A healthy democracy comprises of quite a few major characteristics. Examples of these include freedom of expression and universal suffrage. However, another very important characteristic is the government and its leaders being held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, this concept is often overlooked by Maltese citizens and voters.
On the 25th of May 2019, the European Parliament elections were held here in Malta, in which the Labour Party enjoyed a massive victory over the Nationalists. One of the major reasons for this is that the biggest drops in voter turnout happened in districts that traditionally vote for the Nationalist Party.
The Nationalist party’s loss in voter support is a clear indication of how badly the party is doing under the leadership of Adrian Delia, who has proven to be incapable of convincing voters to warm up to him. This is very unsurprising, given the numerous corruption and domestic abuse claims against him. Many PN officials say that Delia will not resign, because his main aim was always to lead the party to victory in the general election rather than in the MEP election. However, how on earth does one expect the Nationalists to win the general election with its current state? The only way that this is possible is if the party undergoes a major change. If Adrian Delia truly cared about the
success and well-being of his party, he would follow in Theresa May’s footsteps and resign.
Now, if you are a hardcore Labour supporter, you might ask, “Why should it matter to me that Adrian Delia resigns? Isn’t the fact that he’s ruining PN’s reputation good for the Labour party?”. Well, if your only concern is the Labour party’s success, then yes, you are correct. However, wishing for other parties to have bad leaders so that your party has a better chance of winning completely goes against the principles of democracy. In an ideal world, both parties should have strong leaders in order to allow for healthy competition between politicians, and thus a healthy democracy. An effective opposition is necessary to provide check and balance in the government. Without strong opposition, the government can do as they please with little critique, and often will not be held
accountable for its wrongdoings.
Allow me to create a little analogy for you. Dave and Bob are running against each other. Dave is weak and has little support, whereas Bob is strong and has lots of support. Because Bob lacks any real competition, he has no reason to try and better himself as a politician. He has no reason to listen to the needs of the people and try to keep to his word. He has no reason to try distance himself from any potential scandals, because if these scandals are exposed, who is going to come against him? Remember that his opponent, Dave, is weak. Dave will never win in an election against Bob. Bob can thus do whatever he wants without a care in the world.
To recap, a weak opponent means a weak democracy. If you only care about a Labour victory, you will cross your fingers and hope that Delia remains the PN leader. If you, however, care about democratic values and the existence of a healthy democracy in Malta, then you will support the idea of his resignation. According to the historian and moralist Lord Acton, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Do not be blinded by your desire for the Labour party to be victorious. Whether you are a Labourite, a Nationalist, or independent, everyone with a sense of morality and decency should hope that Delia’s weak leadership comes to an end.
If you are in favour of Delia’s resignation, please consider signing the following petition: https://www.change.org/p/adrian-delia-petition-for-the-resignation-of-adrian-delia?source_location=petition_nav
Written by: Katrina Cassar