It’s done then. Joseph Muscat almost nearly made it. For two three votes. Speculation has already begun. Will Abela throw the towel before the contest has even started? I doubt it. For a number of reasons. First of all there is his duty to finish off a job that he has started. It is evident that Muscat represents the party structure as it is. In a way he is not the complete cut from the Sant era no matter how much he denies it. One can admire his tenacity and cower in the face of his unabashed ambition but his marketability with the votes that are needed to win an election is highly questionable.
True Muscat only needs two votes technically speaking and chances are that he will get them. The Falzon votes are anti-establishment. Falzon was the “victim” of the report and the one who distanced himself from the old leadership most vociferously. Few of “his” delegates should logically switch to Muscat. On the other side there is Coleiro. She was as old labour as it could get – just see the backing she got from the party old timers. If they want Muscat than he has more than one foot in the leadership chair. Bartolo’s votes are a question mark.
Technically speaking we do not even need to talk about the delegates. If all votes remain the same and all delegates not voting for Muscat vote for Abela then we should be asking one question (bearing in mind that Muscat only needs two votes) – who will Bartolo, Falzon and Coleiro vote for?
Having said that the rethink of the 874 delegates is not something to be taken lightly. Polls will be taken out again. Arguments made in favour or against Abela or Muscat. It will depend on how much the spin in favour of a valid alternative government is made. This vote will not show us if the face of Labour will change. It will show us if the delegates are willing to change their modus operandi – and that is one hell of a giant leap. Labour has made great strides this time round – and it still lags behind. The publication of the report, the relative transparency of the challenge between contestants whenever the Discipline Committee did not dip its ugly paws, the openness and availability of the election. All positive signs. It’s not time to count chickens though.
The crux is tomorrow. It is not do or die. I think the doom has been avoided in a way. Now the delegates have to choose the gear for change. Will it be high speed revolution from the top to the bottom or will it be a very slow maquillage that might end up backfiring? True, Nationalist spin becomes irrelevant at this point. Or rather relevant to see how much mud can be thrown at which candidate. My guess is that Muscat is easier fodder than Abela for a number of reasons. Labour spin, of the old kind, will continue to sell Muscat because he falls into the Stil Manigerjali image that has been inculcated since 1992. There lies the mistake.
I am sure even Muscat will provide some way forward but my hunch lies with Abela. His is a harder road to the chair because he is fighting against the current – it is ironic but also an acceptable truth that a party finds it so hard to admit that it needs to completely cut away from old ties. There is not much more that I can say for now… and I need some sleep.
This has been J’accuse… thinking so that you don’t have to musing with you on the future of social democracy in Malta. Have a good night and last one out put out the light.
Thank you for reading – do pop by on other days.
CRAZY STAT: The hits on J’accuse registered a burst of 200 in the ten minutes after the result was finalised. Blogging – it’s worth it.