Beyond the smokescreens
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.
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.