Strange choice

2022-02-21T13:48:56+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 13:48|

This is a screenshot from Robert Abela's Facebook page. This photo, one would expect, is Robert Abela's campaign photo, the most important visual asset in what appears to be the central theme of this election campaign. So I have one question. Why isn't Abela looking at us? Why can't he look us in the eye?

Ireland moves to restrain SLAPP suits

2022-02-21T13:36:34+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 13:36|

Ireland looks set to be the first EU jurisdiction to introduce laws to limit the use of strategic lawsuits filed by people seeking to shut journalists or activists up with courtroom bullying. The proposed changes are included in a report by Justice Minister Helen McEntee to Ireland’s Cabinet in preparation of the publication of a [...]

The first day (9): Political justice

2022-02-21T12:55:53+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:55|

There are 33 days left in the life of this Parliament, the most disgraceful in living memory. It started out with the foreseeable re-election of Joseph Muscat with an unforeseeably larger majority over his 2013 election.  Keith Schembri climbed back into his office in Castille. Konrad Mizzi was made super-minister. Chris Cardona would reach the [...]

The first day (8): Choking on propaganda

2022-02-21T12:50:10+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:50|

For the years in between general elections political parties keep up the burden of running TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, and online and social media presence, to keep oiled and hot the engines of electioneering. For all that time they suffocate political discourse by reducing everything, absolutely everything, to the zero-sum game of one side [...]

The first day (7): Papal snub

2022-02-21T12:43:10+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:43|

Pope Francis is due to visit Malta a week after the next general election. He didn’t mean it that way and, word is, he was told it would not be that way. It’s going to be awkward. This country does not wake up indifferent to an election result. So fair and foul a week as [...]

The first day (6): The prospects of reform

2022-02-21T12:40:05+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:40|

Even after the trauma of the last four years, the violence that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia, the enormity of the economic price of grey-listing, the social costs of a widening economic gap and the promise of greater tax burdens to pay for the cost of our isolation in the world ... even after all that, [...]

The first day (5): Holding your nose

2022-02-21T12:30:32+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:30|

I still remember a heated discussion I had with an old friend just before the last election. She was getting ready to vote one of the small parties because she was disgusted by the corruption of Muscat’s government and still shuddered at the thought of Lawrence Gonzi’s ministers getting back into power. I gave her [...]

The first day (4): The former leaders

2022-02-21T12:21:40+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:21|

Both main parties are not quite as cohesive as they’d like us to believe. The PN is giving Adrian Delia a platform nearly guaranteeing his re-election to Parliament and, should he have the wit to take it, an offer of a prominent seat in the next Parliament’s shadow cabinet. That presumes a defeat for the [...]

The first day (3): Campaigning makes a difference

2022-02-21T12:56:55+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:16|

The polling gap between the PL and the PN is a yawning chasm. Although the margin yawned wider in the chaotic interregnum of Adrian the Inadequate, the PN never in all the time since the 2017 election, polled better than the PN. Incidentally the PN has almost never polled better than the PL since sometime [...]

The first day (2): The leaders

2022-02-21T12:10:37+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:10|

It is a cliché of domestic political analysis to say our elections are presidential ballots crushed into a parliamentary system. Dom Mintoff was the prototype of the post-colonial demagogue. Eddie Fenech Adami’s profile started small. He was depicted in cartoons in the Labour press as a swaddled baby, an infant in comparison with the pipe-puffing, [...]

The first day (1): The game is afoot

2022-02-21T12:05:30+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 12:05|

  We are now formally in an election campaign, though the change in the national atmosphere is only formalistic. The campaign is far longer than its last 33 days. Since 2017, since Joseph Muscat, election dates are no longer announced in sober statements delivered by an outgoing prime minister on the way out of the [...]

GUEST POST: It’s not a government. It’s a crime syndicate.

2022-02-21T11:16:41+01:00Mon, 21st Feb '22, 08:52|

These aren’t my words. This is the title of a piece Daphne Caruana Galizia wrote in February 2017, 8 months before she was brutally assassinated. In this article, she writes: ‘Malta is governed by a crime syndicate, and the first thing that crime syndicate set about doing, when it achieved its suspiciously-funded objective of getting [...]

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