‘Traitors’ in their midst
While the PN rank and file are preoccupied with the ‘traitors’ in their midst, the PN leadership is apparently worried that the party is out of touch with reality, as indeed it is.
The PN will no longer be a party of the elite, declared Dr Adrian Delia. Well, one can always try to achieve that: the results so far are there for all to see.
The party, said Dr Delia, would offer a voice to people at all levels of society – presumably a voice for ‘traitors’ too!
To say that the Nationalist Party is in a state of turmoil would be a gross understatement. It is now clear to everyone that the very few steps forward made by the PN under Simon Busuttil’s leadership were never accepted by either the PN MPs or by its rank and file. Most considered them an imposition: the politics of inclusivity has not yet made it to the PN political lexicon. Most of the PN, unfortunately, still yearns for its anachronistic fundamentalist roots.
The PN’s perennial motto ‘ religio et patria’ is in stark contrast to the ethical pluralism and Europeanisation embraced by ever-increasing sections of Maltese society. The PN has apparently learned nothing from its recent experiences, most notably when Lawrence Gonzi’s fundamentalist discourse ruled the day. No political party can ignore the rapid changes in our society. The values of our society are in a state of constant transformation, at times at a very fast pace, and this should be reflected in the way in which we do politics. The PN today is paying the political price for failing to recognise this fact and acting accordingly.
Prodded by the likes of Edwin Vassallo, the Mosta MP who constantly has Don Quixotic visions of non-existent windmills, the PN missed another opportunity when the Domestic Violence Bill came up before Parliament. As one PN MP explained to me, the PN Parliamentary Group voted in favour of the Domestic Violence Bill at both the first and second reading stage, until Edwin Vassallo panicked due to his vision of windmills, as a result torpedoing his own parliamentary group.
The PN has now gone one step further. It is labelling as ‘traitors’ those who have the courage to stand up and be counted, free from the shackles of fundamentalism.
The current attitudes can be traced to the uncompromising stance taken by Therese Commodini Cachia, who did not support the Opposition’s stand against the National Standard Order in relation to Leave for Medically Assisted Procreation way back in October 2017.
As a result of the Opposition free vote, eight PN MP – namely Claudette Buttigieg, Chris Said, Simon Busuttil, Karol Aquilina, Mario de Marco, Karl Gouder, Jason Azzopardi and Therese Commodini Cachia – supported the Domestic Violence Bill with the remaining members of the PN Parliamentary Group voting against.
To crown this comedy of errors, the Leader of the Opposition further declared that the approved Domestic Violence Bill, implementing the Istanbul Convention, would be one of the first that he would repeal on taking office. Apparently Dr Delia is not aware that his utterances have pushed that day (when he assumes office) further into the future. It is possible that the members of the next PN-led cabinet have not even been born yet!