“So, if you want Lawrence Gonzi returned as Prime Minister but think that Minister X is a liability, just don’t give X your vote. Give your first preference vote to a Nationalist Party candidate, number the boxes for all the other Nationalist Party candidates, but leave X’s box empty. If enough people do the same he’ll get the message and so will the party bosses. That’s it: it couldn’t be simpler. I do it all the time; if there’s a candidate on the Nationalist Party list who I don’t like, I leave his box empty.”
Now apart from the recent development of practical eulogies to the Nationalist Administration whenever Daphne is writing which were not so evident some time ago when week in week out she would practically crucify every other minister in the cabinet. Apart from all that, we get this marvellous gem of electioneering. It’s a spin off of the spin of the choice is yours… really yours. Flimkien kollox possibbli.
So according to Daphne I get to choose who is Minister and who is not by not voting for those I do not want to be Minister. That argument would be lovely. I’d (cautiously) jump for joy (like a little restrained leap) at that opportunity, only it doesn’t work that way…. does it Daphne? Because Ninu Zammit, Giovanna Debono, Austin Gatt and most other Ministers do not appear on my ballot sheet. Because in case you have not noticed we do NOT have a national ballot and national quotas. We have district quotas and district lists which – if your historian (try Fausto) does his homework well – you will find out have been dabbled with sufficiently to ensure that target ministers get elected by hook or by crook.
Daphne feel free to spin the idea that PN is the only possible and necessary government. I might even end up agreeing with you there. What you should not do (and YES I am telling you what you should not do) is insult the few unconvinced voters’ by telling them untruths. If it was so easy to choose who could make up the government I do not think that we (as in you) would be too worried about people using their vote in other ways like “defecting” to AD. The truth is that it is not so easy. Becoming a Minister involves playng into the hands of the right faction of the right party at the right time. Come election time Electoral District lists will be dictated to maximise the possibility that the faction’s chosen clique of ministers will make it to parliament.
Daphne can see the use of a ballot to tell Minister X to sod off but she cannot see the use of the ballot to vote PN number 1 (to keep Sant out – yep shoot your ideas in the foot because they’ve blackmailed you to doing it and don’t forget that) and then vote an AD candidate with your number 2…. now THAT is a hell of a message to the minister makers isn’t it?