We live in a country where politics inevitably HAS to make up an integral part of your identity. The only way you can escape from political bias is if you’ve lived under a rock all your life.
I love my country but, this is the part of our culture I’m not particularly a fan of (notice how I’ve said it’s culture). Often, you have to end up picking a side, even if you have no idea what said party has put forth in their manifesto or have a vague idea of their history.
Ever since the snap-election has been announced, I’ve had people trying to convince me to vote for one party and not the other. I have had people assume my political leanings and people belittling my beliefs. I attend the highest educative institution and yet, this tribal mentality seems to forever linger.
The best part is the stereotypes. If you like Party A, then you must be a snob – you’re a Northern Elite – an educated member of society, with a relevant opinion, better than that of Party B’s. If you like Party B, you must be socialist scum, with no basic education and manners. You’re definitely from the South of Malta, and where you live is definitely riddled with a poor standard of living. It astounds me that such beliefs have infiltrated into my generation too.
“Ahna dejjem hekk ivvotajna!”
None of us should have to be scared of speaking or be ashamed of our political beliefs, but thus far, under any government, being on one side and not the other is undeniably meant to have repercussions to both you, and your loved ones.
Why bother having freedom of opinion and speech, when you cannot exercise it, and live in fear of what those with some authority might do to the regular Joe?
At this rate, although I appreciate the progressive proposals made by either party, something within our political system needs to change. For this country to work well, both economically and systematically and, have all the good ethical values we preach about and so desperately want, we need a Constitutional – and an administrative revamp. In reality, you cannot have an impartial entity checking upon governmental administration, unless it’s made up of foreigners.
It is unfortunately a problem brought by our Island’s small size – every one knows each other, and unfortunately, nepotism and paying back favours have become our mantra. Bias prevails – to hell with transparency and meritocracy. And this not just symptomatic of one party, it applies to each and every one of them.
With this, I am right to say that this political fanaticism has to stop. Take a look at our general election, right now. Both parties are too busy attacking each other and throwing dirt at each other, instead of working to their full potential and establishing something concrete for their people. They seem to forget that they will be in government to serve their people, and drive the country towards a better future – a thriving future Malta undeniably deserves. Malta has had a good four years under this government so far, socio-economically and in terms of Civil Liberties.
There are nonetheless still certain discrepancies in the system that do not do our country justice. We elect government officials to represent us – to administrate – in our name, as they see fit within rational proportion. Instead, candidature has become an individual power-struggle – a set-back which has been in place since 1964. If we want to truly become a developed first-world country, we must move away from having such deep-set political identities and biases.
We are not genetically or inherently disposed to believing one party over the other. At this point in our historical development, we are expected to develop our own opinions, distinct from those our ancestors had before us. Refusal to be impartial and analyse things from different perspectives, irrespective of your political leanings, means that you are no better than the people who you scream “corruption” at. If you want Malta to move forward, balancing the good and the bad of both governmental administrations is essential.
Desperately clinging to one side of the spectrum is, in my opinion, the stubbornness to change and move forward – individually and collectively.