The Malta Independent
Ira made us proud. Placing second from among 24 European contestants made us re-live the electrifying experience we had when Chiara finished third in 1998. There again we were so close that we only accepted defeat after the last vote when FYR of Macedonia denied us the 12 points we deserved. This time it was
that favoured neighbours Lithuania over distant Latvia . Malta
“Finishing in the top three positions in two of the last five editions of the Eurovision is no mean feat.”
It would not be amiss if we take a lesson from this success which can be applied in the other fields of life. Firstly we should be proud of ourselves. We are capable and talented as much as anyone else. Finishing in the top three positions in two of the last five editions of the Eurovision is no mean feat.
Secondly when we work together we get much better results. Soon after winning the Song for
Europe festival in February Ira became a national figure. Moving around with poise and dignity she diplomatically kept herself above local piques and always was there with the right words and her gorgeous smile. Winning broad based support across all national divisions came naturally to Ira.
The organising committee is a model for continuity that challenges political divisions. Ciarlo’ Bonnici, the chairman of the organising committee, is at home at Super One as much as he is at Net TV. Robert Cefai is old hands at this game who puts his experience to national use under administrations of different political hues. Norman Hamilton, a predecessor of Ciarlo Bonnici, and influential in international song festival circles, put his weight fully behind the project. Ciarlo’ is wise and humble enough not to refuse help wherever it comes from.
The local media stations gave support, encouragement and exposure to Ira. Stations that normally cannot agree even on yesterday’s weather report, were united heart and soul in making Ira feel that she had all Maltese behind her ambitious mission to win the Eurovision song festival.
“Stations that normally cannot agree even on yesterday’s weather report, were united heart and soul in making Ira feel that she had all Maltese behind her ambitious mission to win the Eurovision song festival.”
Thirdly is that when we compete on level playing field with other contestants, much larger and resourceful, we can overcome our natural disadvantages of size, and perform with relative supremacy.
Can we carry these lessons to
’s political ambition for stable and rewarding relations with the EU. If the EU were to give the same voting powers to all countries, big and small, as was the case with the Eurovision, then we certainly can. Malta
But this is not the case. Decisions in
Europe are to be taken in future by a qualified majority where the votes of the member countries will be weighted in accordance with their size and economic strength.
In a document presented to the Giscard D’Estaing convention the EU Commission is proposing that “Qualified majority voting must become the single procedural rule for decision making in the Council. It no longer makes sense, for instance, for unanimity to apply to the fiscal and social dimension of the internal market..”
Would we participate in the Eurovision if decisions there were made by the qualified majority system? Ira would not have made it in the top ten with this system. So how can we seriously consider allowing much more serious things to be decided for us by others under the qualified majority system?