Why the PD is the solution - Martin Cauchi Inglott
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Why the PD is the solution - Martin Cauchi Inglott

My decision to run for Member of the European Parliament for Partit Demokra­tiku (PD) is the culmination of a personal journey. Joining PD was not an easy decision to take, but I am proud of my choice.

From a very young age, I was always taught that our nation’s interests supersede personal interests, let alone partisan interests. Thankfully, I followed in my father’s footsteps and joined our armed forces, where I served for nearly 30 years.

In the armed forces you learn to put Malta first. This mindset was conducive to ensuring success through unbiased leadership. By success I do not necessarily mean promotion but gaining the respect of superiors and subordinates, which to me translates into job satisfaction.

After retiring from the Armed Forces of Malta, I wanted to continue serving my country. I was one of the thousands of Maltese who admired the no-nonsense and principled style of Marlene Farrugia, then a Labour MP, in standing up to the government over Żonqor Point and the Panama Papers. Her speeches aroused emotion and energised parts of the nation. I continued to follow the creation of PD and found the idea of a new political party based on principles and values appealing. However, it was difficult to shake off what I mistakenly believed was my political affiliation. In Malta we are too exposed to tribal politics. Many of us are taught to consider themselves Labourites or Nationalists. We forget we are Maltese before anything else!

2017 threw up some big questions: Joseph Muscat was re-elected despite persistent allegations of high-level corruption. The election of Adrian Delia as PN leader, a person who had a mega tax bill and was allegedly implicated in a collaboration with a Soho prostitution cartel, made me further question the ability of Maltese politics to bring lasting change to our country.

But it was the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in October 2017 that made me stand up and take notice. I was hit by shock, and guilt, for not having had the courage to speak out against the bad governance and alleged corruption we were facing. I started taking the option of joining PD into serious consideration.

As I was reflecting, Malta’s reputation continued to nose-dive. Our country started changing very fast. Migration brought diversity and vibrancy to our community but also put our infrastructure under great strain and pushed the cost of accommodation higher. Construction went into overdrive. It sometimes appears to me that our country’s plan can be summed up in just one word: More.

It is such a breath of fresh air to form part of a clean, principled political party

Now I am not at all against development, but the developments we are seeing are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, and rather than exploiting the beautiful and unique architecture we have inherited over centuries, we choose cheap, or modern, abstract designs found globally. It was the construction projects that will permanently and negatively affect my community, Pembroke, that ultimately spurred me to act.

I did my fair bit of questioning before joining PD. I asked myself whether the party has a sustainable future ahead of it. My answer was yes.

First, PD is not compromised by the broken system. We do not court money from developers or big businesses who want to make the rules, not play by the rules. I am convinced that these same developers have bought both political parties as is evident through the voting absurdities at the Planning Authority. Yet political parties host events at the same developers that are destroying our heritage and environment.

Second, we need a force of reason in Parliament. We need to promote compromise and reasoned debate. Our country is stifled by excessive partisanship. We can only do this by having a strong third party in Parliament that acts as kingmaker and arbiter. 

Third, we need to reform our Republic. By this I mean reforming the letter and spirit of the law. PD wants a renewed Constitution and the highest standards in public life. It would be pointless having the best laws in the world if our attitude towards governing remains one that prizes cronyism and shady deals.

We have a crisis of credibility in Maltese politics. We at PD want to fix this.

I joined PD in February 2018 and have not looked back since. It is such a breath of fresh air to form part of a clean, principled political party which has nothing but Malta’s interests at heart. It is a true honour working with a team of hard-working, principled, politicians and volunteers under the leadership of Godfrey Farrugia, a true gentleman.

I am proud to form part of a party which does not need to chase the vote, or worse, buy it outright with promises of jobs or contracts. Ours is a party with no history of corruption, no baggage, and a clear future ahead. I am determined to make PD the natural home of all people who want a better Malta.

Your vote for PD would be a vote to fix the broken system. It is an investment for a renewed Malta.

Lt Col (ret’d) Martin Cauchi Inglott is general secretary of the Democratic Party. He served as commander of the AFM’s Maritime Squadron and is a UN consultant.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece

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