Saturday, 8 March 2008
Election Day 2008
The big day has finally arrived! After a very intense campaign which was far more personal and aggressive than the 2003 one, the time has come for the Maltese electorate to vote. Even though the Malta Labour Party (MLP) is not waging any war against the evils brought about by capitalism, it is traditionally the party of the Maltese working class. Ideologically, it is still committed to the struggle to safeguard the rights of the thousands of individuals who make up the working class in the Maltese Islands.
In the absence of a purely anti-capitalist party, I decided that the MLP - in spite of all its shortcomings - would be the best choice for this country. Consequently, I cast my vote for this party.
During the past few weeks, I was disgusted by how the PN utilised the personality cult technique with Dr Lawrence Gonzi to cover up the scandalous behaviour associated with a great deal of his ministers. There is nothing wrong with praising a leader's virtues and portraying that person as a role model, but when all attention is diverted to the leader to avoid shedding light on the dirty deeds of other important people, such a tactic is very worrying.
As a lawyer, Dr Gonzi comes across as a good orator. He tries to present himself as a very humble man and this seems to appeal to many people. When confronted with difficult questions, he knows extremely well how to skirt around the matter and hop onto another subject. Dr Gonzi cannot, however, escape two important things: first, he is surrounded by a number of individuals that have repeatedly been perceived as untrustworthy or highly arrogant by a substantial portion of the Maltese population. Second, he belongs to a party (the Christian-Democrat one) that has embraced the neoliberal economic model.
No matter how smart or humble Dr Gonzi appears to be, voting for the Nationality Party amounts to voting for a party that will almost surely continue to deregulate the labour market over the next few years. In simple terms, what does this mean? When a government removes certain regulations that protect workers' rights, it becomes easier for employers to hire and fire their employees without any restrictions. As employers tend to strongly approve such deregulation, the Nationalist Party would surely be able to talk about more companies coming to the Maltese Islands during the next few years. Yet, what about the working conditions of hundreds of thousands of Maltese employees? What is the point of shouting that you are going to create countless jobs when many of these jobs would probably not be associated with decent working conditions?
If the MLP wins this election, I am not expecting dramatic changes. At the end of the day, this party has not pledged to struggle against capitalism or to embark on an intensive campaign aimed at promoting a socialist way of thinking in our society. Given that it is extremely unlikely that the MLP would ever try to achieve such goals in the near future, I strongly believe that another party is necessary in this country. Of course, it will take some time to put all the necessary ingredients together for such a party to become fully functional. Yet, a time will come when the Maltese working class will have a party that will truly struggle to safeguard its interests. It will be a party that will cure this country of the evils of capitalism and that will, consequently, ensure an end to exploitation. Once exploitation will no longer exist, all Maltese people will be able to live together peacefully.
Until such a time comes, I hope that the MLP will be able to govern this country. Long live Socialism!!!