Divorce, democracy and people’s choices (1)
During the last political campaign I admired the dignified way that Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando faced the criticism and actions of his opponents. I regret to say that this admiration has totally evaporated.
The controversial Private Member’s Bill Dr Pullicino Orlando presented last July did upset me. Some people called it “a bolt from the blue”.
President Emeritus Eddie Fenech Adami referred to it as “political dishonesty”. Dr Pullicino Orlando knew he had no mandate on this legislation, which could leave negative repercussions and affect not only individuals but also society at large. He knew that, come the general election, people base their vote on what candidates promise and not on what they dream up later. He knew, as he himself admitted, that this was a serious and delicate matter which could change the mentality and culture of the Maltese.
Undoubtedly, he knew the precarious situation of his party. I don’t think he was aiming at a personal triumph but, to me, his action was ungentlemanly.
Since Dr Pullicino Orlando was so eager to promote this issue, couldn’t he have waited a couple of years and then join Alternattiva Demokratika, the only party which explicitly states that it is in favour of divorce? Not even the Leader of the Opposition was going to risk introducing this matter in his party’s political programme. He was more prudent.
After all, if Dr Pullicino Orlando really thinks that divorce is a basic human right, he could have taken the matter to the European Court of Human Rights. I hope that each night when this honourable MP puts his head on the pillow, he sleeps peacefully, without stabs of remorse.