The advantages of Malta rejoining PfP stand on their own merits. What is striking here, however, is how the Prime Minister, who made it the central tenet of his electoral campaign that his would be “a government of all the people”, transparent and accountable for all its actions, can, within a few days of being returned to office, make a unilateral decision without in any way consulting the opposition on a subject that divides large sections of our population, irrespective of whether that is justifiable or not. – The Times Editorial, 27.03.08
Thus spake the Times editorial today. The editor was right in saying that the advantages of joining PfPstand on their own merits. Of course he could not avoid outlining those very same merits in the second half of the editorial – lest too much PN banging be had in one article. Anyhow, the issue of the PM running off and signing us in without so much as a declaration of intent to the electorate he had so recently “consulted” might be a sign of displeasures yet to come.
Fausto seems to think that when we criticise the way the PN and the government seem to have failed to analyse and absorb the electoral victory by default* it is because we talk out of some sour grapes vantage point. In Colombus’s Egg, Fausto goes to great pains to defend his thrice victorious outgoing Secretary-General. I had not known Fausto to descend to this level of flag-waving, Jason Micallef-style appraisals of politicians. What Fausto chooses not to hear on the other hand is not a question of trophies and victories but the question of reading the signs that this election and the electorate had to offer. When I say that I do not know what Joe Saliba has to gloat about, it is precisely because the man spent a whole program in constant denial of the fact that his party had not just walked out of a campaign with a tremendous wave of support. We got no hint of the “humility” he supposedly was feeling towards the electorate. Now if he is the right person to celebrate three electoral victories (and a referendum – that victory for the party, no doubt) then I will let him free fireworks and all to celebrate to his heart’s content – after all the man is on the way out. So congrats and a friendly pat on the back to Joe.
In the meantime there is a government to be run and a people to be served. Neither of the two get anything out of an electoral trophy cabinet. What the people expect from their government is a governance in consonance with that which had been promised before the election. Anything that goes beyond that must be achieved only through the most widespread of consultations – and not through “Bolts out of the Blue”. When I worry about Joe Saliba’s gloating it’s not (as Fausto may mistakenly think) because I envy his electoral trophies but because I worry that his unjustified sense of overconfident complacency is shared by the people in government (the party is one thing, the government is an all the more serious matter).
That partitarji fail to understand the implications of the last electoral result is understandable. Theirs is the business of trophy counting and flag waving. That the government begins to show the worrying signs of not listening to the message (to the extent that the Times picked up the signals) is not good. Not a good sign at all.
* Going so far as to ascribe the description “victory by default” to all three elections – putting words in my mouth?