Securing a better future
In two months’ time, to the day, you will decide which party you trust with your future for the next five years. Your decision is likely to be based on the track record of the outgoing Government. Or on the track record of the Opposition. Or on the proposals that each of the parties will present to you.
Or on a mix of all of these things.
We all know how difficult the past five years have been for the international economy. Yet, Malta’s economy stood its ground and continued to create many new jobs.
And while Malta’s public finances are on a sound footing, a good number of other eurozone countries are imposing severe austerity measures to get in line. Among them is Cyprus, the ‘model’ that Joseph Muscat wanted us to follow, now a bailed-out country, which just last week adopted a string of tax hikes to put its public finances back on track.
And while students in other European countries protest, in Malta they celebrate in the streets.
Nevertheless, as we draw closer to the election it becomes less about the past five years and more about the five years ahead of us.
So the electorate will no doubt be pondering on some of these questions:
In whose hands should we entrust our country’s economy?
Which party is best able toprovide us with new job opportunities?
Which party can we trust with our children’s education?
Which party can guarantee our family’s healthcare?
These are the questions that we need to be asking ourselves in these two months.
So far the Labour Party has not stopped short of pulling out all the glitz and glamour it could muster. If this were a competition for the party with the best image, we would have to concede victory to the Labour Party.
But it is not. Because this is not a fashion show. This is about your future.
The Labour Party has seemingly endless resources to bolster an image that at once presents the Labour Party as a PN-look-alike and at the same time blurs the true political identity of Joseph Muscat. Such that, two months away from polling day, no one really knows what Muscat stands for.
But this cannot be about image. It must be about substance.
During these two months, along with my party, I shall therefore be doing my part to explain why substance matters more than image and why substance is what matters most to you.
Take the country’s direction. I heard Joseph Muscat railing on last Monday about the need to change the country’s direction.
But guess what, he never told us which direction he wants to take us.
So pray, what change of direction is he proposing exactly?
Is it a change in our European direction? And to what exactly?
Is it a change in our economic direction? And to follow which new model after Cyprus?
And why on earth should we change our direction if we are already pursuing the right direction? Why on earth should we change to a new direction that remains unknown?
And who pays the price if Labour gets it wrong?
The Nationalist Party is not about image. It is about substance.
It has a postive track record in office. And it is facing this election with concrete results on what matters most to you in daily life: your job, your children’s education and your family’s health.
The Nationalist Party is about a method, an ideology, that provides opportunity to all and solidarity to those who need it. It is a party that believes in investing in people and in empowering people. A party that wants us to assert our rightful place in Europe and in the Mediterranean region. A party that wants us to be proud to be Maltese and proud to be European.
With the Nationalist Party people can better their situation and improve their lot. And crucially, the PN works for everyone – be they Nationalist, Labour or floating voters. It does not ask you for your party membership card before giving you your opportunities.
If you are among those who has benefitted from the PN’s policies, you know well what I mean.
True, the PN Government has also made mistakes and at times it has seemed aloof. But these shortcomings cannot fairly be said to overshadow the positive balance of this administration.
More so when this balance is put in the context of the international climate and compared to what is happening in other European countries.
So between now and March 9, each of us has the responsibility as a citizen – at it happens, this is the European year of Citizens – to engage and to carefully assess the options before us and ultimately to reply to a stark question, namely:
Which party is best able to guarantee a secure future for your family?
It’s between a secure future and a leap into the unknown.
The choice is yours.
Simon Busuttil is Nationalist Party deputy leader.