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A game of lesser evils

It is remarkable how much ill-will, hatred, inconvenience and half-truth has piled up in Malta over the past weeks, months and years.

I got into politics from being an environmental activist, certain that it would be an ideal chance to make a positive change. From day one I went in with caution, aware that many terrible politicians first entered with good intentions and somehow end up being part of the problem.

It takes an effort not to get desensitised. It is crucial not to become jaded or to compromise on ideals when the safety and health of the public is concerned. I have observed good politicians sour in my eyes as they give up on their ideals for expediency once too many times. They consider such sacrifices worth it so that the lesser evil may triumph.

Such sacrifices would not be worth it if voters correctly punished or rewarded politicians for the right reasons. However, there is so much propaganda, political football hooliganism, and illogical, selfish thinking coming from almost all sides that it is no wonder people do not know where to turn to anymore. How can voters make a good choice in the age of Cambridge Analytica and Newspeak? Often, one should worry more about what politicians are not saying, rather than what they are saying.

Furthermore, one should not be surprised at an increasingly disillusioned electorate. The Labour Party swept into power promising environmentalism and meritocracy, but convenience won out in the end. When a politician talks, what is supposed to be genuinely relatable anymore? Soap opera antics also often make one even more suspicious.

Whether accuser or accused, most politicians are guilty in their silent knowledge of wrongdoing on all sides. Most stay quiet about crimes close to home as resistance seems futile. It is better that a lesser evil may win. The problem is that both sides see themselves as the lesser evil. The road to where is the one paved with good intentions?

There is a world of actual talent, solutions and innovation out there and we want none of it because it would contradict the power games being played. We also grow dependent on a few key personalities who become celebrities or antagonists – forgetting that in a country of nearly half a million, there is far more talent out there and we do not need to rely on these people. Malta needs a fresh start, pushed by normal people.

Let us stop playing the game of the lesser of two evils, which only leads to compromise, sloth and an uninspired electorate. When voters and opinion leaders empower the right people for the right reasons, it will serve as an incentive for other politicians to follow.

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