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A culture shift in politics

A huge segment of our population has lost all interest and desire to participate in any constructive political debate. In particular, our youths.

Young people are completely disillusioned by politics. They stay away from mainstream politics and identify less with political parties. To them ‘politics’ means more of the same. They feel let down by public policy… and can we blame them?

Our youth want to be inspired. They crave for a political climate that can support their dreams and goals. They aspire for a system that rewards hard work, skills and sacrifice and not one that supports individuals based on who they know rather than what they know.

Young people want more autonomy over their lives. Openness and transparency are non-negotiable. They want honesty. This is my starting point too.

I dream of a political environment that produces results, a country that embraces the principles of collaboration, solidarity and true democracy.

For this I will be contesting the next general election on the Nationalist Party ticket.

Although I am no longer a youth myself, I have dreams too, one of which is to witness Malta transform itself from a democratic republic to a democracy where we are all involved and empowered to influence the direction of our country.

Empowerment can increase youth engagement which will indirectly aid productivity and societal development coated with passion and a sense of belonging.

The Nationalist Party brought about Independence, freedom, justice and rebuilt Malta in the 20th century. The PN secured our place in Europe and the eurozone.

It is the only political party with the necessary credentials to transform the Maltese islands from a democratic republic to a democracy where citizens will be involved and empowered to steer and influence the direction of this country through their positively disruptive way of thinking. Transformational thinking is key for us to survive in the 21st century.

Simon Busuttil is a tough leader who can challenge the status quo.

Can you imagine having the ability to cast your vote from a mobile phone on anything being discussed in Parliament before the executive vote in the House?

On the other hand, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat sold a chimera which delivered regression into the 20th century with divisive politics and shards of corruption.

A new Nationalist government is committed to take this country on a journey from good to great.

This journey will be championed by a man who is already challenging the status quo from the benches of the Opposition. This is the reason why I believe Busuttil is the next statesman this country will offer.

Politics in the 21st century must embrace the digital age. The current status quo analogue processes have been in use for decades and are way beyond their expiry date.

These must be transformed into digital processes where you and I (whether a patient, a customer of government, a supplier to government or a stakeholder with government) will be at the centre stage and digitally connected to the government. What does this mean in practice?

One example. Wearing a citizen’s hat, can you imagine yourself having the ability to cast your vote from your mobile phone on anything being discussed in parliament by our parliamentarians prior to them taking the executive vote in the House?

Wouldn’t it be great to have an online dashboard reporting the number of times our parliamentarians have voted in parliament in line with public sentiment?

Wouldn’t this be a great key performance indicator (KPI) for the public to measure the government’s performance?

If we want to re-engage our youth and rekindle their interest in politics, and if we truly desire to become a 21st century society, we must all seek to elect a prime minister with no other agenda other than to build the future of this country on national consensus derived from an involved and empowered citizen.

Our youth are full of hope and optimism and we must engage them by starting a constructive dialogue about the future.

I commit to be at the centre of this dialogue and enthusiastically promote the transformation we need to a more positive, meaningful and digitally-enabled political climate.

Ivan Bartolo is an entrepreneur and a candidate on the 9th district for the Nationalist Party.

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