Daphne’s Invigilators

An Open Letter to Daphne Caruana Galizia (2000 words for your 2000 today)

(available for a limited period on http://www.daphnecaruanagalizia.com – the woman not the letter)

Good morning Daphne,

I’ve just read your last Sunday article before the election (Be Vigilant). I am sure you’ve saved the best for last- on Thursday – when nobody can answer any arguments built on half truths and false premises. Don’t worry there is nothing wrong in that, others have done that before you – even the great EFA left it until the last minute to promote The Big Lie that started to push away hundreds of queen-bees to the hazy realm of the independent voters. We have got used to this, as we have got used to the rule that a partisan supporter can only face you with condescension, ridicule and truth-twisting.

You needed a thread for your narrative to work today.You needed a common theme that could bunch all your ideas together and avoid having to break your article into those hideous – asterix-separated – strings of thoughts that are not as neat as the full flow of ideas in one solid piece. And you chose Vigilance. “Be Vigilant” you told the electors – and I find it an infinitesimally interesting choice of words. You who claim to know how to read words and the message they pass along so well might have been a bit more careful. Hermeneutically speaking I could have just stopped at the title and not bothered to read on. They captured the essence so well and yet I am sure that they will not be serving their master in the manner she intended.

“Be Vigilant”. It’s a wartime message. It reminds the readers of the wartime posters – keep mum because the enemy might be listening. It’s a slogan worthy of the DC propaganda against the spectre of baby-eating communists. It’s MacCarthyism all over again – beware of the reds hiding under your bed. “Be Vigilant” – you are being asked to become an invigilator – your friendly Political Neighbourhood Watch. Weed out the spineless weaklings who are getting tangled in their thinking. A good verbal beating by the Daphneburo will get them back in line and show them how to stop routing for the dysfunctional alternative.

“Be Vigilant”, and in your usual style that I am sure will not be so pronounced on your new blog-non-blog you dish out the Invigilators’ Welcome pack – it’s full of I.D. Kits of “How to tell the dithering fool”, “Ten Signs to Identify a Computer Geek”, “The Watermelons – or a study on Reds disguised as TreeHuggers” and so on and so forth. (As for the blog-non-blog – welcome to the fold, I think it is a blog notwithstanding your “Ceci n’est pas un blog” song and dance). It’s indoctrination of a disguised kind, because what you fail to notice at the end is that notwithstanding all your claims of intelligent, swift decision making you fail to engage on the issues that are brought up. You prefer instead to return to the old battleground – the dirty ministers hiding in Sant’s closet and the Old Bad Labour. Like the PN you have come to this election with one main slogan – “Keep Sant Out”. Now you send out the invigilators with the same message – anybody who is not voting PN is dithering and risks putting Alfred in government.

What you neglect to tell the readers Daphne is that some people (not all – my blog attracts all kinds of people because they feel comfortable discussing within its forum – even when I am forced to resume moderation thanks to the calming presence of MLPN interlocutors) have long been aware of the PN vs Sant option. Some, like myself would prefer PN to the Sant option if that is the only issue at the moment. Only it is not. The PN campaign would like to think it is. They have invested all their energy in that simple formula. And that is their main weakness. They have not been prepared to engage on other issues – so every other issue has to be translated and twisted forcefully into the only weapon in their arsenal.

Which brings us back to BE VIGILANT. It is symptomatic of this campaign. I do not deny that you could have reached your decision quickly and without hesitation when you only considered the Gonzi vs Sant option. I would have done the same. And I told you so. It does not take a Harvard Ph.D. to reach the conclusion when you look at the two manifestos with the G vs S clash in mind.

Then there’s the next step. The Alternattiva monster. The Greens have always been an easy target for PN naysayers. They have been called treehuggers, eccentrics and NIMBY pressure-groups over just the last 15 years of PN government when AD were always ridiculed for their rebel-style antics. Those same 15 years were the 15 years in which the environmental deficit was left to grow – only to have a promise that it will be solved – in 2008. But that is not my battle to win… nope Daphne, AD is AD’s battle. I am not here to represent AD. They happen to be a vehicle for a different vote – NOT A PROTEST VOTE -mark my words… not a protest vote. They are the irritant in the PN campaign of “Keep Sant Out” which only works if all the alternatives are null. Surely AD’s position in the polls had something to do with the harshening of the PN diatribes against the party culminating in the slogan “Vote Harry, Get Sant”. AD had to be neutralised. Worse than that it had to morph into the enemy and so be it… we get your coup de grace … MLPAD.

Again the hermeneutics of it all is lost on Daphne the Communicator. When a voter is determined to exercise his choice on the basis of a reasoned decision and then he finds a party telling him that his decision is not really what he thinks it is but really a Labour vote… then he tends to get pissed off. Really pissed of. Not the petulant Girl’s Private School pissed off. It’s the intelligent, reasonable woman who is being told that she has no brain cells, and in a grand tour of non-sequiturs we get the proto-psychological assessment of no style, no marriage ring, too many chips, pratty, ignorant, downright stupid. It doesn’t stop there… the Big Invigilator on the Low Hobby Horse (not a high horse when she speaks) tells him/her that by continuing to think different they are setting themselves up as “hate objects”. It is only those who think in the same way as yourself who are intelligent – witness your last comment about Cora and Super-Fausto.

But let’s get back to these petulant voters. I cannot speak for them all. Surely I do not speak for the grudge-bearers and Labourites or Alternattivisti whenever I write. I speak for myself and slowly, the more I write the more I find that we are a few… almost too few to mention… so we may be wrong. You want names for the Invigilators? Here… I see Justin BB, I see David Friggieri , I see Mark Vella (once he shed his let’s try Sant obsession), and I see Raphael (when he sheds his obsession he has with you). I’m sure they won’t sue me for the preposterous assertion that we might have a common ground to think from that is not partisan.

In this common line the agenda is not a coalition. It is not a Green Party or whatever in Parliament. See it this way it is a Constitutional Movement that goes beyond party snipes, jibes and dissentions. Frankly if I were to take your tack I would say it is an over intelligent conversation that is beyond your competence, but I won’t: I do not like that kind of comment. Our idea falls in the field of political philosophy and constitutional theory, far from the ramparts of partisan trench warfare. You’ll be tempted to say it is pie-in-the-sky and abstract and intellectual (or wankellectual) and impractical. You’d be right… from the layman’s point of view viz-a-vis “complicated legal reasonings”, but you’d be oh so wrong about the implications of it’s practicality.

You see Daphne, Constitutional Law and Constitutional debate is at the root of modern democracy. It is all about the translation of the will of the sovereign people. It assumes that the basic framework is approved by a constitutional convention and then the citizens will vote themselves a government to manage in an accountable manner within that constitutional framework. If the framework shows its faults then you need a constitutional moment to change it – witness the aftermath of the 1981 anomalous election result. What this Constitutional Movement is clamouring for is that another Constitutional Moment has come. In 1981 the majority vote was not respected because the rules warranted otherwise. Today we have an implicit admission that a voter’s decision can be WASTED. They are not my words. They are the words of people like you. Now either you are LYING (an ugly word normally used in partisan politics) and the vote is not really WASTED or you are right and that means that a voter’s right to choose is no longer there. I have told you that I agree that you are not lying. The current rules allow a vote to be wasted. The MLPN are aware of this anomaly and have chosen not to take any action about it.

Therein lies the catch-22. Because of their decision not to fix the Wasted Vote issue the MLPN have put a certain class of voter in a right fix (excuse the pun). There is an evident lack of will to reopen the constitutional debate. As far as MLPN are concerned Wasted Votes are here to stay. In total defiance of the will of admittedly a minority of voters (and the well-being and interest of the whole body politic) with a constitutional conscience the PN has gone a step further. It has turned the Wasted Vote into a campaign weapon. This is effectively a hijack of a vote no matter how Super-Fausto puts it. The moment the Wasted Vote Campaign began there was an admission of a fault in the system, and an unashamed use of it to the PN’s favour. That does not help the PN. No amount of vigilance,name calling and labelling will fix this fraudulent campaign.

The Wasted Vote Campaign is based on real facts. Sadly it is the real facts that need changing. A modern democracy does not accept a situation wherein votes can be wasted. Every citizen’s vote is precious. That is why it takes a lot of thinking, weighing and deliberating when there is a difficult choice. That is even more why in a Sant vs Gonzi battle the answer is normally a no-brainer. It does not take intelligence or 20 years of column writing to notice that. Even the most insecure fashionista should be able to tell who to vote for. Nevertheless voting remains the basic citizen’s right…. anything that diminishes the power of this right is not healthy for the democracy. The repercussions are much wider if you manage to think beyond the tip of your nose. Erosion of accountability, erosion of responsibility are just the beginnings of a downhill trip where democracy is the ultimate victim. Seen in this perspective voting for a PN government that refuses to do anything about the Democratic Deficit is also biting your nose to spite your face. And yes, we have Sant to thank for that.

So I will leave you and your invigilators to do your bullying work. Make sure that you poke the snarly spineless ditherers from every corner, leave no stone unturned. Be vigilant. Don’t forget though that your punctillious vigilance this side of the elections is causing a rapid depreciation of the citizen’s vote once we get to the other side. If a democracy is not about respecting every citizen’s will then just tell us that it is no longer a Republic but a partitocracy… and I will gladly subscribe to your idea of living comfortably far off in another country.

The Constitutional Movement is still not a physical reality but it is getting closer to being one with every taunt and insult that is traded. Once again we have to do without the mass of the so-called progressives still following the pied Piper of false socialism. The constitutionalists are all about sovereignty of the people. We do not need anyone to be vigilant for us…. sadly we are babysitting the shortsighted voters like you (when it comes to the constitutional debate and not the easy Sant vs Gonzi choice) and will continue being the warning voices about the perils of the future long after you’ve dropped the name calling and labelling and returned to the normal routine… until five years later you will give us another reason why we can sacrifice our right to choose on the higher altar of the vigilant Nazzjonalisti.

Good luck with your blog…

Jacques Rene Zammit

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117 responses to “Daphne’s Invigilators

  1. EFA was right to mention A. Sant who was in charge of the board which decided who enters University . Whether he was present in EFA son’s case or not is irrevelent .
    EFA spoke in good faith on information given to him . The fact remains that AS is as Old Labour as could be .

    J’accuse comment: The Big Lie had nothing to do with Alfred Sant but a lot to do with voting preferences and AD.

  2. VINCE COLLINS

    And the PN is as old as TERINU and the faxxisti traitors of the thirties….and the party of scaremongering….the world did not end in 71, it did not end in 96 and will not end in 08 if the MLP happens to win.

    Dafnay, notwithstanding.

    GO AN.

  3. From Daphne’s billboard website:

    “Picture the same delegation that is now making pit-stop tours of villages on the kowc tal-bidla, piling onto the flight to Brussels, faces grimly and determinedly set, ready to tell those damned Europeans that nobody tells Malta what to do.”

    This is a fine example of the unknowing Daphne conjecturing from her fantasy world. Let me repeat: Labour today are far better sheepdogs to their masters in Brussels than the PN clan. I say this not offhandishly. I see both sides in action here, especially in the EP, and although the difference is not great, Labour have been “better Europeans” (possibly with the singular exception of Attard Montalto, who has at times defied the dictats of his masters). Mill-bqija, Xandru’s daddy? Zzzzzzzz The Poodle? The “Elect Poodle Campaign” takes all his time, especially when he writes back home about his imaginary conquests (but the grassroots are gullible even for this most horrific type of political charlatanism).

    As for Gorg Vella, the tenacious ex-anti-EU brigadier, he has long been aspiring to win the “Good European of the Year” award. There are plenty of ckaes and biscuits for “good Europeans” but Vella is aiming for a large soufle.

    So even if Sant never changes his views (as Daphne believes) he’s definitely good at suppressing them. If elected, Sant would be as good a sheepdog as Gonzi is at a European level, and even better, because he takes his marching orders from Schulz the Beloved Leader of All European Socialists. That’s one less worry for europhiles reading Daphne’s frenetic warnings.

  4. Victor Laiviera

    Paul, face it – Fenech Adami lied and lied deliberately on the last evening of the campaigng when he knew that Sant could not answer/

    It was one of the dirtiest political moves ever seen in Malta. And the couyrts thought so too – to the tune of a Lm2000 fine.

  5. Patrick Tabone

    Sigh. De ja vu’.

    Anyone who wants to vote for AD because they are AD activists and think there is no difference between a Gonzi government or a Sant one – good for you, go ahead.

    For anyone else, like Jacques, who voted PN to secure Europe in 2003, if you now vote AD you are increasing the chances of a Sant govenment. He needs a very small number of these swing votes to become PM in a few days time. This is electoral maths, not an opinion.

    If you are happy to be a part of that swing – go ahead. But don’t vote for AD without being clear in your mind what the consequence are – a bigger probability of a Sant goverment.

    Jacques says he will do it for the cause of electoral reform. Either he thinks a Sant government will be more open to electoral reform; or, more likely, he wants to feel good about himself and hang the real world consequences.

    Even if those consequences mean putting into place a party he clearly says he is even less impressed with than the present government.

    If this is what Jacques needs to feel good with himself – fine.

    I hope there aren’t too many like him who will act in the same way. I hope more people will vote to achieve the best real world result rather for personal satisfaction.

    (Am I being unfair? Maybe Sant is open to electoral reform? After all his years in the wilderness will Sant be dying to share power now that he’s won it? The fact that he’s happily helped block it so far, and that he hasn’t mentioned it in his campaign should be clues enough. Voting in a way that increases the chance of a Sant government does nothing in the real world to help electoral reform).

    J’ACCUSE: I note that in between jibes about “consequences” I will irresponsibly bring about and the usual denigration of Sant you comment written very reluctantly ignores one question. The PN has implicitly admitted that under todays’ terms votes are wasted. It knows about it. The manifesto and its politicians are silent about whether or not they will tackle this issue to make sure that genuine voters’ choices are not wasted in the future. Not much sighing there I’m afraid. You dance to the tune with a perfect timing Patrick, only it’s not the song I am asking you to play… we’ve heard your solution (wait another five years (sigh, yawn etc) of non-action by a party that thinks it can use this anomaly to its advantage). Very well. Thanks. Nothing to add then? I’m prepared for a week of personal attacks ranging from irresponsibility to living the comfortable life in Luxembourg…. c’est la vie… in the meantime no real answers to the actual question. Maybe because those living in Brussels are also insensitive to the plight of voters who think differently and would want to vote different? Boqq. I’m not saying it but there could be many who think it.

  6. I was watching some sort of PN Taht it-Tinda event on TV the other day – the kind where Gonzi sits across a spindly table with some local luminary and is gently cued with easy questions by the Nationalist NET staff (always better than Eileen Montesin asking him “Xi tfisser Kate ghalik?…but anyway…). This time the guest was the founder of a very successful IT company. The question lobbed his way was about Sant wanting to “re-open the package”. Now the IT guy didn’t do the usual PN spiel about Sant “taking us out of Europe” – he knew that such an option would be practically impossible. So he said that if a country tries to renegotiate certain aspects which had been agreed upon before, it loses credibility and this leads to business uncertainty. It’s not as simple as that though. Malta has disagreed with the EU on various matters – maritime laws, bird hunting to give two examples – and yet the ire of the EU has not descended upon us. Other member states also try to get better deals – what’s wrong with that? This is not meant to be a defence of any party, however we could try being less alarmist and take an objective view of things

  7. “As for Gorg Vella, the tenacious ex-anti-EU brigadier, he has long been aspiring to win the “Good European of the Year” award. There are plenty of ckaes and biscuits for “good Europeans” but Vella is aiming for a large soufle.”

    The Prototype:

    “On December 5, 1995, Solana became the new Secretary-General of NATO, replacing Willy Claes who had been forced to resign in a corruption scandal. His appointment created controversy as, in the past, he had been an opponent of NATO. He had written a pamphlet called 50 Reasons to say no to NATO, and had been on a US subversives list. On May 30, 1982 Spain joined NATO. When PSOE came to power later that year the party and Solana changed their previous anti-NATO attitude into an atlanticist, pro-NATO, pro-USA stance. On March 12, 1986 Spain held a referendum on whether to remain in NATO, with the government and Solana successfully campaigning in favour. When criticised about his anti NATO past Solana argued that he was happy to be its representative as it had become disassociated from its Cold War origins.

    Solana immediately had to take command of the Balkans NATO mission Operation Joint Endeavour that consisted of a multinational peacekeeping Implementation Force (IFOR) of 60,000 soldiers which took over from a United Nations mission on December 20. This came about through the Dayton agreement, after NATO had bombed selected targets in Bosnia and Herzegovina the previous August and September. He did this by deploying the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). In December 1996 the ARRC was again activated, with IFOR being replaced by a 32,000 strong Stabilisation Force (SFOR) under first Joint Guard and then (in June 1998) under Joint Forge.

    Under Solana’s guidance, and in response to a new post cold war era, NATO reorganised its political and military structure and changed its basic strategies. He gained the reputation of being a very successful, diplomatic Secretary General who was capable of negotiating between the differing needs both of the members of NATO and those with whom they were negotiating. In December 1995 France returned to the military structure of NATO, while in November 1996 Spain joined it. On May 27, 1997, after 5 months of long and complex negotiations with Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov, an agreement was reached resulting in the Paris Foundation Act. This was considered a considerable diplomatic achievement as it formally ended hostilities between Russia and the NATO axis. On the same day he set up the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council to improve relations between European NATO and non-NATO countries. In July in Madrid, the former Eastern bloc nations of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were invited to begin talks to enter NATO, which they did on March 12, 1999.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javier_Solana

  8. Claire, have you read the Lisbon Treaty?

    No, of course not, you cannot do that without referring to a 1001 articles in the current treaties. So an easier question would be: have you read the EU Constitution? I doubt it.

    In the light of the Lisbon Treaty, which has been signed and ready to be ratified by all member states (bar a negative result in the Irish Referendum), what are you exactly talking about (or Sant for that matter) when you refer to “better deals”?

    Are you talking about “opt-outs”? Too late for that, I’m afraid.

    Or perhaps you’re referring to some emergency packages if we play dying?

    Sorry if I sound patronizing – I can’t help it – you really (all of you) have no idea what the EU is all about. Your talk proves this.

    J’ACCUSE: all of us Kevin? of course all of us. I must give back my masters in EU law and stop drafting decisions for an ECJ cabinet. What the hell… sorry I even dare to think about Europe. You have a theory about Europe and I respect it. I have my own… I wrote my thesis about the Rule of Law and the ECJ… it also queried the theory that the ECJ is making laws in its own way. Just to say that I think that you should revise your sweeping statement.

  9. My first preference was to vote AN. After watching PN’s vilest advert ever, warning us that if we vote AN or AD, the vote goes to Sant, I thought well – might as well vote 1 for a well known MLP candidate and 2 to an AN candidate.

    Some of us are idiots but most of us are not Gonzi.

  10. Patrick Tabone

    Claire – on maritime law Malta did not in any way try to reopen the negotiations, or to change the acquis. It simply played it’s part in deliberations on new laws. It defended its interests vigorously, as a Member State should.

    On Spring hunting there is a conflict of interpretation between the Commission and Malta. The ECJ is there to arbitrate on such conflicts of interpretation. The Government has agreed to implement whatever the court says.

    This is a MS playing hard, but playing according to the rules of the game.

    When Alfred Sant originally spoke it went well beyond this. He has now bent over backwards to retreat from his original position.

    More interestingly, given my last comment, here is an AD proponent, forced to try and make the prospect of a Sant government look less scary because she knows that a vote for her party increases the prospects of a Sant goverment. I don’t blame her for doing it, but everyone should be aware of why she has to do it.

  11. “Sorry if I sound patronizing – I can’t help it – you really (all of you) have no idea what the EU is all about. Your talk proves this.”

    What is the EU “all about”?

  12. I’ve written some earlier posts alteady, Periklu.

  13. In case you miss it Patrick… I commented on your earlier comment… sorry should have just pinned it at the end like everyone else… laziness and depression after a last minute Juve loss.

  14. Here is the comment in your comment Patrick:

    J’accuse: I note that in between jibes about “consequences” I will irresponsibly bring about and the usual denigration of Sant you comment written very reluctantly ignores one question. The PN has implicitly admitted that under todays’ terms votes are wasted. It knows about it. The manifesto and its politicians are silent about whether or not they will tackle this issue to make sure that genuine voters’ choices are not wasted in the future. Not much sighing there I’m afraid. You dance to the tune with a perfect timing Patrick, only it’s not the song I am asking you to play… we’ve heard your solution (wait another five years (sigh, yawn etc) of non-action by a party that thinks it can use this anomaly to its advantage). Very well. Thanks. Nothing to add then? I’m prepared for a week of personal attacks ranging from irresponsibility to living the comfortable life in Luxembourg…. c’est la vie… in the meantime no real answers to the actual question. Maybe because those living in Brussels are also insensitive to the plight of voters who think differently and would want to vote different? Boqq. I’m not saying it but there could be many who think it.

  15. And J’accuse, or whatever your name is, thanks for your comment, but I consider you as a robotic component of the system and expect very little input from you in this field except parroting.

  16. WE HAVE ALL YOUR BASES. TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER.

    For a conspiracy theorist you must be the cream of the crop. KEB.

  17. keb Says:
    March 2, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I’ve written some earlier posts alteady, Periklu.

    Sorry, am new here. Where can I educate myself?

  18. Malcolm Buttigieg

    A personal experience

    So called acquired close family members (in laws), checked through their PN invigilators on the voting patterns of my family. They got a shock when they learned that my family was not all blue but a mixture of blue and red. At the time I was a floater, I still am, and indeed I have chosen blue or red during the past elections, a decision based on various considerations.

    The outcome of this invigilation exercise was that I was sidelined, considered as the black sheep. Has anyone experienced an instance where an in-law gets married, and being left out of the so called family photo due to his or her different political affiliation.

    Thankfully, I moved on and today I no longer belong to that acquired family.

    It is people like Daphne and her brothers and sisters at tal-Pieta who are responsible for this ignorant attitude in our society.

    Does the above have anything to do with politics? No, but it surely has a strong bearing for moulding my views about the true nature of the Nationalist Christian Democratic Party – aka Gonzipn.

  19. When idiots ill-afford to confront a complex subject, they label their opponents “conspircacy theorists”.

    J’accuse is a major example of this sheeple mentality, especially a sheep that works for the system.

    Earlier, he writes: “I wrote my thesis about the Rule of Law and the ECJ… it also queried the theory that the ECJ is making laws in its own way. Just to say that I think that you should revise your sweeping statement.”

    Oooooooooooh! How many theories have you queried since then, J’accuse? You sound quite happy that the ECJ rules our balls “in the spirit of the Union”, aye, J’accuse?! And these “conspiracy theorists” disgust you so…!

    Hallina gbin – ghalqa patata u mohriet jghoddu sew ghalik.

  20. Many families in Malta are coloured red and blue. My family is no exception.

    It is probably too simplistic to fault “Daphne and her brothers and sisters at tal-Pieta” for an “ignorant attitude in our society”.

    A non-ignorant individual should be able to mould his/her own views.

  21. Malcolm Buttigieg

    Absolutely, I agree periklu. It is incorrect to generalise.

  22. Patrick Tabone

    Jacques

    Sorry about Juve, but it doesn’t give you license to put words in my mouth!

    In my comment there is no denigration of Sant. It takes for granted something that you have made very clear in your own comments – that a Sant Government is not something that fills you with enthusiasm.

    Nor is there any personal attack on you, as there has never been a personal attack on anybody in my posts. I simply note that you seem to be ready to vote in a way that increases the probability of a prospective government you don’t support, even though it will not bring your objective of electoral reform any closer. And I said I hoped that not many people do the same.

    I fully understand the reasons why a Claire or a Raphael would vote for AD. They are AD supporters and activists. I do not, however, understand the logic behind your decision-making. Not that you need to explain yourself to me.

    ‘Wasted votes’ are a shame. But they are common in many democracies. Look at the US election; look at the poor lib dems in the UK. Pity the poor French socialists who voted for Chirac to avoid Le Pen. I’m glad they didn’t abstain to protest against the system that had led them to that point.

    If wasted votes bother you so much, then act in a way that might change the system. I’ll join you. But a vote for AD will not do the trick.

  23. A modern democracy does not accept a situation wherein votes can be wasted.

    Ever heard of national electoral thresholds even in PR systems? In Luxembourg it’s 8%. Which disqualifies it from being “a modern democracy” in your book.

  24. Fausto: Did anyone mention a proportional system without thresholds? Not to my knowledge. Right now there is no threshold and votes go to waste.

  25. I cannot understand why you addressed this letter to Daphne. Wasn’t it you who asked her to leave this blog unless she’d tone down the relentless canvassing for PN? It is plain to see she wasn’t able to do so, which is why she started posting her thoughts on http://www.daphnecaruanagalizia.com. Why do you want her back? Do you want my foul language back as well? I wouldn’t think so.

  26. This blog needs the Pre-Elections-Daphne as much as it needs Manuel Cuschieri.

  27. No Sandro, I did not tell Daphne to stop canvassing. Nor did I tell Victor, KEB or you to stop expressing your opinion. I just asked everyone to moderate their tone (and language).

  28. Patrick, when a Nationalist administration sticks to its guns when new EU laws may affect it, you describe it as “defending its interests vigorously”. The issue of spring hunting you put down to a “difference in interpretation”. Here the Nationalist administration’s refusal to accept the bleeding obvious (that it’s wrong but is waiting for the Court judgement to confirm this) is described as a Member State playing hard but according to the rules of the game. Why is it only the Nationalist administration that gets to “defend Malta’s interest vigorously”? You wrongly assume that I am somehow trying to make Sant look less scary so that AD may somehow benefit, I’m thinking that it’s a case of two weights and two measures. I understand that working with EU Commissioner Joe Borg might lead you to jump to wrong conclusions about my motivations, but I ffind it incredibly wearying to find that PN supporters can only justify the PN’s inaction/mistakes by referring to Sant

  29. She didn’t moderate her tone. She never stopped insulting people who will not vote PN. Why the open letter to her?

    When I stopped, I did not receive any letter from you. Am I less important?

  30. Fausto: Did anyone mention a proportional system without thresholds? Not to my knowledge. Right now there is no threshold and votes go to waste.

    Please, don’t shift goalposts.

    You said that in a modern democracy votes do not go to waste. No?

    In Luxembourg they do (the Communists, who got more votes that our Greens in the last elections, had their votes discarded).

    Ergo, Luxembourg is not a “modern democracy”. No?

  31. Jacques René Zammit Says:

    March 2, 2008 at 8:06 pm
    No Sandro, I did not tell Daphne to stop canvassing. Nor did I tell Victor, KEB or you to stop expressing your opinion. I just asked everyone to moderate their tone (and language)”

    And henceforth, Daphne retired to her cyber corner where there is howling and gnashing of teeth .

    😉

  32. This comment is very unfair:
    https://jaccuse.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/there-will-be-blood/#comment-8067

    You should think about this comment:
    https://jaccuse.wordpress.com/2008/02/24/blogging-in-the-time-of-cholera/#comment-7395

    Jacques, this is not about politics but human relations.

  33. Fausto: You win the Factoid prize of the day… a week in Brussels with Kevin Ellul Bonici.

    Now. As for the proposed reform… do you really think I would suggest proportional representation without a threshold? How does your comment answer the fact that votes would be wasted even if 10% vote a third party over 13 districts.

  34. Fausto you’re right that votes go to waste in every modern democracy. However, it is a question of degree. If, as you say, Luxembourg has an 8% threshold it is still a lot better than no threshold at all.

  35. Patrick Tabone

    Jacques – as Fausto rightly points out, any PR system with a threshold implies wasted votes. Wasted votes are a part of the democratic game. That game relies on people acting rationally to minimise the chance of their vote being wasted, and to achieve the outcome that they think is best from a range of possible outcomes.

    A well calibrated system reduces the number of wasted votes to a minimum. We can and should try and improve the balance in our system. But I, for one, will try and do it in a way that might actually achieve the aim. Sorry to be repetitive, but if you keep on taking us back to this topic, then the point needs to continue being made.

  36. Thanks Patrick. I get your answer now. So basically some time ago you said we should wait till after the elections to suggest changes to the electoral laws, going so far as to say you would willingly participate in the campaign. Now you tell me “any PR system with a threshold implies wasted votes” which does not promise much for your contribution to obtaining a healthy democratic representation in the future. Makes what you say afterwards sound like pretty empty promises. No need to go on repeating I think I get your point.

  37. Fausto you’re right that votes go to waste in every modern democracy. However, it is a question of degree. If, as you say, Luxembourg has an 8% threshold it is still a lot better than no threshold at all.

    Sure. But it would not make any difference for the Greens. Do you imagine the Maltese Greens ever coming close to 8% of valid votes?

  38. Could be. Couldn’t be. Does that change the fact that 8% of the votes CAN be wasted? Does it change the fact that if a party gets 8% of national vote – any party – it will not be represented? No. So what’s your point?

  39. Whether the Maltese electoral system is ideal or otherwise has nothing to do with the electoral support of the Greens. And the arbitrary use of an 8% threshold is just that – arbitrary.

  40. When I stopped I did not receive any letter from you. Am I less important?

    Sandro, kumment naqra Kiss Me Licia dan…

    U kieku stess, mhux ovvja li is-sinjura Galizia tiswa iktar minnek f’ghal dal-blog.

  41. But I, for one, will try and do it in a way that might actually achieve the aim.

    Sorry, Patrick but unless you plan on becoming a very senior official of the Labour Party there’s not much you can do. To change the electoral system you need to amend an entrenched provision of the Constitution, ergo a two-thirds majority, ergo the agreement of the Labour Party.

    Prof Lane’s site gives a fairly good chronicle of the debate in the mid-1990s. Note that the debate floundered on the issue of wasted votes — Labour was against the Nationalist proposal which would have seen the votes of parties failing to reach the 5% threshold being transferred, according to their voters’ preferences, to Parties which would have reached the threshold. This despite the fact that the Labour rep on the Gonzi Commission, Dr Paul Lia, signed the report of the Commission which made the proposal. Note also how Labour was complaining the loss of inter-party transferibility from a Party achieving the threshold to one who doesn’t. This would have been mathematically inconsistent which gives you an impression that Labour either isn’t terribly good at maths … or it just wanted to scuttle the whole debate.

    In the debate this time round Labour at least made a proposal of its own: the notorious “majority prize” where a party is guaranteed a Parliamentary majority with 45% of the vote — very proportional, as you probably agree.

    Incidentally, the Labour proposal was well liked by the Greens making it obvious that their sole interest in PR is limited to it giving them a greater chance of making it to the House — and to hell with everything else.

  42. The link to Prof Lane’s site was not included. Here goes. Thousand apologies.

  43. Whether the Maltese electoral system is ideal or otherwise has nothing to do with the electoral support of the Greens. And the arbitrary use of an 8% threshold is just that – arbitrary.

    You’re right. But it means that the whole argument is really academic and the present system has not punished the Greens any more than most other system used in Europe would.

  44. Fausto… honestly. Setting aside the greens and their chances… do you or don’t you think that there is the need of a minimum threshold of representation? I am not ruling out further discussion and different alternative solutions. I just want you to state if you believe this change is necessary or if you prefer the system as it is – with the potential for representative disaster that it represents.

  45. Does that change the fact that 8% of the votes CAN be wasted? Does it change the fact that if a party gets 8% of national vote – any party – it will not be represented?

    No but it does change your definition of “a modern democracy”.

  46. I hope we do not have to reopen the debate about how people would vote IF the system were different. Would it be so easy to call a potential vote to reach the hypothetical 8% threshold a wasted vote? We cannot answer that because Green and other party chances can only be assessed under the current system.

  47. Keith: Because my foul language is not designed with an aristocratic layout and for I didn’t mention pending court cases which act is against the law.

  48. It does not change the definition. The statement ” a party with 8% votes in Malta can still have all its votes wasted” still remains valid. My definition of modern democracy does not accept a country where that situation is very possible.

  49. Matthew Aquilina

    Daphne, you say that Dr. Sant was drunk yesterday during his speech. (Something only have seen and affirmed so). Today, Dr. Gonzi said one of the reasons to vote PN is so we will be able to have other famous artists come here in August. Is he serious?!! Voting for a party so that we have concerts. That must rate as one of the lamest political lines I ever witnessed or heard someone uttering.

    Let’s mention the funniest line now. Today, Dr. Gonzi this morning, said that they will not remove Mr. Rizzo from the ballot after his death which unfortunately occurred the past week. First the Nationalists made fun of Dr. Sant when they said he considered deceased people to be voting Labour 5 years ago and now Dr. Gonzi also said that a vote for Dr. Rizzo is still a vote for the Nationalist Party. Was he even thinking while stating this? Voting for someone who has passed away??? I think you should really change your statement from yesterday as to whom speaks as if he is drunk, after hearing such pathetic statements. Is Dr. Gonzi becoming that desperate for votes? I did not always agree with EFA’s politics but honestly Dr. Gonzi is just so lame a leader as KMB was in the late 80s for the Labour Party and doesn’t even deserve to be EFA’s successor since he doesn’t even have 1/4th of EFA’s skills as a leader and as a Prime Minister.

    Finally, how about Mr. Pullicino Orlando crying and making himself look like a baby in front of the Maltese public? And may I ask why Mr. Pullicino Orlando was following Dr. Sant everywhere these last 2 days? It can only mean one thing. That he knows he is not clean and he was in danger of being uncovered on this Mistra project. If he was clean he had nothing to worry about right? He wouldn’t even had bothered with following Dr. Sant whereabouts and his statements.

    He says he doesn’t know who he rented it to? How about that for ‘Par Idejn Sodi’? He doesn’t even know what’s going on with his land? He thinks we are that naive as to beleive him? It seems Mr. Pullicino Orlando also now has withdrawn the Mistra application as shown below:

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/election2008/view/20080302/news/pullicino-orlando-calls-for-withdrawal-of-mistra-application

    Believe Mr. Pullicino Orlando on his innocence and that he didn’t know about the project? I THINK NOT.

  50. It does not change the definition. The statement ” a party with 8% votes in Malta can still have all its votes wasted” still remains valid. My definition of modern democracy does not accept a country where that situation is very possible.

    Ah, now I get it: you’re a”modern democracy” if more than 8% can be wasted! 7.9% and you’re modern and democrat, 8.1% and you’re archaic and totalitarian!

  51. Fausto. You seem to be the most well-read about electoral laws. After Matthew’s comment I was reminded of the Albert Rizzo issue. I will be looking the thing up now but is there no provision that caters for death prior to an election? Just curious.

    As for your last conclusion re: democracy… still no answer about what you thnk about the system.

  52. Today, Dr. Gonzi this morning, said that they will not remove Mr. Rizzo from the ballot after his death which unfortunately occurred the past week. First the Nationalists made fun of Dr. Sant when they said he considered deceased people to be voting Labour 5 years ago and now Dr. Gonzi also said that a vote for Dr. Rizzo is still a vote for the Nationalist Party. Was he even thinking while stating this? Voting for someone who has passed away???

    Matthew, under the Local Councils Act a candidate may only withdraw his nomination while applications are still open. Meaning that Rizzo’s name may not be removed especially since by now the ballot papers have been printed.

    A vote for Rizzo is still a vote for the Nationalist Party in the sense that we employ single transferable vote. If Rizzo is not elected, his votes will be moved to candidates (most likely, Nationalists) of lower preferences; if Rizzo is elected there will be a casual election as soon as his seat is considered vacant and, once more, a Nationalist candidate will be elected.

  53. Fausto: Local Counci’s Act? Excuse the question from a lazy lawyer but is that the applicable law to General Elections too? Apologies for disturbing you but I’m busy being a stupid robot in the EU sphere and need to polish up the minutiae affecting candidates who pass away before the election. Cheers.

  54. Jacques, answer given already! The interesting situation will be how to declare Rizzo’s seat vacated if he is elected. The only mechanism I can think of is the “six consecutive absences and you’re out” scenario.

  55. Fausto, as I understand it from a quick search on the internet, it is incomplete to say that there is an 8% threshold in Luxembourg. There are only 4 districts so in theory (and unless I’m missing some other information) there would be a 4-5% threshold in the larger districts:

    ‘Electoral constituencies
    There are 4 electoral constituencies:

    – the southern constituency (the cantons of Esch-sur-Alzette and Capellen), with 23 Deputies
    – the central constituency (the cantons of Luxembourg and Mersch), with 21 Deputies
    – the northern constituency (the cantons of Diekirch, Redange, Wiltz, Clervaux and Vianden), with 9 Deputies
    – the eastern constituency (the cantons of Grevenmacher, Remich and Echternach), with 7 Deputies’

    from http://www.eu2005.lu/en/savoir_lux/politique_economie/grand_duche/index.php

  56. Fausto I was just asking because I discussed this with my boss (a sort of expert with encyclopaedic knowledge of Maltese laws for some weird reason) and he seemed to remember that there is some proviso in the electoral laws to cater for this situation… and I have not had time to check.

  57. Apologies, I was making the point on Rizzo’s candidature on the Gzira LC (basically restating an argument made elsewhere — damn copy and paste).

    Situation is as follows:

    Local Councils — nominations may be withdrawn until applications close.

    General Elections — nominations may be withdrawn until ballot papers are printed.

    In the two instances, it’s too late now.

  58. Fausto: That’s right. I did not want to mention what he said to me not to influence your research. Seems there’s some very good memory cells yet in the old man’s head… Now for the Prize Question… what was the recent US election issue that had a similar set of facts regarding a candidate who died in mid-election…? I do not have the answer… just using the Faustopedia.

  59. Matthew Aquilina

    I know that a vote for Mr. Rizzo remains a vote for the Nationalist Party. But it doesn’t make much sense encouraging Nationalist voters to vote for him when he is unable to contribute due to unfortunate circumstances.

  60. Another question from someone who was not at the mass meeting. Did Gonzi encourage the voters to vote for Mr Rizzo or (as is more probable) did he reassure them that any votes for Mr Rizzo would not be lost? (No pun intended – seriously)

  61. MAtthew…the question to the PM shouldn’t have been made, since even if he would want to change the ballot papers it is just to late now. It is not something unknown for a candidate to die halfway througha campaign and have his name on the ballot sheet come election time. I’m referring mostly to the France and Italy here.

    As for the prize question…it was Kathy Augustine, who even though being dead managed to win over John Ashcroft in the 2000 or 1996 primaries. John Ashcroft, for those who can’t remember was the first attorny general in the George W’s first cabinet. He remained famous for making all the minitry’s employees gather to sing solemn hymns before starting a day’s work.

  62. Fausto, as I understand it from a quick search on the internet, it is incomplete to say that there is an 8% threshold in Luxembourg. There are only 4 districts so in theory (and unless I’m missing some other information) there would be a 4-5% threshold in the larger districts:

    Why should it? It’s an 8% national threshold.

  63. Matthew Aquilina

    I have been told that Mr. Rizzo’s name has been removed from the ballot paper and today Dr. Gonzi encouraged Nationalists to not hesitate to vote for him since they still count as a vote for the Nationalist Party. Mr. “Par Idejn Sodi” doesn’t even know what the heck is going on around him and makes a fool of himself declaring this when Mr. Rizzo has been removed from the Electoral Ballot. Priceless!

  64. As for the prize question…it was Kathy Augustine, who even though being dead managed to win over John Ashcroft in the 2000 or 1996 primaries. John Ashcroft, for those who can’t remember was the first attorny general in the George W’s first cabinet. He remained famous for making all the minitry’s employees gather to sing solemn hymns before starting a day’s work

    Wrong details.

    The case was of Mel Carnahan vs John Ashcroft for the US Senate seat in 2000. Jean, Mel’s wife, was eventually appointed.

    Augustine’s case was some state post. She was not elected.

  65. I have been told that Mr. Rizzo’s name has been removed from the ballot paper and today Dr. Gonzi encouraged Nationalists to not hesitate to vote for him since they still count as a vote for the Nationalist Party.

    Do not believe what you hear, my dear. Once ballot papers are printed they cannot be change … the General Elections Act says so.

  66. “Fausto, as I understand it from a quick search on the internet, it is incomplete to say that there is an 8% threshold in Luxembourg. There are only 4 districts so in theory (and unless I’m missing some other information) there would be a 4-5% threshold in the larger districts:
    Why should it? It’s an 8% national threshold.”

    Where 21 candidates are elected from a district, each candidate needs circa 4.76% support to be elected. In the district that elects 23 MPs circa 4.35% is needed. If I understood correctly, the 8% threshold can come into play because in the smaller districts 11% and 14.3% are needed.

  67. Fausto. I think I owe you an apology. For a long time I thought you had a political agenda and many times have I referred to you as an apologist of the Nationalist government. I was wrong. You are a rare being. A stickler for facts. It is uncannily impossible for you to take a political position like whether the system should be changed. You can repeat till the cows come home that the greens will not elected under the present electoral system – and there is a high statistical chance that it will not. You will fight tooth and nail to make sure that the facts and perception of facts are seen in a clear manner but you will never commit yourself on a hypothetical supposition or on a future policy. Chapeau my friend.

    I will not bother you any more about whether you think the system needs changing. From what I see you are incredibly unable to do so (and I do not mean to say that in a negative sense). How you manage that is beyond me and it is a far cry from the Fausto I knew at the University,… maybe I did not know him that well. Somehow you could be a Pratchett character… an Igor of sorts… intent on the detail. I’d hate to face you for a game of Trivial Pursuit. On second thoughts I think I’ll be lugging my version up to Brussels next time I visit.. xi tghid? (sorry but its in French).

  68. Patrick Tabone

    Justin BB: Your point that the wasted votes/threshold issue is a question of degree, is a key one.

    If it were a question of principle, then all fair-minded persons should refuse to participate in the system. If a system is completely unjust, then just people should play no part in it.

    But if it is a question of degree, of recalibration, of rebalancing, it’s different. You can work for change, while still trying to make the system produce the best possible result. And without having to become an official of the labour party (but thanks for the career advice Fausto). I’ll bore Jacques and everyone else again by saying how: by old-fashioned democratic means. By convincing enugh people that you are right; by creating a movement that has popular support; by making a wave that politicans can’t ignore; by making them compete to be the reasonable ones.

    And by the way, Justin – that was an excellent ‘Welcome to Malta’ post some time back.

  69. From ABC’s blog (Times):
    ***
    Andrew Borg-Cardona (1 hour, 48 minutes ago)

    Jacques (still prefer to type J-R, it’s easier….) obviously the current system makes a mockery of proportional representation, but chucking away a vote out of spite or whatever is still chucking away a vote and voting Harry still get you a Fred, electoral miracles being a very rare bird indeed.
    ***

    Getting there. Getting there.

  70. Why do some people insist that a vote to Dr Sant as wasted? Has it got something to do with the state of his health?

  71. VINCE COLLINS
  72. Vince, thanks for besthowing thy light upon my poor self.

  73. Time for a rhetorical question: Its 22:28, 6 days before election day. Why are labour supporters having a carcade around my town already?

  74. VINCE COLLINS

    B-E-S-T-O-W-I-N-G…..no offence meant there Jon, but I’m just trying to help you with facts like Fausto did about Jean Carnahan. Her dead husband’s name remained on the ballot but the governor of Mizzou told the voters beforehand that if he wins (Mel) he would appoint his wife until a “by-election” is held which, incidentally, she lost.

  75. OK..sorry…I stated facts badly and typed things wrongly. Damn…I should be heading the MLP.

  76. You will fight tooth and nail to make sure that the facts and perception of facts are seen in a clear manner but you will never commit yourself on a hypothetical supposition or on a future policy.

    That’s the reason why, though I may sound as a very political animal, I grew up to be a civil servant. 🙂

    I’d hate to face you for a game of Trivial Pursuit. On second thoughts I think I’ll be lugging my version up to Brussels next time I visit.. xi tghid? (sorry but its in French).

    No prob. Hopefully, it’s without the cricket questions for “Sport” on which I tend to be weak. Does it?

    J’accuse: Cricket? In the french version? Who do you think you are kidding Mr Majistral? The tough ones in this version are all about the typical food of some unknown french sub-sub-region.

  77. Patrick, I don’t appreciate the following comment. I really don’t.

    “I fully understand the reasons why a Claire or a Raphael would vote for AD. They are AD supporters and activists.”

    I can only speak for myself here, but I am not “an AD supporter and activist”. If I was an activist i wouldn’t be doing a very good job of it, seeing as at no point have i urged anyone to vote AD, still less helped them organise activities, got involved in their campaign, etc.

    As for support, my voting intentions are entirely my own business, and I think it is grossly unfair to put me in a position where I have to take a stand by default simply to correct someone else’s misapprehension. On Saturday i will vote if and for whom I please, thank you very much. In the meantime I would greatly appreciate it if you resisted the temptation to slap blanket labels on me like that.

  78. VINCE COLLINS

    Jon, you are BEHEADING the MLP already..Har Har.

  79. Where 21 candidates are elected from a district, each candidate needs circa 4.76% support to be elected. In the district that elects 23 MPs circa 4.35% is needed. If I understood correctly, the 8% threshold can come into play because in the smaller districts 11% and 14.3% are needed.

    National threshold doesn’t work that way. First, all parties obtaining less than 8% nationally are eliminated.

    Then, the parties which have more than 8% are allocated seats in proportion to the votes they got (as far as I know, there’s no PR system in Europe which allows for the transfer of votes from the Parties that did not achieve the threshold to the parties which achieved it).

    Then, the parties which are allocated seats are allocated these seats by district depending on their strength in each district and staying within the limits of the seats they were allocated nationally in the preceding step.

    Then a number of candidates per party are elected according to the number of seats allocated in the district. In some cases there are closed lists (where the order of candidates to be elected is determined by the party beforehand) and open lists (where voters can change that order — very much like what we do).

    But remember, a party making it to the 8% is the first step.

  80. Calm down Raphael. It’s what I am calling a Lapsus Calumni. It’s not just anyone who disagrees with the whole idea of the Vote Harry, Get Sant tactic that is labelled. It’s anyone who speaks his mind without chipping in in favour of that idea. You and me? We’re Ad supporters with a hidden agenda to get Sant in government.

    Forget proportional representation… and then someone called CJ Cauchi blames me for mentioning MacCarthyism. (I still have not fathomed what Cauchi’s point in his comment was anyway… sarcasm? irony? boqq)

  81. Thanks for the clarification.

  82. For the record. I’m off to bed… long work day tomorrow. Last one out is a robot…

    g’nite.

  83. Patrick Tabone

    Raphael – my apologies. It was genuinely not meant to be offensive or to label you. More that you write consistently and with conviction. I take it back.

  84. Or how about anyone in the English language press who doesn;t automatically fall to his knees to kiss the Glorious Leader’s… toes?

    This is from today’s editorial, Sunday Times:

    “What Malta needs is a leader who can consolidate the achievements to date, and then move forward by taking the right decisions. Dr Gonzi is the only man up to that task.”

    Lick lick suck suck

  85. No worries Patrick… but understand that I have to point these things out because it is happening all the time. Last week I was a Labour gallopin, for F’s sake. (which reminds me… why can;t nationalists make up their minds on this one? I thought they were the decisive ones, while I was the ditherer…)

  86. Patrick Tabone

    🙂

  87. Matthew Aquilina

    Nice post Raphael. Well said.

    lick lick suck suck. There’s no other way of showing reality in a clearer way.

  88. This is from today’s editorial, Sunday Times:

    “What Malta needs is a leader who can consolidate the achievements to date, and then move forward by taking the right decisions. Dr Gonzi is the only man up to that task.”

    Lick lick suck suck

    You can say that again. Gentle persuasion or blatant coercion?

  89. VINCE COLLINS

    Gonzu really MAKES the right decisions just like he did when he did not accept Mugliett’s resignation after the minister tried to undermine the court’s decision with regards to his “canvasser”.

    And when he did not remove the guy who gave the “court cleaning contract” to an entity owned by close relatives of a convicted criminal, the same “company” cleaning out his offices.

    But then what’d you expect from the Times.

  90. So how are you going to vote, then, Raphael? Do tell….

    You hate Gonzi, you fell out with AD, you don’t rate AN, so that leaves……

    Jacques, Raphael doesn’t have an obsession with me – I think he just never forgave me and his big sister for locking him out of the room so that we could play records and talk about boys without an annoying kid around. He was really cute, actually – big eyes and a mop of blond hair.

  91. well, the mop’s still there but it’s hardly blond any more. My hair faded to brown even as all my cuteness melted away to reveal the stony heartlessness beneath. ..

    A word about Carole’s records though. They included pretty much the entire Abba collection. The Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever, singles by the The Beatles including Hey Jude/Revolution/Hey Bulldog, etc., and (most bizarre of all) Bob Dylan Live At Budokan, 1977.

    Small wonder I turned out to be such a freak.

  92. And what do you mean, I don;t rate AN? Josie won my vote the moment he described the health system as “zobika”

  93. “Fausto Majistral Says:

    March 2, 2008 at 9:30 pm
    I have been told that Mr. Rizzo’s name has been removed from the ballot paper and today Dr. Gonzi encouraged Nationalists to not hesitate to vote for him since they still count as a vote for the Nationalist Party.

    Do not believe what you hear, my dear. Once ballot papers are printed they cannot be change … the General Elections Act says so.”

    Don’t YOU not believe all that YOU hear ,my dear.
    🙂

  94. “Matthew Aquilina Says:

    March 2, 2008 at 9:14 pm
    I know that a vote for Mr. Rizzo remains a vote for the Nationalist Party. But it doesn’t make much sense encouraging Nationalist voters to vote for him when he is unable to contribute due to unfortunate circumstances.”

    But doesnt anyone care about what his relatives may feel about this insensitive suggestion, at all?

  95. Jacques,

    regghet gietek lura il-qabbi tieghek.

    Tista’ tistrieh u torqod sew il-lejla.

    Bon nuit.

  96. Actually Sandro I’ve just spent half an hour running after a field mouse that Xitan (my cat) managed to get into the house (up one floor from the park) alive. Not nice. Thanks to a converse shoe box and a hair dryer (yep… had to blow the mouse out of its corner and into the box) the mouse is live and free back in the park. Xitan is not so happy though. Good night.

    Speaking of mice and escapes… Daphne… no answer to the letter? Just Curly Raphael then? If you need help, last time you mentioned the disadvantages of the political system for small parties was 21 May 2006. It was a small aside about AD in the midst of a very justified attack on fascists. A small aside but still a very intelligent one.

  97. Jacques,

    ikteb ittra lili.

    Inweghdek li nwiegbek immedjatament.

  98. Jacques,

    skuza tajba tal-gurdien. Kont kredibbli izjed minn Pullicino Orlando.

  99. ippruvajt niehu ritratt imma ma jafx jippoza il-qahbec gurdien. Mohhu biex jistahba taht il-heater. Kien ikun scoop helu ghall-blog. X’nista naghmel? nibkilek ftit forsi temminni?

  100. Jacques,

    f’Malta hawn hafna grieden. Imma ibzax malli jistahbu taht il-heater, ixghelulhom halli johorgu minn hemm taht. Ixelughlom bla problema ghax meta tigi inti s-surcharge se jkun bin-nofs.

    Meta tikteb l-ittra u tlesti l-2000 kelma ejja avzani fil-blog tieghi jekk joghgbok ha nkun nista’ nigi lura, napprezza t-tul ta’ l-ittra u nwiegbek lura.

    Grazzi.

  101. But doesnt anyone care about what his relatives may feel about this insensitive suggestion, at all?

    I don’t know what his relatives think but it’s not unlikely that they are in agreement. When Pim Fortuyn, the controversial Dutch politician, was murdered in the 2002 Dutch electoral campaign he ended up getting more votes than he was expected to. It turned out that voters felt that when voting for him it was like they were signing the book of condolences.

  102. Fausto, elsewhere I have read that the Electoral Commission has ordered reprinting of ballot papers in the wake of Mr. Rizzo’s untimely demise.

    What are your comments in relation to this news item?

  103. Raphael – so that’s what became of my Bob Dylan Live at Budokan LP! The Beatles singles were your aunt Anna’s, as were the Cat Stevens LPs which you failed to mention.

  104. I am surprised that Daphne and Raphael are mentioning neither U2 nor Nirvana.

  105. Fausto, elsewhere I have read that the Electoral Commission has ordered reprinting of ballot papers in the wake of Mr. Rizzo’s untimely demise.

    What are your comments in relation to this news item?

    I’d be grateful if you were to source that. Apart from the fact that it would be illegal may I add that there was nothing of the sort reported by the Electoral Commission. And on Friday the official list of candidates was published in the Government Gazette. Rizzo’s name is still there.

  106. ” Fausto Majistral Says:

    March 3, 2008 at 1:17 pm
    Fausto, elsewhere I have read that the Electoral Commission has ordered reprinting of ballot papers in the wake of Mr. Rizzo’s untimely demise.

    What are your comments in relation to this news item?

    I’d be grateful if you were to source that. Apart from the fact that it would be illegal may I add that there was nothing of the sort reported by the Electoral Commission. And on Friday the official list of candidates was published in the Government Gazette. Rizzo’s name is still there.”

    Read the papers and watch a spot of tv .

  107. Read Jenny PO comment

    Did anyone read Jenny PO (daughter of Jeffrey) ‘s comment on Daphne’s blog??

    Some good reading guys and gals!

    I wonder what Dr Sant will do to us common citizens if he dared do this to a daughter of one of his own party!

    Question to Victor Laviera – Do you think that the Inland Revenue will offer me the same opportunity that was given to some politicians from MLP, ie declare my income in 7/8 years’ time? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  108. Matthew Aquilina

    I have respect for my computer. I wouldn’t want to putting him through the ordeal of making it go to Daphne’s site.

  109. Read Jenny PO comment Says:
    March 3, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    “Did anyone read Jenny PO (daughter of Jeffrey) ’s comment on Daphne’s blog??

    Some good reading guys and gals!

    I wonder what Dr Sant will do to us common citizens if he dared do this to a daughter of one of his own party!”

    Well, are you not aware that Daphne has been doing same for years to Alfred Sant’s daughter, who happens to be “the flesh and blood” of Daphne’s own children?

  110. Exactly, Periklu. In the words of “Read Jenny PO comment”, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

  111. Most of us are parents. That is also another reason why we should lead by example and practice what we preach.

    I would be ashamed of myself if I did anything that goes against principles.

    Incidentally, I browsed through the comments in DCG’s blog and I could not find one single comment that was not full of praise for her efforts. Preaching to the converted now are we?

  112. For me, the highlight of the electoral campaign so far has been Jacques’ address to Fausto. Viva l-bloggers, viva l-bloggers, hej, hej.

  113. “Haricot Says:

    March 3, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Incidentally, I browsed through the comments in DCG’s blog and I could not find one single comment that was not full of praise for her efforts. Preaching to the converted now are we?”

    Apt pupil of Manwel Cuschieri MLP.

  114. outloudandproud

    Gawd, see how effective intellectually vacuous people are when they play the schoolyard bully to maximum effect? Get dirty and personal! Milk every possible thread of personal offence and wow! what an audience you’ll get. She’s playing games and you take her seriously??! Typical of smalltown politics- a rowdy sharpshooter rides into town and spits tobacco on yer boots and drawls in BIG GUY/GAL lincher jingo…and hey presto! chance for a good bar brawl. Neanderthal. Both her and whoever engages with her.

  115. Pingback: Hang On – UK election unfolds | j'accuse

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