It is reasonable to expect that in a democracy the nature of that democracy can be a matter of disagreement. Julia Farrugia has set up a ‘technical committee for the advancement of representative democracy’. Its terms of reference are not known. 

Is the committee supposed to strengthen democracy itself, or is it going to say how it should be strengthened?

Is this the place where the shape of the new constitution is moulded or is it the place where the government comes up with its own ideas on how it should be done so that the discussion can then start?

Does the Labour Party have its own ideas on this subject or is the Labour Party using a government structure to draw up its position?

The composition of the committee is manifestly Labourite and excludes any point of view that would not be part of Joseph Muscat’s dogma. Jonathan Attard was a Labour Party employee and is a close associate of Chris Cardona. Frank Bezzina is Joseph Muscat’s political appointee to the Central Bank. Josianne Cutajar works on Joseph Muscat’s staff and is a Labour Councillor. Lara Dimitrijevic, Philip Sciberras’s daughter, is Labour’s pro-abortion campaigner.

Renee Laiviera is a long standing Labour Party militant and Robert Musumeci is … Well, need I really say more?

Carmen Sammut who is chairing this committee also heads the Labour Party’s own “think tank” for, believe it or not, it has one.

Some of these people actually have something to contribute to the national discussion on the reform of our democracy. To varying extents all of them do. Except Robert Musumeci. He’s an idiot.

But they are bound to have a very one-sided and dangerously loyalist view of democracy. After all it is the present system that elected and retained their party in power, and it is the system that empowered their great Joseph Muscat to survive all manners of scandals. All the features of our current democracy that continue to empower the corruption and crime at the heart of our government, they will want to retain.

And they will want to change anything in our current system that might threaten the permanence of Labour’s power and by extension their influence here.

The Parliamentary Opposition rightly complained it was left out of this forum yesterday. It is a constitutional institution with an important stake in our democracy. The government did not bother to even acknowledge its complaint.

But it’s worse than that. Our democracy is not only made up of political parties and elected governments. It is made up of institutions, the judiciary, the press, independent academics, religions, civil society: all of these have roles in our democracy and all of these have been left out of this technical committee. Working in court or in university as some of these committee members do does not dilute the fact that they have been primarily selected for their complete integration within the Labour Party.

Julia Farrugia does not want debate and new ideas to come out of this committee. She wants unanimous endorsement of Joseph Muscat’s vision of his own future, and the future of his party in power. For ever.

While you’re on the beach this summer trying not to think about anything, the government is designing their permanent grasp on your children’s country.