Dr. Bernard Grech, or the person who prepared his discourse in Parliament today, should listen to this talk by David Starkey. Here, Starkey delves into the history of the British Parliament and explains, quite correctly, why parliament is not there to hold government to account.
All those countries that fostered the idea that parliament is there to hold government to account have ended losing their parliamentary democracy, becoming a dictatorship. Fortunately enough, Malta has a parliament that follows the British model, and may it stay so. Any more adventure trips, including the one suggested by Bernard Grech today, should be discarded for the sake of the country.
Unfortunately, our politicians do not know parliamentary history at all and for this reason, they are ending up proposing political models and assigning to parliament duties for which our parliament was not created. This does not mean that parliament should not act as a watchdog of government but this is not the role of parliament: this is the role of the Opposition.
The basic and principal role of parliament is to legislate and help government to rule the country. The Opposition does this by being the custodian and by suggesting sensible and not petty things. In Malta, we were fortunate enough to have had, from 1961 onwards, a government that had a comfortable majority, and thus parliament succeeded in fulfilling this function for which it was created, that is, helping the government to govern.
If the Leader of the Opposition had just listened to this talk, he would have avoided stating that parliament’s role is to hold government to account.