Principles vs profits
Politics is, for many, an emotionally charged business. Voting is not a purely rational matter; emotional intelligence surely plays a strong role in how votes are cast, together with a combination of self-interest and, for many, the ultimate exercise of civic duty towards the society they want to belong to.
These past four years, as a Nationalist Party representative of the 12th district and spokesman on the protection and welfare of children and children’s rights, the family, active aging, and disability rights, I have had the opportunity to be in touch with thousands of families of all form, political creed and social strata.
The honour and joy of being welcomed during home visits are the soul of a politics of service.
It has also been four active years, journeying with foster carers experiencing turmoil, couples wanting to adopt, social work services in disarray, and social workers disempowered due to political interference.
Taking on the responsibility entrusted to me by Simon Busuttil, running the Partit Nazzjonalista Uffiċċju Kuntatt brought me in close contact with countless stories of pain, injustice, and abuse of power.
Indeed, it is not an easy task to precis the past years of open dialogue with one’s constituency.
No doubt, families yearn for health, success, normality, and the ability to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. But it is the growing disillusionment from the deformation and falsification of the Malta Tagħna Lkoll vision that I increasingly experienced among the people that welcomed me in their homes and offices.
Yet, not all is white or black, and I have come across, even lately, a significant number of people who will choose Joseph Muscat on June 3.
These are some of them.
One University professor, who is also head of her department, rationalises that the Labour government had contracted her as an expert on a number of areas, and even though during the Gonzi administration she had contributed on a significant number of projects, she is currently topping her university salary by more than €30,000.
Noel is gay and has bought into the narrative that the sun for homosexual people rose with the introduction of civil unions, forgetting the anti-discrimination laws on the basis of sexual orientation that were enacted in the previous administration.
Agatha loves politics similarly to my love for football. In a moment of quiet reflection, she recognises the dire straits our country is in. But how can she support a different team to the one she was brought up cheering for?
A business man who managed to acquire public land that had been destined for a community project admitted with me that “with this government you pay and you get what you want but the Nationalists are too upright”.
And Maria who argued with me that “all politicians are corrupt and now it is the time for the Labour politicians to profit”.
I found it difficult to discuss with these people the noble vision of politics that emanates from the search for the common good which sees beyond one’s prestige and profit.
A common good which is not driven by single issues, and cheers for the overall good not just for the team; and believes in success without shady deals, thus being capable of choosing right from wrong.
When Nerik Mizzi died, his wife did not have the money to buy a pair of new shoes which was needed for his official burial, given that the only pair he wore had a hole in it.
After nearly 25 years in government, the Nationalist Party’s finances were anything but replenished with commissions or kickbacks. The Mizzi and the PN stories are a powerful testimonial that even in Malta’s modern history, there are those who chose politics of principles over politics of profits.
It is this choice that each one of us will have to make on June 3, believing in a society that can succeed with a coalition of political ideas that will strive to never compromise the values of life, honesty, integrity and consensus.
Robert Cutajar is a Nationalist Party candidate on the 12th district.