Most of those placing full trust in Muscat think the environment is not safeguarded
Out of those respondents who place full trust in Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, 45.4% believe that the environment is not presently being safeguarded, but a staggering 88.5% believe that the government is not corrupt.
These results come from the November edition – the sixth of its kind – of the iSurvey commissioned by The Malta Independent to Business Leaders.
This newsroom carried out an exercise whereby it crossreferenced all those who gave Dr Muscat a full 10 points when asked to rate how much they trust the Prime Minister from one (being the lowest trust score) to 10.
The proportion of respondents who awarded Dr Muscat a 10 were then cross-referenced with their views on corruption, the environment and whether the PM should have sacked noportfolio Minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Respondents were asked, separately: Do you believe the government to be corrupt? Do you think the environment is being safeguarded? Do you think that the Prime Minister should have sacked Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri over the Panama Papers revelations?
With regard to the environment, 44.6% believe that it is being safeguarded, 45.4% believe that it is not, and 10% do not know.
On the issue of whether Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri should have been sacked by the PM, just 10.8% agree, 59.2% do not, and a significant 28.5% said they do not know.
When it comes to corruption, 88.5% believe that the government is not corrupt, 6.2% believe that it is and 5.4% could not say either way.
These results point towards how certain issues are politicised in the minds of the electorate far more than others.
When it comes to the environment, the fall-out from poor planning directly impacts people’s lives. There is a particular case in court about a person whose warehouse, which held assets used for his business,
got flooded because the rampant overdevelopment surrounding the warehouse meant that high volumes of water after a tempestuous storm were diverted towards his property. In short, there are tangible consequences, which are extremely difficult to reverse, from environmental issues.
On an aggregate level, ill-conceived environmental decisions have also impacted people’s right to enjoy public land, such as the illegal Armier boathouses, the illegal Ġnejna boathouses and the previously illegal structures at St Thomas Bay that have now been removed.
The Prime Minister, who enjoys the highest trust rating amongst the leaders of all political parties, has not yet uttered a word of condemnation as regards these illegalities.
Over-development in certain localities, and a lack of foresight, has also contributed to major traffic gridlock, such as in Sliema and Paceville. Malta is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with the number of expats and tourists visiting the island on the rise. This necessitates very careful planning, therefore news of Outside Development Zone land being developed, and major projects that would bring more people and more traffic will understandably irk the public.
When it comes to corruption, for example, a large proportion of voters who are consistently loyal to one particular party will often feel that the opposing side is actually corrupt. From the survey results, it can be said that older age-cohorts tend to stick to their party, whereas their younger counterparts are becoming increasingly jaded and frustrated with mainstream politics.
When asked who they would vote for should an election happen today, out those who were not eligible to vote in the last election because they were not yet 18, 45.5% said they would not vote or they are still undecided. A proportion of 27.3% said that they would not vote, while 18.2% said they were undecided. When looking at age cohorts from 45 upwards, it would appear, from the way such respondents said they voted in the last election, that they tend to be more loyal and consistent when voting.
On the issue of whether the Prime Minister should have sacked no-portfolio Minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri for the role they played in the Panama Papers scandal, we still found the majority of respondents who place full trust in Dr Muscat and disagree with the question.
Just 10.8% said they believe the Prime Minister should have sacked his two closest men. Despite Dr Mizzi being the only active minister to be found to have a secret company in Panama, sheltered by a trust in New Zealand, this still does not warrant his removal for Dr Muscat’s most loyal followers. While no illegalities have been proven, the issue of ethics comes into play. Having said this, the survey still found that Dr Mizzi was the fourth most popular minister when respondents were asked to list their top performing minister of parliamentary secretary.
The issue of Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri lends itself to the perception of corruption, and how party loyals view corruption. In the next iSurvey article, this newsroom will be taking a look at those who gave Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil a full trust rating, and how those respondents gauge the pertinent issues covered by the survey.
Just 10.8% said they believe the Prime Minister should have sacked his two closest men