for enlightenment.

    I suspect you are too.

  101. 1. “with hindsight”? What we expect from politicians is foresight. We also expect them to have a real plan. MLP 96 promised to remove VAT because of the unpopularity of cash registers. They had no plan about what to replace it with. They irresponsibly played politics and we all paid the price. And Lino Spiteri resigned because he did not want to participate in that irresponsible exercise. Oh, and the cash registers remained, while we got a taxation system that was similar to VAT but everyone scratching their heads.

    2. the replacement of VAT with CET = “financial mismanagement and fiscal nonsense”

  102. Victor Laiviera

    I think that the less said about Lino Spiteri the better. If he was so much against the removal of VAT, why did he accept to run and – much worse – accept the minsitry in charge of the removal of VAT?

    In my opinion, it was all part a cold-blooded scheme of revenge on the MLP for having dared to decline his leadership.

  103. I take it that your silence on everything but Lino Spiteri signals agreement that you are loathe to express explicitly.

  104. Victor Laiviera

    With what? I have said that I agree that the replacement of VAT with CET was a good idea. You have not mentioned anything else.

  105. Victor Laiviera

    Correction to above post:

    With what? I have said that I agree that the replacement of VAT with CET was not a good idea.

  106. Actually you said that “with hindsight” it was not a good idea. There lies the difference. I do not think that hindsight has any bearing.

    The CET/VAT issue is enough to illustrate financial mismanagement and fiscal nonsense to me. I happen to believe that it was a major blunder – that it is only one thing does not reduce its magnitude.

    Perhaps we will have to respectfully disagree and stop wasting our time trying to convince one another because we are not really getting anywhere. Thanks for the discussion; I’ll leave the last word to you…

  107. Victor Laiviera

    I too will leave it up to whoever reads to make up his/her mnd. But I would like to make one final point.

    Do not forget that when the MLP made the promise to remove VAT nobody – but nobody – really knew about the real extent of the “hofra” except Dalli and Fenech Adami who is on record as saying that he nearly had a heart-attack whrn he found out about it.

  108. Dr Fenech Adami nearly had a heart attack when he discovered the extent of the hofra, you say, Victor? And then the hofra was dug even deeper by your personal friend Alfred (that’s another thing everyone on this forum should know – they’re personal friends). Well, wouldn’t you say that the enormous size of this hofra you describe makes our entry into the eurozone this year all the more remarkable? And who achieved that? The person you’re not going to vote for.

    I’m with Justin on ‘hindsight’. If it took hindsight for you and your friend Alfred to realise that replacing VAT with something cobbled together was not ‘such a good idea after all’, then how in heaven’s name are you going to run the economy in a more efficient way than this government is doing? Any junior accountant could have predicted it would be disastrous, and it didn’t have to be a junior accountant, either. The promise to remove VAT (you told the gullible ‘remove’ rather than ‘replace’) was a piece of opportunism – the proverbial piece of rope by which you hanged yourselves.

  109. Oh and by the way, Victor – I’m not prone to panic. Ask anyone who knows me and you’ll find that I’m calm to the point of being irritatingly so. Though of course I might panic if, say, my house was on fire.

  110. just out of curiosity and without any malice…does David Casa wear a wig?

  111. Does Pecoraro wear one, Mark? 🙂

  112. Victor Laiviera

    Yes, I am a personal friend of Alfred Sant – so what? Somebody used to be counted as one too – until self-interest and political passion dictated a transmogrification into a mprtal enemy bent on denigration and vilification at all costs.

    And the “heart attack” quote wasn’t mine, but said on-air by Godfrey Grima and never denied.

  113. Victor Laiviera

    Oh, I nearly forgot – Daphne has plenty of friends in the Gov- so it should be easy for her to find out how and at what cost the eurozone entry wasa achieved – but don’t expect her to tell you.

  114. Alfred Sant must be desperate, Victor, if he has delegated his personal friends to colonise blogs and forums to sing his praises. I was NEVER a friend of Alfred Sant. I always considered him to be an extremely unpleasant man with a hostile demeanour and the personality of a cold, dead fish. Nor do I have “plenty of friends in the Gov”, as you put it, but I wait with bated breath for the moment when your friend Alfred will doubtless inform us of the hofra dug by entry to the eurozone. Or perhaps Manwel Cuschieri might explain it to me over the radio.

  115. Victor Laiviera

    No, Dear Daphne – nobdoy deputised me, I act on my own – not like sopme others who attend regular strategy meetings where they are told what to write and when.

  116. Victor Laiviera

    A little something I came across while surfing:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2122/2243010120_22bc71b072.jpg?v=0

  117. You’re very childish for a man reaching pensionable age, Victor. If a picture of me having coffee with one person I’ve known for 20 years and another I’ve known for 10 years, in the very public lobby of Malta’s busiest hotel, gives you a vicarious thrill, then I dread to think what your sex-life might be like. I must have had breakfast, lunch, tea, supper or drinks with hundreds of people in public life during the past two decades, including several politicians from the Labour Party. How is this in any way interesting or exciting? Perhaps you imagine that talking to various politicians is not part of a political columnist’s job? That’s strange. What a shame your Jason Micallef has scuppered his chances of any form of civilised conversation, with his television boobie. Not that we’d have had much to talk about, of course, though I do like plants.

  118. That photo is very exciting. After years being intrigued by conspiracy theories originating abroad, about time we had our own homegrown.

  119. Sex, sex, sex…Daphne…and what goes on between married couples, jilted wives and their misogynist husbands…

    ….you tart, you….

  120. Victor Laiviera

    Never fails – when argumnents fail, get personal.

    It might work with the people who get their thrills from salacious comments in the papers. I doubt very much if it willl work here.

    But I suspoect that Daphe has only one style and cannot adapt herself to different mileaux

  121. Victor Laiviera

    Mark don’t you find that what certain people say or write says much more about them than it does about the subject of their writing?

  122. well, maybe…but I was just attempting a saucy joke here…no need to read deeper…ejja, Vic, naf li l-umorizmu fin qatt ma kien id-don tal-Laburisti, imma hawnhekk maghmulin mod iehor…

  123. lovely, mark! LOL

  124. Victor Laiviera

    I wasn’t referring to you Mark – I was too subtle or my own good. 😦

    Talking of humour …. would you call this “subtle”?

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20080218/letters/monopoly-maltese-style

  125. It’s actually ‘milieux’, Victor. Buy a dictionary.

  126. Victor Laiviera

    I will, Dear Daphne – and while I am about it I will check how to spell “fuck off”.

    http://www.maltastar.com/pages/msrv/msfullart.asp?an=18916

  127. Actually l-orizzont would spell it fak off

  128. Yesterday’s university farce is a sure sign of PN’s desperate campaign to regain power after 20 long years. I though that MLP supporters were the “hamalli” but I’m having second thoughts now. The wind of change is blowing.

  129. Am I the only one being harassed by a scaremongering word-of-mouth campaign?

  130. No, Gold Roast, and expect it to get a whole lot worse in the next three weeks.

  131. Victor Laiviera

    It’s a sign of panic Gold Roast (you’re killing me with curiosity about the meaning of that nick 🙂 )

  132. Thing is … people know me as a Nationalist, in the past I even attended mass meetings/celebrations in the good old days when it was EddiePN not GonziPN … not that Eddie was perfect mind you, but at least you got the feeling that he was not just after your vote during election time only. That’s not to say I have converted to MLP .. far from it. But yes, I’m getting a lot of this ‘Isma minni mur ivvota ghax jekk jitla l-Labour il-pajjiz ha jfalli.’ As if they assume that my “unu” will automatically go in a blue box. As if I’m that easily bought or persuaded. A politician has to earn my 1, and not simply bank his hopes on being the lesser evil.

    BTW Victor, Gold Roast was inspired by a coffee jar in front of me, and I’m a very heavy consumer of coffee hehe.

  133. Aw Pomegrante,

    Pecoraro is gay or bi, and came out…few batted an eyelid

  134. Let’s see, Gold Roast – what would a governing party have to do to earn your vote? Slash the deficit? Bring Malta to full employment? Drag Malta into the EU right over all the obstacles laid in its part by a man called Sant? Completely overhaul post-secondary and tertiary education? Take us into the Eurozone? Generate thousands of new jobs in new sectors like financial services (7500 jobs at the last count)? Attract billions of euros in foreign direct investment?

    Or…would it have to….sort out the carpark in your backyard, fill in your tax return, do your shopping, make your bed, book your cinema tickets, top up your car with petrol, sort out spring-hunting, go into coalition with AD, and legislate for divorce?

    I’d love to have the latter kind of government action, but the first kind is more important.

    Anyway, if you’re feeling really creative, you can always go for the party that performed the amazing feat of sending the economy into stagflation in just 22 months, with escalating unemployment, mass redundancies, uncertainty, and a prime minister from whom you could never get a straight answer (and still can’t).

    I really do not understand why you seem to find the choice so difficult, when it’s so obvious. If you were running a business with this kind of decision-making skills, you’d be bankrupt in three months.

  135. Daphne, I am fully aware of the pros of a Gonzi government more than you would like to believe. As regards the cons, or rather what I percieve as cons, I think the PN should do some soul searching there, and maybe so should you. And that’s just me, other people may have other reasons too. But I won’t even try to reply to your rethorical questions. The PN has some 10% of catching up to do since the local council elections … it may win some of that with sugary words, demonisation of Sant/MLP and rubbishing of AD. If it wants to woo back its electorate, it must come to terms with its own wrongdoings. It should never take my vote forgranted.

  136. The last thing the Nationalist Party is doing is taking ANY vote for granted. Surely you can see that. The ones ones who are taking votes for granted are Labour, resting on the laurels of being elected by default. They’ve been challenging the government for months to call an election “because we’re ready to go”, and when the election is called, they have no campaign, no electoral manifesto, and no clue. The manifesto includes many things that have been implemented by this government already – what, hadn’t they noticed? Didn’t they bother to check? Will they be doing this kind of thing in government? And they obviously planned a billboard street campaign but then decided to go for upended containers instead, but kept the billboard format for the print-outs. The result? Ballerinas with their arms wrapped round at 45 degrees, so that when you approach the container from one side all you see is an arm waving desperately for help; families split in half by the angle of the container, so that mummy looks like she’s had some of Jason’s favourite plastic surgery and it went wrong, and what about those ridiculous adverts in the English language press, in which the two highlighted words in the strapline are ‘Labour’ and ‘out’. Or vote Labour because of the Regional Road bridge. Or because Jesmond Mugliett, my goodness, had lunch with Robert Sant (any relation?). Are people for real? They have a leader who can’t even speak in public, for heaven’s sake, when if there is one role on earth that requires public speaking more than any other, it is that of a party leader, more so a prime minister. What gets me most about the Labour Party is its sheer, whacking great absence of professionalism. The medium is the message: what their shoddy campaign tells us (il-kowc tal-bidla – what’s that all about?) is that they’ll make for a shoddy government. Can’t run a campaign, can’t run a government. Well, we know that already. It’s not like he isn’t tried and tested as prime minister.

  137. Incidentally, I see that Victor Laiviera’s son Nestor was one of the organisers of the famous university debate (for which, congratulations, Nestor as it was excellent). Yet Victor keeps insisting on his conspiracy theories as to why the hall was packed with students who booed Alfred Sant. Of course, it couldn’t possibly be because most students don’t like Alfred Sant. No, it has to be because they were bussed in from Tal-Pieta. And were the Labour students locked out? No, they just didn’t turn up – maybe because they couldn’t be bothered; maybe because there aren’t that many. But Victor, what kind of a man do you have to be to run down a debate organised by your own son and his student friends?

  138. “The last thing the Nationalist Party is doing is taking ANY vote for granted.”

    Yes I realized that. But it still thinks rhetoric is enough. Haven’t we heard enough rhetoric? For example, LG says that his government will be a “gvern tal-Maltin u l-ghawdxin kollha”. Will his government put words to practice when it comes to, say, giving promotions, or allocating tenders?

  139. And when he says “Maltin u Ghawdxin kollha” does that really include everyone, or only those he believes will sway the vote this way or the other?

  140. By the way, I was wrong in saying it thinks rhetoric is enough. It is also resorting to a well-planned network of word-of-mouth scaremongering aimed at the disgruntled Nationalist/floating voter. At the moment you can’t even attend mass without being harassed “fuq iz-zuntier” right after “Imorru fil-paci ta’ Kristu”.

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