General parties are obsolete. We need specialised parties.

By Charles Micallef

A democracy without stable opposition can become a dictatorship.  So, I think we all agree that good governance needs a watchdog that not only barks but even bites when required.

Within the PN there are those who still want to stick to their moral/Catholic principles and those who are more liberal and want to please the needs of the demanding, if not greedy people. This, coupled with “communication breakdown” as Pierre Portelli put it (Sunday Times, 7 August), creates a split…

However, I still believe there is another serious issue that the PN is not recognising. The era of general parties is over. Joseph Muscat was lucky when he came into power. People were tired of nearly 25 years of PN in government.  Moreover, many people welcomed whatever Joseph promised them without questioning anything as long as they were blinded by money.

They lost moral conscience but from history, we all know that empires that were founded on power and greed later collapsed.  You cannot please money and God at the same time.

The developer wants more land turned into concrete whilst Joe Citizen prefers more open spaces.  Whom are you going to please?  Striking a “balance” between construction and environment, as the PN had promised, is too vague to be credible.

My suggestion is that emerging parties need to be specialised.  Pierre Portelli attributed the words “extreme” and “God forbid” to the new parties but like many others, he too has not understood the cardinal principle that you cannot please everyone at the same time, hence the need to be specialised (call it radical or “extreme” if you want).

The sheer small size of the Islands and the fact that practically everyone knows each other do not help.  However, it worries me more that everything becomes too many on these Islands.  There are no limits because directly or indirectly there is dirty money involved.  So, we have too many people including foreigners and migrants, too many buildings, too many cars, too many boats, too many scooters (yes even these have become too many and dangerous), too many junk food outlets, and too many polluting fireworks, too many exotic/wild animals, too many restaurants occupying public areas… what else?

So, if the PN is not going to adopt the strategy of drawing lines and specifying limits to all these “too many” issues, as Profs Lino Briguglio recently posted on his FB, the open-minded voter cannot really see any difference between the PL and the PN.

At Joseph’s times, initially, numbers were not too high.  We didn’t have too many of this and too much of that.  So, until 2013, general parties still had a place in society. But now, the situation is different.  Malta is flooded with everything.  We have to start accepting the fact that Malta cannot take more and that saturation is destined to be achieved in no time.

That is why any party if it aspires to be different than the established PL and wants to have an impact on society, it now needs to be specialised.

Bye-bye general parties!

3 thoughts on “General parties are obsolete. We need specialised parties.

  1. The problem with the prospective specialized parties of Malta is that they are reluctant to give numbers or limits. However, we have to start accepting the fact that Malta cannot take more of this and that. For everything that emerges, saturation would be achieved in no time. In my article I mentioned the electric scooters as an example. Now I’m thinking of how Valletta has been given new life, yet little by little it is becoming another ‘Paceville’…. The same applies for Commino. It was a paradise until the late 1990s, and now it’s becoming a jungle – not only Blue Lagoon, but even the rest of this natural gem. “Control” and “moderation” should be key terms for any genuine political party without vested interests God save Malta!

  2. CLARIFICATION: By specialised parties I am not referring to extreme, rigid far left parties whose interest is only one or perhaps two issues, for example, the influx of migrants. By specialised I am referring to parties that are not afraid to declare no more for this and no more for that, but this doesn’t mean they remain rigid and do not modify according to the evolving needs of the society of the day. Yes, a degree of flexibility is necessary because what is saturated today, can become permissible and an asset next year. A general party can never draw lines in practice (in words yes) when it has already pleased its electorate from ALL forms of life well BEFORE the election!

  3. Correction: for the last sentence of the comment above, “forms of life” should read, “walks of life”.

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