As government looks set to lose the crucial vote on the Budget for 2013 in parliament tomorrow, a date will have to be set for elections within the following 3 months.
According to today's papers the most likely date is March 9th 2013 to co-incide with local elections.
Excuse me but I totally disagree with such a date. It is a case of the tail wagging the dog.
Given that crucial budget measures like the cost of living allowances cannot be given in the absence of an approved budget the election date should be the nearest possible. If government is defeated tomorrow and the Prime Minister asks the President to dissolve parliament immediately after the vote, the earliest election Saturday would according to my calculations be 12th January 2013.
So why not hold the elections on January 12th to end this chronic instability we have been living with for more than a year?
Obviously the puritans would argue that we cannot have an election campaign during Christmas festivities. First of all if we were to have an election campaign during the festivities it would be government's fault for dragging on so much rather than do what the national interest demanded and go for elections earlier. But then we can still have elections on January 12th without having an election campaign during the festivities.
If formal campaigning starts on 2nd January that will give 9 full days of election campaigning. Is that not enough? Don't we already know the issues involved? Have we not been in an informal election campaign for more than a year now, ever since Franco Debono started taking distance from the PN and voting in parliament accordingly?
Those who will be too willing to blame Labour for their inability to pass the Budget through parliament had better explain why they are not holding the elections on the first constitutionally possible date i.e. January 12th.