Is voting for the “lesser evil” a reasonable option?

This post is brought to you by J’accuse guest blogger David Friggieri. 

This is a question several thousand people will be asking themselves at the moment: and it will be the determining factor on March 8th.

If Malta were simply a business venture, my hunch is that the Nationalist Party would cruise through to another  deserved victory for being a “very good” rather than a “less bad” option. But although the ugly terms “Malta plc” and “Brand Malta” have been coined over the past years, implying that Malta, Alitalia and Nike are interchangeable entities, we are actually still citizens of a country, rather than simply employees and employers, service providers and service receivers, consumers and manufacturers.

And this is precisely where the “lesser evil” dilemma kicks in.

We are faced with an unconvincing, depressingly meaningless option on one side and a party whose value system is remarkably similar to the Vatican’s on the other. For many of us, perhaps those of us with a genuine liberal bent, this is a real problem, not a vexatious little quibble. What we have is a worrying choice between Total Cynicism in the left corner and a Teodem party in the right corner; a choice between the marathon man of European opposition politics on the one hand and a caste of devout Catholic politicians on the other. On one side, a group of people whose political survival appears to trump any other consideration (including the good of the party). On the other, a party for which the word ‘divorce’ remains a taboo and which plays the “abortion card” in order to taint its opponents.

If you genuinely dislike both options should you plump for the “lesser evil”?

We are being told that it is not only the pragmatic option but that it is the only responsible option open to us. Not just that. We are being told by independent journalists that those who refuse to adhere to the “lesser evil” philosophy are “setting themselves up as hate figures” if they communicate their convictions to others.

But accepting the “lesser evil” line of thinking is also dangerous in a democracy , as it entails substituting enthusiasm for a political programme with fear. It can backfire as a feeling of disgust and rejection in those who feel that they are “voting with a gun to their head” as one commentator put it graphically.

The vocabulary used (“hate figures” and “guns to the head”) show how prevalent the fear factor is in Maltese politics. Private individuals are seen to be legitimate targets of hatred and psychological violence for expressing their belief in a third way. Others are actually prepared to engage in a form of political masochism in order to keep the perceived “greater evil” at bay.

Those who vote on the basis of this logic may be led to feel that they are being pragmatic. But thinking along these lines is a trap in which the voter behaves much more like a slave to circumstance, than like a free agent. It is an indictment of our political system and political class that thousands of us will turn up at the polling booth convinced that “we have no choice”. It is an indictment of a country which believes that it is free but whose people are still held hostage by fear. Even worse perhaps, it is an indictment of a people who continue to think that it is inevitable for everyone (including the freest of free thinkers) to sacrifice free thought on the altar of political allegiance and expediency.

David Friggieri

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503 responses to “Is voting for the “lesser evil” a reasonable option?

  1. When the country is being run in a way that disturbs the core of one’s being…

    When two parties amongst themselves have set Malta upon a downward spiral…

    When the only potential alternatives are fragments, tiny and powerless…

    – – – – –

    The floating voter is faced with a major dilemma when election time comes around.

    In total there are five possible paths that a floating voter may take:

    (listed in rising order of significance)

    1.) Not voting – It may be the penultimate way to express protest against a situation where one feels that one cannot vote for what one wants. Many would also have been told that in doing so one would send a clear call for those in power to heed.

    But the truth is that, much as with the last local council elections, a choice not to vote is, to put it very bluntly, useless. Even if 20% of Malta were to choose not to vote a Government would ‘still’ be elected and, guess what, the government will be representative of those who voted. In other words you choose not to choose, which is fine for as long as you intended to give the choice of your future to everybody else to begin with.

    So, to recap, not voting is not ever going to run a country better. Actually, to the party in power, it is the next best thing to a vote for the self, the vote almost certainly not lost to the self.

    2.) Spoiling the vote – I’m sure that its all very romantic to write “[Insert Your Favourite Candidate]” or some colourful message on the ticket, but even if you were to get 4000+ “votes” of this sort the likelyhood would simply be “4000+ votes ‘invalid'” or some other useless statistical observation.

    In other words a spoilt vote is very almost as useless as choosing not to vote. In both cases the party in power prospers and any other entities suffer.

    3.) Voting for “the lesser evil” – Now many persons, whether they would admit it or not, let the element of fear influence their vote. The surcharge might bug you but you consider it preferable to the energy price hikes, or perhaps you simply think that you are less screwed with the party in power.

    However when the “lesser evil” (as perceived by many such fear voters) is already in power and you know that you don’t like the way that it is running your country and your life… then voting for the “lesser evil” again is little more than the equivalent of “Thank you for all the work you’ve done this past term. Screw me again! Harder!”.

    Sadly, this looks to be the popular choice for the Maltese… A situation reminiscent to King Lear’s downfall.

    Still… At least you would “choose” to get screwed. I suppose that counts as consentuality.

    4.) Voting for “the opposition” – Now in a situation where one is unhappy with the running of the country by the party in power one would think that voting for the opposition would be the logical thing to do. Yet what if the main opposition concerned is not necessarily more desirable than the party in power? What if it is strong only in support, with a dubious track record and with limited sign of improvement?

    While such an opposition would remain strong in votes, the result is a potentially hollow entity. This could indeed be worse than the “lesser evil”, especially if choosing to remain vague on crucial issues at critical moments.

    Also, when one considers the uncannily spectacular ways in which the opposition has succeeded in scuttling their election chances in the past, and the unwillingness to learn from their errors, one cannot but wonder if the opposition actually wishes to lead the country at all.

    A good opposition deserves to win votes. An opposition that promotes not voting and spoiling of votes (and then profess to have won the vote)… deserves to lose them until the lessons concerned are learnt.

    5.) Level the field – AKA Minority Vote – The opposition is not the only entity out there. There exist a fistful of small parties and a handful more independent candidates (I am an independent – just to put this into context – but my reasoning still holds true). All of these entities have their own ideas and philosophies that tend to step significantly outside the boundaries of the two mainstream parties that have amongst themselves succeeded in setting the Islands upon a downward spiral.

    These ideas and philosophies and standpoints represent untried possibilities, smothered by the will of the two big parties. Many in the past have chosen not to vote for them because “they don’t stand a chance”. Others choose not to vote for them because they are afraid that their vote would get “the opposition” into power. Others still choose not to vote for them because they do not agree with some aspect of their views and are afraid that the election of such an entity would be something worth fearing.

    However what such persons fail to realize is that each one of these arguments are flawed. If the country were suffering from cancer then we would want to give her treatment, regardless of how long the shot may be. While a vote less for the “lesser evil” might get the “opposition” a simple majority this reasoning fails to account for the fact that the power of the opposition would still be limited and decrease. While choosing not to vote for an entity due a stand on an issue such as, for example, gay marriage, is valid, the misconception here is that the election of 1 minority MP will result in that stand on gay marriage becoming reality. It is not so for the simple fact that he or she would be one of 85. Hence fear is irrational.

    What voting for minority entities ‘does’ provide however is an end to a deadlock between two mainstream parties. The grip of the parties upon the people would weaken and so too would transparency rise and motions like deciding to ratify the Lisbon treaty without consulting the Maltese population become harder to get away with due to there being more entities.

    Last but not least, candidates of minority entities are less likely to be smothered in “the party line”, hence red or blue. Such candidates are more representative of themselves.

    – – – – –

    The above, of course, considers the target audience to be floating voters or, to a lesser degree, those who vote for people because they are red or blue and little else. It does not really take into account individuals who think that the country is being run brilliantly… ^_^

    If you happen to have a particular blue or red party candidate in mind whom you consider to be the best candidate out there then by all means vote for that person, as even voting intelligently within the mainstream parties is better than no vote at all.

    – – – – –

    Further to this I would like to extend an open invitation to all other minority entities to join a united campaign line. Regardless of whether you are AD, ALDM, ALPHA, AN, Independent or some other group entity, it is firmly my belief that Malta needs as many of us in parliament as possible for 2008.

    We have our differences no doubt, but I am confident that we can rise beyond them in order to take down the establishment of reds and blues that are, between themselves, responsible for the sad state of affairs in the country.

    I, James Cauchi, shall be contesting, I shall be voting, and I shall not allow fear or pettiness influence my vote.

    The theme for 2008 should be Vote Minority. For floaters who wish to promote change in the country it is my recommendation to place their votes for minority parties and individuals while shunning the majority parties (again, if you have a particular candidate from the reds or the blues then by all means toss in a vote for them). In this way alone can you make sure that you are statistically heard. ^_^

    Would any other minority entities like to join me in this campaign?

    FROM JAMES CAUCHI

  2. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Being a liberal myself, as much as I fail to see MLP as a serious alternative, getting myself to vote PN is just as hard purely for ideological reasons. So far, the only reasons brought to me why I should vote PN are economic ones. The United Arab Emirates is more economically successful than Malta, but I still don’t fantasize about living there.

  3. This blog is starting to look like an exercise in “political psychotherapy”. No problem with that but maybe, Jacques and David, you might wish to know it can be done in less words (the idea behind this post could have been reduced to one sentence) and there is an easy way to snap out of it.

    Then you might want to share with us your views on the other issues. Yes, this might be an election which is missing a single overarching issue (which may not be too bad … remember 1996 and VAT) but there are issues nonetheless.

    So, what are your views on reception class? untaxed overtime? the surcharge? MEPA reform? rent reform? And how about some punditry? A third party MP? A second Labour seat in the 10th? Rita Law back in the House?

    Come on guys, this campaign is already dull as it is. Stop being narcissistic.

  4. David

    Nice piece. The dilemma you point to is a real one, as is the potential trap.

    For me, in making that final decision, logic should certainly prevail, but logic is broad enough to encompass the dynamic that you describe.

    There are times when decisions need to be taken in a particular framework; and times when the framework itself has to be problematised and challenged.

    During a general election the rules are set; we have to accept that they are the legitimate rules of the game for the time being, and logic dictates that since we have no authority to blow those rules out of the water, we should play the system to achieve the best – or the least bad – option.

    Anyone who feels that the rules are inadequate, or that they lead to a sub-optimal situation (such as the lack of a real choice that you refer to), then has five years before the next election to try and change them using democratic means – debating and choosing options, mobilising support, and persuading or pressuring politicians to take notice. Hellishly difficult; AD will say ‘been there, tried that’; but there still has not been an attempt to create a genuine, national, non-party political movement for electoral reform. It’s up to the people who want change to try and make it happen – and so far not enough people have been willing to take up that challenge in the 5yrs between elections.

    To summarise – I submit that faced by the important question that you pose, the answer is not to abandon logic as the basis for our actions, but to make sure that our logical thinking takes account of the dilemma and the trap you describe.

    For me that means understanding how the system may be changed, and pursuing those avenues. But it also means that until we have have managed to use democratic means to change the rules, we need to apply those rules to our best advantage.

  5. As it is realistically impossible to snap one’s fingers and create an ideal party, and as we find ourselves with two unlikeable greats and two smaller parties which have many unlikeable qualities too, then the only option is to choose that party which comes closest to one’s idea of what “ideal” should actually mean.

    Much voting will be taking place to ward off the Big Party 2 rather than because we are actually crazy about Big Party 1, and that is a fact. Some people think it is a weird way of reasoning and of doing things, but what option is left to us?

    Many will reason out that they refuse to opt for the two small parties if it presents the danger that Big Party 2 will get elected, and that we’ll all be stuck with it for five, insecure years.

    It’s a stalemate situation once again, and it will not change before time passes and things change. It’s a simple as that!

  6. I think we’re still missing a very important point here. I, as a citizen of this beloved rock, have a right to chose whoever I want to represent me in parliament. Let’s not forget that we don’t vote for a government we vote for parliament. I don’t have the right to choose my PM and don’t have the right to choose my ministers. No one came to ask me if I wanted Gonzi as PM when EFA appointed himself as president. No one came to ask my opinion about Pullicino, Mugliett, Galea etc. I can only vote for someone to represent me.

    The only opportunity I have to express my need for change is through my vote. Let’s not also forget that this government lost 4 local council elections and an EP election and everyone was saying that that was a protest vote. Of course it was but nothing changed; people, through democratic means sent a clear message but the government did not listen. Now I am being given the option to vote for the “lesser evil” as if it is an option. The moment that this administration started describing itself as the lesser evil, was a clear sign that this government was admitting that it failed.

    So no thank you, I cannot see the logic behind a “lesser evil” argument. I will vote for change.

  7. Rupert Cefai makes an important point – if there where other ways of expressing a “protest” vote or a need to change (local council elections for example) and nobody took a blind bit of notice – then the vote in ageneral election is the only concrete way of attempting to effect that change

  8. When did this administration decribe itself as the “lesser evil”? Go on. I’m curious!

  9. @ Claire: If you start being carless with your vote, you might get more of a change than you’ve bargained for…. then what are you going to do?

  10. And for Heaven’s sake, this is a General election NOT a Local Council election!!!!!! It’s not a time to be pasing veiled messages and it’s not the time to be cutting our honkers to spite our faces. We have to weigh the pros and cons seriously, and avoid making a mess of it, because in the end, we’re going to be the ones bobbing up and down in the Minestra if things go wrong!

  11. Moggy

    Your comment doesn’t make sense. Do you think the party in government bothers so much about losing a few local councils? If one can’t deliver a veiled message in a general election, then one might as well not deliver it AT ALL.

  12. Moggy, I did weigh my pros and cons seriously, that’s why I’m voting for change!

  13. Victor Laiviera

    What would you call “the lesser” evil? Would you classify a prime minister who repeatedly lies to the electorate as a “lesser” evil?

    ONE TV has just screened a press conference. They showed several clips of Gozi declaring loudly that no, the cabinet has NEVER discussed fees for health services and that they had no intention of doing so

    Then Sant produced a cabinet memo that said that the cabnet had approved fees for health services in principle but would not introduce them just yet for political reasons.

    Let’s see him wriggle out of that.

  14. By the way, yesterday I watched a bit of Dissett and there was a discussion on the 20-mile offshore windmills proposed by PN to generate electricity. It seems that this proposal is as fantastic as Sant digging a moat or turning Maghtab into a golf-course. One of the academics present said that the sea 20 miles offshore is too deep and the maintenance costs for doing it are quite high.

    Hence I ask, is it true that PN talks more sense than MLP? Or is it just the case that media tend to be (purposely?) sceptic about MLP proposals whilst treating PN proposals as “visionary” (even if they are a load of b******)?

  15. David, while I agree with general gist of your piece, I’m not entirely sure that opting for the lesser evil is tantamount to a vote founded on fear. It is certainly the case that we are being cajoled in that direction by PN, but that sort of spin does little more than to turn the principled voter off a party that has discarded the standard of democracy that it bore in the 80s.

    There is little to fault in one voting pragmatically, yes pragmatically, for the party that one feels would do a better job of governing the country or representing us in Parliament. As you rightly point out if one votes for PN, that entails accepting the theological bent of that party, its corrupt elements, cronyism and autocratic style. But to be perfectly honest, if I choose to vote for AD, I will be voting for the least of three evils, or four, five or six if you consider the parties that truly stand on a morally evil platform. While I would associate most closely with AD’s ideology, there remain elements of AD’s platform (eg local referenda), its campaigning (eg Harry’s angry tone) and its personnel (ibid) that I am not comfortable with. This is the burden that a voter who seriously considers his options must bear – we do not get to choose the candidates but must vote for the best available. Gonzi, Sant and Harry are likely to face this problem to some extent too; I’m quite sure that they do not believe that every potential Minister is ideal. In sum, I agree that we need to have more options, but we will always have to take the good with the bad.

    On the matter of liberalism eroding an ecclesiastical ideology, it is arguable that there is not yet the critical mass for a liberal ideology to displace the Tonio Borg’s of this world. The baby boomers, and their parents to some extent, still form a significant part of the voting population. This will change over time, but we must bear in mind that 20-40 year olds are only a part of the equation, albeit a significant part that is more likely to change allegiances than older voters who remember the 1960s and 1980s more vividly. Even if there were a 5% threshold, it is not certain that a third option, a liberal option, would hold sway in Parliament. It is not only our electoral system, but also our political tradition that consolidates the gridlock.

    All that being said, talking about the problem, as you do so articulately, is an important step towards placing social liberalism at the heart of the agenda.

  16. Gold Roast – you are right offshore winfdarm technology is very expensive and not tested sufficiently. There is also the possibility that we go for this expensive option while other countries wisely go for more feasible, sustainable alternatives. Since we would have made all that initial capital outlay we will be lumbered with an inefficient system. Try and talk about these things calmly and everybody will jump on you as a kill-joy or a nay-sayer or an anti-Gonzi grudge-bearer

  17. Victor Laiviera

    Gold Roast, I assure you the Valletta ditch project is entirely feasible. I have seen studies. They won’t publish them for fear the PN will copy the whole thing. I told them they were being bloody stupid, but I am just an outsider these days and my words don’t carry much weight.

  18. Ok Claire, so that confirms that the Lous, Peppis and Hermans of Maltese media are treating Gonzi with velvet gloves and Sant (and anyone else who is not Gonzi) with sandpaper, even though both PN and MLP proposals are half-baked. Mind you, I concur with sandpaper treatment, I just believe Gonzi should be getting that too.

  19. Not everyone Claire, 🙂

  20. Rupert: Good Luck to you!

  21. Ooops…..sorry posted before I should have.

    Rupert: Good luck to you. May whatever you’re imaging when you say “change” turn out exactly as you wish it. I have thought long and hard and don’t know what I’m going to do yet. Basically “change” appears attractive, but it depends what type of change of course. Some changes are not as attractive as others.

  22. Gold Roast:

    The Party in Government, together with all us plebs and our cats, know that Local Council elections are not the same as the General Election, and that people take the latter more seriously. For example, I did not cast my vote in the last two Local Council elections, and neither did I vote for an MEP, but of course things must be different now. If “change” means that we will have Alfred Sant as PM for the next five years, then I don’t want it!

  23. Victor Laiviera, can you give us more details re the Valletta Ditch Project? I cannot say that I’ve ever heard about it.

  24. Offshore wind turbines: everyone is going for them, as countries try to wean themselves off from their high dependence on fossil fuels. London is doing it and Denmark and Holland are doing it. It is not cheap but it is clean, and given our lack of space, it is ideal.

  25. The “should I vote AD and get Labour?” debacle was mirrored in the USA in 2000, when 2 million votes went to Ralph Nader which would otherwise either have gone to Al Gore or not been cast at all. And we know who won the US elections that year, and how.

    Well this year Nader is running again. As he did in 2004. And as he did for quite a number of years before 2000.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7261670.stm

    Nader defends his candidacy by basically stating that both the Republicans and Democrats are made of the same cloth. There isn’t much of a difference between them when one views the bigger picture of corporate intrusion into the public sphere.

    I have one question for those who claim voting AD is for all intents and purposes a Labour vote:

    What if AD voters are seeing the bigger picture and acknowledging that both PN and MLP, in the long run, are equally bad for the country? In the short run Sant would do more damage than Gonzi, perhaps, but in the long run they are both unworthy leaders. And what if AD, although not capable of offering a wholesale solution to this deficit in credibility on both sides, is the only choice available for all those with the bigger picture in mind? i.e. undermining both parties’ game plan and slowly paving the way for an atmosphere of true democracy.

    I am simply offering some food for thought. I’m no expert.

  26. There wouldn’t be lack of space for a wind, solar, or hydro-electric power station, if we’d use the rubble from Maghtab for land reclamation.

  27. Moggy

    I am not telling you how you should vote. I’m just saying that if you want to send a msg to the party in Government that it’s not doing it’s job well, it’s useless doing it in Local Council elections and not in General ones. With this reasoning, the party in Government will just take our votes foregranted come election time. It is evident that you’re not fed up enough with PN to want to have Alfred Sant as PM and that’s so fine with me.

    As regards offshore wind turbines, I suggest you watch the latest Dissett on di-ve and see what a university academic had to say about that. I won’t repeat the cons because I already did so above. “Everyone’s doing it” is not an argument. You have to assess the feasibility of such a project in Malta first … and seriously … this is something the PN seems not to have done properly. And then we only accuse MLP of shoddy proposals, and indeed some of them really are.

    You mentioned UK, Denmark and Holland … how can you compare these three countries with Malta? Two major differences between Malta and these three countries come to mind:

    1) they have a larger coast, so plenty more feasible locations to choose from
    2) they are not blessed with sunshine like Malta is … wouldn’t solar energy be a cheaper and more feasible alternative in the local context?

    It is evident we are not comparing like with like here.

  28. The “lesser evil” argument is based on an entirely subjective value judgement. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. Etc. etc. etc.

    Truth of the matter, however, is that we have succeeded in thoroughly perverting all value judgements when it comes to politics. Has anyone noticed that, while sant keeps harping on corruption as an electoral issue, corruption always comes in at the bottom of the table of people’s concerns in surveys? Sant is wasting his time. People want corruption. Corruption is good. It allows the undeserving to get everything they want without too much effort. Meritocracy, on the other hand, is bad. It means you have to work harder, and even then there is no guarantee of success.

    Both parties have always understood this. It was the secret of Mintoff’s success, and the same can be said now for Gonzipn on a different scale. If anything is to be done about this situation – and I agree with david that somthing needs to be done – it will have to begin by targeting the structures which keep the nepotism machinery ticking over. There needs to be more vigilance when it comes to appointments to public office (so that, rather than find out about Mugliett’s canvasser only after he was caught with his hands in the till, we would know about it from day one.) My hunch is that, once it becomes clear to prospective ministers that they can no longer dish out favours without getting caught, cetain types will no longer be first in line to rpesent themselves as candidates. I also suspect that when electorate works out that having “their” man in parliament is no longer a guarantee of a job for their useless offspring, their attitude to the party will change. This, i think, is the kind of change worth striving for.

    So more than a liberal pressure group of the kind I was proposing last year, what I think is really needed is the equivalent of a Minority Rights Watch, with both eyes peeled for democratic hanky-panky.

    On another level i think existing political structures need to be overhauled. I am not comfortable knowing that Tonio borg (or Gavin Gulia, or Anglu farrugia, or whoever) can tinker with the foundations of law in this country, with the only reaction being a blanket tribal acceptance/rejection depending on whether you;re Lejber or PN. This is not a healthy democracy. It’s just crap, and there is no buffer zone or second line of defence against injustice. We need more checks and balances.

    But none of this will be brought about by this election, no matter how hard we bang our heads against the wall. So David: I think we should save all our energies for afterwards.

  29. Victor Laiviera

    Moggy, the Valletta ditch project (which, I think, was part of the Connections project, means cutting a narrrow channel through the Valleta Ditch (not lowering the whole floor of the ditch as some people think) so that boats could go from Grand Harbput to M’Xett without going into the open sea around St Elmo Point.

  30. Gold Roast,

    Neither would I presume to tell you how to vote. Not being fed up of PN enough to want Sant as PM does not make much sense to me, with all due respect. I may be sick to death of PN. The fact remains that I do not want Sant as PM again. I can not forget how it was last time around, and this campaign has done nothing to calm my fears.

    I know that AN and AD are two small parties which have no chance of garnering a majority of votes in the coming elections, so whichever way you look at it, it’s still PN versus MLP. If I don’t want MLP, it will have to be PN.

    I am sure that PN make their fair share of shoddy proposals, just like MLP. But obviously I am not stupid enough to let a proposal for a wind farm (of all things, and I am not even entirely convinced that it is that shoddy either) affect my decision on the 8th of March.

    Things which will affect my decision on that day are the way Sant plunged this country into months of uncertainty last time around, the fact that good people like Lino Spiteri and George Abela felt that they could not continue working with him, the VAT/ CET debacle, the Vittoriosa Marina disaster and how it escalated out of all proportion to become the reason for an election after just 22 months of MLP Government, the way the man lost his cool and zoomed down to the Vittoriosa Waterfront calling Mintoff a traitor, with his squirming, red-faced MPs behind him and in full view of the TV cameras, the fact that he froze the process of our negotiations with the EU and lost us precious time, the way he said “Partnership” had won the Referendum when it was obviously not true, the way he says that he does not believe in referenda, his new proposals to start fiddling around with our children’s education, the way he dodges questions and digs in his heels and refuses to answer others when it suits him…….the list is endless, and this one is by no means exhaustive.

    I will be thinking of those things when I vote on the 8th of March, rather than some possibly far-fetched, proposal of a wind farm, and I’m sure that many Maltese people will be doing the very same.

  31. Victor: They’d have to be pretty small boats, wouldn’t they?

  32. Victor, bir-rispett kollu, leave the justification of the moat-digging project to whoever invented it (if in government that is). Same holds for turfing a golf course on the Maghtab mountain where even a tree struggles to live.

  33. Don’t get so heated up Moggy. I’d rather discuss issues here than who to vote for. As regards myself, I’m simply giving my vote to nobody. Amen. Wasted vote. And I wasn’t discussing the wind farm as an issue on which to decide the outcome of the next election either. I just wanted to point out that both PN and MLP sell shoddy proposals … the difference is that the MLP sells you stinky poo on a piece of toilet paper, while PN package it nicely and make it look finger-lickin’ good. As regards to the importance one should give on issues such as alternative energy, I think it would be short sighted to say I don’t care, it’s too far-fetched. It is something that will affect your life as much as a widening of tax-bands or a slash in the surcharge. Then again, I’m not talking about this from a “where I’m going to place my unu” perspective.

  34. “Gold Roast Says:

    February 27, 2008 at 4:23 pm
    Victor, bir-rispett kollu, leave the justification of the moat-digging project to whoever invented it (if in government that is). Same holds for turfing a golf course on the Maghtab mountain where even a tree struggles to live.”

    Very good point , that.

  35. No one is stopping MLP from being slick and sophisticated. 😛

    And basically, re alternative energy and all that, it’s not that I don’t care or that I think alternative energy is far-fetched. Not at all. It’s just not what I base my voting on.

    Also, before we put down certain proposals, maybe it would pay to hear the real experts on the subject, and take their advice. 🙂

  36. Is the Valletta ditch project environmentally feasible or should it be ditched?

  37. Anyone heard of the term “yellow-dog Democrats” used in the US..basically it’s an objective term referring to that wide swathe of Democratic voters who would vote for a Democratic candidate even if the nominee was a yellow dog. So: can the equivalent of these PN and Lejber yellow dog Democrats (a) finetune their thinking or ,(b) alternatively, leave us in peace?

    And Victor: you will probably ignore this but no matter. Why is MLP not man enough to issue a formal apology for all the maladministration, corruption, intimidation, voilence and five-year minoroty rule that it was resposnible for? Come clean and take the wind out of PN’s sails !!

    If MLP wants to deflate PN’s scaremongering tactics (and win by default thanks to a large third party vote), this would be the perfect way to do it. In the absence of a heartfelt apology, fear tactics will continue to resonate among the undecided – and PN will keep on shrinking the gap in the polls.

  38. Supporting facts would be welcome, whatever your reply.

  39. Patrick Tabone’s produced a well reasoned argument that’s only produced self-referential knee jerk reactions. Are there any well reasoned counter arguments out there?

  40. I don’t know why many people are amazed that PN is shrinking the gap … isn’t it obvious that the gap belonged largely to those 10% disgruntled Nationalists who wanted to pass the PN a message in the local council elections? Is anyone so naive to have believed that all these disgruntled Nationalists would have simply jumped to Labour or AD’s side? The great feat would not be in PN narrowing the gap … that’s foregranted, many of those 10% can’t stand Sant. The great feat would be in winning this election, though the merit for this would then partly go to Sant’s tahwid, Mangion’s DNA comment and Falzon’s failed attempt at not sticking to his day job.

  41. Gold Roast I agree that all political parties should be given the sand paper treatment. So if the MLP want their Connections project they should answer questions about its environmental and economic easibility. Likewise the PN should answer questions about their Grand Harbour proposals. All should be questioned (and should answer with workings) about their costings for reduction of surcharge, changing of tax bands etc

  42. Anyone thought of what could happen if Labour lose this time? What will happen to the party? Will it split, lose morale, change or just get stuck? Will it elect a new leader, and who, and from which generation of Labour politicians?

    How long would it then take to win back government? Or else, how long would the PN remain in power with a thrice beaten Labour Party?

    What will happen to the typical alternanza of a two-party parliament? How healthy would it be to have a weak, weaker, weakened opposition?

    Just a few thoughts for academic discussion…

  43. Patrick suggests campaigning to make the electoral system fairer and more representative – just not before elections and not through political pressure coming in the form of vote loss to the major parties. He thinks it hasn’t been tried. He thinks a nationwide movement will be able to bring this about. It won’t. The PN and the MLP have too much too lose, they have resisted all sorts of efforts to make this happen. They won’t budge. In cases where there is a possibility of their position being challenged they will gang up and stop outsiders. I’m afraid that it is too much to expect from them

  44. Methinks the new definition for a “well-reasoned argument” is any argument that reaches the “vote PN” conclusion.

  45. Gold Roast: You mention righltly 10% mitlufin …do you honestly think PN will get ALL that 10% back? Quite a long shot I think…half or even two-thirds of that percentage, I am williing to contemplate but anything more than that would be the mother of political comeback miracles. AD will retain that vital 2-2.5% probably, making all the difference (hence PN’s apoplectic fit at all things green). MLP is not helping its cause however…

    The best thing that could come out of all this would perhaps to have the winner obtain only a relative majoroty. Even if still entitled to govern on its own, the realisation would set in that none of the main parties enjoy anymore the confidence of the majority of Maltese, and perhaps, just perhaps, we will see a bit less hubris in government. Or, depressingly, they might simply ignore this new factor altogheter and proceed regardless on business as usual lines (on the model of George W. Bush’s polarising reign after his 2000 election) .

    In any case, on a petty note, can you just imagine the winner of the election obtaining only a relative majoroty and the country waiting with suspended breath to see if the small parties obtain a seat in Parliament, – as in that case, a different mechanism would apply to determine the outcome ofthe elections? Even if the small parties are not elected in the end (which is probably the case), it would still be a bittersweet irony having the whole country wait for Harry to “jiġi eliminat” before letting all the mindless carcades ensue!! It would be one small victory for minorities, but ultimately pyrrhic.

  46. Claire – AD has tried to campaign for electoral reform through successive elections. The sad fact is it has failed, election after election – because at elections there are other issues on the table as well, issues that people are very interested in. It’s time to try another route. I don’t expect you to acknowledge it now, but I hope AD will after the election.

    In the meantime there’s an election out there, and a government to be chosen.

    I have followed the campaign as well as I can from a distance; I’ve seen the leaders perform in the media; I’ve read (for my sins) the electoral programmes; I’ve compared track records. And for me it is simply not possible to say that there is no difference between the two parties in line to form a government.

    I will be very happy one day to be able to vote for the labour party. But the sad and simple truth is that with 5 years with little else to do but prepare for this moment, labour’s campaign is still blighted by smallness and poverty of thought, serial blundering and poor leadership.

    The nationalists may be disappointing in some areas (David mentioned divorce, gay rights etc for example). But the direction is the right one, the competence in managing a modern economy is proven, and the leader strikes me as a decent individual with the right vision.

    Those who want to vote for AD because they support AD irrespective of who forms the next government – fine and honourable.

    But anybody else cannot hide bettween the vacuous statement that there is no difference between the 2 big parties. Whover says that is is either being intellectually lazy, or is pursuing the interest of a third party.

  47. Patrick, today we also have proof that the leader that strikes you as a decent individual is liar.

  48. Going back to the “Is voting for the “lesser evil” (of the two biggies) a reasonable option?” question, my answer to that question would be NO. I think that a person in the voting booth should be honest to himself and ask himself: “Which of these candidates/party have an opinion which is closest to what I believe in?” … and the rest is history. Opting for the lesser of the two big evils is simply playing to the two big evils’ game. It is very shortsighted. It might keep away Party X from getting into Castille but it will only contribute to making Party Y an even bigger monster. Having said this, I totally find the PN advert that a vote for AD or AN is a vote for Sant really arrogant. Whoever made that advert literally has the cheek to tell me that just because I was brought up in a Nationalist environment, just because I previously believed in what the PN stood for, then my vote belongs to the PN by default! My message to whoever cooked up that abominable advert is that my vote belongs to me and me only. It belongs to no one else’s and I give it to whoever I please, thank you very much.

  49. Victor Laiviera

    Yes. Moggy – small shallow-draught boats as used on rivesr and canals overseas.

  50. David Friggieri

    Lots of interesting perspectives worth pouring over.

    For the time being, I’d like to react to Patrick’s remark that ‘the nationalists may be disappointing in some areas’ (divorce etc). Pat, that way of putting it gives the impression they have been careless or negligent on these issues and that a bit of spring cleaning will do the trick.

    That’s clearly not the case.

    My point is that these are fundamentals we’re talking about here. My use of the expression ‘caste of devout Catholic politicians’ was chosen with care. I don’t expect Lawrence Gonzi to turn into a champion of secularism any time soon. That’s not going to happen. Those who argue that Lawrence Gonzi will simply wake up one morning and decide to put his weight behind a divorce law (because he’s a reasonable man), should take some lessons in modern Spanish and Italian history.

    Incidentally, my problem with this state of affairs has less to do with divorce legislation being enacted as such and more to do with a mind-set which continues to keep us back in many ways.

  51. David Friggieri Says:

    “February 27, 2008 at 7:46 pm
    Lots of interesting perspectives worth pouring over.

    Incidentally, my problem with this state of affairs has less to do with divorce legislation being enacted as such and more to do with a mind-set which continues to keep us back in many ways.”

    Is the ” mind-set” that makes anathema of contemplating to vote for political parties other then MLP or PN “keeping us back” as well?

    If that is the case, then we are a lot backward then our parents and grandparents were forty and fifty years ago, when more then two political parties were elected in parlament.

  52. Yes, Raphael, because common sense does point you in that direction, annoying though it might be.

    I like this Moggy….I don’t feel like I’m singing solo now.

  53. By that reasoning we may as well not have a discussion at all. Nor elections for that matter.

  54. F.Aakofph has changed nick to Gamma. DR.Jacques please note.

  55. I like what Patrick Tabone said in his last post.

  56. Victor, why would anyone want river-boats sailing around in the Valletta moat?

  57. Patrick, one cannot expect PN to be in favour of divorce, gay rights, and abortion whilst being led by the ex president of Azzjoni Kattolika.

  58. Keith, then the Nationalists cannot continue to expect the liberal vote as a matter of course.

  59. Thanks Mog. Please keep Victor L going on his boats in a ditch. Makes for some nice comic relief.

  60. Raphael, PN doesn’t expect the liberal vote. PN just hopes there are enough conservatives out there for it to be elected.

    Just like MLP doesn’t expect the votes of floating voters and disgruntled PN supporters. MLP just hopes those people won’t vote PN.

    A bunch of people hoping really.

  61. If the MLP are hoping that people just don’t vote PN, then they should rethink their campaign, Such as hide Alfred Sant and hope for the best!!!

  62. I’m a liberal and I vote Nationalist. I don’t see any problem with that: liberalism and commonsense are not mutually exclusive. It’s a matter of choosing between what’s on offer as a government, and not what you might like to have in your dreams. If I had the latter option, it wouldn’t be a seat for AD that I’d be asking the genie for, but a duplex in Manhattan and no return ticket.

  63. We don’t care who you vote for…as long as you vote for the PN.

    Why are these people so afraid of having a third party in the House??

    Try some new maths…48% say the MLP are incompetent…48% say the PN are corrupt and arrogant….They must both be right coz they keep on voting for them, so why should I vote for a corrupt or incompetent party??

  64. Dafnay, DON’T even think of coming over to this side of the pond….we have Maureen Dowd already.

  65. While the concept of an off-shore windfarm seems rather difficult to achieve, in my opinion (the forces of nature are not kind upon land – let alone at sea), I wouldn’t say it is impossible.

    It doesn’t really tally with the turning away of an alternative energy laboratory not too long ago (but shortly before Smart City entered the picture), but its not impossible.

    It may not be very cost-effective (its not just the planting of the wind generators but also the passing of cables) but it is not impossible – not by as long-shot.

    It is sad that these “plans” only come out of the woodwork in the run-up to a general election. Do I smell a MegaDejn (with decades attached)? 6_6;;;

    However alternative energy is a must.

    – – – – – – –

    Now as for the topic of voting for change… I truly cannot imagine why such a significant number of comment makers are hot under the collar about individuals exercising their intellectual (and democratic) right to excercise that which is essentially their choice.

    There is a reason why I personally endorse the candidature of ‘all’ minority entities, and not just myself. It is the sum of my interpretations that the Maltese Islands desperately need a voice other than those of two parties whom, with all due respect, seem perfectly comfortable in their respective positions relative to each other.

    It is also my belief that minority entities – ANY entities – would have a much easier time manifesting their popular elements than their non-popular elements (kindly take note any posters who commented on the turn-offs of AD ^_~). I consider it to be the most effective way to slash corruption.

    As they say – It takes two to tango… but to do so in private… there cannot be a third party…

    So let there be many! Vote Minority! ANY Minority! ^_^

  66. Yes, Victor. Why would anyone want river-boats sailing around a Valletta moat?

  67. PS. Yes I am also considering wear and tear and regular maintennance in ‘cost-effectiveness’

    Just to be clear.

  68. While we’re on the subject of wind energy…

    Proposal number 321 from the Pn manifesto: “Ghawdex jiggenera l-energija kollha bl-uzu ta’ sorsi alternattivi.”

    Please note: “L-energija KOLLHA.”

    As of last year, alternative energy accounted for 0.22% of the total for all of Malta. Can anyone tell me how they plan to achieve 100% for gozo? And by when? The 12th millennium?

  69. Cora Says:

    “February 27, 2008 at 11:15 pm
    Yes, Victor. Why would anyone want river-boats sailing around a Valletta moat?”

    Hunting for Hippos or crocs maybe?
    🙂

  70. “Raphael Says:

    February 27, 2008 at 11:51 pm
    While we’re on the subject of wind energy…

    Proposal number 321 from the Pn manifesto: “Ghawdex jiggenera l-energija kollha bl-uzu ta’ sorsi alternattivi.”

    Please note: “L-energija KOLLHA.”

    As of last year, alternative energy accounted for 0.22% of the total for all of Malta. Can anyone tell me how they plan to achieve 100% for gozo? And by when? The 12th millennium?”

    Hopefully long before that ,we would have offically struck oil in commercial amounts.

  71. Erm… oil is hardly an “alternative source” of energy

  72. Oil is finite…

    The type of crust that the Maltese Islands are set upon also makes be a bit of a pessimist in regards to the chances of striking large quantities of oil…

    But even if we were sitting on the mother of all loads of oil I would still personally argue against the extraction of such. My primary concern is that the pumping up of oil and “replacement” with a liquid of different hydrodynamic qualities (salt water…) could trigger a destabilization of Malta’s geological stability.

    Hence a greater risk of earthquake… (the ‘damper’ and the subterranean pressure balance compromised).

    I would point to the powerful Iranian quake as an example of what ‘could’ happen – though I have not heard any direct corellation to oil-extraction (are oil companies transparent…?)

    So yeah… not unless my fears on the matter are put to rest.

    Even so I would be a little concerned about irresponsible use of oil resources. Extraction for the purpose of short-term enrichment.

  73. I know.I was being sarcastic. Anyone for a couple of twigs to rub together to set a fire going?
    🙂

  74. Victor Laiviera

    Cora, please try to be serious.

    A seaborne connection between the Three Citiesd and Sliema is the only practical way of relieving the traffic bottleneck at Marsa and Pietà.

    And its not just me or the MLP saying so:

    http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2004/09/26/opinion3.html

    http://www.alternattiva.org.mt/page.asp?n=newsdetails&i=3851

  75. What about underground transport? I believe that , extensive tunnelling already exists underneath the capital city that leads right up to the three cities and that dates back to the time of the Knights.

  76. Victor Laiviera

    Gamma. the original plan was for a tunnel under Valletta. I believe the cana would be cheaper and more practical.

  77. Victor Laiviera

    Raphael, don’t you know that, according to Joe Saliba, Lawrence Gonzi is a miracle worker?

  78. Victor Laiviera

    Ooops that should read ‘canal’ not ‘cana’.

  79. David Friggieri

    “I’m a liberal and I vote Nationalist. I don’t see any problem with that.”

    Pity that the Deputy Leader of the Nationalist party uses the term ‘liberal elite’ in a disparaging way, in much the same way that McCarthy used the word ‘communists’.

    What you mean, Daphne is this: “I can put up with these Azzjoni Kattolika folks and close an eye to their worldview as long as it guarantees me a Sant-free government”.

    That is precisely the choice that many of us feel very uncomfortable with. But we’re clearly not pragmatists.

  80. I am being serious, Victor. What happens in bad weather, which is when people are most likely to want to avoid the bottlenecks you mention?

  81. An underground system designed to fit in with the underground legacy left to us by the Knights when Valletta was built.

  82. PiPPO Psaila, PN candidate on 9th and 10th district

    On divorce

    “i am completely against divorce… This is not a question of rights but a question of faith and religion. i am not a purist. But there is phrase which says: ‘what God has joined together let no man put asunder’. marriage is an indissoluble bond. i do not expect everyone to agree with me but these are my values.”
    October 21 2007

    from: http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/2008/election_special/election_special_02.pdf

    Do they realise that they sound like Ayatollahs?

    J’accuse: I don’t think so. But liberals can rest assured because the PN is a big party and as Daphne points out there are enough liberals in the PN to represent an alternative point of view to that of Bin Copying.

  83. David Friggieri

    Viktor – Why don’t you set up a blog called Moats and Boats in the reign of Alfred Sant and answer all these questions about bottlenecks, tunnels and sea-level there? For Pete’s sake.

  84. Sorry – had missed the peach:

    On cohabiting couples
    “This is a very tricky situation. i think that the church’s position is clear and the party has to follow this position.”
    October 21 2007 –
    MaltaToday

  85. David Friggieri

    Yes Justin, Pippo’s on message. Just naive enough to spell it out in so many words. In some ways, kudos to him for not beating about the intellectual bush a la Ranier and co.

    Tuesday’s Repubblica had an Ellekappa cartoon which went:

    A: Trionfa sulla scena politica il programma di Ratzinger per l’Italia
    B: Non e’ un paese per laici

    But in Malta liberals are ‘comfortable’ voting PN. Strano paese.

  86. David, are you referring to cocktail party liberals? Those who Tonio Borg describes as the liberal elite? Those who can afford to spend a number of months living abroad and get a divorce abroad even though they were married here? Because lets face it, divorce is already recognised in Malta. The only problem is that it is not issued by a Maltese court. Our liberal elite do not give a damn about these issues.

    Pajjiz tal-foloz!

  87. Justin BB Says:

    “February 28, 2008 at 11:23 am
    PiPPO Psaila, PN candidate on 9th and 10th district

    Do they realise that they sound like Ayatollahs?”

    Why? What do Ayatollahs sound like , if I may ask? Have you first hand experience of whatl ife is like in real Ayatollah-lands?

  88. David, what this election has brought to the fore is the inescapabale tribalism of maltese politics. The people who claim to be “comfortable” voting Nationalist are in reality not comfortable at all. If they were comfortable, they wouldn;t grumble half as much as they do when there isn’t an election on. Sad fact of the matter is that our nation is about as politically mature as a 13-year-old football fan. The Nationalists don;t just want to win; they want labour to lose. It reminds me of England supporters who go carcading when Italy are beaten (and vice-versa, naturally).
    More worryingly still, they want the PN to win NO MATTER THE COST. If it means a constitutional amendment to outlaw being pro-choice, they will accept it. If it means a law to ban minis-skirts in public, they will accept that too… like they accepted a Church-state agreement which ceded jurisdiction over marriage laws to the Vatican in 1992. There is in fact no limit to what these people will put up with just to keep out labour forever.
    My question to all those who think of themselves as liberal and yet will vote PN anyway is this: what would you do if you were in Gonzipn’s shoes? Knowing that no matter how badly your cabinet ministers perform or behave, and no matter how much you irk and piss off all your supposedly liberal voters, come election-time all the frightened Nazzjonalisti will close ranks and vote for you anyway?
    I know i sound like a depressing sod, but… no good can possibly come of this. We are witnessing the laborious creation of a political megalomanac. The latest PN campaign slogan is Gonzi jgib ix-xoghol. What’s it going to be next? Gonzi walks on water? Gonzi raises the dead? Or even better: “Gonzipn Is-Salvatur Ta’ Malta”?

    To fight the dragon you must become the dragon – Akira Kurosawa.

  89. The underground tunnels the Knights built in Valletta are supposedly infested by thousands of monster rats.

  90. David Friggieri Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 11:38 am

    “But in Malta liberals are ‘comfortable’ voting PN. Strano paese.”

    🙂
    You bet they are.
    One moment it is a crusade against the sinister Opus Dei characters running the PN and the next moment it is vote GonziPN at all costs and forget them Ayatollahs.

  91. ” Keith Chircop Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 12:18 pm
    The underground tunnels the Knights built in Valletta are supposedly infested by thousands of monster rats.”

    Nothing that can’t be sorted out with expert advice and good planning.
    Most of them lead right up to the three cities.They can be incorporated into some sort of more extensive alternative underground way of transport. This can extend right up to the Sliema area as well.
    There are some who say that underground connections also exist between Valletta and the Tigne area or therabouts. With expert advice and EU funding I am sure that such a system can be devised that will be of benefit to all including the enviorment. Unfortunately , such a project needs vision, an attribute that most politicians are not blessed with.

  92. ” Raphael Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    We are witnessing the laborious creation of a political megalomanac. The latest PN campaign slogan is Gonzi jgib ix-xoghol. What’s it going to be next? Gonzi walks on water? Gonzi raises the dead? Or even better: “Gonzipn Is-Salvatur Ta’ Malta”?”

    This is more or less, deja vu , for older voters who remember years gone by when the real PN (not today’s GonziPN) lambasted the then MLP for turning Dom Mintoff into a minor diety because they(the MLP) ,were emulating the mandatory hero worship of leaders of the then totaliarian systems of those days.

    To me , this GonziPN spin reminds me of what le Roi Soleil is reported to have imperiously proclaimed;

    “L’etat? C’est moi.”

  93. No Gamma, I do not have any experience of living under the rule of an Ayatollah; do you? If so, I would be interested in hearing your views as I have been reading about Iran recently and am fascinated by the manner in which rights are trampled upon in the name of a higher good.

    I could equally have said that he sounded like a Catholic Bishop – the point is that he makes no distinction between the private sphere and the public sphere. Religion is private. Religious norms do inform decisions that are taken in the public sphere because they form part of the value system of a society. However, that is a far cry from citing religious authority as a universal good in the public sphere, and in so doing ignoring the private rights of citizens as recognised in all secular societies.

    Malta is anomalous in a secular Europe; the most obvious example is the subjugation of the jurisdiction of our civil courts to that of Cannon courts in matters relating to marriage.

    There are several other examples and we will pay a hefty price for some. Consider the lack of investment in sex education and the consequent widespread practice of unprotected sex (Maltese youth engage in premarital sex at similar rates to other Europeans, but, unlike properly educated Europeans, do so without protection). These are public health issues, but the lives and wellbeing of our youth are considered less important than religious taboo.

  94. Boats in Labour’s moat and eco-energy: they’re going to fill their sails with ir-rih tal-bidla.

  95. “Justin BB Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 12:41 pm
    No Gamma, I do not have any experience of living under the rule of an Ayatollah; do you? If so, I would be interested in hearing your views as I have been reading about Iran recently and am fascinated by the manner in which rights are trampled upon in the name of a higher good.

    I could equally have said that he sounded like a Catholic Bishop – the point is that he makes no distinction between the private sphere and the public sphere. ”

    Equating what a Muslim Ayatollah imposes with what a catholic bishop advises show some lack of knowledge in the fundamental beliefs of both Islam and Christianity. In Islam , there is no seperation of state from religion and no freedom to chose to follow or not. In the case of Christianity , Jesus Himself said to Give to Caeser what is Caeser’s and to give to God what is God’s. Jesus also told His appostles to preach to those who want to listen and not to impose on those who did not.

    It would be interesting if you know of some present day Catholic bishop who is not making a distinction between church and state.

    As far as I know what the bishop does is simply remind Catholic people in all spheres of life, including parlament, to remain true to the basic principles of their faith. In the future , it might be the leader of some other denomination who would be doing likewise to his followers in Malta. What will happen then? Would constructive criticism on a blog or elsewhere be allowed then?

  96. Whilst typing above post I happened to be hearing a program on super 1 radio. They were mentionig RIGHT NOW, the feasability study of the “moats around Valletta “project mentioned earlier on on this blog and explaning something about the existance of the tunnels under Valletta leading to the cities!
    Co incidence?

  97. Gamma, with all due respect to the valid points that you make, you are in fact nitpicking. My point is that there is a politician who is publicly not making a distinction between Church and State. This is the crux of the matter, not whether or not there was some degree of hyperbole in my analogy.

  98. He is free (thank God) to say whatever he wants and cite his religuous beliefs (same as other public figures representing other denominations have been doing for years) whilst you are free not to vote for him if you dont like what he proposes. That is the beauty of a democracy like ours .Yiou have every right to lambast his message with valid reason for everyone to make a judgement on.

    Unfortuanetly ,what is happening nowadays, (I am not referring to you ), is that it is not just the message that gets bludgeoed but also the messenger , his near and distant relatives, the pet budgie, his eating habits, his place of residence…what not the brand of toilet paper he /she uses as well?

  99. Well if he doesn’t use tp made from recycled paper, I have serious problem with him 🙂

  100. As a liberal, I cannot bring myself to vote PN until it turns itself into a Christian Liberal party. That’s certain. I don’t care if the PN is better for the economy. An open-minded society is more important than a flourishing economy for me. If that were the case, I’d fine a job in the UAE. But maybe it’s all a question of priorities, not everyone thinks likewise. Many don’t probably. What disappointed me with this electoral campaign is that it has focused largely on money and projects, and not about making Malta a more comfortable society for everyone to live in.

  101. David Friggieri – it’s pointless being sarcastic. The fact of the matter is that you can’t get anywhere or achieve any of your objectives unless you’re practical. Being in this blog is like being a passenger in a car with a man who refuses to ask for directions, preferring to go down a hundred dead-ends until he finally arrives at his destination. Any woman here on this blog is going to know EXACTLY what I mean.

    Victor: why are you so sure that people are dying to relinquish use of their cars to get to Valletta? There’s already a ferry service between the Sliema ferries and Valletta and it’s not exactly packed with commuting workers – hardly the Staten Island ferry.

    Justin: Jacques’ note about the PN being a big party with many liberals is correct. At least two PN politicians that I can think of just now have spoken out in favour of divorce – Georg Sapiano, currently a candidate anyone who is in favour of divorce and who lives in his district can vote for, Michael Falzon, no longer a candidate but still outspoken. Quite a few candidates and other PN politicians have suffered broken marriages. Former party president Frank Portelli has long been divorced (his first wife was British). Yet you choose to be selective in your quoting, going for Pippo Psaila. Maybe you don’t know just how badly his comments were received, because he simply does not represent the general view.

    I think you are missing the point that the attraction of the Nationalist Party to many people is precisely that it allows for the full spectrum of views, indeed encourages them. This is tremendously effective as a form of autocriticism, which has allowed it to adapt to the times. Look at Labour by contrast, in which no criticism is allowed and everyone must agree with the leader or ‘die’.

    Some bloggers here have expressed surprise that I have criticised the Nationalist government/party for four years but am now supporting it. Don’t you see the lacuna in that statement? You are assuming that criticism implies lack of support. Sorry, but it doesn’t. Criticism is what helps the party shape up – criticism from people like me, who support it, and not fatuous criticism from people who only mean to destroy and attack. I am astonished that liberal people like some of those on this blog imagine that because you support a party you can’t criticise it.

    Rupert – don’t be so quick to judge. I think you’ll find that the only politician being hypocritical about divorce is the Labour Party leader, who is effectively ‘divorced’, having obtained the Maltese version, which is called a declaration of nullity from the Civil Courts. Now please don’t tell me that a politician’s ‘private’ life has nothing to do with it, because in this case, it most certainly has.

    Gamma: the only reason Gonzi is being put forward is the most obvious one that he is the Nationalist Party’s unique selling point. Also, Labour can’t put Sant forward because he is the party’s main off-putting factor (why is he still there, 10 years after he first lost an election?).

    Justin: care-free promiscuity in Malta has nothing to do with the lack of sex education or Church dogma on contraception. The UK is an immensely secular country, but it has one of the world’s highest rates of teenage pregnancy.

  102. “Malta is anomalous in a secular Europe”

    Not only Malta. Cyprus is also heavily influenced by the Greek Orthodox church.

  103. Daphne says;

    “Gamma: the only reason Gonzi is being put forward is the most obvious one that he is the Nationalist Party’s unique selling point. ”

    Then God/Allah/ Jehovah/ Buddha ectect help us all!

    Unique selling point?

    Words fail me.

  104. 35 member of parliaments, 14 ministers + god knows how many parliamentary secretaries and the only selling point is Gonzi? If this is not an admission of failure don’t know what could be!

  105. @ James Cauchi: Of course a Wind Farm at Sea is not an impossibility. They’re already being built, and are past the experimtation stage, so anyone who is trying to pooh pooh such a proposal had better think again:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/kent/6188133.stm

    http://www.bwea.com/offshore/index.html

    http://www.bowind.co.uk/index.htm

    http://www.power-technology.com/projects/middelgrunden/

    http://uk.nystedhavmoellepark.dk/frames.asp

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1755413.stm

  106. I’m surprised nobody is talking about yesterday’s developments. The cabinet memo and the Mepa board resignation surely had an effect on some floating voters. Emmy Bezzina has a greater chance of being elected than Pullicino now.

  107. David Friggieri

    No Daphne, you can also achieve your objectives by calling a spade a spade OUTSIDE the framework of ‘party-pragmatism’. Several articles and debates in newspapers like La Repubblica, El Pais, The Guardian whatever are not strictly speaking ‘practical’ in the terms you suggest. But the societies they inform are certainly enriched for having debates which open horizons, challenge the status quo of ‘what is possible’ and refuse to accept the eternal choice between Good and Evil.

    Your brand of being practical leads you to a winner takes all situation. In my eyes that’s a stalemate. This blog appears to be a platform for a different way of looking at things. In my book, that’s fairly refreshing in zero-game Malta.

  108. Keith had it been any other country the leaked memo would have marked the end of Gonzi’s political career. Bot not here.

    As regards to the MEPA board resignation….ah well, don’t worry, Gonzipn promised he will will reform it. He promised to do in the next 5 years what he failed to do in the last 5. The only problem is that now he is no longer credible.

    J’accuse comment: I’m sorry Rupert but I think this memo business is becoming ridiculous. It’s one thing arguing passionately and its another to argue blindly. Now I am ready to criticise the naitonalist government and you know this… especiallyon its choices regarding democracy, freedom and liberty. In this matter however we must call a spade a spade. Sant is either stiupid or acting stupid when he bandies a document for discussion in a Cabinet Committee as something that tells us what the PN will do in the future. The only proof the memo has is that the subject was discussed and then it was discarded and not taken up by the Cabinet. I saw similar reasoning when Bondi asked a few questions regarding the Pjan Gdid tal-Bidla… Sant’s answer was similar… we consulted experts but we did not accept the recommendation so it is not in our manifesto. Where is the difference? Of course the cabinet (committee) discussed it. That it is an option is clear. Hell it was an option to make citizens pay for certain health services in 96 (under Sant). That the Cabinet did not take up the option is also clear. Why Gonzi’s career should end on this of all reasons is unclear to me. Whether his career would be put in question if after the people decided he would refuse a coalition in order to form a government then that is another thing.

    re. MEPA…. does anyone doubt it has been a failure?

  109. Daphne, you’re right that there are different views in the Nationalist Party, and that those differences have been aired publicly by some politicians (I also know that several younger politicians are privately pro-divorce but would nbot dare say so publicly). But the official party line is that divorce and same sex unions will not be accepted. As I recall, Gonzi has said as much from day one insofar as divorce is concerned.

    You’re also right that we can pick and choose candidates, but that too is subject to qualification. The leadership of PN – Gonzi and Tonio Borg – is from the Azzjoni Kattolika wing of the party. No matter how many liberal MPs we elect, the leadership will not budge, the backbenchers will not introduce private member bills, and if they did the party whip would not allow a free vote. Gonzi has insisted that he would not allow a free vote on divorce. So, beautiful as ideological pluralism may be, when it comes to the nitty gritty PN is still a party that does not see the difference between the public and private sphere when it comes to certain social matters.

  110. So the Pn parliamentary group includes liberals who are in favour of divorce etc. This might be so, but they have not made any headway or had any influence during the last legislature. That’s because they can talk about how liberal and open-minded they are but they will bow down to party discipline and vote according to party lines when it comes to the crunch. That’s why voting for these “liberal” candidates doesn’t make a blind bit of difference. It’s not their ideas which are promoted but those of Gonzi – and he is obstinately anti-divorce.
    Constructive criticism is all very well and good but what if it has no effect? I can’t help noticing that the only time criticism brings about change in the two major parties is before election time, when for example, Gonzi realises that something is rotten within MEPA and vows to transform it single-handedly. But where was he when letters and articles criticising MEPA were inundating the letters pages of our newspapers? Keeping mum and letting his ministers take the flak. Which just goes to show that criticism might be a useful way of venting one’s frustration at maladministration and inaction but produces no tangible results.

  111. Seems like yesterday wasn’t Gonzi’s best day in the electoral campaign, certainly one which he wishes the electorate will forget by the 8th of March. The cabinet memo had him interrupt his daytrip to Gozo for justification, and then this MEPA thing had to happen.

  112. “Seems like yesterday wasn’t Gonzi’s best day in the electoral campaign” – now that’s an understatement. 🙂

  113. Now MLP’s Moat and Boat Project – that’s certainly one to wonder about. As Daphne says, who is going to leave his car at home and use the thing? I wouldn’t, that’s for sure. It’s more that enough that we have to cross water to get to Gozo (and that’s accompanied by the car), who wants to be doing the same to get to the Three Cities?

  114. Gold Roast Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 2:02 pm
    “Malta is anomalous in a secular Europe”

    Thank heavens for that!

    Anyone reglarly following world events (not just NET , PBS or Super 1) on the numerous foreign news channels on tv knows exactly what is going on thanks to the progressive secularizaion there.

    It seems to be ok for some, to be liberal and advocate change for the sake of it, where our “Malteseness” is concerned , simply to mimic the rest of Europe, warts and all. But God forbid if we so much as contemplate changing the status qua where , the divine right of the PN, (now GonziPN )to reign forever in Malta is concerned .

    Those conflicting messages, in my humble opinion, have something to do with fighting the inner demons of uncontrollable feelings of insecurity and a huge inferiority complex laden with an uncontrollable resentment at being born in small unimportant Malta at a particular moment in its not so distant past.

    I am talking in general here and not necessarily @ you, Roasty. 🙂

  115. Victor Laiviera

    Cora, re bad weather – that is one of the main advantages of this project – the boats don’t have to leave harbout and go inti the open sea. And the sea inside the harbours may be choppy in bad weather but never too rough to navigate.

  116. Jacques you are missing one very important point – namely that Gonzi denied that the issue was even discussed. That makes him a liar which in my books does not make him fit to be PM.

  117. Victor Laiviera

    Indded it is Rupert. In any other serious western democracy, Gonzi would have resigned by now. Biut not in Malta.

  118. Why isn’t anyone considering basing a power station on reclamed land?

  119. Re the MEPA Board, and MEPA itself for that matter: Now this is one of PN’s biggest mistakes. If the PM knew about the enormous problems MEPA was posing (and he obviously did, otherwise why would he have volunteered to take the Authority under his wing during the coming legislation?), then why did he not do anything about it before? Why let four whole years pass, and leave the solving of everything to do with MEPA in the realm of electoral promises? There was more than enough time to start solving problems before now. This is certainly a case of too little too late. Bad mistake, as many people have big problems with the way MEPA operates, and how it has dealt with them.

  120. ” Rupert Cefai Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 2:44 pm
    “Seems like yesterday wasn’t Gonzi’s best day in the electoral campaign” – now that’s an understatement. ”

    Careful how you refer to the “PN’S UNIQUE SELLING POINT”, you rude thing , you.

  121. Claire Bonello Says:

    “February 28, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Constructive criticism is all very well and good but what if it has no effect? I can’t help noticing that the only time criticism brings about change in the two major parties is before election time, when for example, Gonzi realises that something is rotten within MEPA and vows to transform it single-handedly. But where was he when letters and articles criticising MEPA were inundating the letters pages of our newspapers? Keeping mum and letting his ministers take the flak. Which just goes to show that criticism might be a useful way of venting one’s frustration at maladministration and inaction but produces no tangible results.”

    Ever watched “Yes Minister” and “Yes Prime minister” series?
    🙂

  122. May the MEPA board resignation have had this effect on certain floating voters: relief? A feeling of: at last we’re moving? Just asking!

  123. Nothing that was happening with MEPA’s blessing happened behind Gonzi’s back.
    Pullicino is just the scapegoat.

  124. Well Gamma, my comparison of Malta with Cyprus is hardly comforting. Cyprus is an insular relgion-dominated culture too … so there you go. Cyprus is better in the sense that it has divorce, but Greek orthodox church doesn’t forbid it (unless it occurs more than 3 times … now who would marry and divorce three times in lifetime? don’t tell me Jennifer Lopez … ). It’s worse in the sense that it forbids homosexuals in the army and has forbidden homosexuals from getting a driving license on grounds of mental illness, so it’s even worse as far as gay rights go. But there you go … self-governing islets thinking they are the centre of the universe!

  125. Victor Laiviera

    Moggy – traffic congestion is getting worse by tha day – and there is no way it can be reversed.

    When the choice is beteen a boat-trip and a two/thrre hour trip frm Cospicua to Slima (most of it stuck in a traffic jam) you may change your mind.

  126. Daphne, I wasn’t going to get into the question of sexual health again, but it is too important to sweep under the carpet. Any public health expert will tell you that there is a direct correlation between the teaching of abstinence as the only means of contraception and the incidence of STDs. The state of Georgia in the United States is one such example that I have seen extensive (as yet unpublished) empirical studies about. I suspect that you favour the improvement of sexual education in Malta, so why not just call a spade a spade on an issue that is literally (yes, literally) a matter of life and death? As for the UK, I see the results of poor sexual education every day when I mistake young mothers for older sisters – sexual education in the UK is nothing to write home about either and it has been compared negatively to the Netherlands’ approach.

  127. “Rupert Cefai Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    re. MEPA…. does anyone doubt it has been a failure?”

    Any prizes available for the right answer?

  128. Gamma, those were not my words, they were Jacques’

  129. sorry RC.

  130. Gold Roast Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm
    Well Gamma, my comparison of Malta with Cyprus is hardly comforting. Cyprus is an insular relgion-dominated culture too … so there you go. Cyprus is better in the sense that it has divorce, but Greek orthodox church doesn’t forbid it (unless it occurs more than 3 times … now who would marry and divorce three times in lifetime? don’t tell me Jennifer Lopez … ). It’s worse in the sense that it forbids homosexuals in the army and has forbidden homosexuals from getting a driving license on grounds of mental illness, so it’s even worse as far as gay rights go. But there you go … self-governing islets thinking they are the centre of the universe!”

    You forgot something as well. Cyprus is a divided island. Half of it forms part of Turkey, though one tends to forget it when it comes to voting in the ESC.
    🙂

  131. No wrong … the other half (more like a third) is a republic which only Turkey recognizes, and anyway, I was talking about the Greek part. The Muslim Turkish part probably isn’t any better anyway.

  132. Vic: .the Harbours project is one of the best ideas MLP came up with in this campaign and I’m all for its rapid implementation. My question is: can commuters from Sliema use this means of transport to Valletta on a daily basis to go to work, or will the price and length of voyage be prohibitive, especially for civil servants? That’s the main issue with the Sliema ferry at the moment -price.

    Rupert: it’s really strange how yesterday’s events do not raise any discussion in this blog. The MEPA resignation vindicates AD’s position all along, and the health issue reduces a straight-talking PM to an unreliable waffler in the best Clinton tradition. (When is a Cabinet memo not a Cabinet memo?) This might well be the turning point, or it might just as easily be buried under other stories by the weekend.

    Yet, in zero-game Malta, minds are already so deeply set that not even such developements can pull us off our pre-set mental trajectories. The lack of discussion on this blog attests to that fact. So the impact on the election outcome could well be a minimal one. In this election more than others however (where the result will probably be a cliff-hanger), a minimal shift can make all the difference.

  133. “J’accuse comment: I’m sorry Rupert but I think this memo business is becoming ridiculous.”

    Jaxcques, I think you miss the point. The issue here is not whether Gonzi plans to introduce payments for public health. Quite frankly I think that is a proposal worth discussing in detail, because we all know – or at least should know – that the present system is unsustainable.

    The point behind the leaked memo is that when confronted with it, Gonzi simply lied. He claimed that cabinet had never discussed any such proposal. And yet, even I knew in 2004 that the subject was being discussed. I even wrote an article about it in August 2004. With hindsight I now realise I obviously hit a raw nerve – Edgar Gambin of the health department came out guns blazing against my suggestion that “free health” was under some form of threat… now we know why.
    Anyway: bottom line is that Cabinet DID discuss the issue. So why did Gonzi say there was no discussion?

    Apart from being caught with his pants on fire, there is another angle to this story. Strategically, Gonzi passed up an excellent to show some mettle for a change. All he had to say was: “:yes, we did discuss it in 2004, but the proposal was rejected.” End of story. But no. Gonzi rose to the bait even though he knew he was on shaky ground, and all along should have suspected that Sant would have a document of sorts up his sleeve. If he had any political “nous”, that is…

    So Gonzi is the PN’s unique selling point, is he? I’d hate to see what they keep on the bottom shelf.

    PS – this was my concluding paragraph in 2004: “Some (though not all) of my sources also imply that the present government is actively toying with the idea of phasing out the NHS model altogether in order to adopt a model similar to that used in the USA… where medical service is covered by private insurance packages. This might explain the zeal with which certain quarters have defended the new hospital project… for private insurance schemes would certainly relieve the government of a sizeable percentage of its recurring expenditure on health.

  134. “where the result will probably be a cliff-hanger”

    This current election reminds me of the last Italian election … an unpopular outgoing prime minister (Berlusconi=Gonzi?) versus a failed ex-prime minister (Prodi=Sant?) … the result was a cliff-hanger, and so were the next two years of Prodi government (whose fate we all know). Will history repeat itself in mini-Malta?

  135. “So Gonzi is the PN’s unique selling point, is he? I’d hate to see what they keep on the bottom shelf. ”

    Gorg’s MEPA?

  136. I think that Daphne meant unique in the sense that no other party has a selling point that compares, not in the sense that it is the only selling point that PN has.

  137. “Moggy Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm
    May the MEPA board resignation have had this effect on certain floating voters: relief? A feeling of: at last we’re moving? Just asking!!

    Whatever has happened to FAA, DLH and other NGOs who campaigned so vociferously up to a few months ago for reform at some MEPA divisions? Only AD seems to have made its voice heard so far.

  138. How boats and moats enter a blog discussion on negative campaigning? Does the moat count as positive or negative? What about the boats? What is their position?

  139. “Gold Roast Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm
    “where the result will probably be a cliff-hanger”

    This current election reminds me of the last Italian election … an unpopular outgoing prime minister (Berlusconi=Gonzi?) versus a failed ex-prime minister (Prodi=Sant?) … the result was a cliff-hanger

    Locally that was refered to as a “photofinish” in 1996.
    🙂

  140. Justin, you are very brave to volunteer an opinion on what you think daphne might have wanted to say. Very brave indeed. In fact you must be another iljun tal-bidla…

  141. ‘iljun tal-bidla’ xi jkun?

    J’accuse comment: Nofs triq bejn Lion King u Transformer. Soon to be found in your local toy stores. On a serious note I think you can search that phrase in You Tube… something to do with Michael Falzon… found it…

    P.S: Ma jfakkrekx fil-pie?

  142. That clip is about the only decent thing to ahve come out of this campaign so far

  143. “Raphael Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm
    Justin, you are very brave to volunteer an opinion on what you think daphne might have wanted to say. Very brave indeed. In fact you must be another iljun tal-bidla…”

    Suwicida more like it!
    🙂

  144. Milli jidher, crew tal-One news gew mizmuma milli johorgu minn bini fin-Naxxar (kontra l-volonta taghhom) wara attivita ta Gonzipn ma jmorrux isaqsuh xi mistoqsija imbarazzanti. Fejnhom il-paladini tal-liberta tal-istampa?

  145. Imma skond it-tajms ta malta din l-ahbar aktar importanti

    http://timesofmalta.com/election2008/view/20080228/news/pm-sprains-a-thumb

  146. Raphael – I’m with you on the ljun.

    I’m less with you on your post about Gonzi’s supposed lie.

    Look at it this way. A preliminary paper came up – cabinet said it could not decide without more information (ever been in a meeting when you want to kill someone’s idea? ‘We don’t have enough information…’). Someone put that information together and resubmitted; the issue was killed before it got to cabinet. So, knowing this, when Gonzi is asked whether cabinet discuss it, he says no, it didn’t. Correctly.

    As for the question as to whether the idea should have been killed at all – well, it’s a good one. But you can be sure that that wasn’t the angle that Alfred Sant was going to pick up.

    See Fausto’s take on all this: http://www.malta9thermidor.blogspot.com/

  147. Alfred Sant is a fine one to criticise re this Sahha b’Xejn business! Who was is who charged patients 50 cents for every prescription issued for free drugs, only a few years ago?

  148. Patrick, like Jacques, you are missing the point. this has nothing to do with his intention (or not) to introduce any form of fees/charges in the health sector but with the fact that he lied. He denied that the issue was discussed at cabinet level and now we know that it was done. In any democracy this is unacceptable.

  149. The issue is not whether our health system can/should be totally free forever. In a country where people tried to behave rationally and objectively this issue would be discussed calmly and perennial spongers of the system weeded out (those people who pop into the polyclinic for free cotton wool when they can jolly well afford it) so allowing those others who really need free medical services to benefit from it.
    The issue is that Gonzi constantly denied that the cabinet had ever discussed the issue – when the memo shows that the matter was in fact discussed and a conclusion made (cabinet agrees charging is a good idea but not yet – we might lose votes). This doesn’t do much for his credibility

  150. Erm, Rupert…did you actually read what I said? The issue was killed before it got to cabinet level. So he said that cabinet did not discuss it.

  151. THE SPRAINED THUMB

    Victor – do you think he did it on purpose? To gain sympathy votes? Hmm.

    (http://timesofmalta.com/election2008/view/20080228/news/pm-sprains-a-thumb ):

  152. Patrick, just becuase Gonzi denied it it doesn’t mean its not true

    from the published document

    Page 4 says: “On 26 July 2004, the Minister of Health presented to Cabinet a concept policy paper recommending a new financing strategy for the public health care sector, in order to ensure the sustainability of high-quality and efficient health services for the benefit of our population.”

    Page 11 the report says: “Fees imposed by regulations for the provision of health care or health support services to Maltese and foreign citizens. The Cabinet has agreed in principle to this concept, but fees for Maltese citizens will not be introduced for the moment due to their political underpinnings.”

  153. Patrick: Maybe when he denied it, he should have been more specific. If it was not at Cabinat level, then he should have said exactly when, where, how and at what level it was discussed. As it is, he gave the impression that the issue had never crossed anyone’s mind, which it had.

    @Claire Bonello: Our health care comes at a price. It is NOT free, and has never been. We pay for it when we pay our taxes and NI. “Free” is a misnomer in this case.

  154. Victor Laiviera

    Patrick, the memo says “Cabinet HAS approved…….”

    Not “cabinet may approve” or “cabinet should approve…”

    That means the memo could only have been written AFTER the memo was discussed in cabinet.

    Gonzi is lying – punto e basta.

  155. Victor Laiviera

    Moggy, please not that old “50cents” chestnut.

    Get real.

  156. Victor: After you….

  157. No, Patrick. The PM said that Cabinet never discussed it. The document states otherwise. We are free to choose to believe whoever we wish to believe. Besides, if what the PM said is true, it remains a half truth that rests on a technicality. It was politically disingenuous and not quite 100% honest, whether you believe the PM or the contents of the document.

  158. The memo says that “the Cabinet agrees in principle”. How would the compiler of the memo know unless it had been discussed with the members of the Cabinet?

  159. Victor: any ideas on whether the ticket prices of this harbour ferry will turn out to be prohibitively expensive, leaving it “dead in the water”, so to speak.

  160. This incident reminds me of the Hungarian PM incident. Subsequent to the last elections, a tape emerged where he admitted he had lied during the elections. Riots ensued. The chap in question is still heading the government today. So much for democracy.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5358546.stm

  161. Ghal Gonzi il-gideb mhux problema siehbi. Dak ghandu lil zijuh jghaddilu kelma

  162. David Friggieri

    Ara haqq, ahna niddiskutu ‘secularism’, ‘third approach’, ‘different way of looking at things’, ‘pragmatism’, ‘decent debate’ u l-bqija …

    U jigi l-Lion King igibna naqra down to earth!

    DSUI (dahk spjetat u inkontrollabbli)

  163. Justin – happy to go along with you. More precision about any preliminary discussion would have been nice.

    My point is, however, that when it came down to business, the idea was killed before it got to cabinet stage. Whatever the fond hopes of the memo-drafter may have been.

    Gonzi clearly thought that the throwing out of the full proposal before getting to cabinet, was more important than what happened to a concept paper that was sent back with a request for further detail.

    Should he have been more precise? Probably. May we all be so.

  164. Times Report: “The Office of the Prime Minister said the claim in the report that the Cabinet agreed in principle on the introduction of fees was a misrepresentation of the Cabinet brief given to the experts to prepare the policy report.”

    The most straigthtforward way to kill this potentially lethal story is to publish the Cabinet brief in question, thereby nipping this story in the bud.

  165. U ejja sur Friggieri, issa ammetti li int ukoll tixtieq li ghandek ziju li jsta jghaddilek kelma, hux? 🙂

  166. Victor Laiviera: That means the memo could only have been written AFTER the memo was discussed in cabinet.

    … which would make the Ministers clairvoyant.

  167. Claire Bonello: The memo says that “the Cabinet agrees in principle”. How would the compiler of the memo know unless it had been discussed with the members of the Cabinet?

    Paraphrase that to: “How would the compiler of the memo know unless it had been discussed with the members of the Cabinet something which couldn’t have happened considering that Cabinet meets and deliberate behind closed doors?

    It could have, of course, be done through a note: “Dear Expert, Cabinet is of the view that we should charge fees for health. But not yet due to political underpinnings: general elections may be years off and the EP election behind us but we fear the loss of Bubaqra Local Council in three months’ time. We’ll wait. For obvious security reasons this note will auto-destruct in five seconds.”

  168. Dispassionate: The most straigthtforward way to kill this potentially lethal story is to publish the Cabinet brief in question, thereby nipping this story in the bud.

    The Cabinet minute is quoted in the DoI press release.

  169. sur fausto, qisek il-bubaqra united tiddefendi kontra xi juventus, cioe ghalxejn. gonzi gideb qal li ma ddiskuta xejn u mhux li kien hemm proposta u ma accettahhiex. ghalfejn dan il-kliem ma qalux qabel?

  170. isma nies, ghax hawn jidher li hawn erba jafu jahsbu. issa li gonzi wegga idejh, il-par idejn sodi jibqghu? jekk wahda soda u l-ohra le x’jigri? madunna xi nkwiet……

  171. “Ministers agreed that before definitive decisions could be taken … a more detailed policy proposal should be submitted to Cabinet for consideration.” (Extract of Minutes of Cabinet Meeting held on 26 July 2004, paġni 2-3)

    Did they come to their decision telepathically or was there some sort of discussion? Remember that Gonzi had said that it was never discussed, presumably to avoid admitting that the idea was not dismissed as a non-starter. This is yet another example of the electorate being taken for fools. Had we been treated like adults who understand decision-making processes, the PM would not be in this mess.

  172. Thanks Fausto. When you dissect the information it appears that:

    1) A memo was submitted for disvussion on user charges before Cabinet. Cabinet refuised to discuss before a more detailed policy propsoal was prepared (this is normal practise) .

    2) The Cabinet mandate simply requests more inframtion, without indicating any prior agreement in principo on the issue.

    3) The policy proposal was submitted before a Cabinet Committe, which however rejected it outright, thereby pre-empting any discussion. So there was no discussion at this stgae either ( the argument that this was not Cabimet as such does not wash politically, this committe is after all a sub-branch of Cabinet)

    Conclusions; Although channels of communication clearly went haywire somewhere (why should the proposal be rejected outright if it was simply acting on a mandate from Cabinet), this is not the knock-out blow that was being initially depicted. There’s still some more explaining to do, thuogh.

  173. All the PM had to do was to say was ‘yes we discussed the issue but we discarded the proposals’. Was that so difficult to say if it was the truth? It is blatantly obvious that in one way or another the cabinet knew about the issue so why be dishonest about it? I find the fact that our PM finds it so easy to lie very disturbing.

  174. Did they come to their decision telepathically or was there some sort of discussion?

    It’s like one of those KSU decisions where the outcome is a forgone conclusions and discussion would be a waste of time.

  175. Had almost made my mind to vote PN. With Gonzi’s blatant lie about the health report and Caqnu’s permit, I’ve decided. AD, add one vote.

  176. Victor Laiviera

    I have just realised that this blog is populated by contorsionists.

    Mind you don’t sprain something trying to get Gonzi off the hook guys. :.

  177. The fact that Dafnay has not stuck her big nose in this yet tells me that Gonzi lied…she decided to hide.

  178. Malcolm Buttigieg

    There is only one issue and the issue here is not related to whether there will be charges for health services or otherwise.

    The issue is about speaking out the truth.

    The TRUTH!

    I cannot trust Gonzi, because he attempts to look straight at me on TV and blatantly lie.

    Actually, – his eyes moved slightly to the upper left, which is a subconscious reaction when somebody is not saying the truth or imagining. For instance try imagining that the sea is yellow. Your eyes will instinctively turn left.

    Today, an idea crossed my mind. What if the next Prime Minister decides to nominate valid members of the opposition party or parties as Ministers. I bet that would be a surprise but a healthy one at that. It could lead to less division in this country of mere 400,000 people and probably Malta could achieve better progress. If I had the opportunity to be Prime Minister I would do it.

    But alas, my eyes have just instinctively turned left. I am only imagining!

  179. Gonzi sues Sant for having called him a liar in connection with payment for Hospital Services.

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/election2008/view/20080228/news/gonzi-cabinet-sue-sant-for-libel

  180. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Moggy, my answer would be ‘So!’

    What’s the real deal?

    I wonder how Dr Gonzi’s lawyers will prove that the document was not discussed at Cabinet level when it is clearly written in the report that the matter was actually discussed at such a high level giving exact dates and so on.

    Maybe Dr Gonzi was absent on that date.
    Maybe his cabinet wanted to discuss it in his absence.
    Maybe that is why he wants to change the cabinet if he gets elected as PM amd that is a maybe with a captial M.
    Maybe he had no control over what the cabinet discussed.
    Maybe he forgot that it was discussed at all
    Maybe…Maybe…Maybe…

    Which is the lesser evil! Quite frankly I am in no position to answer that because I am confused, or maybe I am not, anymore, or maybe I still am. No way!

    Apologies to all you nice folks if I managed to confuse you.

  181. “Gonzi, Cabinet, sue Sant for libel”

    I think this memo has sent the whole PN into a frenzy.

  182. Ara dan gonzi ukoll, kemm jiehu ghalih malajr. Nispera li talab biex tinstemha b’urgenza halli inkunu nafu w=qabel l-elezzjoni jekk hux giddieb jew le

  183. Malcolm read this. It seems it was one of Cabinet’s sub-committees (presided over by Louis Galea) which received and discussed the report:

    http://www.maltarightnow.com/?module=news&at=Ir%2Drapport+dwar+is%2Dsa%26%23295%3B%26%23295%3Ba+qatt+ma+wasal+f%27livell+ta%27+kabinett&t=a&aid=29475&cid=98.

  184. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Gonzi and cabinet can sue for libel, that is their right.
    Well I think that they should follow the example of the DCC board which handles applications in outside development zones and resign en masse. Dik l-irgulija. Tammetti li zbaljajt bl-ikrah u twarrab. Terfa ir-responasibilita, speci ta ghax il-hsara xorta tkun saret.

    Never mind, ten days now before the people decide on who they really trust!

    And I suspect that the great majority have already decided.

  185. BigFoot….iva, milli jidher b’urgenza.

  186. I don’t think we should allow ourselves to be taken for rides, though….and I get the feeling that we are.

  187. Malcolm Buttigieg

    I stand to be corrected but Gonzi apparently stated that when the proposal was brought to the cabinet’s attention it was dismissed for obvious reasons.
    Whether the report was done by a sub committe is irrelevant. Gonzi knew about it and therefore I am not sure whether to believe him or not when he was speaking about the issue on TV.

  188. u dan is-sub committee min huma l-membri tieghu nghid jien? Ganni u marinton nghid jien? mhux membri tal-kabinett stess! B’dan min irid jghaddi passata.

  189. Just saw MLP’s advertising spot about this on TVM. The spot says that Cabinet decided to introduce payments but that it will do so after the election. There is now one set of lies that is 100% clear.

  190. The report was not “done” by a sub-committee. It was carried out by a Health expert and presented to the sub-commitee.

  191. Justin BB: I just saw that spot. Did you realise that Gonzi was quoted as saying that Cabinet in no way APPROVED an introduction of fees. The spot also says what you describe: that Cabinet had decided to introduce the fees after the election.

    Now is that true?

  192. Gonzi now says that the sentence “was a misinterpretation on part of the experts that produced the document of the mandate that was given to them by Cabinet”. This is not the most believable off explanations – these documents are usually scrutinised and checked after the bumbling (scape goat?) experts have drawn them up…

  193. Quick post in defence of my earlier comment.Too busy atm to write at length. But Patrick wrote this: “A preliminary paper came up .” Let’s not fool ourselves here. Preliminary papers don;t “come up” on their own. Louis Deguara had spent two whole years before that constantly harping on the escalating costs of public health. He claimed to be “alarmed” at what he himself described as “unsustainable” costs – this was in two interviews, one with the independent and another with the times, both in 2003. There were discussions on te issue between the finance miistry, the health ministry and the social policy ministry (which at the time was gonzi’s). this is on-the-record stuff, but don;t have time to dig up the info. Four years later we discover that a preliminary report on the issue of charging for public health was presented to ad hoc committee – so, even if you accept the explanation that it was shot down before reaching Cabinet level (which i find very hard to believe when you consider that the memo states clearly that “Cabinet had approved in principle”), I personally cannot believe Gonzi when he said the matter was never discussed at all.

    Naturally you can all draw your own conclusions.

  194. Malcolm Buttigieg

    It is pointless discussing details otherwise we miss the wood for the trees.

    My choice between the so called lesser evils is based on a fundamental principle – honesty.

    Honesty or the lack of it leads to credibility!

  195. Moggy, that was exactly my point – the MLP spot is packed with lies. Not quite the refreshing honesty that one would expect when the other party is caught up in a half truth.

  196. Eureka Justin BB!!!!!

  197. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Justin, In my view, at this stage of the electoral campaign, things are getting annoyingly dirty on both sides of the large political parties.

    A prime minister for goodness’ sake is a prime minister and he shoulders a very big responsibility. Therefore I humbly ask you, can you please describe what you mean by half truth and also please can you tell me who uttered that ‘half truth’?

  198. Why is Super One giving the idea, in its spot, that Cabinet has decided to introduce payment for Health Care after the elections?

    Is that what the Memo said?

  199. Please tell me: did the Memo say that Cabinet had decided to introduce payment for Health services after the elections?

  200. Annoyingly dirty is right, Malcolm! 😦

  201. Please tell me: did the Memo say that Cabinet had decided to introduce payment for Health services after the elections?

    No. Remember this was December 2004. Can you imagine Cabinet saying “Oh, there’s an election at the doorstep — in three years time. Let’s leave it to 2008 or 2009”.

    Btw, here’s Dr Xerri’s statement.

    Faux pas from Sant. This will be like the claim that, as chairman of the University Selection Committee, he barred entry to EFA’s son.

  202. vera, vera, biss qatt ma rajt lil tal-PN ippanikjati daqshekk. Jidher li din tghathom gewwa mhux hazin. tghid laqghat il-musmar fuq rasu fredu?

  203. I cannot trust Gonzi, because he attempts to look straight at me on TV and blatantly lie.

    Had Cabinet discussed the memo Gonzi would have said “it was discussed in the context of a broader discussion on financing of health service. But this particular proposal was shot down” especially knowing that the man who was the most senior staffer in the Minister of Health is a turncoat.

  204. moggy – assuming you are the moggy I know – if you were opposition leader and a document landed on your lap around a week before an election,saying in clear, unambiguous terms that: “Cabinet agreed in principle 9with charging for health)”… but that payments “should not be introduced for the moment because of political underpinnings”… what would you do?

    would you:

    a) run an ad on TV claiming that government intends to introduce charges for healthcare after the election?

    b) Say that you have the document but cast doubt on whether that particular sentence was actually true?

    c) shred the document and pretend you never saw it?

    if you answered b or c please inform the vatican so that they can start arrangements for your canonisation immediately.

    if you answered a, kindy stop defending gonzi on this issue.

  205. Fausto – are you saying that Michael Woods is the civil servant who wrote the Cabinet memo?

  206. God almighty. Now I get it. The moggies and the faustos actually, genuinely and truly believe that Cabinet didn;lt discuss introducing charges for health in 2004. They actually think that the insertion of the sentence “Cabinet agreed in principle” was an act of sabotage by a disgruntled Labour civil servant.

    Guys: aren;t you the ones who call undecided voters “stupid and immature”? And weren’t you in hysterics at al the “misprints” in the labour manifesto? Well, look at you all now. desperately eager to believe that the above, damning sentence was a “mistake”.

    I give up on the lot of you. Bye.

  207. I’m still not convinced Gonzi is a virgin in this matter. He’s cooking it up in such a way to make it look so. But, I say, if this matter actually went to a subcommittee of a committee, aren’t matters discussed in a subcommittee also a responsibility of the committee? And I believe Gonzi, chairing the Cabinet, should be informed of what going on in his subcommittees or …. ???

  208. And what does “Cabinet agreed in principle” mean?

  209. It seems that Fausto etc are presenting an intriguing conspiracy theory according to which a pissed-off Nationalist civil servant inserted the phrase “Cabinet agrees in principle” in a memo which was seen but not commented or corrected by same Cabinet members. Why? Perhaps we should be applying the most obvious explanation – namely that Cabinet members did discuss it at some point and decided not to act because of the political fall-out (also keeping in mind the meal the vociferous criticsim that the PN had levelled against MLP’s 50 cents fee)

  210. Raphael

    Can you hear me from way up there on your high horse?

    The idea was drawn up by well intentioned experts. Their first effort was shot down and sent back to be beefed up. The experts seem to have got the message that ‘in principle’ their idea was thought to be a good one. When I am asked something and I say ‘in principle I agree with you, but…’ you can be sure I that I disagree with you but I am being diplomatic about it.

    Those well-intentioned experts, hope still welling in their hearts, beefed up their idea and tried again, this time in the form of a full, proper proposal.

    The best time in the electoral cycle to implement such a proposal was exactly then, in 2004.

    Instead, a cabinet committee – there, inter alia, to weed out proposals that don’t fit in with government policy – squashed this proposal, without even letting it get to cabinet. The time to be diplomatic was over. They killed it so dead that it never saw the light of day again until someone with a grudge picked it out of the drawer during the electoral campaign 4 yrs later. Here’s an plausible-sounding theory on who that might be: http://malta9thermidor.blogspot.com/

    It was killed because it was completely out of line with Government policy. Gonzi was asked whether it was ever on the cards. He said no – cabinet did not even discuss it. Should he have been more precise and said “cabinet-never-discussed-the-proposal-although-it-sent-back-an-earlier-concept-paper-because-it-was-inadequate?”

    Maybe that might have been more precise; but what he said is completely in line with the truth: this was never seriously on the cards. As others have said, maybe it should have been, but that’s another story.

    Read the statement by the poor expert who wrote the damn thing.
    http://www.doi.gov.mt/EN/press_releases/2008/02/pr0377.pdf

    Surely this is done to death now?

    G’night.

  211. Fausto – are you saying that Michael Woods is the civil servant who wrote the Cabinet memo?

    No, per charita’! I just drew attention to the fact that Thomas (not Michael) Woods was senior staff of the Minister’s private secretariat. The author of the memo was Dr Ray Xerri and, no, Raph, he’s not a disgruntled Labour civil servant and, no, Claire, I’m not cooking up some conspiracy theory. Here’s what he said in his statement:

    “Point Number 4 in page 11 of the document is only my interpretation at that moment. Point Number 4 and the entire document so did not reflect the Cabinet’s and Government’s position that Minister Dr Louis Galea refused to discuss it in this Committee”.

  212. Thanks Fausto – the conspiracy theory was more exciting though. Still wondering how the well-intentioned expert dreamt up the notion that Cabinet in principle agreed that health care should be paid for….

  213. Victor Laiviera

    Today, while covering a PN activity in Naxxar, ONE journalists were physicall y restrained and illegally locked up by PN security personnl for over an hour – to prevent thenm from approaching Gonzi and asking questions.

    These are fascist tactics – we all need to speak up about this.

  214. Fausto, per carita – carita si scrive cosi’. Non c’he bisogno della ‘h’. Come non c’era bisogno della ‘h’ in ‘c’he’ 🙂

  215. Victor Laiviera

    Patrick – it hasn’t even started yet. If the PN thinks it can kill this by pushing forward a civil servant and making him a scapegoat, it is sadly mistaken.

  216. Raphael, which Kurosawa film is that quote from? I’ve seen a bunch and it doesn’t ring a bell.

  217. Fausto, per carita – carita si scrive cosi’. Non c’he bisogno della ‘h’. Come non c’era bisogno della ‘h’ in ‘c’he’

    Doh! Thanks. There is an ‘h’ in “Doh” isn’t there?

  218. “Moggy Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm
    Alfred Sant is a fine one to criticise re this Sahha b’Xejn business! Who was is who charged patients 50 cents for every prescription issued for free drugs, only a few years ago??@

    In my humble opinion, one of the few sensible and realistic desicions to come out of the doomed Sant cabinet of 1996/98.

  219. Victor, do you have a web link for the story about the Super One journalists please? I can’t find anything.

  220. “Patrick Tabone Says:

    February 28, 2008 at 4:38 pm
    THE SPRAINED THUMB

    Victor – do you think he did it on purpose? To gain sympathy votes? Hmm.

    (http://timesofmalta.com/election2008/view/20080228/news/pm-sprains-a-thumb ):”

    Little Jack Horner.
    sat in a corner.
    Eating his Christmas pie,
    He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
    And said “What a good boy am I!”

  221. patrick, I can’t believe you just wrote that. “The idea was drawn up by well intentioned experts”? what nonsense. the idea was placed on the table by louis deguara after he consistently pointed out that the health bill was too expensive, He has said this time and again, in black on white in the press, for frig’s sake. The experts were appointed by and answerable to cabinet, and the report was drawn up to be presented to cabinet because.. surprise surprise.. it was cabinet that was discussing ways and means of introducing charges for some aspects of healthcare in 2004. Not because they are evil nazis, but because of force majeur. Remember that hospital that cost us Lm300 million+? and which costs a million a week to run? That is why health reform was such as issue in 2004. And guess what? cabinet “agreed in principle” that sooner or later, something had to be done… but sooner rather than later, for they also knew that the party which ends free healthcare for all, is also the party that spends the next million years in opposition.
    Now, as I believe as I’ve already stated on this blog, I’m not saying this only now because of sant’s press conference on wednesday. I wrote this in 2004, because I hapened to know as much at the time. But of course if it makes your life easier beliveing the PN spin machine, be my guest.

  222. keith – it wasn;t a film it was from an interview i read somewhere… will look it up for you sometime, but not now

  223. keith – it wasn;t a film it was from an interview i read somewhere… will look it up for you sometime, but not now

    “Dragons illustrated”? Or “Il-Passa”? 🙂

  224. I truly cannot understand this clamour about the alleged intention to introduce some form of payment in the NHS.

    It is amazing to note that the uproar has been created by the only person who actually started to ask for money for certain health services ie Dr. Alfred Sant. Intendiamoci, I agree with the intention behind Sant’s measures at the time since it would have helped to curtail abuse on prescription drugs and Ni certificates. However, the implentation and the logistics of these measures left much to be desired.

    The AD ‘watermelon’ people (VERDI FUORI MA ROSSI DENTRO) seem to be rather amused with this ‘SGUUB’, as Aldo Biscardi would call it. I would in turn be amused to hear their proposals on the much-needed health care reform, but that would be asking for too much as it has nothing to do with birds, fields and development zones.

    Health care and its costs is one of the major challenges (together with the energy crisis and illegal immigration) that this country has to face it the near future. It has to be taken seriously and not with the usual ‘demagogia’. We are dealing with peoples’ lives here, we cannot afford to go wrong on this matter.

    I`m all ears for proposals.

  225. Flunky1: The health care cabinet memo has been leaked, Mr Prime Minister.
    Gonzi: What?!
    Flunky2: Sir, the MEPA board has resigned.
    Gonzi: WHAT?!

    Gonzi thinks it over, then grabs his right thumb with his left hand and snaps it back. CLACKETY-CLACK!

    I don’t think so, Patrick…

  226. cabinet “agreed in principle” that sooner or later, something had to be done

    … which, I trust you agree, is very different from “cabinet agreed in principle with fees”.

  227. Victor Laiviera

    Justin, no, not yet. I saw it in the news bulletin.

  228. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Fausto
    I can repeat this forever, The issue is that the cabinet discussed the matter and that Dr Gonzi stated on National TV that the matter was never discussed at cabinet level.

    We have to decide whether we believe our Prime Minister or the Cabinet Memo and report. Semplici jahasra.

    Words and details are irrelevant. Honesty though is not.

  229. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Anton, read my comment.

    If we need to introduce payments for NHS, because it is not sustainable anymore, so be it. That is not the issue.

    The issue is about honesty. Quite frankly I don’t really care what Labour or Alfred Sant says.

    For instance, I consider rubbish the proposal to build a golf course at Maghtab or Qortin. Just to make myself clear that I am not biased. If that could ever happen, it will not be within the next 5 years. So there is no point in promising something that will not take place within the next legislature.

    I consider principles to be of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, I feel that I have been let down.

    I will vote AD

  230. We have to decide whether we believe our Prime Minister or the Cabinet Memo and report. Semplici jahasra.

    I never said it wasn’t. Just a reminder: the author of the memo to Cabinet has admitted that particular claim in the memo was “his interpretation of the situation”. Of course, like Rene Rossignaud, he only confessed after being broken on the rack Gonzi de Torquemada keeps in the Castille basement.

  231. Victor Laiviera

    There are more ways to kill a cat than by choking it with cream, Fausto.

    And more ways to make a civil servant toe the line than by using the rack.

    PS: What do you think of the PN fascist tactics at Naxxar?

  232. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Victor

    A civil servant as the name implies has the duty to serve! However, his service should be directed at society in general.

    Nevertheless, this particular civil servant’s claims that he has written the report and his claims that he has included his own interpretation confirm that matter was in fact discussed at cabinet level. The outcome of the discussion or any interpretation thereof is not important.

    However, the statement by Dr Gonzi that the matter was never discussed by the cabinet is very important.

  233. Matthew Aquilina

    What happened at Naxxar today was disgraceful. How can a crew and cameraman become hostage by a PN thug? That’s an illegal arrest and a restriction set upon their freedom of movement. I used to be told that Labour in the past had thugs in a time where I was too young to understand anything. Is it the PN now that is engaging in anti-democratic stragegies and making use of these so-called thugs? It seems so after watching footage of the chaos in Naxxar.

  234. What happened in Naxxar? Provide link please. Thanks.

  235. Matthew Aquilina

    Once there will be a video put up on YouTube I shall provide link.

  236. What happened?

  237. Victor Laiviera

    Anton, when the activity finished, the ONE journalists were physically detained for about an hour untill everybody had left – to prevent them from approaching Gonzi.

  238. I see, thanks.

  239. Hope elections are over ASAP. Too much tension is building up……….alla fine e` solo un guioco…………..

  240. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Anton, I suggest you read tomorrow’s independent newspapers. I am sure that there will be e full report giving a detailed and truthful report.

    I will wake up at 5:30am tomorrow morning to buy the Malta Independent or The Times to read the exact interpretation of what happened.

    Actually I just rememeber I cannot do the above. It is the end of the month and my wallet is empty and my bank accont is zilch. Therefore I have to wait for my salary before I can afford to buy a newspaper,

    I may however consider visiting the internet version of the above indicated newspapers to go on line to read the reports.

  241. Justin, no, not yet. I saw it in the news bulletin.

    There was nothing on the first news bulletin of the day on One Radio.

  242. Nothing on maltastar.com either.

  243. So according to the times of malta…..”Dr Gonzi is insisting that the Cabinet had only once discussed a memorandum dealing with the idea of introducing payments on the health service and that the ministers agreed that before any “definitive decisions could be taken” a more detailed policy proposal had to be submitted.”

    So the cabinet DID discuss the issue! Why did he deny it?

    http://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20080229/local/report-author-denies-cabinet-discussed-proposals

  244. Keith/Fausto, a footage was shown during the day yesterday on One news.

  245. I don’t see what’s wrong with discussing that memo.

    I don’t know why Gonzi didn’t admit they discussed it and decided against it.

    All Gonzi had to do was say, “Health care IS free and WILL REMAIN free, even though we discussed that memo 4 years ago.”

    But alas…

  246. David Friggieri

    Guys, aren’t we all missing the wood for the trees yet again here by delving into the details of this health memo case?

    Isn’t it simply insane that politicians feel they have to hide, bury and throw a taboo veil over discussions about hunters/health care/family matters and so on, for fear of losing those crucial 5000 votes come election time?

    That’s the real question in my book. And both PN and MLP are to blame here. Sant is just playing his joker tricks with the system by bringing this up now.

  247. So its Sant’s fault that Gonzi dened it?

  248. David Friggieri

    No Rupert, it’s the system’s fault that this pantomime is taking place and we’re all hooked on the details. PN will keep on calling Sant ‘a liar’. MLP will keep on calling GonziPN ‘a liar’. Libel suits, allegations and insults will fly. Result: Great, we’re all liars. A nation of ‘liars’ and opportunists. Then, after the election’s over, back to business as usual and all the ‘liars’ live happily ever after.

  249. but as van der Rohe said…….God is in the details

    🙂

  250. Marcelle, the font is all screwed on that page… “L-impjieg taÿ-ÿewæ uffiçjali ta’ l-ADT li nstabu œatjin li xxaœœmu kien itterminat ftit jiem wara li deher ir-rapport f’it-Torça.”

    What’s the gist?

  251. David Friggieri makes the point which should really be THE issue.
    But some of you have decided to drag this down to popolin level.

    And what IF Gonzi lied? Anyone here believes for one second that the labour media would have reported correctly?

    In fact it strikes me that the discussions on this blog aren’t so different to what happens in real life with the the popolin.
    The ‘debate’ might be at a much higher level of thought, but ultimately it boils down to more of the same – the 2 tribes, a handful of genuine souls, and then the negative creeps complaining about everything and everyone, forever against whoever is in government/authority, but who conveniently have never had nor will never take a job which requires them to be answerable to the general public.

  252. the converse holds true – Sant as PM was savaged several times by both the PN and independent media when his intentions were good ones.
    and it goes on and on.

  253. apparently, Jason Buttigieg one of the two that were found guilty in the ADT case said

    Iva. gieli rcevejt telefonati minghand Tony Borg, segretarju ta’ Giovanna Debono fejn dan jghidli li jkunu telghin zewg kandidati u jekk ma jkunux perikoluzi nghaddihom dejjem jekk jinzertaw mieghi. Meta gieli nzertawli kandidati li jkollhom x’jaqsmu ma’ xi hadd tal-Ministeru, Roderick jghidli biex niehu hsiebu.”

  254. Matthew Aquilina

    This is the YouTube link I promised about what happened in Naxxar:

    Judge for yourselves.

  255. Viva l-liberta tal-istampa!! Fejn huma l-paladini tal-liberta?

  256. Victor Laiviera

    I have been in contact with some top peope at ONE radio/TV and they told me that they decide to deliberately suppress the Naxxar incident to avoid inflaming passions any further.

    I thinkit is a mistake.

  257. hehe ONE and NET are both bastions of mediocrity. But having said that, this event is shameful. the ONE journalist sounds like a decent fellow. They could have made more of a fuss about what was being done to them. good show gonzipn, good show.

  258. Prosit PN! Tkomplu taghxquha u tikkonfermaw kif il-partit huwa ggranfat mal-poter akkost ta’ kull principju. Innotaw li tas-security qal kemm-il darba li kellu ordni biex ma jhallihomx johorgu.

    Xoghol, GUSTIZZJA u LIBERTA`

    Ftit gimghat ilu kont konvint li se naghti l-1 lill-PN u t-2 lill-AD. Kulma jmur f’dil-kampanja elettorali qed juruni kemm ghandna bzonn ta’ politika gdida. Il-partiti l-kbar xebghu jitmellhu bin-nies u jkattru l-mibeghda. Hemm bzonn li ma nhalluhomx jibqghu jahsbu li ghandhom poter assolut, anke jekk il-prezz ikun PM inkompetenti ghal hames snin.

  259. dumbfounded

  260. Victor is right.

    An article about what happened on this blog was going to be published by Maltastar and also featured on ONE TV, but they blocked everything for the same reason Victor mentioned.

    The only mistake I am seeing here is lack of publicity for my grande persona. Taqbel u ma taqbilx, Sant implemented a decent policy.

    Sandro

  261. we definitely need a change. we have reached rock bottom

  262. Just a note to tie this in with the title of David’s piece: PN is no longer the lesser evil.

  263. I think this ONE news occurrence is the most shameful occurrence in the whole election … more shameful than anything that has happenned so far. The “Iva flimkien kollox possibli” playing in the background was very discordant with what was happening!

  264. “The end justifies the means”, some would preach.

  265. Raphael: I would certainly never say that Government intended to introduce charges after the election because the memo did not say so, and no one from Govt. side said, so – in fact they say the exact opposite.

    And no, it never entered my mind that any part of that memo was inserted clandestinely by any disgruntled civil servant. It is you, and only you, who are saying so. My mind is not that filthy!

  266. I totally condemn what happened in Naxxar. What a shame!

  267. Certi weghdiet malajr jintesew:

    ‘Dan napprezzaħ. Jiena kburi li ‘llum f’dan il-pajjiz kullħadd, hu min hu, jista jesprimu l-opinjoni tiegħu b’mod liberu… u dan għax huwa d-dritt tiegħu. Ebda persuna u saħansitra ebda politku m’għandu dritt jiċċensura jew jikkontrolla dak li xi ħadd jgħid…Jiena nwiegħed li nibqa nisma u niddiskuti ma kullħadd, hu min hu’

    L Gonzi, 25 Feb 2007
    http://lawrencegonzi.blogspot.com/2008/02/poter-jew-rispett.html

    Still no word about the Naxxar incident on The Times, nor a whiff of a Nazi-onalisti apology as far as I can tell: http://www.timesofmalta.com/election2008

  268. sorry – date should read 25 Feb 2008 (not 2007)

  269. Excuse me, moggy? It was not “I and only I” who made the civil servant claim. It was the Prime Minister who said it.

    I’m getting a little tired of all this deliberate twisting of words. The memo said clearly that Cabinet had in principle accepted that charges should be introduced. but it decided not to introduce them becauseof electoral fall-out. This is written in black on white in the memo, and it is clear as daylight that all this “well-intentioned experts” crap is a smokescreen to hide the fact that gonzi has been caught out in a lie. Cabinet DID dfiscuss the issue (and rightly so, I might add.)

    Now, if MLP takes the logical next step and declares that the PN intends introducing the charges after the election, it is admittedly less than 100% honest, but hey! Some people out there accuse me of being “naive” for expecting total honesty from politicians at all times. I consider the MLP claim to be well within the limits of acceptability in a campaign.

    As for whoever said “and what if Gonzi lied?” I think you haven;t understood the implications. the PN has invested ALL it has in presenting Gonzi as a man we can trust. labour is just responding to that by attacking the credibility of the PN’s unique selling point. I would have thought this is par for the course in politics. It is also inevitable, because let’s face it: It was all along a rather unintelligent strategy to pin all hopes of el;ection only on Gonzipn…

  270. … especially when he has already been caught out on other occasions. (Ask the hunters)

  271. I posted this comment on the TMS and since no one was able to answer there, maybe someone can here

    Quoting from the DOI press release

    “ Il-Kabinett deherlu li ma setax jiddiskuti l-proposta kif imressqa u talab biex ikollu informazzjoni sħiħa li fuqha wieħed jista’ jiddeċiedi.”

    Please someone explain to me how you can decide not to discuss the proposal without discussing the issue? The issue has been surely discussed at Cabinet level or else the Cabinet could never have arrived to that decision. What are they telepathic?

  272. Please someone explain to me how you can decide not to discuss the proposal without discussing the issue?

    By having read it in your office, on your own, beforehand.

  273. but it decided not to introduce them because of electoral fall-out.

    I’m still waiting to be told which election was round the corner in June 2004.

  274. Sorry I forgot one has to spell out every single detail these days. Eventual electoral fall-out, if it makes fausto happier

  275. Fausto and how can a decision be reached if i may ask? again telepathically? all the cabinet came to the same conclusion without discussing the issue? You are trying to defend the undefendable

  276. Hang on, man. There’s no mention about elections or eventual elections. That’s your spin. What it says is “at the moment” when Cabinet supposedly “agreed in principle” i.e. June 2004.

  277. We’re going round and round and round.

    Bottom line: PN lost a few votes this week because of the memo.

  278. Matthew Aquilina

    Fausto Majistral, the point is that Dr. Gonzi said there was NEVER discussions about putting fees on health services? Again, he said NEVER which makes it a blatant lie.

  279. Raphael: I give up! ::)

  280. Raphael, Matthew, Rupert – if this is all you’ve got I don’t blame you for trying so hard to blow it out of all proportion. Please don’t mind if the rest of us move on…

  281. Patrick, let’s be fair. PN’s campaign rests mainly on one fundamental issue: Gonzi’s credibility. This health financing report, and perhaps more importantly Gonzi’s reaction, have hit GonziPN like a ton of bricks. Will it be enough to derail the train? I don’t think so. But let’s call a spade a spade.

  282. ‘if this is all you’ve got’

    Why do you assume that any critic of a particular situation is out to amass ammunition to fire in the general direction of the party that you follow, as opposed to wishing to discuss an issue objectively?

    I for one am not ready to move on. The government’s response to the healthcare issue is almost as unconvincing as the opposition’s blatant lies about it. Just because Raphael, Matthew and Rupert do not do the PN’s bidding does not mean that they are shooting from the hip. They make valid points that remain unanswered in several respects. Why do the political parties not just respect our intelligence and discuss the financing of healthcare publicly?

    Besides, PN has let itself get caught up in a worse scandal that is related – the fascist tactics that were employed in Naxxar – a scandal that I note that you do not comment on. Bil-Malti nghidu li zelqu fin-niexef.

    So you see, those who are out to shoot PN down have plenty of ammo. ‘if this is all you’ve got’? You must be joking. Let there be no mistake that the present government has achieved a lot, but it has plenty of failures too and in some respects they get worse by the day.

    I will repeat this ad nauseam: shame on PN for their abhorrent behaviour in Naxxar.
    Xoghol, GUSTIZZJA u LIBERTA`

  283. I hope you haven’t missed me too much. I was out last night – at a party on HMS Illustrious. Unlike the Labour Party, I don’t have any policy against war ships. Interestingly, it’s been twinned with the Three Cities (population roughly the same), but Mayor Boxall didn’t attend because Labour policy prevented him from doing so. How’s that for common courtesty? I suppose Victor will dive in to enlighten us.

    You’re going to see less and less of me in this blog because duty calls: a whole magazine to wrap up for printing by today week, and another one immediately after that, and colleagues breathing down my neck to hurry up and deliver. So the day job is going to edge its way into the night and bang goes the blogging. Never mind. You’ll have more fun without me.

    Meanwhile….

    Gamma – USP (unique selling point) is marketing speak. It is not at all the same thing as the ONLY selling point. It means something you’ve got that the competition doesn’t have (something good, that is)

    David Friggieri – you criticise me for being practical and for making firm choices with firm outcomes. Sorry, but I have a natural aversion to wishy-washiness. It brings to mind those vegan alternative types who look like they need some sun and a good steak.

    Justin – don’t be so absolute about what’s possible and impossible re divorce etc. Ten years ago the bewigged marionette was prime minister and we had all given up on the EU for good. And after that deus ex machina, look at us now. Would you have believed it if some clairvoyant had told you then? A couple of rolls of the dice and things change for good.

    Lies, lies and more lies: isn’t it amazing how you’ve all pounced on Sant’s fibbing, truth-twisting propaganda about charging for healthcare (come on now, can you really picture a Nationalist government doing that, for heaven’s sake) while ignoring all the pretty serious messes he’s making himself. And like all bullying cowards, he can’t look his ‘victims’ in the eye. Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando had reliable information that Sant called that press conference outside MEPA today because he was going to ‘reveal’ scandalous information about Jeffrey. So Jeffrey turned up to stand there and stare him down while he was saying it. And of course, he didn’t have the guts. Why? Because Sant’s only slings mud and spreads rumours in the absence of his target, forcing them into a position where they have to defend themselves. He couldn’t lie about Jeffrey in front of Jeffrey, because Jeffrey was right there ready to put the facts straight. Honestly, I can’t imagine why you all tangle yourself up in knots of excitement about this health service non-starter, and ignore the ghastly Sant. Does it give you a vicarious thrill, or what?

    Fausto – don’t bother trying to explain. There are rather too many Lord of the Rings readers on this blog. They prefer a good conspiracy theory to the truth any day.

    Vince Collins -I was working. I will be working more and more intensively over the next few days, so don’t assume anything other than that from my increasingly prolonged and eventually permanent absence.

    R – Gonzi’s credibility is not the only issue in this election. There’s Gonzi’s track record in government – and Sant’s.

    Vote for change – get Alfred Sant as prime minister. Thank God I’ll never be that wet, blind or nuts.

  284. For once in the blog wars i am in full agreement with D (because suddenly it’s OK to use initials). it is true: Gonzi’s credibility is not the only issue in this election. or at least, it shouldn;t be.

    So why, oh why, oh why did the PN choose to make it the only issue with that awful, awful “Gonzipn” deification strategy?

    Answers on a postcard addressed to Gonzipn, Herbert Ganado Street Pieta’

  285. Daphne on HMS llustrious!!! Somehow ‘Daphne tal-Flagship’ does not have the same ring to it as the famous Zeza.

  286. Daphne, as I did specify, I don’t think that this issue alone is enough to shift any balance, however yes, the Gonzipn concept rests MAINLY on one fundamental issue: The credibility of one man with a par idejn sodi ghal pajjizna. I believe the majority of the Maltese electorate will agree that he is the best choice we have when it comes to credibilty. Notwithstanding, seeing Gonzi arguing his case with his usual aplomb to deny the obvious goes diametrically opposite to what the Gonzipn campaign has been trying to say all along.

  287. Victor Laiviera

    Dear Daphne – ever heard the word “principles”? I don’t blame you if you haven’t, but you could look it up.

    Since you are so keen to hear my opinion, I’ll reciprocate the honour – what to you think of the fact that the PN used paid thugs to physically prevent the ONE news people from asking Gonzi quetions about the health-fees debacle?

  288. God, I’ll laugh if Gonzi wins the election and really does go on to introduce charges for public health. But of course he won;t… not because he genuinely believes it’s the wrong thing to do, but precisely because of the Sant memo business. He is being conditioned, day by day, to dig himself a deeper and deeper grave. Because the ones who are really living in a fantasy world are not the Lord of the Rings aficionados, but those who seem to think that healthcare can continue to be free forever, as Gonzi has now gone on record saying. It can;t, of course, but I suppose we will all find this out for ourselves sooner or later.

  289. Victor Laiviera

    I see Daphne lectures us about not believing conspiracy theories – and at the same time tries to make us swallow the Pullicini Orlando conspiracy theory which led him to make a fool of himself and provided ONE news with some amusing footage ….

    🙂

  290. “R Says:

    February 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm
    Daphne, as I did specify, I don’t think that this issue alone is enough to shift any balance, however yes, the Gonzipn concept rests MAINLY on one fundamental issue: The credibility of one man with a par idejn sodi ghal pajjizna. I believe the majority of the Maltese electorate will agree that he is the best choice we have when it comes to credibilty. Notwithstanding, seeing Gonzi arguing his case with his usual aplomb to deny the obvious goes diametrically opposite to what the Gonzipn campaign has been trying to say all along.”

    In other words, Gonzi is now a victim and captive of the GonziPN spin machinery, a prospect which is none to rosy for anyone but the chosen few, if he gets re-elected.

  291. Victor, do you want to hear what I think about the emails slandering my sons that left the gwu.org.mt domain this morning, with the rejoinder to recipients to ‘Pass this message on discreetely (sic) because rumour is more effective and we can’t attack the bitch any other way or through formal channels’? I got a hand-delivered letter of apology from the GWU and the reassurance that internal action will be taken against the individuals concerned. Meanwhile, the police cyber-crime unit has been notified.

    Or perhaps you’d like to know what I think about the individuals who, after the ‘debate’ organised by Labour students at the university today, scattered hundreds of flyers along the ring-road, bearing my photograph and a list of the most appalling obscenities, which my son’s friend, who organised a team to pick them up, couldn’t even bring himself to read to me over the phone? A girl student was so shocked that she ran after the car that was scattering them, took the registration number, went down to the police station, filed a report, and then called me to let me know.

    Labour – the only time you told the truth in this campaign was when you said that the only way is up. You can’t possibly sink any lower.

  292. Sorry, Rafe, but you’re talking b*****ks on this one. Health care isn’t free. We pay for it through our national insurance contributions. And that’s why it’s unfair to charge us again for it when we actually need to use the service. And that’s why I am a regular user of state health services and refuse to go private. And that’s why a Nationalist government will never introduce charges, but a Labour government probably will because, as has been shown time and time again, Labour leaders tend to be unburdened by scruples about this kind of thing. The argument that those ‘who can afford it’ should be made to pay for state health care is a typically socialist one. Those ‘who can afford it’ are the very ones who are funding it to start with, because they are the ones who pay the highest national insurance contributions – and they are the ones most entitled to use the service without paying a single cent more than they do already. Look at the Labour Party’s electoral commitments, for heaven’s sake, before you speak about this . Labour has committed itself to raising the national insurance contributions of the self-employed and the highest earners, by removing the existing capping system and introducing a contributions system that is directly linked to earnings. In other words, a Labour government won’t actually make you pay for your stitches by giving you a bill there and then, but every week of your life it will wrest from your pockets a whole lot more than the EUR47 max in NI that people are paying now. Thank God there’s someone on this blog who understands money. And politics. And life, for that matter.

    And stop hating Lawrence Gonzi. It’s not like he’s ever done anything to you – tried to deny you an EU passport, pooh-poohed your verdict in a referendum, told you he has no regrets for sitting in judgement on the University Students Selection Board, and so on and so forth. You’ve got the wrong target here, Raphael. Admit it. It’s a sign of maturity.

  293. Victor Laiviera

    Daphne, I’m glad you can confirm that the GWU is a serious, upright organisation. Would the PN was the same!

    I note you did not answer my question about the paid PN thug(s) at Naxxar

  294. VINCE COLLINS

    Dafnay, Gonzu will never introduce health charges…..how could he after what he’s been spewing ever since it came out that he lied about the “report”.

    BUT I’ll bet you he will either raise the VAT or some other “premium”….he can’t afford to keep having deficits and raise the National Debt any higher.

    Dafna, these guys will stop hating Gonzu when you stop hating Sant, the MLP and anything that don’t dance to your tune.

  295. And stop hating Lawrence Gonzi. It’s not like he’s ever done anything to you – tried to deny you an EU passport, pooh-poohed your verdict in a referendum, told you he has no regrets for sitting in judgement on the University Students Selection Board, and so on and so forth. You’ve got the wrong target here, Raphael. Admit it. It’s a sign of maturity.

    Gonzi smiles and promises l’ilma jizfen and thenpromptly forgets you and your problem as soon as you leave his presence…whilst fingering his rosary beads all the time. When the shit hits the fan he will do a very good Pontius Pilate act of washing his hands whilst finding a convenient minion who to put the blame on. But he does it sweetly and with a smile.
    In the old days ,one knew who the foe was and who the friend was. Nowadays , you do not know because when they come to you , they both come smiling.

  296. Daphne says;
    “And stop hating Lawrence Gonzi. It’s not like he’s ever done anything to you – tried to deny you an EU passport, pooh-poohed your verdict in a referendum, told you he has no regrets for sitting in judgement on the University Students Selection Board, and so on and so forth. You’ve got the wrong target here, Raphael. Admit it. It’s a sign of maturity.”

    Gonzi smiles and promises l’ilma jizfen and thenpromptly forgets you and your problem as soon as you leave his presence…whilst fingering his rosary beads all the time. When the shit hits the fan he will do a very good Pontius Pilate act of washing his hands whilst finding a convenient minion who to put the blame on. But he does it sweetly and with a smile.
    In the old days ,one knew who the foe was and who the friend was. Nowadays , you do not know because when they come to you , they both come smiling.

  297. Vince and Vic – you have the names of a comic duo and the attitude of one. I have zero interest in what you describe as ‘the PN thugs’ – all I know is that Super One is discovering how, when you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.

    And thank you, Victor, for pointing out that the GWU reacted in a ‘serious and upright’ manner, therefore indirectly admitting that the Labour Party, faced with a similar situation, did not (indeed, that it exacerbated it).

    Vince, do you have problems with spelling? Considering how often my name is repeated on this blog, you should have learned how to spell it by now, failing which, you could always look up and down and copy it letter by letter. I know that lots of Labour supporters tend to be not so bright, but you’re not exactly going out of your way to disabuse me of this notion.

  298. “Daphne Says:

    March 1, 2008 at 12:54 am
    Victor, do you want to hear what I think about the emails slandering my sons that left the gwu.org.mt domain this morning, with the rejoinder to recipients to ‘Pass this message on discreetely (sic) because rumour is more effective and we can’t attack the bitch any other way or through formal channels’? I got a hand-delivered letter of apology from the GWU and the reassurance that internal action will be taken against the individuals concerned. Meanwhile, the police cyber-crime unit has been notified.

    Or perhaps you’d like to know what I think about the individuals who, after the ‘debate’ organised by Labour students at the university today, scattered hundreds of flyers along the ring-road, bearing my photograph and a list of the most appalling obscenities, which my son’s friend, who organised a team to pick them up, couldn’t even bring himself to read to me over the phone? A girl student was so shocked that she ran after the car that was scattering them, took the registration number, went down to the police station, filed a report, and then called me to let me know.

    Labour – the only time you told the truth in this campaign was when you said that the only way is up. You can’t possibly sink any lower.”

    a case of the pan calling the pot black aka do not do unto others what you do not want to have done to you.

    At the end of the day, it was your good self that regaled all of this site on just how to organize a negative campaign against the “enemy” earlier on. Or do you get instant amnesia to what you write once it gets in print?

  299. “Daphne Says:

    March 1, 2008 at 2:35 am
    Vince and Vic – you have the names of a comic duo and the attitude of one. ”

    Vince actually has the name of the late and lamented personal secretary of Gonzi at the time when he still speaker and Vic , the name of the son of the said late and lamented personal secretary,
    My point is that you are right and so am I ….but our perceptions are different.

    And your name Daphne reminds me of the greek mythology lassie who, rather then face her destiny straight in the face and fight back, preferred to run away turning herself into a tree in the process.

  300. Victor Laiviera

    What a pathetic reply from Daphe – panic is taking its toll.

    Her statement that she “has zero interest in PN thug(s)”. speaks volumes and shows just ho hypocricial her diatribes regarding the 70s and 80s are. She is are only against viloence when it is not being done by her side.

  301. “Labour supporters tend to be not so bright” …quoting from Daphne’s writing.

    I enjoy reading her posts on this blog. They are enlightening and indeed, very persuasive. Brightness may not be my forte. Therefore I will invest in more energy saver bulbs.

    This election campaign will probably be remembered as “il-kampanja tal-bozoz”.

  302. Daphne, I don’t know why you insist on using phrases like “lots of labour supporters tend to be not so bright” and “others on this blog are working really hard to convince me that those who vote for Sant have something between their ears.” It’s like you enjoy feeding MaltaToday stuff to write about. You don’t need to use such words to get your point through. You don’t have to come off as PN’s version of Manuel Cuschieri.

  303. Panic stations ahead. Daphne must have knowledge of the contents of that survey that her collegue Peppi has., the one that he insisted in keeping people unformed about

  304. “The Prime Minister is labouring under the delusion that his primary duty is towards his ministers. It isn’t. His primary duty is the country. This lot fall far short of what is required of a government, but the other lot are much worse – so we’re better off with this government until the Labour Party gets itself a new leader, instead of getting new eyelids and a fresh hairpiece for its old one. The way things are going, it’s not going to happen, and when we wake up some time next year to find that the country is being run by the same man who made such a damned mess of it the last time he tried, the funeral won’t just be Lawrence Gonzi’s. He’ll have let down the country, and all because he won’t get rid of the men that are making us detest the government.

    Tonio Borg is a bombastic piece of work who is making many of us twitch with the urgent desire to vote the Nationalists out of power, just so that we can get rid of him and his pompous, patronising and paternalistic presence. There’s another minister who really must be swept up and out of the way, where he can’t do any more damage to this government’s electoral chances: the Minister for Roads and Transport. This isn’t just because Jesmond Mugliett isn’t doing what he is there to do: giving us better roads and public transport. Resentment against him for his uselessness has been gathering up a storm for some time now. All we needed was to hear that one of the driving examiners who took bribes to give pass-marks to those sitting their test is Mr Mugliett’s canvasser.”

    Taken from an article penned by Daphne – published in the Malta independent some time last year.

  305. I see you’re all twitching again. Nothing like a good, sound insult to bring out all the chips and hang-ups.

    Gamma – there’s an enormous difference between criminal behaviour and negative campaigning. That’s why the police are investigating the people who distributed the slanderous flyers and the other people who circulated the slanderous emails. Slander, in case your knowledge of criminal law is really that weak, is a criminal act. Please note that it is not me who has filed a civil suit for libel, but the police who are investigating two criminal acts. Do you honestly believe, in your hamstrung world view, that freedom of speech means the right to slander people obscenely with untruths and defamation? No wonder you like a certain A. Sant, in that case. I think you’ll find that even in the Land of the Free there are laws against this kind of behaviour. Please don’t add to my store of evidence that those who are anti-PN very often lack analytical skills (there, I’ve put it tactfully).

    Do I have to repeat, once again, that the reason I support the Nationalist Party is not because I grew up in a Nationalist family (I did not) but because I think very, very clearly? So clearly, in fact, that I have been paid for my thoughts for almost 20 years. For this, I make no apologies, even though lots of you in this blog obviously prefer your women to crawl humbly about.

    Keith – actually yes, I do enjoy giving Malta Today something to write about. It’s called charity. They’ve obviously missed the point that there’s an election on, and a tussle between one A. Sant and one L. Gonzi for the leadership of the country. I didn’t know I was in the electoral race, but it seems they found out.

    Haricot – I stand by what I wrote then. Please refer to my remark about thinking clearly, above. I think so clearly that, unlike several of these bloggers here, and as Jon pointed out too, it is starkly, blindingly obvious to me that there is only one choice in this election: the choice between Sant and Gonzi as prime minister. That is why, unlike all the ditherers here, I made my decision in two seconds and nothing will deviate me into the hundreds of blind alleys about coalitions and consciences and pegs on noses that all these male drivers are driving into. Like I said elsewhere, I’d hate to see them choose a fridge.

  306. Victor Laiviera

    Damn – four whole paragraphs from Daphne and not a mention! I must be slipping.

    Or maybe the subjects I bring up are just too uncomfortable for her.

    Yoo hoo, Daphne! What about the paid PN thug(s) at Naxxar?

  307. I respect your choice Daphne. I have absolutely no doubt that you are a very clear thinker.

    The person you appear to consider as the only reasoned choice for leading Malta turns out to be very naive. If I had the opportunity to meet him for a coffee, when hopefully he would not be wearing the Gonzipn leader’s thinking hat, I would ask him a few questions?

    “Why did you deny categorically that Cabinet discussed the introduction of fees associated with health care?”

    Probably I would add another question:

    “Do you know that such a blatant inexact answer has tarnished your credibility?”

    The third question would be:

    “Where have all your principles gone?”

    People who think clearly do not meddle with principles.

  308. Matthew Aquilina

    A press conference by Dr. Sant this morning reveals another report/document on something about health fees. Don’t know the contents of it yet though.

  309. Is that true Matthew?

    I can hear another helicopter flying at full speed towards Castille! And this time I am not so sure that Dr Gonzi is on board.

  310. Matthew Aquilina

    This is all I found at the moment about it:

    http://www.maltastar.com/pages/msrv/msfullart.asp?an=19286

  311. Gonzi made a solid fool of himself on Peppi’s Xarabank. At times he was boasting at the top of his voice just like an insulted washerwoman who feels she too has wares to show off.

    I couldn’t but cringe at his pride “ghax dahhalna l’ewro”. I mean, just look at it objectively: a small nation state has just lost its own currency in a world where banking cartels are printing FIAT money and our Gonzi takes pride in this as if it were an achievement. What a twat!

    The collapse of the dollar will give a sense of it all, but we’ll have to wait for that, hoping it will one day become self-evident.

    And then there was his farcical oft-repeated statement that “when we voted Yes for membership we were also voting for the EU Constitution”. Spare some shame Gonzi. The Constitutional Treaty was only drafted 4 months AFTER we voted Yes and at the time no one bothered to note what was going on. Although we had Serracinglott warming the benches in the convention, not to mention Sant and Vella and the PN reps, whose names I forgot, so insignificant their presence was. Why was Poland and the Czech Republic going to have a referendum, then, Gonzi? They too voted Yes for membership.

    The Constitutional Treaty, which is now the Lisbon Treaty, creates a NEW European Union, not just technically and legally, but politically, economically and socially. But Gonzi is above all that. His preoccupation is staying within the EU political bandwagon. That’s Gonzi for you: a half-measure of a politician who continually sways according to EU dictat.

    The EU will be a hybrid “federal” state sharing aspects from the US and Soviet systems. Yet it already is closer to the latter in many aspects. It is indeed the new Soviet Union – you are warned.

    Meanwhile, you can carry on with your obsessions on whether Spiru Sant is better than Tal-Farfett. Daphne prefers Tal-Farfett. She can’t be bothered about “conspiracy theories” because she’s ill-informed and when she tried to grasp them she failed miserably.

    In effect, Daphne prefers chronicling the lives and times of marionettes to grasping a little truth. The truth does not suit her at all, you see. She’s doing fine in the fantasy world she lives in.

    Why Daphne? Well, she’s all over the place with her crusade.

  312. Matthew Aquilina

    No wonder MEPA is corrupt and inefficient:

    http://www.maltastar.com/pages/msrv/msfullart.asp?an=19281

  313. Info on the new healthcare ‘revelation’ here: http://www.timesofmalta.com/election2008/view/20080301/news/healthcare-fees-sant-no-apology-issues-another-report

    It seems like a technical report, the contents of which Sant is misrepresenting (again).

    Why do we not discuss healthcare financing maturely in Malta? PN pretend that they are irresponsible and do not consider alternative means of financing, thus shooting themselves in the foot. Sant plays the scandalised virgin, yet he is the man who introduced a 50c charge on prescriptions and he is also the man who leads a party that lies blatantly in its TV spots. I’m not sure of AD’s position. As far as I know, AN is the only party that has actually discussed this issue maturely (but that does not make up for their other policies).

    We need to introduce some limited aspects of a copayment system that is not a burden but that makes tax-payers aware that there are costs involved in using health services. We should not depart too far from free and universal healthcare and we must ensure that every individual’s right to health is safeguarded, but we must consider means of controlling costs that we are paying for indirectly.

    We also need to invest more in disease prevention – the most effective means, both in terms of health results and cost-reduction.

  314. Malcolm Buttigieg

    I read about the ‘new report about health services’ in the The Times.

    Interestingly, JPO was present again during a press conference this morning. Jaqaw dan se jaqsam il-kamra?

    Is JPO seeking a coalition? As if.

    Interesetingly, JPO yesterday had a party at the Radisson Hotel. I wonder if there is a connection beween Radisson Hotel and JPO’s political asiprations with regards to the Environment. Honestly, I don’t believe that there is.

    Grass is green, but the znuber trees at Maghtab are brown.

  315. “And stop hating Lawrence Gonzi.”

    Er, WHAT? Daphne, coming from someone who has devoted more than a decade of her life to spreading fear and loathing of Alfred Sant – in a way which I wouldn;t even be capable of, not if I got a PhD in Filth, Muck and Hatred from the University of Hell, this really takes the goddamn biscuit.

    But leaving that aside…
    1) hate is too strong a word for my feelings towards Gonzi.
    2) even if this were not case; why, exactly, should I change my attitude towards Gonzi? Because Daphne says so? Becase she would prefer it if I played along with all the other obsequious columnists who are currently singing in toneless chorus for their supper? I’d like an answer, please. And sorry, but “because the alternative is Alfred sant” just isn;t good enough.
    3) I cant find the original comment (Jacques, your blog is too damn big) but at the very beginning of our exchange Daphne wrote (words to the effect of) “Rapohael, you can’t expect me to like Ad just because you do”. Or something equally daft. Well, Daphne, here’s some news for you. Your own words are equally applicable to yourself. You can;t expect everyone to adore a man just because you happen to think he’s the dog’s bollocks. End of story.

    but if you must know, my imporession of the man was sealed when he took advantage of Gift of Life to score a cheap and quite frankly dangerous point aganist harry Vassallo on the abortion issue. here is a man who had no qualms in whipping up a frenzy of fundamentalism – which will return with a vengeance after this election, you mark my words – and then direct it against a political ponent, entirely oblivious to the fact that if successful, the proposal will severely damage this country and make it a less palatable place for the liberal minority to call home. Daphne has now chosen to block out her own misgivings on this subject, but the truth is inescapable. A vote for PN is a vote for Paul Vincenti and and his disgusting constitutional amendment. No amount of scaremongering by Daphne will change that.

  316. Haricot, don’t do a Super One and pick and choose information selectively. If you had been listening to all three tv stations and reading all the newspapers, as I have, you would know that the prime minister has SWORN that the memo never reached cabinet level, that it was prepared by a committee, and that he dismissed it out of hand immediately it landed on his desk, with the words “over my dead body”.

    You’d don’t have to be the most amazing judge of character to work out which person is most trustworthy – the one who can’t face the world without his wig, or the one who’s top of the ratings even among Labour supporters.

  317. Matthew Aquilina, you’re not seriously quoting Maltastar.com as a credible source? This is the news site that said I attacked a cameraman, despite the fact that the cameraman’s film showed me sitting composedly on my seat. This is the news site that claimed the university auditorium was packed with kids wearing PN scarves, then decorated their scoop with a photograph of the auditorium and not one PN scarf in site.

  318. Oh for crying out loud, Raphael – you don’t seriously expect me to vote for Alfred Sant because the deputy leader of the Nationalist Party is a pro-lifer and Michael Asciak belongs to Opus Dei? Should I vote for a wig-wearing dipsomaniac because he doesn’t believe in God and the Catholic bogeys do? You haven’t listened to a single thing I’ve said.

    Keb – another person getting obsessed with me. Oh dear. Well, I have news that will really get up your nose then: http://www.daphnecaruanagalizia.com. Live from tomorrow with a running commentary about the general election. I can promise you absolutely no dithering or conscientious objecting. It’s not a blog, and you can’t post comments because work all day and don’t have time to moderate, and I don’t want to have to bother the police every five minutes given that I seem to attract the attention of all the criminals and nasties that this little island ever spewed up.

    I’ve already told you, Raphael – do what you like, vote for whom you like, I really don’t give a damn at this stage. But at least have the decency not to run down the Nationalist Party when your own brother-in-law is a candidate. Criticise it, sure, but you don’t have to go overboard. It’s not like it’s the party of demons and Nazis, after all.

  319. Matthew Aquilina

    True, Maltastar.com seeing that it is a partisan web-site could(maybe) be twisting some figures. However, seeing that the MEPA board resigned since they were feeling useless lately arouses suspicions whether they were being pressured to approve a lot of applications lately for political reasons. Something in our country which I wouldn’t be surprised at cause both political parties resort to these kind of tactics when they are in power and the general election is on the horizon.

  320. As a matter of principle, Daphne I do not go by what Dr Sant or Dr Gonzi state, or what the 3 TV stations decide to tell me.

    Before forming an opinion, I read each document from the front page to the very last word including references.

    Have you?

  321. http://www.daphnecaruanagalizia.com./ = Religious Studies Website – Under Construction.

    I will be looking forward to read your contributions there.

    What is the conenction though miss?

    Ahhhh I see. It is about demons and angels. Apologies to Dan Brown.

  322. “…you don’t seriously expect me to vote for Alfred Sant because the deputy leader of the Nationalist Party is a pro-lifer…”

    No, of course not. I don;t expect anything from you. And around the very last thing I would ever expect is you to vote for alfred sant. But I must point out you are wrong to suggest that is just tonio Borg behind the constitutional amendment. It was Gonzi, not Tonio, who launched the initiative in May 2005. And it was Gonzi, not Tonio, who defined the Nationalist party as a party of “pro-lifers”, at the same press conference. You have consistently let him off far too lightly for that.

  323. Daphne,

    I’ve read your columns long enough to be able to say, with some degree of certainty, that I’m in agreement with you about the vast majority of things you’ve written about, personal and political in nature – including the subjects on which you’ve voiced an opinion in this blog.

    I am, however, tempted to ask: what makes you think that your style of argumentation is likely to win you any new adherents? At the risk of repeating myself – why do you think that by haranguing people, literally drilling them, you are likely to bring them over to your side? The people you are trying to convince – the undecided – more often than not like to believe that they are apolitical, and are generally disgusted by rabid displays of partisanship (and intentionally or not, you give the impression of being extremely partisan, you are literally filled with feelings of disgust about your opponents)

    I, too, occasionally share that disgust, and God knows that (as Jacques can attest) I’ve been known to get on my own high horse from time to time. Everyone has subjects which are their achilles heel, but not everyone is lucky enough to have your perch from which to influence outcomes. I wish you knew how to be more careful with words, because if the opinions of this blog are indicative of wider trends in the body politic (and this is, I admit, an open question), you are dissuading far more than you are persuading.

  324. David Friggieri described MLP as “unconvincing, depressingly meaningless option”. Isn’t this a bit of an overkill when some of Sant’s ideas in the social sphere are surely more in line with what most liberals think in here?

    Isn’t it “only in Maltaish..” that the liberals and the consarvatives in here as so anti-socialist when in the rest of Europe, from what I observe, liberals are usually found in the socialists rank?

  325. Ok, I clicked on http://www.daphnecaruanagalizia.com and this is what I was told in bold black on white:

    “Religious Studies Web Site”

    “under construction”.

    I love mysteries, but I sense this’ll be an anti-climax.

    And thanks for nicely placing me into your criminal basket, Daphne. Quite subtle that. Why write about reality when attacking marionettes is so much fun?

    As to my obsessions… don’t flatter yourself.

  326. Chris Tanti: if this election campaign has illustrated anything at all, it is that labels such as ‘liberal” “socialist” ‘conservative” etc simply do not apply. Malta can flirt with these ideas for four years out of five, but when push comes to shove, the country suddenly remembers that it is entirely tribal in its every natural impulse: it’s the Hutus against the Tutsis, the Hillies against the billies, the Mods aganst the Rockers.. Party allegiance is all that matters.
    Like a fool I used to think that once we got into the EU, the eternal pointless rivalry wuld slowly start to subside, as people come round to realising how intensely artificial the divide really is.
    Instead, it has got worse. We have seen the most leader-oriented campaign since Mintoff’s days; we have seen thinly veiled threats against tiny minorities for daring to think outside the two-party box; we have seen all the open hostility, intolerance and small-mindedness of an episode of itchy and scratchy… I think it’s time to wake up to the fact it’s not the floating voters who are immature: it;s the entire political set-up that plainly hasn’t evolved beyond mediaeval feudalism.

  327. …and I bet this new website is EU funded

  328. VINCE COLLINS

    Dafnay reminds me of a cornered rat….looks like one too.

    Cornered rats will resort to anything to prevent from getting caught and thrown in the sewer.

  329. Victor Laiviera

    Daphne, why don’t you try to call Sant a dipsomaniac in the mainline press, and see where it gets you?

    I know you won’t cos you are just a bully, and all bullies are cowards at heart.

  330. ” le jacobin Says:

    March 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm
    Daphne,

    I’ve read your columns long enough to be able to say, with some degree of certainty, that I’m in agreement with you about the vast majority of things you’ve written about, personal and political in nature – including the subjects on which you’ve voiced an opinion in this blog.

    I am, however, tempted to ask: what makes you think that your style of argumentation is likely to win you any new adherents? At the risk of repeating myself – why do you think that by haranguing people, literally drilling them, you are likely to bring them over to your side? The people you are trying to convince – the undecided – more often than not like to believe that they are apolitical, and are generally disgusted by rabid displays of partisanship (and intentionally or not, you give the impression of being extremely partisan, you are literally filled with feelings of disgust about your opponents)

    I, too, occasionally share that disgust, and God knows that (as Jacques can attest) I’ve been known to get on my own high horse from time to time. Everyone has subjects which are their achilles heel, but not everyone is lucky enough to have your perch from which to influence outcomes. I wish you knew how to be more careful with words, because if the opinions of this blog are indicative of wider trends in the body politic (and this is, I admit, an open question), you are dissuading far more than you are persuading.”

    Le Jacobin, in Maltese we have a saying;
    Bil-kelma it-tajba tohrog il-far mit-toqba. (Far= mouse)
    Daphne never heard of it I think.
    🙂

  331. Raphael Says:

    “arch 1, 2008 at 11:30 pm
    Chris Tanti: if this election campaign has illustrated anything at all, it is that labels such as ‘liberal” “socialist” ‘conservative” etc simply do not apply. Malta can flirt with these ideas for four years out of five, but when push comes to shove, the country suddenly remembers that it is entirely tribal in its every natural impulse: it’s the Hutus against the Tutsis, the Hillies against the billies, the Mods aganst the Rockers.. Party allegiance is all that matters.
    Like a fool I used to think that once we got into the EU, the eternal pointless rivalry wuld slowly start to subside, as people come round to realising how intensely artificial the divide really is.
    Instead, it has got worse. We have seen the most leader-oriented campaign since Mintoff’s days; we have seen thinly veiled threats against tiny minorities for daring to think outside the two-party box; we have seen all the open hostility, intolerance and small-mindedness of an episode of itchy and scratchy… I think it’s time to wake up to the fact it’s not the floating voters who are immature: it;s the entire political set-up that plainly hasn’t evolved beyond mediaeval feudalism.”

    Maybe our insular mentality , our cussedness, obstinacy, tribalism and downright bigotry (inc political) are in our genes and it is their presence that has helped us survive as a race on this tiny rock in the middle of nowhere, throughout the centuries.

    Our”faults”in my humble opinion,can be likened to Samson’s curls. When he was shorn of them , he lost his strength. Is it wise for us to try rid ourselves of the unique characteristics that make us uniquely Maltese, in such a hurry and all for the sake of calling ourselves more European then allother Europeans?

    We are what we are and we should not be ashamed of the fact either. And if the way w do politcis has not changed in spite of EU entry , so what?

    Is it such a tragedy?

  332. “Victor Laiviera Says:

    March 2, 2008 at 12:18 am
    Daphne, why don’t you try to call Sant a dipsomaniac in the mainline press, and see where it gets you?

    I know you won’t cos you are just a bully, and all bullies are cowards at heart.@

    And what do you think will really happen if she calls him a dipsomaniac? Nothing will happen except for the fact that she will make people laugh ., but laugh AT her, not WITH her.

  333. keb (is that Kevin Ellul Bonnici?), website administrator here. The ‘Religious studies website’ is a running joke that has been online as my server’s default site for a few years now, and I had forgotten all about it. It was never really that funny until now – I love the way that it’s played into your conspiracy theories.

    You’ll be glad to know that you’ve made it to my page: http://62.173.2.6/

  334. Victor Laiviera

    “Far” is a rat. Mouse is “ġurdien”.

  335. Pity you got my name wrong, Mathew.

    You would have gotten a C+.

  336. Le Jacobin – the views on this blog are representative only of the people on this blog, all of whom have long since decided where they stand despite pretending to dither and doubt. I am not here to persuade them otherwise; I am here to annoy them because I can’t bear smug and self-satisfied complacency, or the tone of supercilious superiority with which certain issues are being discussed here – the very tone, indeed, which is used by Alfred Sant.

    Never underestimate my insight into human nature (or my sense of self-parody). The point hasn’t escaped me that a few of the young(ish) men on this blog are primordially attracted – consciously or subconsciously – to Alfred Sant because he fits their profile. They can’t admit this, even to themselves still less to others, because it bothers them. They are attracted to him (cold, hard amorality, no emotions, lack of ties to other human beings) for the same reason they are repelled by the ‘family man’ image of Lawrence Gonzi.

    Also, le Jacobin, the people posting comments here are not the only ones visiting this blog, not by a long shot. Individuals like the ones you see here are not ‘persuadable’, even if I could be bothered to try, which I’m not. They just get a cheap thrill out of having people run after them to persuade them (you can have my vote, no you can’t, yes you can, no you can’t). Basically, we’re talking about attention-seekers here – the p***k-teasers of politics. And because I have the personality of my Staffordshire bull terrier, I just love to bait them. And they love being baited. So you see, it’s an interdependent relationship.

  337. Raphael, don’t blame anyone other than the Labour Party for the voting mess we are in now. Had they chucked that man out in 1998, and elected a civilised leader like – a wild guess, here – George Abela, nobody would be voting with a gun to their heads today. Funny how you have a blank spot where Sant is concerned. Go ahead and admit it – that’s where your vote is going. You’ve ruled out all the other options, so what else is it to be? Sitting in the cubicle and scrawling an obscenity across the ballot-paper? Sure, vote for him if you want to – it’s your choice. But at least have the guts to say so, instead of defending him no matter how abysmally he behaves, criticising everyone else, and never saying where you stand – just leaving us to draw the obvious conclusions.

  338. Matthew Aquilina

    For once I agree with Daphne. George Abela is deeply missed within the ranks of the Malta Labour Party. Every effort should be made by the Labour Party to bring the man back if espescially things go wrong after the next election.

  339. Neither George Abela, nor Lino Spiteri can ever again be a MLP-Messiah.

    Does the MLP currently have a Messiah? I cannot envisage one.

    Biological science might one day make a Dom Mintoff clone possible.

  340. How old are you Periklu? To think Mintoff is a freakin messiah you must be pushing 70.

  341. Daphne, who are the people that will be voting with a gun to their head? Please explain.

  342. How old are you Keith?

    Did I say that I “think Mintoff is a freakin messiah”?

  343. I’m probably half your age.

    Yes, you said MLP will have a messiah when “science will make a Mintoff clone possible.”

  344. Keith, following should denote your qualities to all readers of this blog:

    “Biological science might one day make a Dom Mintoff clone possible.”

    “Yes, you said MLP will have a messiah when “science will make a Mintoff clone possible.””

    Did you learn English at school?

  345. “Does the MLP currently have a Messiah? I cannot envisage one.
    Biological science might one day make a Dom Mintoff clone possible.”

    Just because you wrote it in a way journalists call libel-proof, doesn’t mean we don’t get what you mean.

    Are you upset CNI isn’t contesting the elections?

  346. “Just because you wrote it in a way journalists call libel-proof, doesn’t mean we don’t get what you mean”.

    Ergo, what did I mean? Maybe I am a journalist.

    “Are you upset CNI isn’t contesting the elections?”

    CNI? I fortunately need no CNI.

  347. “How’s KMB doing?”

    Who is KMB?

  348. “Daphne Says:

    March 3, 2008 at 1:30 am
    Raphael, don’t blame anyone other than the Labour Party for the voting mess we are in now. Had they chucked that man out in 1998, and elected a civilised leader like – a wild guess, here – George Abela, nobody would be voting with a gun to their heads today. Funny how you have a blank spot where Sant is concerned. Go ahead and admit it – that’s where your vote is going. You’ve ruled out all the other options, so what else is it to be? Sitting in the cubicle and scrawling an obscenity across the ballot-paper? Sure, vote for him if you want to – it’s your choice. But at least have the guts to say so, instead of defending him no matter how abysmally he behaves, criticising everyone else, and never saying where you stand – just leaving us to draw the obvious conclusions.”

    Ah, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.

  349. dispassionate

    Am I alone in detecting a perceptible change of tone?

    Interview with PM on Independent: excerpt

    You have ruled out the possibility of forming any sort of a post-electoral coalition, would you stand by that even if it meant the PN in opposition?

    There are all these hypotheses. What I say is let’s wait for the results on 8 March. I hope the results will give us a stable, clear political situation.

    People must be reminded that if we have a third party that sees a candidate elected to Parliament, the Constitution guarantees that whoever has the largest number of seats, even though with a minority of votes, would govern this country.

    As such, a coalition could be created in such a way that would provide a majority of seats but not a majority of votes – that would be a disaster for the country. It would create instability and all the economic repercussions that that brings about.

    I am hoping the electorate will realise this and vote in favour of my party, because I believe we have come up with policies of real substance, policies that have already given us good results and which are proposing even better results for the future.

    I must emphasise my position on this coalition issue.

    First of all, I respect the decision and position taken by Alternattiva Demokratika and the other parties. It is their right to propose alternatives, I listen carefully to them and I have listened carefully for the past four years so this must not be taken as a criticism on my part at all.

    But it can’t be that I am facing a party that has been hitting us hard for the last year four years and then, three weeks before an election, suddenly turns around and tells me ‘let’s set up a coalition’.

    That does not sound quite right, so I need to be convinced.

  350. Well, we all knew Gonzi saying “we will never form an alliance with AD, no matter what” was bollocks.

  351. “Am I alone in detecting a perceptible change of tone?”

    Why must one dispassionately detect “a perceptible change of tone”?

  352. Daphne’s comment “David Friggieri – it’s pointless being sarcastic. The fact of the matter is that you can’t get anywhere or achieve any of your objectives unless you’re practical.”

    U hallina Dapne!
    Practicality is exactly what this country doesnt need any more of. We see the results of an overdoese from it everywhere:
    in our mediocre art scene;
    in our pathetic attitude to education looking at it as simply a tool to get us a degree which will then get us a job;
    in our attitude to art, music and sports education which the majority see as just a waste of time detracting students from achieving the ultimate goal – a degree and a salary to go with it
    in our philosophy of fixing things just so that they more or less work and not so that they also are beautiful
    and now in our political choices…

    What we need on our political scene is an attitude change where we are willing to try out new ideas and see where we go with them. And to be brave enough to know that if they happen not to work the country will not implode and end in tears.

    And to continue with your analogy (without giving importance to your sexist element though) “being in this blog is like being a passenger in a car with a man who refuses to ask for directions, preferring to go down a hundred dead-ends until he finally arrives at his destination.” BUT… he does finally arrive at his destination. And next time around he will know the right shortcut to take which will, time and again, get him to his destination without getting stuck in the traffick jams which all the other ‘practical’ thinking drivers are stuck in day after day aftar day, never wanting to try to be innovative.

    This is exactly what I do in the city I live in and it works a treat believe me. I dont regret those couple of times I got a bit lost. I wasnt childish enough to think I wouldnt be eaten by wolves and surprise surprise I indeed wasnt.

  353. To dispassionate

    What Dr Gonzi is implying when he states that we might have a government with a minority of votes is that there is a possibility that no party manages to garner 50%+1 votes.

    I’m afraid the writing is on the wall!

  354. outloudandproud

    DCG : ” Health care isn’t free. We pay for it through our national insurance contributions..”

    hmmm…when i saw a GONZIPN billboard depicting the face of an elderly lady between two youths with a caption about free health-care, I was tempted to get out my spraycan (being a delinquent anarchist) and write: “Hey hey NO MORE N.I. folks!!”, but a friend of mine said that N.I. doesn’t go towards health-care;it goes towards our pension. So was she incorrect and is DCG right, and if she is right, then the billboard was a deception??

    A people get the government they deserve. Like I think Raphael said, re-electing a govt riddled in corruption and nepotism is okay because corruption and nepotism are acceptable forms of doing business here;its a core value in the Maltese psyche: “its not what you know, its WHO you know” has been quoted to me ad nauseum since I moved here.

    Following the trail of nepotism in Maltese politics is like tracing the flightpath of a bee on cocaine.
    Vote Gonzi means endorse corruption (it doesn’t REALLY matter after all-his economic track record is so promising isnt it-regardless of all the wasted use of public funds). Better the devil you know than the devil you dont?
    Vote Gonzi and dismiss political accountability/culpability. Give him another 5 yrs in office and he wont feel the slightest pressure to be answerable to anyone because his voters have told him so.

  355. dispassionate

    periklu: your point being?

  356. Latest News,

    JPO attended the National TV press conference that was supposed to be addressed by Alfred Sant.

    The Broadcasting Authority rules that JPO should not attend this press conference as this could create an imbalance by giving exposure to a GonziPN candidate in the carefully organised schedule of broadcasts on National TV.

    Yet JPO insists that he should stay, indeed that he has a right to stay, to express his right to freedom of speech.

    The Press Conference was cancelled!

    How is that for democracy?

    The right to freedom of speech is the argument put forward by JPO. Sorry JPO, the press conference is not the Forum for exposing yourself. You are meant to ask questinos during a press conference not answer them yourself.

    I can imagine what would have been the outcome of that press conference had it gone on.

    The people are no longer so gullible.

  357. dispassionate Says:
    March 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    periklu: your point being?

    I detected no tone of change.

  358. JPO is accredited as a journalist with Media Link Communications.

    However, under the unique and particular circumstances inherent to Malta, the Broadcasting Authority probably ruled in a most solomonic way.

  359. JPO should know better and consider the conflicts of interest that may arise if one day he has to handle the environment portfolio.

    Where was JPO’s party of the 29th February held. Ahh yes, at The Radisson. How much did it cost , JPO?

    Does Radisson ring a bell?

  360. Whether he is accredited with Media Link Communications is beyond the point, although it must be stated that apparently JPO became a journalist some time last week.

    He was chosen to substitute Amanda Ciappara at the very last minute.

    Why?

  361. Haricot Says:
    March 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    JPO should know better and consider the conflicts of interest that may arise if one day he has to handle the environment portfolio.

    One would have to seriously query Lawrence Gonzi’s political stature, should a scenario arise, where JPO would now be appointed Minister for the Environment.

  362. “Periklu Says:

    March 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm
    JPO is accredited as a journalist with Media Link Communications.

    However, under the unique and particular circumstances inherent to Malta, the Broadcasting Authority probably ruled in a most solomonic way.”

    In the meantime, all Malta was again regaled with the sight of a future minister of enviorment making a most inappropriate display of himself in his cofrontation with the BA represetative. His GonziPN collegues contesting his same electoral districts must be having a field day at his expense.

  363. My comment related to potential conflicts of interest is much deeper than the issue related to the Mistra proposed development.

  364. Get your facts straight.

    Sant walks out of PBS press conference

    Labour leader Alfred Sant has walked out of the recording of a press conference on Television Malta after Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando turned up among the journalists.

    The press conference, which was due to have been broadcast this evening, was organised by the Broadcasting Authority and was about to be recorded at the PBS studios.

    Dr Pullicino Orlando said he was representing the PN media and wanted to ask a question about the allegations made against him by Dr Sant on Saturday.

    But before the recording started Dr Sant objected to Dr Pullicino Orlando’s presence and asked for his removal. When Dr Pullicino Orlando stayed put, Dr Sant said he was walking out in protest.

    http://timesofmalta.com/election2008/view/20080303/news/sant-walks-out-of-pbs-press-conference

  365. dispassionate

    As far as I can recall, in his first intervention on the subject a few weeks ago, PM’s reaction to the coalition possibility was a categorical rejection, ruling it out under any circumstance whatsoever. Now however, he is choosing his words more carefully and stopping short of ruling it out (“I remain to be convinced”) . I would say that the decision to keep this door ajar is a perfectly logical move for PN , under the current unpromising circumstances. The AD lifeline might even be the only possibility left for them to remain in power.

  366. “Haricot Says:

    March 3, 2008 at 2:10 pm
    JPO should know better and consider the conflicts of interest that may arise if one day he has to handle the environment portfolio.

    Where was JPO’s party of the 29th February held. Ahh yes, at The Radisson. How much did it cost , JPO?

    Does Radisson ring a bell?”

    Stop being sybilline and tell us what you mean by that enigmatic comment.

  367. JPO was just there instead of the PN journalist to ask Sant some questions about the accusations.

  368. I heard the ruling viva voce of the chairman of the broadcasting authority stating that JPO should leave.

    Yet another example of the independent press at its best. I gave up reading that independent paper ages ago.

  369. ” Keith Chircop Says:

    March 3, 2008 at 2:20 pm
    Get your facts straight.

    Sant walks out of PBS press conference”

    Watch the footage taken of that humiliating incident where JPO was confronting the BA representative who insisted on laying down the law. One wonders what would have been reported on Times or elsewhere if it was Norman Lowell who stood up for his rights when the BA refused permission to air a five minute interview last week.

    Re JPO,would have it been fair for other political candidates -cum journalists running for election if he was awarded a right that is denied them, according to official regulations?

  370. ” But at least have the guts to say so, instead of defending him no matter how abysmally he behaves, criticising everyone else, and never saying where you stand – just leaving us to draw the obvious conclusions.”

    Sorry for delayed reply but I only got to read this now.

    Daphne, for someone who writes quite as prolifically as you do, you seem to be incapable of reading. I have already said where I stand. I know you find this difficult to understand, for the same reason that I think your intelligence is hugely overrated… but fact of the matter is, it makes zilch difference to me whether our dictator for the next five years is Nationalist or Labour. And I don;t use the word lightly, Daphne: Gonzi, like Eddie, Sant, KMB and Mintoff before him, has shamelessly abused of the absolute power that comes with an undiluted parliamentary majority – he has legislated in his own party’s interests, he has colluded with the labour party to deprive minority groups of the possibility of representation, he has tried to force his catholicism down all our throats, he even tried to bloody ban mini-skirts, for crying out loud. What difference could it possibly make to me if it is Sant instead of Gonzi who leads the pack of MPs vomiting all over minority rights in this country? None whatsoever. And don;t make me laugh with rubbish about their electoral programmes. You;ve been in the game long enough to know that electoral promises are not worth the paper they are written on. Before previous elections we were variously told that spring hunting would be guaranteed, that VAT would remain at 15%, etc etc. The complete list of broken Pn promises take up more space on my shelves than the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. You should also know by now that a party’s real intentions are never included in its manifesto. Was the constitutional amendment in the 2003 programme? and do you seriously think that it won;t be an issue after the next election, just because it’s not in manifesto 2008? Or because you don;t want it to be? You are deluding yourself, Daphne. Nt just about the benevolence of Gonzipn, but also about your own influence on proceedings (which is negligible, by the way).
    Besides, by your own previous arguments, and by Gonzipn’s entire campaign strategy, i don;t even need to vote labour to get Sant as PM, even if I desperately wanted him to win. I just need to apply reverse psychology to the PN scaremongering billboards…and by the way, I don;t blame you for taking offence at being associated with the campaign. It is a complete throwback to PapaDoc … Gonzilocks and the three fears. Vote Gonzipn and live happily ever after, the end. It is childish, simplistic and nauseating crap, Daphne, and if there is anyone who needs to do any admitting it is you. Admit, Daphne, that you have personal vested interests in keeping the PN in power. Even without the undeniable fact that Gonzipn hadsomely rewards his own (look under Good Causes for further details), you know only too well that after your 10-year personal hate campaign against Sant, he will be ruthless if elected to power. And for all your presumed writing ability, you are utterly incapable of disguising your emotions. Reading your articles, and above all your blog entries, there is only one discernible emotion overarching all the others. FEAR, Daphne. You write like a frightened rabbit, and the most offensive thing about your articles is not the insults or the obvious baiting to “out” non-PN voters, so that they can be targeted by vigilantes afterwards… it is the shocking ignorance whereby you project your own coarse limitations onto others. You are the one with the problem, Daphne. You are the one who is incapable of extricating herself from a mindset which is still stuck int he 1970s. And your only defence is to besmirch others with your own flaws.

    Like I said in an earlier post, I would feel sorry for you but quite frankly, you don;t deserve it. Now does that answer your question?

  371. Keith Chircop Says:

    March 3, 2008 at 2:21 pm
    JPO was just there instead of the PN journalist to ask Sant some questions about the accusations.

    In your opinion , the BA should have broken its own rules and regulations to accomodate Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando?

  372. Matthew Aquilina

    JPO is a dentist, politician, journalist? (Part-Time Farmer maybe too?)

    What superb politicans we have in our country. Jack of all trades and Master of none? Hope he is a master at dentistry at least.

  373. Matthew Aquilina

    “The chairman of the Broadcasting Authority, Joe Scicluna, said that in terms of BA rules, Dr Pullicino Orlando had no right to be among the journalists because he was an election candidate. ”

    And yet Mr. Cry Baby was there as a journalist. Will he cry again today since Dr. Sant walked out?

  374. They wouldn’t have broken any rules since he’s been listed as a journalist for some time.

  375. Well, if the BA rules say that a journalist cannot be there if he’s also running for elections, that changes things.

  376. Keith Chircop Says:
    March 3, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    They wouldn’t have broken any rules since he’s been listed as a journalist for some time.

    Can you quantify “some time”?

    Would it be a week, as Haricot states?

  377. Matthew Aquilina

    The law states that you can’t be there if you are running for elections. That is the important factor. Whether JPO is a journalist or not becomes irrelevant then.

  378. He could have been a journalist for 10 years. If it is really true the rules state that a journalist cannot be there if he’s also a candidate, security should have escorted him out.

  379. Matthew Aquilina

    I heard there is a video that shows someone from the BA I think, telling Jeffrey ‘ I already told you, you can’t be here’. Will post link if i find it.

  380. Keith Chircop Says:
    March 3, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    He could have been a journalist for 10 years. If it is really true the rules state that a journalist cannot be there if he’s also a candidate, security should have escorted him out.

    Would perhaps been done in a country other than Malta.

  381. They have just listed me as a journalist, and I have been aaked to attend a press conference by Dr Gonzi.

    Thankfully, Dr Gonzi did not walk out on me.

    But I did not ask any questions.

    I interrupted him all the time!

    I replied to each one of his comments!

    I showed to the electorate that I am the one to vote for, because I am the champion of democracy, I am the champion of the environment, I am the champion of honesty, I always say the truth, I have no conflicts of iterest.

    Yes, I managed to exercise my right to freedom of speech and in the meantime suppressed others’ right to freedom of speech!

    Thank you Mr Chairman.

    And thank you my dear electorate for voting for me next Saturday.

  382. Superman , no less.

  383. Victor Laiviera

    All that JPO wants is a big fight and screaming match on TV, to try and win the argument on emotional grounds – cos he knows he cannot win it in facts. If he had any proof or documents to back him up, he would have published them – what does he want to say face-to-face that he cannot say, for example, in a press conference??

    As I said, he wants to fight on an emotional level cos he knows he has no weapons to fight with on the factual level.

  384. Matthew Aquilina
  385. outloudandproud

    Raphael, your last post reminded me of Brussels..Sprout House isnt it called? Vested interests?Nooooo.

  386. outloudandproud Says:
    March 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    “Vested interests?Nooooo.”

    How can anyone be successful without “vested interests”?

  387. There was another person on the journalists’ panel who is also a candidate in this election. He wasn’t asked to leave and Alfred Sant did not object to his presence. Why?

  388. Oh, and, Victor, what is it that Alfred Sant wants to say in a press conference that he cannot say face-to-face?

  389. dispassionate

    The BA Chairman Joe Scicluna is a man of integrity and it is regrettable that he was put in such a difficult position. BA rulese are clear, and the least that is expected is that they are applied indiscriminately to all and sundry without fear or favour. Dangerous precedents would otherwise be created. End of story.

  390. Let me repeat my question:
    There was another person on the journalists’ panel who is also a candidate in this election. He wasn’t asked to leave and Alfred Sant did not object to his presence. Why?

  391. Out of curiosity, who was the other person on the journalist’s panel who wasn’t asked to leave?

  392. Cora,

    Please check with BA.

    Spiteri Gingell is apparently no longer a candidate.

  393. Din ala l-mibki Lorry Sant kienet. Trid tipprova punt, hu l-ligi b’idejk!

  394. Matthew Aquilina

    This video confirms the regulations.

  395. Issa mhux imnalla Fredu telaq il-barra. Kieku baqa hemm u s-sur pullicin orladu rega infaqa jibki fuq it-tv kien ikun sew?

  396. dispassionate

    I find incredible that the fact that this rule exists does not change an iota in the perception of those commenting in Daphne’s blog or in the Times comment section. I would have thought that reasonable and sensible people of all political hues would have drawn the line when it comes to a clear and blatant infringment of the rules. Just goes to show the pitiful state of our democratic culture…

  397. The BA rule’s aim is to limit exposure of candidates on TVM. It seems Alfred Sant was going to dish some more dirt on JPO so it couldn’t have been the extra exposure that worried him. The BA had initially approved JPO’s presence. It enforced the rule only on Sant’s insistence.

    Wouldn’t it have been to Sant’s advantage to face down JPO rather than insist on a strict observance of the rule?

  398. JPO’s actions are bound to back fire.

    I ask a very simple question.

    If JPO or the party which he represents cannot follow a simple BA rule, can we seriously expect JPO and the GonziPN clan to follow laws and regulations which they themselves have set?

    JPO’s lack of respect for rules and intrasigence can very well be compared to the decision to grant an outline planning permission for a discotheque at Mistra against the recommendations of the Planning Directorate and Planning Legislation.

    Pinciples again my friends, or the lack of them.

  399. What is the principle that Alfred Sant demonstrated in this particular case?

  400. I have been trying to post some comments on Daphne’s blog, but they are being censored.

    Looks like she is the coward, not Sant.

  401. How about the principle that rules are there to be observed not broken?

  402. Cora, it is not Sant who is disrupting the press-sonferences, but JPO..

    An Cora, how about asking your sister to let me in on her blog? Or is is only for the converted?

  403. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Principles

    Is it politically and morally correct for the champion of the environment to hold his parties in a Hotel owned by a heavy weight contractor involved in mega environmental projects funded by the European Union?

  404. Oh for heaven’s sake. JPO just sabotaged the press conference. Another case of someone who thinks this whole election is about him.

  405. VINCE COLLINS

    Il partit ta TERINU does not know what principles are.

    Only women cry in politics.

  406. Haricot: The permit has not been approved yet. Useless denying, check facts, so not base your arguments just by listening to what Sant says.
    Malcolm: Are there any discos and hotels which do not belong to contractors? Should he have held his party on virgin land? Maybe at Maghtab?

    These petty issues will not have a bearing on the vote, I was just setting the record straight.

  407. Setting the record straight? This is the record.

    In October 2005, an application was filed for a permit to build a 2,000 sq m nightclub on land belonging to De Rphan Antiques Lrd, a company 100% owned by JPO and rented to a “third party”. In march 2006, the planning directorate recommedned a refusal, on the grounds that the land was ODZ, earmarked for a Natura 2000 site, etc. In November 2007, DCC A issued an outline development permit anyway in spite of this refusal.
    In December 2007, an additional application was filed for an extension of the 2,000 sq m clkub to a 4,000 sq m club. this is the application that is still pending.

  408. small correction: land, not company, was rented out

  409. Raphael, is this the same board that resigned?

  410. I find incredible that the fact that this rule exists does not change an iota in the perception of those commenting in Daphne’s blog or in the Times comment section. I would have thought that reasonable and sensible people of all political hues would have drawn the line when it comes to a clear and blatant infringment of the rules. Just goes to show the pitiful state of our democratic culture…

    Way back in 1996 the BA tried to get Clyde Puli and John Bundi off air because they had expressed an intention at being prospective candidates in that election. Puli and Bundi filed a case in court claiming that the BA was trying to bar them from working. The Court eventually found in the favour.

    (Now before someone points out that JPO is not a journalist please remember that there is no accreditation or registration system for journalists in Malta and other journalists do not have anything more than what JPO had: a press card. How’s that for “abiding by the rules”?).

    And why was Sant aggrieved? There may be a GonziPN but there’s no JPOPN which stands candidates nationwide. Sant does not even stand for election in the same district as JPO.

    But then the BA is judge and jury. And plaintiff and lawmaker …

  411. Yes, rupert, same board

  412. Malcolm Buttigieg

    I don’t know Jon, Perhaps you should answer that question yourself.

  413. Fausto, you see nothing wrong in a press-conference being highjacked and turned into a debate? Do you think any of the other (real) journalists would have had a chance against JPOs tearful tantrums?

  414. Fausto, you see nothing wrong in a press-conference being highjacked and turned into a debate?

    How do you know it would have turned into a debate? It hadn’t even started.

    Do you think any of the other (real) journalists would have had a chance against JPOs tearful tantrums?

    Don’t know but it was Sant not JPO who was supposed to be sitting on the hot seat.

  415. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Facts:

    PA05880/05 Site at, Triq Mistra, Mellieha Utilization of open area as an open-air entertainment area.

    DPA Report Cleared date Tuesday, March 14, 2006
    DPA Report Endorsed By …
    Recommended Decision Refuse Permission
    DPA Report sent date Tuesday, March 14, 2006
    DPA Submissions received date Monday, April 03, 2006
    Agenda DCC date Monday, November 12, 2007
    Board Decision Grant Permission
    Decision date Monday, November 12, 2007
    Board Comments DCC 128-01A/07 held on 12 November 2007 Approved subject to a full develoopment approval of the outline permit PA5208/07 submitted by MTA.

    The MTA also applied to embellish Mistra Bay:

    PA05208/07 Mistra Bay, Mistra, l/o St. Paul’s Bay To upgrade Mistra Bay, comprising of proper alignment of road, organization of car parking spaces, construction of public toilets, refurbishing of slipway including its additional use for bathers, and general landscaping works including street lighting.

    Now we have a situation where MTA applies to embellish Mistra Bay, a month before an outline application for a discotheque at the same Bay is approved. This appplication by MTA is commendable.

    The relationship between these two applications is beyond me.

  416. Fausto

    Do you mean that we should give the government to a party that thinks it is above regulations, and that all authorities should be merely its puppets? Seems like the eighties are coming back … and I don’t mean trends in music and fashion. Same attitude, different faces, different parties.

    P.S. If PN get elected again on the 9th if May, I don’t see anything good coming for the BA chairman in my crystal ball for taking this courageous stand.

  417. Dan pullicin orlando vera tifel sew jahasra. tghidx kemm jahdem ghal familja. ghandu erba xogholijiet,

    1 Dentist
    2 Membru parlamentari
    3 Part-time farmer
    4 issa gurnalist ukoll

  418. Thank you, malcolm

  419. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Hold on Raphael, there is more…

    Cutting and pasting some additional information!

  420. Malcolm Buttigieg

    07752/07 Site off, Mistra Road, San Pawl Il-Bahar Utilisation of open area as an open-air entertainment area.

    Validation Date Tuesday, January 29, 2008
    Target Date Wednesday, August 13, 2008
    Application Type Full development permission
    Case Category Outside Scheme
    Date Published in Newspapers Saturday, February 09, 2008
    Representation Expiry Date Sunday, February 24, 2008

    Correspondence dates:

    Case officer consultation Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Environment (Others e.g.Tool Sheds) n/a n/a n/a Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Case officer consultation Department of Public Health n/a n/a n/a Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Case officer consultation Enemalta (Electricity Division) n/a n/a n/a Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Case officer consultation Malta Tourism Authority n/a n/a n/a Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Request for additional information / plans Camilleri, Mr Paul n/a n/a n/a Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Case officer consultation National Commission Persons with Disability n/a n/a Friday, February 22, 2008 Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Case officer consultation Malta Resources Authority (Water Directorate) n/a n/a Monday, March 03, 2008 Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Letter Thursday, January 24, 2008 Thursday, January 24, 2008 n/a

    Letter MISCR046 Tuesday, February 05, 2008 Thursday, February 07, 2008 n/a

    Letter Malta Resources Authority, Water Directorate CE 2354 Friday, February 15, 2008 Friday, February 22, 2008 n/a

    Letter Enemalta, Electricity Division CE 2354 Friday, February 15, 2008 Friday, February 22, 2008 n/a

    Letter National Commission Persons with Disability -AUDIT/PA7752/07.DOC Monday, February 18, 2008 Monday, February 18, 2008 n/a

    Letter Malta Tourism Authority CE 2354 Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Monday, February 25, 2008 n/a

    Letter Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Environment AGRIC.00665/2005 Thursday, February 21, 2008 Wednesday, February 27, 2008 n/a

    Letter DH/54/08/73 Thursday, February 21, 2008 Friday, February 22, 2008 n/a

    Letter Enemalta, Electricity Division TD 120/61/1/08 Friday, February 22, 2008 Thursday, February 28, 2008 n/a

    Letter Malta Resources Authority, Water Directorate MRA/P/60/08 Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Thursday, February 28, 2008 n/a

    Letter Malta Resources Authority, Water Directorate MRA/P/60/08 Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Thursday, February 28, 2008 n/a

    Letter Malta Resources Authority, Water Directorate MRA\P\608 Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Thursday, February 28, 2008 n/a

    Letter MISCR074 Wednesday, February 27, 2008 Thursday, February 28, 2008 n/a

    NOW LOOK AT THE DATES. (I have removed names, but these can be found on the relevant web pages on http://www.mepa.org.mt)

    That is what I call efficiency! This application is apparantly being considered using a so called fast track approach.

    Some questions:

    1. Why was this full development application considered at all by MEPA when the outline application is not yet in vigore, considering that the MTA embellishment project is still under consideration.

    2. Has a date been set for the DCC board A to consider this application? At the rate with which this application was being considered, I wouldn’t be surprised if this application turned up on the DCC agenda before the 8th March.

    The above are only hypothetical questions. Therefore nobody is in a position to answer.

  421. Malcolm, sei un grande!

  422. Malcolm, its obvious that on this fact I was in the wrong. Still does not prove any corruption, but this is not the point. I was wrong and I excuse myself.

  423. Malcolm Buttigieg

    By the way Rupert, the correspondence list was updated on Saturday 1st of March late in the afternoon.

    Generally, MEPA updates its website, daily between Monday and Friday at around 12:00pm.

    Unfortunately, I have no proof of the above statement. Therefore, please ignore it.

  424. Malcolm Buttigieg

    There is no need to apologise Jon. However, before I make a statement, I always double check the facts.

    The facts do not prove there is corruption, by far and I totally agree on that matter.

    But, there could be a potential conflict of interest if PN win the election and if JPO has the environment portfolio.

    Those are two big ifs with a capital I.

  425. Fausto, you mentioned the 1996 law suit were the Court decided that Puli and Bundy could not be pulled off air before the elections. You are right – the decision was to that effect but one of the main considerations was that both Puli and Bundy’s chief source of income was derived from being on air – so not allowing them to broadcast would mean restricting their right to work and make a living in this way. The same does not apply to JPO.

  426. Matthew Aquilina

    I just saw a video showing one from the Broadcasting Authority telling Mr. Pullicino Orlando to leave since he isn’t allowed to be a journalist since he is on the electoral ballot. Mr. Pullicino Orlando said ‘Bring the police, I won’t be moving from here’

    Mr. Pullicino Orlando has become a tough guy after yesterday’s tears festival?

    Hope someone uploads this video on YouTube.

  427. Yes, but the issue here, or rather how it was brought forward, was not of a potential conflict of interest, but it was spelt out as corruption. Had it been an issue of comflict of interest it could only be raised once the PN is elected, and once JPO has been given that post. Incidentally, if these IFS do occur..then yes, the conflict of interest would be a huge one. So big it would lead any semi-decent humanoid to refuse that post.

  428. I agree with jon that the case history is not in itself proof of corruption. But questions do remain regarding MEPA’s somewhat consistent habit of ignoring the recommendations of its own case officers, to issue development permits in outside development zones.

    something else though.,. just watching the JPO show on the news, and… LOL! even joe saliba got his name wrong…

  429. Malcolm Buttigieg

    We totally agree there Jon.

  430. Does anyone here – and I’m including lurkers as well as posters – find anything strange or abhorrent in Sant’s constant refusal to take questions which are ‘unfriendly’?

  431. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Questions which are ‘unfriendly’ Cora?

    I have never seen any professional journalist put forwawrd friendly questions to Dr Sant during press conferences.

    I suggest you review BondiPlus of today week and Xarabank the previous Friday.

    JPO was after a debate during what was supposed to be a press conference, and that I’m afraid is inadmissible.

    JPO does not set the form and agenda for political broadcasts on National Television but the BA does.

  432. And an example of a ‘friendly’ question to Sant would be……?

  433. It’s odd that so many people think that this dispute is about whether you are on JPO’s side or not. Repeatedly refusing to take questions is conduct unbecoming in a would be Prime Minister. Sant’s behaviour this morning is wholly consistent with his behaviour elsewhere. If he doesn’t like a question, he doesn’t answer it. Make that, if he doesn’t like a questioner, he doesn’t answer. Not very attractive behaviour from someone who is accountable to an electorate over which he plans to govern, is it?

  434. Malcolm Buttigieg

    …Daphne would be the best for formulating such a question…she is the primadonna journalist/columnist of this island. I am no journalist.

    Anyhow, I don’t care too much about what Alfred Sant says or does because my vote will not be going to his party.

  435. Yep Cora you’re right. However JPO today shouldn’t have been there. The mistake was not done when they asked him to leave, but when initially they allowed him to stay.

    I don’t think there is any corruption in the whole Mistra case, however JPO’s argument that he has to confront Sant personally to rebut his claims does not hold water. For starters there are the law courts in which he can present as many libel suits as he likes. Incidentally, with the mud slinging path Sant has chosen to follow, he risks fattening up PN candidates’ wallets more than any disco ever can.

    With JPO’s same argument we cannot state how corrupt Lorry Sant was because he can’t confront him face to face. Said Dentist could have easily handed any evidence to the contrary, to a NET news journalist who would have then confronted Alfred Sant in his stead.

    Also, JPO provided an excellent excuse to Sant not to face the cameras. The only way for a PN victory at the polls is by having Sant trying to answer decent questions posed by seasoned journalists. (To understand this point, vide his online times interview.)

  436. You are right – the decision was to that effect but one of the main considerations was that both Puli and Bundy’s chief source of income was derived from being on air – so not allowing them to broadcast would mean restricting their right to work and make a living in this way.

    As far as I recall the Court referred to right to work, not to income, much less chief source of income. There was another point from that case if I remember correctly: the Court said that the Constitutional provision referred to balance between different points of views not presence of an individual on air.

  437. Jeez 450 comments on one post…

    Anyways. I tried to keep out of this Mistra, JPO, Sant business since it is just another of the MLPN mudvsmud attacks but here are some answers for Cora:

    Do I find Sant’s constant evading of answers strange or abhorrent? Yes definitely.
    Do I find JPO obtaining a journalist ID from the BA absolutely ridiculous? Of course.
    Do I think JPO, John Bundy and Clyde Puli are equally to be considered as journalists? Hell no.
    Do I find the acceptance by nationalists of JPO’s description of himself as a journalist for the sake of slipping into the press conference ridiculous? Without any shadow of doubt.
    Do I find Labourite’s defending of Sant’s non-answers by blaming the people asking the questions dumbfounding? No question about that.
    Do I find the sudden interest in all matters Environmental by Labourites and Nationalists alike mind boggling? One question… where were they in times of issues like Ta’ Cenc, the Gozo beach covered in building stone powder….
    Do I believe that MLPN’s ultimate worry here is the safeguarding of Mistra? Pull the other one.

    Where does that put me Cora? On the intellectual high horse? The immature ditherer who gets lost in the jungle? The unmarried frustrated admirer of Sant? The Labourite? The Alternattivist? Where exactly?

    A decent society. One that does not need these shenanigans, farces and freak electioneering. That’s what I want. Let’s see what Label will be slapped on me for that one.

  438. Malcolm: There you go, someone who doesn’t understand the media is not in the best position to analyse or comment its use in politics. And no, I’m not referring to Daphne.

    Jon: The real issue in this dispute is not JPO, or even Mistra for that matter. It isn’t even how and whether this dispute will affect the outcome of Saturday’s election. The central issue here is Sant’s persistent refusal to be accountable for what he does. This is the ONLY aspect of his political behaviour in which he is consistent. That’s not a promising sign for the people he wants to govern.

  439. Faustopedia f’gieh kemm hemm. What was the last Pullicino programme/article you watched or read? Call a bloody spade a spade. Yes factually a BA under the nationalist government will issue a journalist ID to a man on a mission. My thought for what it counts is that PN should have spun this differently and challenged Sant to a televised confrontation with JPO and win the best as the Italians say- He chickens out? You’ve got your headline. Trying to take over a press conference like that…? No more chapeau to the PN spinmeisters… if it were the american election (so well followed and admired by the stamperija geeks) the spinner in charge of trying this trick would have been booted out before you could say MEPA Application.

    Illejla fuq Net TV… programm gdid… Dawra Ma Malta u GHawdex ma JPO… li fiha il-gurnalist intraprendenti taghna jkompli il-mixja tieghu wara Fredu Sant madwar il-gyejjer maltin…. pull the other one guys.

  440. I have been telling my colleagues, that the bridge at Manwel Dimech will be completed by the 8th March. It seems I was right.

    The concrete was pumped today. The tarmac will be laid tomorrow if not earlier, and the rest of the vehicle barriers will be installed in the coming days.

    Now concrete takes around 28 days to achieve its full strength, unless a particular mix is used where the concrete can achieve its full strength in a shorter period of time, although this comes at a price.

    Therefore, the bridge may be completed in a few days. However, for goodness sake my friends, please refrain from using the bridge before 28 days from today, even if the underlying props are not removed. We do not want to cause any damage, or god forbid witness a catastrophe.

  441. Jacques: You ask where your answers put you. Did my questions upset you so much?

  442. No Cora, not at all… I’m just beginning to relax after getting home from work actually. And that answers your last one.

    Funny but I recall asking you a question. Silly me but I see a question in answer to that. It’s a bit like Sant isn’t it… cometh the uncomfortable question, cometh the escape artist.

  443. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Cora, are you trying to imply that people who are not journalists have no right to comment. For a moment, stop to consider all the comments on http://www.timesofmalta.com

    Are all those people journalists? I think not. You are sounding very much like Daphne.

    This is a democracy and we have rules to respect. JPO and GonziPN today did not respect those rules.

  444. Matthew Aquilina

    Jason Micallef has just shown a document on ONE TV with a close-up showing an official document of MEPA signed by the cousin of Dr. Lawrence Gonzi. It is signed by JPO, together with his address and this confirms that he gave permession to build a discotheque at Mistra. SO MUCH FOR HE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT.

  445. Careful Rupert. This thread is long enough as it is. Expect new ballasts from Fort PN directed in the direction of the IMJ and its credibility. The intrigue continues. 5 days to elections and we cannot agree on one fact: Independently from the Mistra Controversy, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando is not a journalist.

  446. Oh, you mean where do I think all your answers put you? Let’s see, you said you’ve got some answere for me, then you asked yourself questions and answered them and then asked me where it puts you. In a fix, I suppose. Most of the questions you answered weren’t mine. They were yours.

  447. Malcolm Buttigieg

    An interesting comment in that article Rupert, is the following sentence:

    ‘It appealed to journalists not to allow themselves to be used as puppets by politicians’

    Now, how’s that for marionettes?

  448. Milli jidher illejla Dottor Sant fil-Kottonera ippublika dokument iehor fejn juri li Pullicin Orlandu gie notifikat mill-MEPA dwar l-applikazzjoni fuq l-art tieghu.

  449. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Oh come on Jacques, Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando is a journalist. He has a press card. He has been attending the press conferences of Alfred Sant during the past 4 days. He has surely garnered a lot of experience in the process.

  450. I do not feel like a new post and I like this thread… so a bit about the spinmeisters at PN. Who is managing this JPO crisis? Who is telling JPO to turn up at a press conference disguised as a journalist? In the words of the great playwright A. Tufigno “Int x’ghandek f’mohhok, silla?”

    I get the idea of the spin the nationalists want to push. Sant is mud-slinging again and until concrete proof is brought to the contrary he is also lying about JPO. So did you need to put JPO in this extra mess? Breaking journalism rules, dragging the journalism profession through the mud to win extra mileage on the Sant-is-bad saga? Amateur spinning to say the least.

    The cocksure way in which this particular spin is being managed underestimates the people’s sensitivity to the crass abuse of power. A press conference is not supposed to be a debate? But but but I only wanted to show how Sant does not want to debate. So do so at a debate for Christ’s sake.

    Yes Cora, people can and should be pointed to the inability of Sant to confront people who want to engage him directly. My additional questions? They show you that there are issues where the nationalists can also be guilty of the same tactics. The state of today’s politics gives both sides heavy blinkers. I thought you’d like to know that the “fix” I am in is just that… a choice between someone who cannot face the truth (in many instances and not necessarily the Mistra issue) and someone who is now prepared to bully its way through the rules just to make that point.

    Lubbly jubbly.

  451. Malcolm: I make no mention of the right to comment. My point is that some people are in a better position than others. If you wanted to set a broken arm, would you go to a hospital or a supermarket?

    You make the leap from “everyone has a right to comment” to criticising someone for trying to exercise that right – and all in the name of democracy

    You see – it is not I who implies that some people have a right to comment whereas others do not. In the case you refer to, another person in a far more powerful position than I am made it very clear that when it comes to the right to comment, some are more equal than others.

  452. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Point taken Cora.

    Agreed

  453. So far only Malcolm seems to have noticed the latest twist in this sorry saga. Unless it was a fake – and nothing will really surprise me in this campaign anymore – that was a consent document we all saw, signed by architect Paul camilleri on behalf of JPO.. dated 2007. i imagine the implications will take a while to sink in. But – again, unless it’s a fake – i just can;t see any way out of this one now.
    Have to say, though, i’m sorry for JPO. He is one of the nicer ones of the PN’s younger blood. But he now has some serious explaining to do.

  454. Quick reply Jacques : JPO asked Sant to face him in a debate whenever he likes on whichever TV station he chooses. Sant didn’t refuse. He just didn’t respond.

    Before I go, could I ask you which journalism rules were broken and in what way?

  455. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Raphael, are you referring to my earlier posts where I listed the various planning application details and the questions raissed therefrom?

  456. Matthew Aquilina

    The Broadcasting Authority had an agreement on CONTRACT with the Nationalist Party and Malta Labour Party that no candidates are to gain unneccessary exposure.
    YOU CAN NOT ACT AS A JOURNALIST WHEN YOU ARE AN ELECTORAL CANDIDATE.

  457. Raphael, i think you were refeing to BogFoot’s comment. On One News Jason Micallef showed the mentioned document.

  458. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Bondi+=GonziPN propaganda at its best.

  459. Matthew gave you an answer about the main rule. PN knows a journalist stops being a journalist once he is a candidate. The inverse applies because of the reason behind the rule. PN didn’t give a rats ass about this agreement and basically told everyone “anybody can be called a journalist if I want to”… I can understand if you do not see that as a breaking of rules or demeaning of a profession since your priorities lie elsewhere. I see it as a typical example of a party with just one aim in mind – power… everything else can be collateral damage.

  460. Watching the 8:30 political broadcast as it’s being aired, all the way from a small English university town…and what do I find, me, decidedly not a Labour sympathiser in word or in deed? An endless stream of invective against Alfred Sant (no surprise there), not five seconds about the PN platform (started watching late, maybe I missed it?), pandering to the sentiments of the uneducated or ill-informed (five years of the reds and nary a one will be left of all your recent gains). Truly, what does it say about the state of Maltese democracy and the durability of the PN’s accomplishments that it can argue the equivalent of ‘vote for them, and the terrorists will have won’ with a straight face? Talk about pulling the other one…

  461. To go on from jacques’ point. If JPO can take the place of a NET jounralist for one day and participate in a press conference against the established rules… can I simply turn up at parliament, take JPO’s place, and address the House?
    just wondering…

  462. Raphael: Members of parliament are elected. Journalists are not.

  463. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Erm No Raphael, because you would need to take an oathe in front of the President before becomoing a member of parlament! Although, if you wish I can arrange that.

  464. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Cora, KMB, aka zero was not elected!

  465. “can I simply turn up at parliament, take JPO’s place, and address the House?” probably not Raphael, but you can always ask him to pull out some teeth on his behalf.

  466. Cora,

    Would you care to comment on following, which you seem to have avoided on other blog pages?

    An indepedent observer could easily say that Daphne never considers that Martha, Dr.Sant’s daughter, “the flesh and blood” of Daphne’s own children, has been going for ages through the hell, which Jenny PO is unfortunately now experiencing.

    In her contribution to Daphne’s blog, Jenny PO should have advised Daphne on Martha Sant’s similar situation, which arises through Daphne’s constant diatribes towards Alfred Sant’s person.

  467. How things are turning, this issue seems to be backfiring badly on the PN. It started as a non issue: Sant saying that a champion for the environment wants to build over pristine land. Big deal, a simple case of double standards. Not the first one and not the greatest one either. No corruption, no conflict of interest could be shown up to this point.

    Enter the spin masters (we all have to admit that naming that club Spin Valley was a highly unhappy piece of idea given the curent circumstances), at which point, all that could go wrong for PN did:

    1. JPO states the journalists prevented him from catching the boat: False, footage show he left early to dine at a restaurant.

    2. JPO calls Sant a coward because he didn’t wait for him to be present to expose the Mistra development. Apparently the journalism institution at which he studied had some rules of engagement that haven’t reached our shores yet.

    3. JPO says he doesn’t know who he rented his land to. (We’ll pass on this one on the basis that its too ridiculous to comment).

    4. JPO states he asked the rentee to withdraw the application. Apparently by this point he remembered who this person was. In so doing he thanks heavens that said rentee is ready to wave goodbye to thousands of euros, and go back to farming, so as not to put his landlord into any negative light. JPO cries when he realises that this rentee will have to spend the rest of his life waking up at 5 oclock in the morning to sow potatoes, instead of going to sleep at 5 in the morning.

    5. JPO goes on national TV (wearing the same jacket he’s been wearing for the last 3 days) to confront the most inspiring and articulate leader this planet has ever seen. (Thanks God that last carnival he had the brilliant idea to dress up as a journalist, and had asked the stamperija to provide him with the only piece of costume a journalist needs: the press card).

    6. JPO realising that not all is lost (and counting on the fact that Il Lider did another of his grant exits sans entry), finally goes home and hopes that that document has not been found. And by that document we meant, THE document on which he signed his name. It would sort of throw 5 days of good work down the drain. Not to mention the fact that he would be exposed as a liar (or at least a liar for the last 5 days. Which incidentally is exactly the same time for which he has been practicing as a journalist. He realises that he didn’t start this journalistic career on the best foot possible). Not to mention the small fact that this might effect him a wee bit on election day. And his party. At this point he starts envying Il Lider for not having, what Daphne calls, his small problem. In situations like these, this type of small problems help forgetting everything.

    7. THE document is aired.

    P.s….for all the non PN supporters out there; please appreciate what sacrifice we PN supporters have to go through having to put up with ‘shortcomings’ like these.

  468. Pity cos I would have brought the House down. Ah well.

  469. Malcolm Buttigieg

    What should have been a storm in a teacup has been blown up completely out of proportion. Spin valley, that is such an appropriate name for this saga.

    Whether this event will backfire on the PN or not is yet to be seen. I doubt it very much though. Even though I will not cast my vote for PN but for AD, I honestly think that the PN support is too strong across all Malta.

  470. Matthew Aquilina

    Too strong across all Malta? I honestly doubt that greatly at the moment.

  471. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Just look at the Maltatoday surveys, the PN are 5 percentage points ahead!

  472. According to an SMS doing the rounds, our surveys are planted by AD to lull nationalists into a false sense of security, so they wouldn;t worry too much giving AD their number 2.

    Anyway. Apparently, we also killed JFK…

  473. Matthew Aquilina

    Malcolm, you have not read the findings of that survey carefully enough. Did you notice 9.8% of PN voters will be voting MLP this time round. Also, did you notice that 49% of ex-PN voters took part in that survey while only around 31% if i remember correctly are ex-MLP voters. There is an over-representation of PN supporters in that survey. Also, please notice there are around 21% who have not conceded to whom they will vote.

  474. Matthew Aquilina

    Sorry for forgetting to put question marks to the 2nd and 3rd sentences 🙂

    The conclusions after seeing all this is that results are thereforce inconclusive.

  475. @Malcolm Buttigieg

    Regarding Maltatoday survey, there’s still 20-30% not wanting to state their voting intentions. Do you honestly believe Labour will score ONLY 33%? It just means Labourites are more reluctant to state their voting intentions. That means nothing. I won’t try explaining again how irrelevant those perecentages are, I already did in previous post, and to YOU if I’m not mistaken. It’s the “swing” that counts, and the swing appears not to be in PN’s favour.

  476. Have a look at this:

  477. Malcolm Buttigieg

    The surveys indicate a swing of 9.8% of 49% of respondents who votede for PN in 2003, that is a mighly lot!

    That amounts to 9.8% of 49% of 146,172 +/-3.26% of that amount.

    To be fair there appears to be a swing from MLP to PN of 3.5% from Labout to PN.

    One thing about some of my comments. They have to be taken with a pinch of salt Gold Roast.

  478. Matthew Aquilina

    9.8% – 3.5% = 6.3%

    That’s still a big swing. Please note PN won in 2003 with around 12,000 votes (around 4%).

    It’s not unrealistic to think things can change this time around.

  479. Hullo. Just watching Bondiplus, and Gonzi has just climbed down from his previous “no way Jose” stand on coalitions with AD. Evidently, he doe’t believe the Maltatoday survey either….

  480. Ok, I will take them with a pinch salt, maybe even two. 😛

    But the thing is that to the mathematically deficient, that survey transmits the message that the PN are in for a landslide victory … how wrong.

    In fact seems like Maltatoday have emphasized more on the swing percentages than last week in their article … seems like someone drew their attention.

  481. @Raphael

    I don’t think the PN are very happy with the Maltatoday survey … probably the undecided disgruntled Nationalist who’s not very good at math will say “Oh heck! The PN are leading anyway, so giving my vote to AD will not translate into a vote for Alfred Sant.”

  482. That was, in fact, the substance of that SMS i referred to earlier. But.. anyone care to comment on gonzi’s apparent change of heart?

  483. Mela mhux Sant biss qed jaghmilhom il-U turns?

  484. Malcolm Buttigieg

    What change of heart Raphael?

  485. @ Raphael

    “But.. anyone care to comment on gonzi’s apparent change of heart?”

    Could be that the NP is aware of polls not known to others. Could be that Lawrence is aware of coalition governments in other EU countries. Could be that Lawrence has a degree of political stature. Could be that Verheugen has advised Lawrence once again.

  486. What change of heart Raphael?

    Up until this evening, Gonzi had “ruled out” a coalition with AD. Today, asked specifically by Bondi, he said: “At this point I cannot commit myself one way or another” (loose translation from memory, but that is the gist of what he said.)

    Interestingly enough – because we live in a country where the name of game if “follow the leader’, last wdnesday Ranier Fsadni wrote his own interpretation of “why Gonzi would prefer opposition to a coalition with AD” in The Times. Well… now that the leader has said that he wopn;t rule it out after all, what is everyone’s reaction to the sudden possibility of a PN-AD coalition (presuming, of course, that the unlikely event of AD winning a seat actually materialises)?

  487. Up to last Sunday’s Maltatoday interview Gonzi was ruling coalitions.

  488. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Maybe now we will witness adverts stating

    A Vote for AD = A vote for GonziPN

    The scenario is as follows. If no party gets 50%+1 of valid votes, and there is a third party in parliament a coalition may be the only solution to form a government.

    The polls may indicate that no party may get a 50%+1 of valid votes. They may also indicate that MLP is ahead of PN by around 8,000 votes. In this scenario, the only possibility for GonziPN to retain power would be to encourage their supporters to elect an AD candidate in parliament and form a coalition with AD.

    I think we are in for a big surprise!

  489. “Raphael Says:

    March 3, 2008 at 9:04 pm
    To go on from jacques’ point. If JPO can take the place of a NET jounralist for one day and participate in a press conference against the established rules… can I simply turn up at parliament, take JPO’s place, and address the House?
    just wondering…”

    Good point.
    Now, let’s think of another possibility. What would have happened to you or another lesser being, if you had the sort of showdown JPO had with the BA guy who’s authority he blatently defied in full view of the cameras?

    Is that a good example to set to ordinary folk where respect for authority and the rule of law is concerned?

  490. Li tivvota huwa dmir. Li tivvota huwa responsabbilta`. Li tivvota huwa privileġġ. Li tbati l-konsegwenzi huwa fattur minimu li jiġi wara, allura mhux problema. L-immedjatezza tirrikjedi li inti tgħaraf il-‘periklu malinnju’ illi jirbħu l-oħrajn. (l-oħrajn min??? – mhux importanti…min mhux magħna: kontra tagħna). Jibda’ biex jiġik id-dub(b)ju li mhux importanti l-issue li qiegħdha tiġi rrappreżentata, imma biss il-wiċċ ħlejju u manswet li hemm fuq il-biżibilju fuljetti li rċevejna d-dar (‘Għax l-ambjent jiġi l-ewwel’ – anke jekk djarna mimlija skart moralista u wċuħ daħkana – fejn hu internet, l-enerġija mġedda mingħajr ħela ta’ riżorsi!!!). Jiġik id-dubju li l-issue kollha huwa reklam partiġjan u mhux ewropew. Lowell kien razzist (“racialist”) u baqa’ tali…imma kif imbagħad tiġi bniedma soċjalista u tipprova tgħidli li trid teħles mill-immiggrati u jiġi bniedem nazzjonalista u jgħidli li l-kontroversja fuq l-immiggrazzjoni llegali hija farsa. Jimporta tispjegawli jekk jgħoġobkom jekk il-valuri politiċi nqalbux b’mod ‘ipokrita’. Li inti nazzjonalista u inklinajt ruħek lejn l-għajnuna favur il-barrani, nifhimhom, fl-aħħar tgħallmu xi ħaġa. Li jiġi Lowell u jkompli jħambaq bir-ragħawa f’ħalqu, nifhmu ukoll, bniedem penzjonat irid jibqa’ attiv. Imma li bniedem soċjalist iċapċap lil Berlusconi għax kiser trattati favur l-umanita’ u bagħat lura lejn pajjiż ostili bnedmin oħra indiskriminatament – mhix kwistjoni moralista jew ġeneralista – ftit sens komun!!!

    Dwar il-kwistjoni ‘better of two evils’…lil min ħa tivvota bejn xi ħadd li jisparalek f’żaqqek u ieħor li jisparalek f’dahrek….ħa naħsibha ta….ermmm…LIL ĦADD – OVVJA! Smajna b’ħafna ħniżrijiet li seħħew minn naħa tal-Gvern u wkoll bil-barunijiet – L-ISMIJIET PLEASE – Għażiż PL jew MLP jew li tridu ssemmu lilkom infuskom, tuna l-ismijiet tal-BARUNIJIET u wiegħduna li jekk titilgħu intkom ma tibqgħux ittuhom liċ-ċejċa…tagħmlu hekk u titilgħu anke intkom, fosthom bil-vot tiegħi. Iżżommux il-kelma u terġgħu tistennew 15-il sena oħra…għax hawn min jippreferi jittanta xortiħ u jaqla’ tir ġo żaqqu minflok jistenna tir għal-għarrieqa f’post mhux indikat…

    Better of two evils….minjaf….xi darba….nkunu ħafna! J’alla l-ġid!

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