Monday, 7 January 2013

First day .... first lies


The difference between the approach of the two main political parties for the coming elections has been stark right from the start.

Take the first billboards

Whilst the approach of the PL is unity, togetherness and inclusiveness, the approach of the PN is scaremongering, arrogance that only they can lead this country forward and the concept of  leaders and followers.

The PL places the people on its billboards symbolising unity in diversity.   Smiling youngsters, happy families and serene pensioners.    The PN placed the Leader and the Deputy smiling with confidence looking upwards towards the right practically implying that only they can lead the country and any other choice would be dangerous if not disastrous.

The PN's choice is odd.   Firstly this undue emphasis on the Deputy needs explanation.    Never before in Maltese elections the Deputy Leader played any prominent role beyond a one-off direct debate under the Broadcasting Authority auspices.   What are the PN trying to tell us?     It could be one of two things or both of them.   Either that the PN knows that a direct clash between Gonzi and Muscat does not bode well and are consequently trying to deflect attention onto the Deputy.   Or they are suggesting, without saying it, that if elected Gonzi will during the course of next legislature make way for his Deputy just as his predecessor had done in Gonzi's favour in 2004?   Whatever it is, the electorate have a right to know.

Secondly such billboards emphasising personalities normally are the last in a series of billboards which emphasise the policies.  The personalities come last to show the people who will be entrusted to execute those policies with credibility which is the main currency of politicians seeking to win the people's trust.

What's the sense of starting with the personalities rather than the policies?

Now consider the logos.   PL's  'MALTA TAGHNA LKOLL' builds on the concept of inclusiveness and a natural extension of the message 'FUTUR LI JGHAQQADNA' that the party had been using.

The PN's 'FUTUR FIS-SOD: XOGHOL*SAHHA*EDUKAZZJONI' - is a hackneyed version of the three E's (Economy, Education, Environment) with exclusion of the environment and inclusion of health.    Why the PN should exclude the Environment ( which is a a growing concern for a greater section of the electorate) and include Health (when during the campaign it could risk customary winter congestion in the Emergency and Admittance and patients in hospital corridors) beggars a sensible explanation.

Finally consider the speeches given on the first day by the two leaders.   Joseph Muscat stayed on a positive course stressing inclusiveness based on meritocracy and giving credit to all past leaders that brought the country to the proud stage we command today.

Lawrence Gonzi made scaremongering the hallmark of his first speech:

"Malta would be rendered a beggar like neighbouring countries that had to take tough austerity measures in order to be able to borrow from the IMF. Those countries had seen civil servants dismissed, health services scaled back and children allowances removed."
"I promise that I will never allow my country to be reduced to that state, to be humiliated in that way," Dr Gonzi said.
That's a stark contrast!   'Let's work together as one nation' as against 'beware trusting the others because they will ruin everything we built'.
Perhaps someone should remind the Prime Minister that we are not in the same pitiful position of the countries  that had to be bailed out, not because our public indebtedness is comfortable.  It is not.   In fact it is much worse than that of  Spain and Ireland before the crisis began.    We are not in their awkward position simply because while our government is among the naughtiest, fiscally speaking, the private sector is overly liquid and fully capable of funding whatever borrowing requirement the government has without needing to have any recourse to foreign sources of financing.    It is because the high propensity to save of our private sector has kept our banks fully funded, indeed over-funded, by stable deposits so our banks never needed to rely on international wholesale lines of credit which tend to run dry when crisis hits.
Dr. Gonzi's  suggestion that under a Labour government Malta would need to seek an IMF bailout is gross irresponsibility, it is undiluted scaremongering and an insult to the people who have consistently shown the willingness and ability to finance their government's borrowing requirement without any recourse to foreign credit lines.  


  1. Excellent Analysis! Well Done!

  2. I think that the acronym of Sahha, Edukazzjoni, Xoghol translated into Maltese explains in full the slogan of the PN, because that's what they are going to try and do to win this election!