How to rejuvenate politics
Albert Einstein once said that “Politics is more difficult than physics”. This could result from a politician’s wish to turn the impossible or the very difficult into a possibility. It could also be a reflection of the urgent need to keep reinventing oneself, coming up with fresh, new and innovative ideas to ensure that what you represent can be seen as breathing new life into people’s hopes and aspirations. As politicians our political beliefs form our objectives and help us define our ideas. Ideas are not exclusive to a party or another but they certainly provide purpose and vision. Some of the greatest achievements of our country have been the result of nurturing an idea from conception to birth. Clear, concise and consistent ideas have formed the basis of groundbreaking decisions which has seen this little country of ours punching above its weight in European and international circles. Stalwarts in Maltese politics have gone down in local history for providing food for thought to ensure that opportunities keep knocking at our doors.
The Nationalist Party is no stranger to new ideas and, indeed, has successfully managed to combine new concepts with present challenges while extracting the best of what we can offer as a nation.
This recipe has led to the generation of thousands of jobs, the liberalisation of markets and a huge investment in education, health, social services and the infrastructure. Seeking never to rest on its laurels, the party understands that, in its bid to constantly attract and garner support, it must always present novel ideas and new leaders to the electorate.
It is no coincidence that the members of Parliament on the Nationalist side change at a healthy rate which is in stark contrast to the Opposition benches where albeit a change in leadership, some members of Parliament have been in seat since the 1970s.
In a constantly changing world, this clinging to old school smacks of political opportunism and presents veritable obstacles to the introduction of new ideas into the party. It is simply not enough to drape your billboards with buzzwords of being a ‘new’ party unless you actually prove that you have renewed yourself and can come up with innovative ideas that would further stimulate our economy and guarantee us the peace of mind that we look for when choosing our future leaders.
Joseph Muscat understands this. I get it! As soon as he was chosen as party leader, he went to great lengths to rejuvenate the Labour Party and these have included changing the party name, the party flag and logo and a weak attempt was also made at reinventing the party media. Unfortunately, his initial very promising attempts have now been branded as none other than cosmetic as he finds himself being sucked down by old ideologies which are ever present in the party.
In contrast, the PN distinguishes itself for its ability to rejuvenate itself and the most recent example of this is the selection of Simon Busuttil as deputy leader.
This ability to attract fresh blood to the party means that the party will, at all levels, sustain a healthy regeneration of ideas which will, in turn, be converted into exciting new policies, projects and plans for our islands.
Failure by the Labour Party to emulate this exercise of rejuvenation will see it risk its own isolation as the country looks forward to many more years of success and prosperity.
Caroline Galea is a PN candidate in the next general election.