Is silence the only choice?
Malta celebrated the 52nd anniversary of Independence this week. The turnout was much bigger than expected – a very clear and clamorous sign by the people to the government that they are unhappy: tbezbiza serja – a serious warning!
Disappointingly, however, we saw the PN leader literally and simply side-tracking the real meaning of Malta’s independence, per se, and instead taking full advantage of the latest of the political scandals to paint the government as totally ‘corrupt’ and ‘not fit for purpose’. Dr Busuttil is very comfortable with Malta’s total dependence on the whims of an undemocratic, greater supra-national power now running Malta primarily on its own behalf rather than ours. Once proud and independent Malta, yet again, finds itself totally subservient to our new colonial masters and entirely obedient to all their legal, political, military and financial impositions.
Dr Busutill is not as vociferous as he should be – he’s totally silent, even – when it comes to the same ‘corrupt Maltese government’ breaking constitutional law daily – and for years – in order to serve the EU (and not Malta) against our wishes and in a way for which none of us ever voted. Ultimately, even this state of affairs is totally acceptable to the Leader of the Opposition celebrating our ‘independence’, it seems.
Last Wednesday, therefore, was not a chance to unite people from all political backgrounds and celebrate the real meaning of the day in national unity, but another chance to try to win political points and gain some much-needed credibility on the part of the Opposition: not even some form of national protest but clearly another PN mass meeting.
Yet another great opportunity wasted and one dividing a nation rather than uniting it. It’s a great pity that, in the present political turmoil, all Dr Busutill offered our nation was just another cruel joke by Malta’s political class: “I have nothing to offer you but honesty.”
Well, in all honesty, at a time when serious leadership and solutions are required, Malta does not need rhetorical punchlines from the same politicians who, three years ago, where bulldozed out of power by the honest voter, fed up with so much dishonesty and arrogance on the (PN) government’s part. A party does not go through a much-needed and complete change in just three years by simply ignoring the real reasons for its defeat and by keeping the same policies/people as before. That is cosmetic and not real change. So far, the PN remains ‘not fit for purpose’ and still not seen as a ‘viable alternative’ to the present lot and in no way in a position to offer serious governance on its own.
I therefore find myself asking what is really being offered to the voter by the traditional parties when so many are unhappy with them both. Is silence the only choice for left-wingers who see Moviment PL as a sham? And is silence the only choice too for the Conservatives who no longer see themselves represented by the neo-liberal PN? Should both these camps remain loyal to the party and just keep silent, even in their unhappiness and anger towards the leaders who are both seen as not fit for purpose?
If they talk to you honestly, many people who belonged or still belong to these two camps all actually have one common and shocking message: apart from their blatant rejection of the new PN and PL party leaders and direction, they are both nevertheless also terrorised (that is the correct word!) of being punished by their party or by their own government, should they openly reject the “party line”!
This terror is truly worrying. It is a clear sign that we have a deep crisis in our democracy. We are simply not allowed to think for ourselves but must comply and be assimilated. We can, of course, point fingers and conveniently blame the untouchable ‘tghana lkoll’ few for this crisis of affairs. But blame surely also lies with the Opposition as well. Some real Nationalists have taken to the social media to speak their minds openly and I salute them from here for courageously doing so. But, like their Labour counterparts, there are still many more Nationalists who are terrified to stand up, be counted and ask for a return to democracy and real principles. Many within the two traditional parties still see silence as the only option!
To the PN and to ‘tghana lkoll’ leadership, as well as to each and every voter therefore, I say one thing:
Democracy is not just the Ballot Box, come election time. Democracy is to be defended constantly and by all means possible. People no longer consider the PN or PL’s ‘viability to govern’ on the scale of one of them just being ‘the lesser of two evils’. The voter is now being offered genuine alternatives to this antiquated and harmful ideology. Their full and real representation in parliament is far more important to enough of them than just to “the party”. Your obedience to their wishes once you are in government is something that unites them too, rather than forcing them to yet again accept that once elected, you will forget us and choose to do whatever you like, even if it’s against our direct wishes. Just as you did in the recent past!
In the last three years, both the PN and the PL have experienced the direct rejection of the people in huge swings. Despite attempts to keep the political ping-pong game going, Maltese politics has changed. The people are starting to see that much of their power comes from rejecting silence. The parties should no longer consider it their ‘privileged right’ to govern, once the pendulum merely swings their way, by default. This secular, polarised leadership and government is not at all in touch with the Maltese people themselves. It is no longer acceptable.
After refusing to remain silent on the Libyan visa scandal and many other issues, for instance, Alleanza Bidla is actually now much stronger and more united. We have been invigorated to work harder for our beliefs and we feel freer than ever before. Together, we have come out stronger and seem to be much more respected” perhaps we are now seen by many potential voters as being more viable as part of a coalition government and more capable of offering a real-time safety valve to people who want better parliamentary representation.
We have learnt much by refusing to see silence as the only option. It is not personal courage that drives us forward (when so many around us knowingly remain quiet) but a refusal to choose silence: a refusal to accept mental slavery and choose freedom – a fundamental right.
To not choose to remain silent is not about courage but about deciding what is right and what is wrong. It is about how you want to live. It is about wanting to keep the inheritance handed down to us after much sacrifice by our forefathers and not wanting to see it thrown away by those who do not value it. It’s about wanting a return to a truly independent and democratic nation and people. It’s about worrying about what inheritance we will leave behind to others after us if we choose silence.
Rejecting silence is about rejecting anything that smells of a supra-national, corrupt and undemocratic power over us all; it’s about returning to being truly independent and sovereign. After all is, this is all about all the rights still afforded to us by the highest law of the land.
In view of all this, in view of having viable alternatives and seeing the positive results of standing up for your principles and rights, is silence the only real choice for us all? Perhaps it is time to reject silence once and for all?