Be­yond the smoke­screens

Malta Independent - - INTERVIEW -

Here we go again. It’s pol­i­tics back with a bang. And Par­lia­ment will only meet to­day week.

With a year and a half to go be­fore the next elec­tion, and with the two main par­ties once again on a more or less equal level, pol­i­tics will take over our na­tional life from here to elec­tion day (and prob­a­bly be­yond).

The two par­ties yes­ter­day started the Sun­day morn­ing habit of hold­ing party meet­ings so far inside the party clubs, soon out­side them as the crowds grow and ex­cite­ment mounts.

One part of the po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity is to plug the party’s ap­peal to vot­ers. The other is to counter the at­tacks by the op­po­site force. Mean­while, in this game of smoke and mir­rors, smoke­screens are mounted and feints abound.

But a ma­ture elec­torate ought to be able to see be­yond the smoke­screens. We say ‘ought’ but then we know that come elec­tion day all sorts of rea­son­ings pre­vail.

It serves if the is­sue is made sim­pler so that peo­ple can un­der­stand.

Ed­i­tor’s pick

One is­sue that will surely be cen­tral in the com­ing cam­paign is that of power and cor­rup­tion af­ter so many cases that cropped up in these three and a half years.

PN and civil so­ci­ety at­tack and PL re­buts. It points at cases that oc­curred in the past un­der a PN ad­min­is­tra­tion, the one that was kicked out of of­fice with a huge ma­jor­ity go­ing the other way. PN then comes back with more and more cases which some­how seem to point at the in­ner circle at Castille – Kon­rad Mizzi and Keith Schem­bri above all.

So far there is noth­ing con­crete to tie Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat to cor­rup­tion ex­cept his de­fence of his close bud­dies and his re­fusal to sack them of get rid of them.

We have been com­ing back to this point many many times. The al­le­ga­tions are still in the air but those who would want a con­crete proof do not get any­thing re­motely re­sem­bling one.

How­ever, there is a dis­crim­i­nant about which one can be cer­tain and which can be un­der­stood by one and all.

Joseph Mus­cat leased out his per­sonal car to him­self and is get­ting hand­somely paid for this. By the time the elec­tion comes he will have re­couped the cost of the ve­hi­cle and much more be­sides. Simon Busut­til did noth­ing of the sort. Fur­ther­more, the elec­torate is cer­tain he will do noth­ing of the sort.

It is this that dis­crim­i­nates be­tween the two: on the one hand there have been more than enough cases of il­licit money go­ing to friends of Joseph Mus­cat – Gaf­farena, and so many oth­ers. On the other hand Busut­til would do noth­ing of the sort.

If the elec­torate comes to be­lieve this, the elec­torate would have made its de­ci­sion.

In an­other elec­tion in an­other coun­try the elec­torate was asked if it would buy a sec­ond hand car from a can­di­date.

Go­ing by this anal­ogy, the Mal­tese elec­torate will soon be asked if it would buy a sec­ond hand car from Simon Busut­til or from Joseph Mus­cat.

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