Nose Pegs


In a comment today, Dispassionate pointed out this interesting blog post in the Guardian (2005). It’s about English voters wanting to “send a message” to Tony Blair but who were at the same time reluctant that Michael Howard should benefit. They end up being nose-peggers – thanks to the electoral laws they are forced to vote for Blair’s party once again notwithstanding the fact that they find it a stinky business… hence the nose-peg on election day:

But sending a message to Tony Blair – or “giving him a bloody nose” as Brian Sedgemore puts it – would mean sending a very satisfying comfort greeting to Michael Howard. Many nose-peg requesters say they can’t bear the thought that a big drop in Labour seats means Michael Howard’s disgusting campaign goes down in history as a success. […]

But the frustration is powerful. Of course none of this should be necessary and if we had a proportional representation system, then everyone could vote for a party closer to their taste. After the election we should be out campaigning for proportional representation so no nose-peg voting ever happens again.


94 responses to “Nose Pegs

  1. Like the UK, we have the most pathetic voting system in the world, devised to put big parties at an advantage. Nothing will ever be done about this because no big party will ever change something which aids it so much.

  2. How appropriate to excuse ourselves with the British system, when the British system is itself flawed! Imma tal-barrani dejjem tajjeb hux ….

  3. Gold Roast. Time to reread. Your sentence is self-contradicting and is based on false assumptions.

    1. Excuse ourselves with the British system? This is not an excuse. it is a comparison of two systems based on similar concepts, both of which are being judged as flawed because the voters can find themselves in a position of having to vote for a party they do not like to prevent another party (which is worse) from getting into government.

    2. Whence the comment “tal-barrani kollox tajjeb” is misplaced and wrong. BECAUSE the foreign system we imported is WRONG in our eyes then we conclude that our system (which has the same effects) is WRONG too.

    Get it?

  4. The only thing PN and MLP ever agreed on is the voting system and payrises for MPs.

  5. Keith, the Maltese system is NOT like the UK system, which works on a winner-take-all basis. We have the single transferable vote system, like Ireland. Hence we get 5 candidates elected from each district that hold some form of proportionality to the vote. In the UK, the elected candidates in any given district go to the winner.

  6. Jacques .. I wasn’t referring to you, but to whoever brought up the British parliament as an excuse in his discussions (no need to mention any names). My second comment refers to our colonial attitude towards the British, a culture from which we have adopted many thing with a blind and unquestioning attitude (e.g. political system, educational system). My apologies if my half-baked comment did not deliver the intended message.

  7. You are right, I confused it with Ireland.

    Our voting system tends to create governments consisting of one main party. That is what I meant by it helping PN and MLP.

    Also, I don’t see why members of the same party have to compete against each other. This can only create problems within a party.

  8. Jacques, tridx nibdew kampanja biex nilbsu harqa meta immorru nivvotaw? Xbajt nisma li ahna tfal zghar ghax GonziPN ma jikkonvincinix. Tghid il-messag jasal? tghid ihalluni nidhol nivvota?

  9. Rupert,

    jiena naf wiehed li ha jiehu lil ommu u lil zitu biex izommulu jdejh meta jmur jivvota.

  10. @Keith

    Directly voting for the candidate is more democratic than voting for the party. In many European countries parties have lists. Here, the party hierarchy decides not only who is on the list but also the placings. The chances of being elected go down the list regressively. In other words, if you are Candidate No. 7 and the party elects just six, you’re out even if voters voted for that party because of you.

    This system benefits only party cliques, which are able to shut off prospective candidates from standing a chance.

  11. Sangru, il-MUg qatghalek xewqtek u ghamillek pic ghall-elezzjoni. Mur iccekkja l-Fly.

    Mhux se nkunu daqstant favur il-Lejber. Nghid il-verita sar idarrasni wisq Dos Santos. Mhux biss mhux artikolat, izda jibza’ minn dellu fuq livell Ewropew. Hawnhekk jaghmlu li jridu bihom “shabhom” ta’ Tinu Schulz (dak li jghajjar lil kulhadd faxxist u faxxist daqsu ma ssibx).

  12. As I see it, you end up being a nose-pegger if you persist in voting for a party which you do not belive in , simply to spite another party. This can be avoided if you vote for another party which you DO support. I’m going to use that old cliche but anyway “Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil” What’s more, your “lesser evil” party has been given the go-ahead to become even worse. What incentives does it have to improve its performance if you keep on voting for it? In the Maltese scenario, PN propagandaists are trying to scare the electorate witless by telling it (a) the economy will grind to a sudden halt the minute Sant is elected (b) Sant will get us out of the EU. The minute anyone tries to discuss these two statements, he is branded a Labour apologist. It is next to impossible to try and explain that when a country has adopted the euro currency, Schengen etc it’s most unlikely that withdrawal from the EU bloc is an option. Quote Sant’s words about staying in the EU and you’re tarred as a torca-tattoed with a red fetish. More distortion and selective editing of statements can be expected.
    Another cliche- if you want what you’ve always gotten, do what you’ve always done. So if anyone is tired of this perpetual PN-MLP musical chairs game every five years, they can put a stop to it.

  13. If Sant never gives up MLP leadership, what am I to do, vote PN forever and ever?

    Now, before Daphne says “YES!”, I would like to remind people that voting for somebody you BELIEVE IN feels good.

  14. “Labour will get us out of the EU” – this is such a ridiculous myth!

    For unbeknown to their grassroot supporters Labour are today more europhile than the PN crowd. The party has been totally overwhelmed by the Socialists here, who are centralizationists who call themselves “federalists” (when they feel like being “honest”). They’re treated dismissively by their Group.

    With the EU Parliament becoming more totalitarian by the day, the 3 Labour MEPs seem like stooges on a whaling trip. Pathetic is a mild description. Deceitful is more appropriate – especially for the Poodle, who’s here to play games and hoodwink Labour supporters.

  15. People still keep talking about keeping Sant out of Castille. But there’s a very good chance that Vjal Glormu Cassar will look like the Red Sea on the 9th of March, determined by an already determined PN-to-MLP Tarzan-like swinging voters, which has two weeks consecutively been confirmed by the Maltatoday survey. With MLP still getting more than 47% when PN is at its most glorious, this can only mean funeral bells for GonziPN.

  16. Malcolm_buttigieg

    I saw the Maltatoday poll results, but cannot understand your reasoning Gold Roast. The PN have surged ahead on all counts and will continue with this momentum whether we like it or not. Positively, I noted that AD has improved in its percentage share from the survey of the previous week.

  17. Under what set of circumstances is withdrawl from the EU bloc an option?

  18. Malcolm, you are judging the Maltatoday survey wrongly. 20-30% of the people did not even give a reply, so what is it supposed to mean if PN has 34 something percent and MLP has 32 something? It just means that PN supporters are more willing to state their voting intentions. This is what I am talking about. Judge for yourself. And this is the second week that this swing in the survey has been detected.

    Voting intentions of PN voters in 2003
    MLP 9.3 <—
    PN 66.6
    AD 2.6 <—
    AN 0.2 <—
    Not Voting 2.4
    Don’t Know 12.1
    No Reply 6.9

    Voting intentions of MLP voters in 2003
    MLP 83.5
    PN 2.2 <—
    AD 0.4 <—
    AN 0.4 <—
    Not Voting 1.1
    Don’t Know 9.2
    No Reply 3.3

    Can’t you see how many votes the PN is losing to other parties, in comparison to the MLP? Whoever is interpreting that survey as optimistic for the PN is interpreting it wrongly.

  19. My reference to the Guardian blog was not in any way meant to justify the limitations of the Maltese electoral system, but simply to note:

    (1) the interesting parallels between our system and the UK one ( at least in so far as the end result is concerned) and

    (2) the original symoblic protest suggested by the columnist as a reaction to that situation as she perceived it.

    The Maltatoday polls are of only limited value in terms of guaging support for AD for the following reasons: first, the nationwide level of first preference votes for AD is irrelevant in term of its chances of getting elected to Parliament – it’s the support on a district level that counts;secondly, any chance of AD getting elected to Parliament depends not only ona a substantial level of first preference votes, but even more crucially, on obtaining an extensive number of subsequent preferences. Newspaper surveys however limit themselves to guaging support on the basis of first count votes.

  20. I don’t think there is comparison between the MLP’s manifesto and Michael Howard’s manifesto; for one thing Howard had a big anti-immigration agenda (despite him being the son of Romanian immigrants). Apart from that Howard had won the leadership after the very useless Ian Duncan Smith.

  21. Malcolm_buttigieg

    If that is the trend implied by the above survey, then we should be expecting a swing of the order of 25,000 +/-3% votes towards the MLP and away from PN which in turn would imply that MLP would get around 15,000 votes more than PN. In this scenario, MLP would garner 49.5% +/-3% wheereas the PN would garner 44.5%+/-3%. No how can that possibly occur when we are wirntessing all the angels blowing their horns so vehemently against AD, MLP, AN .

    The above is all hypothetical. No sir, I don’t believe that survey.

    Dr Gonzi will surely continue as PrimeMinister and PN will celebrate a landslide victory.

    The above is hypothetical too.

    Vote AD.

  22. Also, newspaper polls are rubbish when it comes to gauging the actual popularity of party. You will get a lot of people who will refuse to reply. And usually, the people who support the party in opposition tend to be more reluctant to give a reply. I hope, at least, that the Maltatoday poll was done using scientific methods.

    Party polls are usually done differently. I’ve seen specimen of them, though I haven’t actually seen any current poll results. Usually they ask the individual a set of questions before they finally ask him who he is voting for. Even if the individual refuses to reply, one can often determine the answer to that question from the replies he gives to the previous questions.

  23. “No how can that possibly occur when we are wirntessing all the angels blowing their horns so vehemently against AD, MLP, AN .”

    You are assuming that all the disgruntled Nationalists or potential AD voters are buying the scaremongering campaign. This has indeed attracted some reluctant voters, but I believe it has also pushed away some others.

    “Dr Gonzi will surely continue as PrimeMinister and PN will celebrate a landslide victory.”

    I do not exclude completely Dr. Gonzi being PM again … but a landslide victory is definitely not in the cards for Dr. Gonzi.

    My calculations, basing myself on the percentages of the Maltatoday survey, ignoring first time voters, and assuming that previous voters who have not declared they will vote for a different party will vote for the same party they voted in 2003 yielded the following results:

    MLP 50.4%
    PN 46.75%
    AD 2.55%
    AN 0.3%

    And yes, that would pretty well mean a landslide victory for the MLP.

    I think people here are too impressed by the large amount of traditional PN voters saying that they definitely won’t vote Sant, ignoring a very likely silent (but not so insignificant) minority which will discreetly go to the polling booth on the 8th of March, put a 1 in a red box and leave, minghajr daqq tat-trumbetti.

  24. Gold Roast: Are you saying the majority of “Don’t Know” and “No response” are people who are going to vote for MLP, or are they ex-PN people who will vote AD or AN?

  25. I’m assuming that the “don’t know” and “no response” are people who will vote for their own traditional party, i.e., the one they voted in 2003, or level each other out. I know, it’s a rough assumption indeed, and I think that AN will get considerably more than people are expecting. However, if I had decided not to assume anything, I think the PN are more at risk with the “no response” and “don’t know” than the MLP, based on the impression that Labourites would vote for their party even if their leader was (quoting Daphne) “a talking parrot or a prancing chimp”.

  26. I think those also include quite a few people who want to stop illegal immigration, as well as angry hunters who won’t admit they’ll vote for AN.

  27. Yep, and I believe that potential AN voters are not just nationalist ones. In fact, I think the AN percentage there is strongly underestimated. Some are even hypothesizing that AN might get a seat from Gozo alone.

  28. Malcolm_buttigieg

    Keith, the answer is probably no.

    If I get this correctly, the only numbers considered in Gold Roasts’s hypothesis are precentages in swings between the parties’s votes.

    Considering the total number of persons who chose not to respond, the survey in my view is of little value.

    I believe AD will get a much higher percentage than what is presently being claimed in the survey.

    Vote AD

  29. @Cora

    You ask “under which set of circumstances is withdrawing from the EU bloc an option”.

    First, it is NOT a bloc in the sense of some kind of economic club, but a loose federation soon to become a centralised pseudo-federation (“pseudo” cos federations are freer and this is a new State). That comes with the Lisbon Treaty (the Constituitonal treaty in disguise).

    Second, there is an option to withdraw only in theory. In Malta’s case if we dare try and leave they’ll make a lesson out of us. Each of the 15 Soviet Republics had the option to leave the Union… the rest is history. The European Union is another Soviet Union and most political analysts who are not on the EU bandwagon agree with this – indeed they see this as a given fact.

    You cannot enter the same river twice, says the Greek philospher, so it will not be an exact replica of the Soviet Union, but the political structure is the same, and the socialist welfare-warfare state is there. Hell, Hitler was a national socialist and so was Mussolini.

    Let me just tell you one thing about socialism and this comes from a former socialist: socialism invariably ends up in fascism. Socialism yields big government – the nanny state – who soon becomes Big Brother, regulating our lives with our own money. Big Governments work in cahoots with Big Corporations and what we today call a “capitalist free market” is in fact a Government-managed market that favours the big corporations – that’s called corporate fasicsm. That is what we have in fascist America today – Big Government controlling people’s lives.

    America started as a loose federation but consolidated over time to such an extent that today everything is controlled from Washington DC.

    I could go on forever, so I’ll stop here…

  30. Yep Malcolm, that’s precisely what I did. I took the swing percentages from the latest Maltatoday survey (which are similar to the previous Sunday’s swing percentages), and applied them to the actual percentages of the 2003 election, which is not a survey at all but an exhaustive result. One must also take into consideration the new 15000 young voters in this case, and I admit I have not taken these into consideration, though I doubt they would skew the result so much. I also admit not having taken into consideration the “don’t know” and “no response” voting AD … so one could say that the AN and AD percentages are underestimated.

  31. Imsomma Gold Roast, jidher li GonziPN ha jinxtewa wahda sew.

  32. Victor Laiviera

    Where are these “angels” you are talking about, Malcolm?

  33. As I said BigFoot, I don’t exclude a PN victory. These are just survey percentages, subject to an error. But that explains why MLP are more confident than PN. And if PN gets a landslide victory (a la Eddie) in this election, I will jog up and down the Sliema promenade wearing only my birthday suit and a pair of trainers.

  34. Victor Laiviera

    I will send you an “Agħżel Labour” sticker (small version) to cover the unmentionables, Roast.

  35. Here comes the nit-picker: the Conservative Party is led by David Cameron, no longer Michael Howard.

  36. Europarl: yes, I agree with you – but not as long as Alfred Sant holds sway. The Labour Party can be more Europhile than the Nationalist Party, and it doesn’t matter at all as long as Sant is in control. This is a man who is psychologically incapable of changing his mind. He has held the same opinion about ‘Europe’ for 40 years – by his own admission. With him out of the way, everyone is happier, and the Labour Party can renew itself for the first time in 37 years maybe.

  37. Claire, please stop trying to convince yourself and others that there is no difference between Sant and Gonzi, and that life with Sant as prime minister will be bearable. Why should we have to put up with a bearable life when things are going well?

  38. Gold Roast: you are reading the MaltaToday surveys incorrectly. There is no swing to Labour. Labour has simply held on to its core vote. In 2003, some of that core vote chose PN because of the EU issue. Now it has returned to base. That’s all.

  39. And in fact, Daphne, I’m basing the swings on the 2003 election results, from where I got my estimated percentages.

  40. ‘Things are going well’ Daphne? Forsi tkun idea tajba li tinzel ftit minn fuq il-pedestal li tant thobb toqghod fuqu u titkellem ma cetta tal-kantuniera. Saqsiha jekk il-hajja li qed tghix illum hix ahjar minn dik li kienet tghix 5 snin ilu.

  41. X’qieghda tghid Cetta? Li mdejqa ghax marret ghal cruise wahda flok tnejn din is-sena? Ghax il-karozza taghha kienet bil-hsara allura kellha tuza tar-ragel? Ghax it-tifla insistiet li tmur l-Universita flok tmur jahdem? Ghax it-tifel dejjem kellu mpieg u ma jafx xi jfisser qaghad? Ghax ghandha zewg televisions u l-appliances kollha d-dar, inkluz computer u lap-top?

    Li ma tistawx taccettaw huwa illi l-affarijiet, ghalkemm mhux perfetti (ghax il-hajja qatt m’hi!) huma fil-fatt sejrin tajjeb. Dazgur li hemm min qed ibati, imma dawk huma il-vera batuti, li sfortunatament jezistu kullimkien, anke fl-aktar pajjizi sinjuri. Din hija diskussjoni separata.

    Meta nghidu illi l-affarijiet sejrin tajjeb, qieghdin nirreferu ghall-maggoranza wiesa tal-poplu fil-hajja taghhom ta’ kuljum. L-ebda Gvern mhu se jsolvi l-problemi kollha. Nahseb li fuq din naqblu.

    Allura irridu inharsu lejn il-mexxejja taghna u naghzlu min bejniethom ghandu l-ahjar idejat ghall-futur taghna, min l-aktar nistghu nafdaw illi jwassal lil pajjizna il-quddiem u min l-aktar ghandu fiducja fil-kapacitajiet taghna, ghax il-Gvern m’ghandux itina kollox bil-kuccarina.

    Bl-ebda konsiderazzjoni oggettiva ma nista’ nwiegeb “Alfred Sant” ghal dawn il-mistoqsijiet.

  42. Kelinu, qed nirreferi ghal dawk li jghixu Lm32 (€75) fil gimgha. Jekk tahseb li qed nivvinta ibghatli email u nibghtlek id-dettalji.

    Billi nitfghu rasna fil-forn, u saqajna fil friza, ma jfissirx li bejn wiehed u iehor it-temperatura hija komda.

  43. Nitkellem ghalija nnifsi, ma nistax nghid illi dal-Gvern gab lili u lill-familja tieghi fixxa. Imma ehe, nahseb li l-kapricci li nistghu naffordjaw illum huma inqas minn dawk ta’ 5 snin ilu. Dan mid-dehra xorta mhux qed iwaqqafhom milli jivvotaw PN. Pero dak hu l-punt Kelinu, jekk Cetta qabel kienet taffordja zewg cruises fis-sena, u issa taffordja wiehed, ghaliha il-livell tal-ghixien iddeterjora. Jekk qabel kienet tohrog tiekol barra darbtejn fil-gimgha u issa tohrog darba fil-hmistax, ghaliha il-livell tal-ghixien iddeterjora. Jekk qabel, xoghol ir-ragel taghha kien stabbli u issa mdendel fuq spaga, ghaliha il-livell tal-ghixien iddeterjora. In-nies fuq hekk ser jiggudikaw, fuq x’jolqot lilhom fil-laham il-haj, u fuq jekk jahsbux li bidla fil-Gvern se tirranga l-affarijiet.

  44. I could not agree more with Claire Bonello’s comment here. The issue, it seems to me, is the everlasting fear that the critical mass required to make voting for a third party useful would not be attained. It’s like nobody goes to a party out of fear that nobody will atend and hence end up being a waste of time. If this fear is overcome and we all say “to hell with all those political dinosaurs” and vote in a third party then the change will happen. So let us all make it happen. We are the generation that can do it (as Bono would say…)

    Another thing that bothers me is that “born nationalists” or “born labourites” always seem to regard switching to a third party as if it was some sort detour while they await the traditional party to reform and get its act back together. This is still that dichotomical thinking we are so cursed with.

    This is not a detour. This is taking another road.

    So the choice would appear to be between opting for perpetuating the staus quo and then grumble about it. Or voting for those who can bring change and hope other like-minded souls in a maturing country will do the same.

    This is not being irresponsible or wasting your vote as some people would like to put it. This is about standing up being counted. And if the big guns and the big shots don’t like it (because of course they stand to lose so much) it’s their problem. They should have thought about it earlier.

  45. ” Daphne Says:

    February 26, 2008 at 3:44 pm
    Gold Roast: you are reading the MaltaToday surveys incorrectly. There is no swing to Labour. Labour has simply held on to its core vote. In 2003, some of that core vote chose PN because of the EU issue. Now it has returned to base. That’s all.”

    What about the 30,000 voting documents that so far have remained uncollected or tne 30% of undecided voters ? How do you plan to bulldoze the disgruntled nationalists into collecting them to vote GonziPN on the day? Several hundreds of them are planing to go holidaying right next week to avoid voting day. Are you planning to publicly shame each and every one of them (id’s included) in your regular columns or demand that all flights from Malta be cancelled next week to stop them leaving or do you plan to forcibly drag each and everyone of them to the polling booth yourself?

    J’accuse Note: re the uncollected voting documents I suggest you scoot over to Fausto’s blog. i think he has a point. The post’s title includes the word paranoia if I remember well.

  46. @F.Aakofph

    My point there was that PN-to-MLP swing (vis-a-vis the 2003 election) is very likely to be more than simply pro-EU Labourites returning to the MLP’s fold. Daphne says that “Labour has simply held on to its core vote”, though i believe her forte is a literary one, not a mathematical one. Judging by these figures (which have repeated themselves on two consecutive surveys, and I look forward to see whether these will still be there in a week’s time) it seems it’s a lot more than that. No traditional Nationalist who’s voting Labour this time round will be outspoken about this. Judge not what is going to happen by what people around you say, but also by what they don’t say, or what they say between the lines. Maltatoday’s survey, if those figures are anything to go by, is a fatal blow for the PN, hardly indicative of a PN victory. Indeed, the MLP is doing its utmost to scare the swinging electorate back … just saw Michael Falzon’s Grammy-winning performance on Youtube (I don’t watch much TV by the way)!

  47. The 30,000 voting documents were not delivered, which is not the same as not being collected. It simply means that when the policeman went round to drop off the documents (during office hours) people were simply at work. Perhaps one could argue that the fact that last time round there were 15,00 votes undelivered at this stage means that more people are in work! Besides there are far moe voters residiung abroad this time than previously. This number means nothing at this stage.

  48. Yes Kelinu, probably that’s what those 30000 voting documents mean … people being at work, or working abroad. It would be more worrying if a large number of such documents remain deliberately uncollected.

    J’accuse note: I already have my voting document. Two actually Local Council and national. (re: workers abroad)

  49. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Then you’re better off than I am Jacques. It seems they have delayed the collection of voting documents from Police stations and local council offices by a few days. That process was meant to start on Sunday. When I tried to collect my vote on Sunday evening, I was told to go the next day. I couldn’t make it yesterday and went again today to be informed that this process will start tomorrow.

    I will try again tomorrow. Hopefully, I will have the document tomorrow.

  50. Jacques, to get back to the original subject of this post …

    I understand, and sympathise, with Polly Toynbee. But (a) she’s not the sharpest knife in the Guardian drawer and (b) reform of an electoral system that disadvantages third parties much, much more than ours is one of her pet peeves. As a friend would say: to a (wo)man with a hammer every problem is a nail.

    Actually, there is a more historically important use of the metaphor of voting with a peg on your nose: “turiamoci il naso e votiamo DC”. That’s Indro Montanelli in 1979 (he also credited someone else used before the Italian 1948 election). The country, is of course Italy, a country with proportional representation and which, when it comes to Parties, there’s only l’imbarazzo della scelta.

  51. I agree with Gold Roast. Polls/surveys issued so far, all indicate a clear swing (9% is no joke) in favour of the MLP. I believe that those “no replies” and “don’t knows” are (mostly) people who will vote (or are seriously considering to vote) MLP for the first time and are afraid of saying so.

  52. Why do you assume that, Daniel? It could also be the other way round: MLP voters who really don’t know what they’re going to do. As a matter of interest, our household received two survey telephone calls: to both I said “I’d rather not reply”. Actually, I thought it was quite funny, seeing that they asked for me by name and the whole country knows how I’m going to vote.

  53. J’accuse Note: “re the uncollected voting documents I suggest you scoot over to Fausto’s blog. i think he has a point. The post’s title includes the word paranoia if I remember well.”

    The offical number is well over thirty thousand, a lot more then in the past. And if anyone seriously thinks that most are votes of Labourites who are re-thinking their party loyalties, think again. The ones I know who are planning holidays for next week to avoid voting are most certainly, not Labourites. The “Paranoia” excuse is used by those who are unable to face the writing on the wall, to lull themselves into a false sense of security.

    My hunch is that the undecideds or will not tells are really those who plan to vote for right wing candidates .The illegal immigration issue may have been conveniently swept under the carpet by the main political parties as a non-issue, but voters living out there in the real world and not in ivory towers, know differently. And they will make their wishes felt , come election day.

  54. I received my voting document on Monday. The guy delivering it told me it was the 4th time he came over, but that it was the first time he gave it a shot outside office hours.

    Some people beg to be slapped around.

  55. Cheek or bum?
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  56. F.Aakofph, who I remain convinced is Sandro Vella’s alter ego (it’s easy enough for an ICT teacher like him to create another on-line identity) or one of his associates from Viva Malta’s forum, says that she/he/it is knows people who are planning to travel abroad to avoid voting.

    Why? Are they afraid the party apparatchiks will come over and drag them out of their houses to force them to the pollling-booth. This just gets more and more ridiculous.

    Those votes are UNDELIVERED not UNCOLLECTED, and they’re just proof of the fact that Malta is nearing full employment. Everyone is out at work when the police come calling. I was only at home by chance when ours were delivered, and that’s five votes – none of which are for the MLP, AD, AN or Norman Lowell.

  57. It’s a strange situation: hundreds fleeing to avoid having to vote, whilst hundreds living abroad are returning in a frenzy to cast their vote. Wonder what is true, at this point!

  58. It was a fat policeman… Cheek. Definitely cheek.

  59. Ms. B.B.,

    you do not need to be an ICT Teacher to change an on-line identity.

    To be more specific: IT not ICT. Do your homework well next time.

    I live at Siggiewi and work at Naxxar, near Higher Secondary. Anymore news Ms. **.?

    J’accuse comment: I would like to ask both you and Daphne to stop referring to various libel suits/ defamation suits. Now everybody knows there is history and that’s been said. If there are any inferences to be had from both situations I guess people have made them by now. In the future I will not publish any reference to these incidences and I trust you both to keep away from personal arguments.

    I will not publish any further criss-cross arguments between the both of you. It’s a decision. It may be biased. But it’s my blog and I cry if I want to.

  60. Daphne, I assumed so because I think that people who will vote for the party in government are generally more willing to say whom they’re going to vote for. It’s only my gut feeling, and apart from that, seeing the 9% swing (in a sample dominated by PN voters) I must say that MLP stand a good chance. I think Labour’s pro EU stand and its good performance in the PES has attracted a lot of people this time round.

  61. Keith Chircop Says:

    February 27, 2008 at 1:04 pm
    It was a fat policeman… Cheek. Definitely cheek.


  62. Matthew Aquilina

    I hope your survey reflects reality Gold Roast. As long as I don’t keep seeing people like Lou Bondi & Peppi Azzopardi amongst a lot of others who have profited too much from this government and run their ‘biased’ programs on a supposedly Non-Partisan channel or should I say Net2?

  63. @ MS DCG, with all due respect, I wish to assure you that I am not Mr Vella or any bogeyman materializing from VM site. I am a ordinary voting citizen exercising some well-earned freedom of speech on this great site. I apologize most humbly if my opinions do not co-icide entirely with yours, but if we all had the same opinion about everything , life would be boring and there will no longer be any scope left to have an internet or vibrant opinion formers like your good self to liven it up with controversy.

  64. Daniel … just note that 9% of PN voters deciding to vote MLP is not equivalent to a 9% swing. In actual fact it translates to around 4.5% swing as you have to divide that percentage by 2 (approximately), with PN voters composing approximately half of the electorate.

  65. I believe the biggest surprise of these elections will be AN … I believe a lot more will vote for this party than those actually admitting it. Anyone seen the Maltatoday election special on anti-immigration policies and voting intentions?

  66. ” I believe that the biggest surprise of these elections will be AN…”

    Finally, I can agree with you about something! AN will surpass AD, in my opinion, and this will be because of AD’s anti-immigration policies, and AD’s pro-immigration one (which we are not hearing that much about at the moment incidentally). AN’s pro-hunting policy will also play a part as opposed to AD’s anti-hunting one.

  67. If I had to bet any hard-earned cash on who will win those general elections , I certainly will not depend on what the polls say.

    When these surveys are carried out, do they just phone households at a particular time of day or do they also include opinions from people answering the phones n offices , shops and other places of work where most people would be most mornings and afternoons?

  68. I agree with Matthew Aquilina, these people now act as if they own the country and the media. I will be voting for change, be it alfred sant or mangion or anyone as leader i don’t really care as long as the current cabinet is not in charge again. It’s not healthy for any democracy to have a single party in power for so long.

  69. What is of interest is that few months old-AN is getting as much advertising mileage and attention as 18 year old-AD. So much so that in the latest GonziPN propaganda slot, a vote for AN is now being promoted as a pro-MLP vote, same as a vote for AD is.

  70. Daniel Says:

    February 27, 2008 at 3:05 pm
    I agree with Matthew Aquilina, these people now act as if they own the country and the media. I will be voting for change, be it alfred sant or mangion or anyone as leader i don’t really care as long as the current cabinet is not in charge again. It’s not healthy for any democracy to have a single party in power for so long.

    I agree. After ten years in power, I believe that the rot sets in. If it did not, then we would not need democratic elections or referenda every so often and we would still be ruled by a monarchy from a far off land.

  71. I am one of the new 17,000 voters. I don’t remember a Labour government (i barely remember what was happening in 1996….was too young to be interested in politics) and I wish to see what they can offer. Although I appreciate PN’s great achievements: the EU, euro entry, education, market liberalization, etc. I think that now it’s time for new ideas.

  72. It is your prerogative Danny boy. Inform yourself well and do what you feel is best for yourself and your country.

  73. Daniel, that makes you one of the “Iljuni tal-bidla.”

    For those who haven’t yet seen this beauty:

  74. “I don’t remember a Labour Government…….”

    That explains things!

  75. @Raphael
    thanks for sharing that link with us. Great laugh. 🙂

  76. Moggy, some of us do, that’s why we’re voting labour again.

  77. Big Foot:

    What can I say?

    May MLP live up to your lofty expectations!

  78. Is anyone interested in talking about coalition scenarios? Or are the smaller parties expecting their voters to take what they say solely on trust? On what are the smaller parties willing to compromise and with whom to what effect for the people they say they will represent in parliament?

  79. A look at the manifestos of the smaller parties should be evidence enough of their platforms. In the case of AD the party has listed its priorities for a coalition- these being the most important issues to be promoted.

  80. “Claire Says:

    February 27, 2008 at 6:02 pm
    A look at the manifestos of the smaller parties should be evidence enough of their platforms”.

    Straight to the point reply. Prosit.

    Anyone genuinely interested in what both smaller political parties stand for , needs only to read their manifestos that ar easily accessible online.

  81. F.Aakofph has changed nick to Gamma.

  82. So Gamma, with your reasoning, why have elections at all? Why not just take turns every five or ten years? Now it’s their turn, then it’s our turn. I can’t understand this reasoning, sorry. Everybody seems to assume that the Labour Party has a ‘right’ to a ‘go’ on the roundabout after 10 years.

    Daniel, you’re just being capricious now, demanding change for fun and to ‘try it and see’. Anyway, the sensible thing is to see what the parties have to offer before you vote for them, rather than voting for them and waiting to see.

    Matthew Aquilina, that’s a sound reason to change a workable government, isn’t it? You get rid of a government to get rid of Lou and Peppi. Maybe you should remember that they were still on television 1996-1998, for the simple reason that, like them or hate them, they pull in the audiences.

    Pity you can’t change me too, given that I work in the private sector and will be around as long as I choose to be.

  83. Daniel, congrats on getting to vote for the first time – it’s the ultimate democratic tool; you will learn to appreciate it more. However, just because this is your first time doesn’t mean this time is less important than the ones that will follow. You should give whom to vote for serious thought. Which is why some who understand politics a little better than you are in this blog to begin with.

  84. @F.Aakofph, that is understandable, as advertising costs money, and they can afford it. Also, although the party is just a few months old, the people who are behind it have been well known to the public for quite a long time.

  85. “Matthew Aquilina, that’s a sound reason to change a workable government, isn’t it? You get rid of a government to get rid of Lou and Peppi.”

    I hope changes in government won’t keep being the cause of vindictive chopping of people’s heads. People wanting a change in government for this purpose are advocating an unhealthy way of doing politics.

  86. Fausto the last time people had to hold their nose to vote were the French in the last presidential election but one when Le Pen made it to the run-off and the left had to vote for Chirac.

  87. Matthew Aquilina

    Geez, I mentioned one of the things that bothers me about the current way of things. I could have added corruption, people such as Austin Gatt who thinks he is the untouchable, lies and deceit (check out the memo that was revealed today by Dr. Sant), amongst other reasons but I decided to mention that one.

    As if, not letting people such as Peppi and Lou continue to profit in a big way in their unbiased programs, was the only reason why I am against this administration. I’m sure they will keep doing their shows but at least with less bias.

    Daphne, you said pity I can’t get rid of you too. Well there, who mentioned your name or spoke about getting rid of you? No-one…you just assumed I suppose. Why do you think you are always the centre of attention? Is it because you have become paranoid or else you like the attention cause of your vanity?

  88. It is unconstructive to talk about a smaller party’s representation of its voters in parliament without bringing the larger parties into the equation. I’d even go a step further and say that it’s misleading to do so – to the smaller parties’ potential voters, at least, if not to the parties themselves.

    A manifesto is a wish list. It can only be implemented if the party behind it governs alone. For a smaller party, this is not possible. The smaller parties themselves admit this.

    To govern in a coalition, a small party will have to compromise on pre-election promises. That is an inevitable part of negotiating with a coalition partner. These potential compromises need to be clearly stated beforehand. If the potential compromises are not clear, then the voters cannot know how their chosen party might let them down.

    A statement of priorities is no more than that. If voters are to know what they are voting for, any party’s list of priorities has to be measured up against its acceptability to a coalition partner.

    That begs a few questions that the smaller parties have not answered at all:
    1. who are their potential partners?
    2. what compromises will be necessary?
    3. how will compromise affect their ability to truly represent their voters’ interests?

    It is a disservice to voters to leave those questions unaddressed.

  89. One more point: It’s useless to say that those three questions don’t matter. If the smaller parties refuse to consider their potental voters’ concerns, then they cannot hope to represent them at all.

  90. Sinjura Cora, din tidher li fissazzjoni kera li ghandek. Jekk il-partiti z-zghar ma jghogbukx tivvotalhomx u ghamel bhali ivvota lejber. Grazzi u l-lejl it-tajjeb

  91. Daphne Says:
    February 27, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    So Gamma, with your reasoning, why have elections at all? Why not just take turns every five or ten years? Now it’s their turn, then it’s our turn. I can’t understand this reasoning, sorry. Everybody seems to assume that the Labour Party has a ‘right’ to a ‘go’ on the roundabout after 10 years.

    Excuse me ma’am but do you realise that if it were up to you, we would not have any elections at all, and we would keep the PN in government?

  92. You’re quite wrong, Brian. As I keep reminding people, I don’t come from a Nationalist family, but an anti-Nationalist/Constitutionalist one. The decision to begin voting Nationalist was arrived at objectively. I am just as capable of objectively deciding not to vote Nationalist and objectively deciding to vote Labour if I like what I see, which I don’t at all as things stand. If the parties were equally reliable and efficient, I wouldn’t bother much who was in government, though I would always take an interest in politics because that is my nature and my job.

    Unfortunately, too many people obsess about the Nationalist Party and forget about The Other, which remains unchastised and unreformed. Sometimes I can’t believe I am the only one pointing out its prat-falls and inadequacies. I’ve come to the conclusion that people in general have been conditioned to expect less of the Labour Party, and so when it does something right, it’s like the proverbial dog walking on its hind legs – it’s not so much that it’s done well, but that it’s done at all.

    We all have a higher threshold of tolerance for Labour’s behaviour and performance than we do for the Nationalist Party. Because the latter are good, we expect more and our expectations go higher with every passing year of successful government. Meanwhile, Labour sinks ever lower and becomes more and more unprofessional, and when we look for good things to say about it, to reassure ourselves that maybe it’s not so terrible, after all. But it is.

    Just imagine if Lawrence Gonzi had got his best friend to write a hagiographic biography about him, including photographs of his Harvard certificates. See what I mean?

  93. Daphne Says:

    February 27, 2008 at 8:35 pm
    “So Gamma, with your reasoning, why have elections at all? Why not just take turns every five or ten years? Now it’s their turn, then it’s our turn. I can’t understand this reasoning, sorry. Everybody seems to assume that the Labour Party has a ‘right’ to a ‘go’ on the roundabout after 10 years”.

    Not quite. But after a long stint of twenty years (or almost) in power , it is natural to desire a change as it is natural for the rot to set in after ten years in power. Power after all, is a drug, a powerful and addictive one too.

    “Meanwhile, Labour sinks ever lower and becomes more and more unprofessional….”

    I think that ( judging by the shennenigans seen on all the local TV stations especially today), if both main political parties sink any lower, they will have to be admitted for emergency spinal surgery.

  94. Pingback: There will be blood « j’accuse

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