PN to use Facebook in its drive ‘to listen’
Malta ‘has found a balance’
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi yesterday tasked Justice Minister Chris Said with managing a number of Facebook pages as part of another Nationalist Party initiative, this time entitled “myvoice.pn”.
Dr Gonzi also threw his weight behind Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici (who is facing an Opposition censure motion in Parliament), saying he was a man of integrity, seriousness, values and service. “That’s why we have full faith in you,” he said.
Winding up this weekend’s PN general council meeting, Dr Gonzi said the new website www.mychoice.pn was a resounding success and the PN was still struggling to reply to everyone who responded.
However, he urged more people to make use it, rather than relying on Sunday meetings or radio programmes to contact the party.
One of the ideas emerging from this initiative was to launch a similar one on Facebook, which is why Dr Said, who is also Minister for Dialogue, would be tasked with managing the Facebook conversation.
“This is your direct line. Use it. Through this tool you can speak to me and ministers directly and it’s important for you to do so, not just to tell us what you need but even to give us suggestions, ideas and criticism.”
He said the PN could win the next election but to do so it had to listen to people and esteem them. This included being honest with those people who expected things that were not their right.
Dr Gonzi thanked MEP Simon Busuttil, his special delegate, for helping to bring him closer to the people.
All of the PN’s decisions in the past were based on confidence in the Maltese people, he told the council.
While the PN consistently and naturally fell on the right side of history, Labour did the opposite, because they did not have the same faith in people.
“PN was always on the good side and Labour was always on the bad side,” he said.
“When we were faced with every important, historic decision, we naturally chose the right side, but Labour naturally chose the wrong one, whether it was independence, EU membership, liberalisation or rights.”
Dr Gonzi said there was a time – such as when tear gas was being used to quell Independence Day celebrations – where the people had almost given up. But the PN’s forefathers kept fighting in the belief that righteousness would always prevail, as it had done.
“We are not embarrassed of our past,” he said, “but the others do not even want us talk about their past because they say we are scaring people... with the truth.”
As he recounted events from the 1980s, he said: “I am not talking about history. I am referring to people who still sit in the benches opposite me in Parliament.”
The PN had always worked for the individual but was now doing so more than ever before.
Dr Gonzi said the PN had gained a good rhythm in the past few months to bring politics to the level of the people and better understand their needs, but much more work had to be done to win the next election.
He said the most important sectors were job creation, education and health, in which Malta was registering huge successes compared to other EU countries. Malta was able to find a balance between fiscal consolidation and economic growth.
“In these four years not only did we create 20,000 jobs but we had 20,000 students graduate,” he said, adding that he wished he could hug each and every one of them.