(Political) Realism often revolves around power and security, not only in respects of international relations but up to an extent also in domestic environs. Realism, expounded up by Thucydides, Machiavelli and later Hobbes and Rousseau, is a general theory on how politics usually work.

Focussing on a domestic enclave it theorises on human behaviour that dwells on fear, favour, pride, self-interest, interest over values and order over freedom. In short it equates with flaws of human nature that materialises in conflicts of interest, dominance and lack of action by Enforcement Authorities. Domestic political realism is normally packaged by the statute of laws and regulations that should theoretically safeguard the sovereignty, freedoms and aspirations of the human being.

The May elections are on issues of principles and beliefs. The situation calls on the elector not to choose on who shall lead the country but on how the country should be governed and what guarantees society in general and politicians themselves would have in accordance with the appurtenances of civil liberties and democratic freedoms.

One cannot but admire the effectiveness of the strategic realism employed by the party in government that has transformed itself from a democratically elected body of persons into an approximate autocrat, servile to self interest and illusory benign to influential bodies and individuals and society at large with a view to neutralise sources of threats. It is taken as gospel that the leader of the party in government and his well oiled administrative machine have dwelt at length and deeply into the notorious dictator’s handbook.

And when discussing political realism issues the party in government, opposition parties and civil society at large are an integral part of the equation.

All in good faith have promulgated an environment that sustains the conspiracy of silence; pride, fear, self-interest et al. We live in a highly qualified degree of impotency. All have, again in good faith, contributed towards the sustenance of the notion of a society that lives a devastating lie.

It is the perception of most that the government regime given this minute is impregnable even if facing a barrage of criticism not only from locals but more importantly from international institutions, on issues of corruption, lack of transparency and good governance and the subtle use of material and psychological violence. But it is also a certainty that government cannot inter its strategies; it has become a servile vehicle that can only further propagate the status quo. And hence big government employs Cicero’s affirmation that in times of war the law is silenced. A silence that is in itself contagious in line with the dictator’s handbook that prescribes obedience, fear and divisiveness. In so doing government consistently annihilates the fundamental principles of civil peace with a political initiative that cohabitates on fringes of violence.

On its part all opposition to government has failed to capitalise on the government’s and its party’s weaknesses; weaknesses that could have been foretold much earlier in the first legislature. Instead the opposition limited its homilies on government’s daily scandals and transgressions when it was too early for the massive crowds that had just elected the party in government to express any degree of dissent. One cannot but resign oneself to the fact that the opposition was promoting its dissent along the path of righteousness even given documented evidence and also circumstantial evidence on never to be investigated transgressions. It was a case where the opposition was just discussing the effects of the government’s political initiatives but not the causes.

Come 2017, opposition parties and civil society movements, faced with a change in the opposition party leadership and the assassination of a journalist amongst other documented realities of mismanagement and accountability on the part of government, opted to join the regime’s strategies; mainly culminating in the effective materialisation of the foretold divisiveness that government had been fermenting. This too is synonymous with political realism described earlier.

Living on the verge of despair, at this late hour it is still time for those opposing government to put in practice the pillars of civil peace and democratic liberties, mainly benevolence, respect and dialogue. It is also their right to express dissent. The further distancing from such dialogue and cooperation by members and adherents of this silent opposition, irrespective of their political appurtenances and beliefs, can be fatal to our cherished democracy. All who share the tenets of Christianity as emanating from the gospels or the teachings of Aquinas, still valid today, need to consider their relationships as dialogue resulting in a political conviction. They need to respond, interact and “search for meaning” (or raison d’etre); none of which suggests submission.

The political blows that the Partit Nazzjonalista experienced should have been the best years for the party to rehabilitate itself and expand its political horizons without regretting its past, but while recognising its failures. And still today it has the onerous responsibility to represent its members and the well-being and thinking of this opposing crowd.

In view of the above citizens of good faith should shoulder their responsibilities and avail themselves of this opportunity to state that not all is well in the state of Denmark. It is everyone’s responsibility to recognise that what could be coming to an end is a long phase of Maltese politics coupled with relevant losses. Nothing positive can be foreseen for our country, even if one sees developing the euphoria of “modernisation” – the approach to a promised land. Not only past ideologies or political beliefs have been cast away, but also ideals and values that had once characterised our political journeys.

It is hence time for all opposition to government to unite with a view to eliminate mediocre things, to make room for great things.

Aldo Moro (Article in “Il Giorno”, 10 April 1977)

“It is not important for us to think the same things, to imagine and hope for the same identical destiny; it is, instead, extraordinarily important that, aside from the faith each one has in his own original contribution for the salvation of man and of the world, all of us have their own free breath, everyone their own intangible space in which to live their own experience of renewal and truth, all connected with one another within a common acceptance of essential reasons of freedom, respect and dialogue. Civil peace precisely corresponds to this great endeavour of free human progress and, in this peace, respect and recognition emerge spontaneously, while we work, each in his own way, to exclude mediocre things, to make room for great things.”