Il-Mument scrapes out the barrel

Published: May 18, 2011 at 10:55pm

From Il-Mument's front page, last Sunday

The Nationalist Party’s Sunday newspaper, Il-Mument, has raided its political arsenal and come up with some really heavy-hitting weapons against divorce legislation.

On the front page, last Sunday:

IL-PREZZ TAD-DIVORZJU FUQ L-ULIED

Tfal ta’ genituri divorzjati ghandhom cans kbir li…

* Ipejpu sigaretti aktar u jiehdu l-marijuana

* Ikunu attivi sesswalment taht l-eta

*‘Ipoggu’ qabel l-eta ta’ 20 sena

*Ikollhom l-ulied waqt li huma teenagers

*Ibatu aktar minn breakdowns

*Jitilqu kmieni mill-iskola

———-

What can I say, in between face-palms of despair at the fact that the magnificent political party which took Malta from broken and desperate North African state to a member of the Eurozone has come to THIS?

Yes, the Nationalist Party has come to this, reduced to scrabbling around in territory more familiar to Labour, upending all that it stands for, while believing that it is being consistent with its principles when it is doing the exact opposite of that.

And all because of….what, exactly?

At least we should be grateful it isn’t ‘marihwana’, ‘tijnejgers’ and ‘brejkdawns’ as it would have been in It-Torca. For small mercies…

———

I’m wary of translating that piece of wisdom, because this website has an international readership and I don’t want people to think that the governing political party is made up of crackpot elderly spinsters. But here goes:

DIVORCE – THE PRICE THAT CHILDREN PAY

The children of divorced parents are more likely to…

*Smoke cigarettes and use marijuana

*Become sexually active while still under-age

*Cohabit before they are 20

*Have babies while still in their teens

*Suffer nervous breakdowns

*Leave school early


78 Comments Comment

  1. Bob says:

    The article is all true… see the studies done in Eire.

    [Daphne – Forgive me for raising my voice, but I have to. ALL SUCH STUDIES MONITOR THE CHILDREN OF BROKEN MARRIAGES, NOT THE CHILDREN OF DIVORCE. THEY SPEAK OF DIVORCE BECAUSE EVERYWHERE ELSE BUT MALTA (AND THE PHILIPPINES) WHEN PARENTS SPLIT UP THEY DIVORCE NOT ‘SEPARATE’. UNLESS YOU ARE READY TO TRAMPLE ON HUMAN RIGHTS BY FORCING ONE PARENT TO LIVE WITH THE OTHER EVEN IF S/HE DOES NOT WANT TO DO SO, THEN MALTA IS GOING TO HAVE THE SAME SITUATION WITH OR WITHOUT DIVORCE, AND IT DOES SO ALREADY. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, here’s the next bit: it is not marital breakdown that causes those problems among children, but parental neglect. It just so happens that when parents are in the throes of or recovering from marital breakdown, they have less time and mental space for their children because they are in ‘coping’ mode. What exactly do you think – that when the decree absolute comes through, children who have been otherwise well-behaved while their parents’ marriage broke down will suddenly say ‘Right, now I’m going to start having sex, living with my girlfriend, smoking pot and having babies’?

    Also, children are the product of their parents and not the product of divorce. It is my observation that those children of divorced/separated parents who turned out badly would have turned out badly even if their parents stayed together. Marital breakdown does not make an incompetent parent out of a competent one. The characteristics which make for an incompetent parent are usually the ones which make for an incompetent or inadequate spouse, so researchers have to ask themselves what came first, the chicken or the egg. I have known lots of children over the years in the course of raising my own, and I can safely say that generalisations are not possible, because it all depends on the competence of the parent who is the primary carer – just as it does in marriage, after all. I should also add that I have seen a surfeit of religion -particularly the prayer group ‘everything is in God’s hands’ variety, to do far more damage to children than marital strife. This is just my observation, but I believe it to be true. ]

    • R. Camilleri says:

      Just a little point further to what you said about the studies. I haven’t read them but I am fairly sure that at best they’ll claim a strong correlation between the above issues and divorce (or marital breakdown). They won’t claim that there is a causal link.

    • Robert Galea says:

      This isn’t scandalous. This happens with separation and also more commonly with divorce. So why this nonsensical outcry.

  2. Louis Camilleri says:

    For the first time in my life I’m embarassed to be a Nationalist supporter. I had got used to being proud of what we stood for – always light years ahead of Labour.

    But it seems like we’re in a free fall, and I can’t but point fingers at the party administration.

    How on earth can a news editor justify that shameful front page story? Or a party secretary-general be pleased with it? Media.link is just a joke. A flat one, at that.

    Did we work so hard for all this? Can’t the Prime Minister understand that the party is embarassing us all?

    Labour’s victory in 2013 is inevitable, but we don’t need to dismantle whatever Eddie left us with. For the first time in my life, I feel we deserve the opposition benches.

    • K D says:

      I fully agree with you.

    • Anonymous Coward says:

      I am not certain I agree fully with your analysis. I was initially highly sceptical of Daphne’s thoughts in [1], but in a highly perverse way (which is, of course, the way of Maltese politics), it does make quite a bit of sense.

      If one interprets this hysteria that the PN has seemingly let take over it in this context, it does not sound as bad. Given the current mid-term slump that the government is going through, at least in most people’s eyes, the PN strategists might actually be playing this one quite well.

      But then again, perhaps I’m being overly hopeful. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I will be voting Yes on the 28th, but something tells me that the Yes vote doesn’t stand much of a chance.

      [1] http://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2011/05/16/a-victory-for-the-government-in-this-referendum-will-mean-a-landslide-win-for-labour-in-2013/

    • GiovDeMartino says:

      Why is the party embarrassing us? Because it has taken a clear position against divorce? Had it taken a different position it would have embarrassed other PN supporters. Don’t you think so?

      [Daphne – No.]

      • GiovDeMartino says:

        Why NO?

        [Daphne – Because a totalitarian stance against divorce legislation is not in line with PN principles, which have always looked to the rights and dignity of the individual. Sacrificing the individual to the common good is autocratic and socialist. The PN has upset more supporters than it has pleased with its insistence that people should be denied access to divorce legislation. Support for divorce legislation comes mainly from socio-economic group AB and from people aged 18 to 35: those are the very groups who returned the PN to power. The PN is completely out of synch with its people on this one, and certainly at odds with its principles.]

      • David says:

        @GiovDeMartino: You are totally out of synch with the kingmakers of PN successes and failures. It useless missing the heyday of the PN and harping ad infinitum about how much better we are than 1987!

        Bloody hell, it’s almost 25 years ago. I would hope the PN got something right in this time!

        But the truth is that we are disillusioned because of its arrogance, and because of its ultraconservative and theocratic stances.

        We feel disengaged from the party, as when we hear its major exponents speaking and PN media reports such as NET and Mument, we face-palm ourselves in frustration. Believe me, I’d never thought I’d live to see the day when I would have rather watched ONE NEWS. It’s all about sense of belonging which NO … we do not feel anymore.

        [Daphne – Take my advice and watch neither Super One nor Net News. Both are extremely disruptive to one’s peace of mind.]

      • GiovDeMartino says:

        Does that mean that if people between 18 and 35 are in favour of abortion, the PN should oblige? The majority of voters, PN or not, are against illegal immigrants. So what? Should the PN let them drown? Just to please the supporters?

        [Daphne – Letting immigrants drown is illegal and cannot be made legal by parliamentary vote. Abortion is a different matter. Whether we are against abortion or not is irrelevant. It is obvious that at some point, the outlook on abortion will change – probably decades from now – and then yes, parliament will have to act accordingly. But bear in mind that abortion, like divorce, is not a matter of majority rule. This referendum is wrong, but now that the decision has been passed to the ‘majority’, the ‘majority’ has to decide. I maintain – and I am probably correct in this – that the reason Malta has no pressure for abortion is only 50% to do with emotional reasons and the other 50% is due to the fact that Maltese women have all the access to abortion that they could possibly want in Catania and London. True, you have to pay for it, but there you go. Consequently, we have a procession of Maltese women heading off for abortions while their families – totally unwittingly – act horrified about the idea of abortion in general. As I told Gift of Life’s Paul Vincenti one time, it’s a lousy idea for anyone to mouth off in public against abortion in Malta, because with all the secrecy surrounding Maltese women’s abortions, you never know what your sister, cousin, daughter, aunt and sometimes even wife and girlfriend has done. Best to keep quiet in these matters.]

      • Fenech M says:

        http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110125/opinion/divorce-and-nationalist-values.346943

        Quote:
        “The Nationalist Party is at a crossroads. I sincerely hope we take the right path. Thousands of our compatriots are depending on us to do so. If we continue to ignore their suffering, the injustice they have been exposed to due to years of procrastination, they will turn their backs on us when the time of reckoning comes.

        I know that we will make the right choice.”

    • Bajd u laham says:

      Where the efff have you, Daphne, and all the other ‘caught-by-surprise-nationalists’ been in the past 25 years? Do you really think that Borg Olivier’s or Fenech Adami’s PN would have taken a different stand on divorce from Gonzi’s?

      You didn’t really believe your party embraced liberalism, tolerance or the pursuit of happiness, did you? Did you really believe that the PN and the Curia are not one and the same? Did you really believe that this PN/Curia alliance does not have a vested interest in keeping the status quo? Did you really think that they were going to let this go so easily without a dirty fight? Oh the naivety!

      [Daphne – NO PARTY was willing to speak about or introduce divorce. The perfect moment to legislate for divorce was concomitantly with legislation for civil marriage, in 1975, but even Mintoff was too afraid.]

      • GiovDeMartino says:

        Letting immigrants drowning is illegal and you cannot be made legal by parliamentary vote. So is murder!

        [Daphne – Yes, exactly – hence the immigrants. But we’re not talking about murder, and I have absolutely no interest in getting involved in yet another pointless discussion on whether abortion is murder. We are not talking about abortion here, and as I said earlier, we will not be talking about abortion any time soon because Maltese women are well catered for by the clinics in Catania and London.]

      • Fenech M says:

        The same applies to divorce, Daphne. Those who can afford it (like JPO) can apply for a divorce abroad. But now we feel we need the divorce law, but why not the abortion law?

        [Daphne – Divorce is not a matter of ‘affording it’. Those who say this wish deliberately to mislead. You can have all the money in the world, but unless you are prepared to up sticks and register yourself as resident in another jurisdiction, with the relevant changes to your tax status, and all the other administrative and life-related difficulties if you already have a life and business or professional practice in Malta, you can’t do it. Divorce in another jurisdiction does not depend on money. It depends on moving to that jurisdiction, and Jeffrey was disingenuous when he said that registering his daughter’s London flat in his name would be enough to do it. English divorce law is one of the strictest in the world in this respect – no fooling around there. I know a British man, married to another EU national (not Maltese) who battled for years to get a British divorce and encountered all sorts of obstacles because neither he nor his wife were resident in Britain and both lived in Malta, and this even though he is a British subject.

        With abortion, it’s just a matter of booking an appointment at a clinic and getting the next Easyjet or Ryanair flight out and back. You don’t need ‘money’, unless you’re really on your uppers and living off social assistance.]

    • edgar rossignaud says:

      @ Louis Camilleri – I could not agree more with your comments. Today the divorce debate has become what it should never have become – a large political football.

      Just because Gonzi has declared himself strongly against divorce legislation, then the PN media goes into overdrive digging out all sorts of studies, reports, etc to strenghten Gonzi’s position, and denigrating the opposing side.

      Concurrently, just because Muscat has stated that he will vote in favour, so the LP media has to brainwash its followers ‘ad nauseam’ to convince their supporters to follow their leader. Both parties are unconsciously alienating their followers, but none more so than the Nationalist Party, whose supporters deserve better.

    • Tired says:

      All that anti-Eddie Fenech Adami talk towards the end of his tenure as PM – I think Fenech Adami is now fully vindicated, though I’m not impressed with his stand on the divorce issue – even heis finding it difficult to think in terms of minority rights, it seems.

  3. David says:

    The more you shout the more I am convinced divorce is bad. Divorce legislation increases marriage breakdown as the marriage commitment is reduced to just a formality by law and this is often inherited by children. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704052/ No fault divorce is easier to obtain and so there is an increase of divorce rates. http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=BC04D02

    [Daphne – Oh what rubbish. Who was it who said that if you torture statistics, they’ll confess to anything? Attitudes towards marriage and family are not the result of legislation. They are the result of centuries, millennia even, of socio-cultural development and evolution – different family models and different attitudes towards marriage in response to different demands of social organisation. Farming communities had stronger family bonds and more permanent marriages, for instance, because all hands were required to work the land and you would no more get rid of a wife than you would your chief of staff. I’m not going to give you an anthropology treatise here, but you really need to read up on this stuff. Italy has the exact same divorce laws as Britain but the rate of marital breakdown in Britain is much higher than Italy’s, which is roughly at par with Malta’s, which has no divorce law at all. ]

    • Emma says:

      Even if all of this is true, it is true for children of separation also, at least in Malta, where separation is the only way forward for unhappy marriages.

      Why would a child of divorce differ in his or her mentality than one of separation?

    • Joseph A Borg says:

      “lies, damn lies and statistics”

      I thought it was a Mark Twain quote but seems like it’s from Benjamin Disraeli

      http://www.quotegarden.com/statistics.html

      My maths skills are sub-par but I have learnt this: numbers can highlight correlations but can never prove causation. For that you need an inventive scientist to come up with a well constructed test that stands to peer review and withstands the test of time.

      If it were so, then we should ban ice cream sales as there is a definite correlation between ice cream consumption and injuries and sea…

  4. Lino Cert says:

    A “no-fault” divorce is cruel because it will often be the abusing spouse who will force the divorce on the unwilling spouse who is the victim. That is why I will vote NO. I agree with divorce, but only if there is a fault and only if the instigator of the divorce is the victim or if the decision is consensual.

    • Stefan Vella says:

      Why would a spouse want to continue a marriage if the other is unwiling to abide by the marriage vows?

      The decision to stay together has to be consensual as well. Anything else is just born of fear, spite, revenge, anger and control issues – a recipe for the perfect marriage.

      • “Why would a spouse want to continue a marriage if the other is unwiling to abide by the marriage vows?”

        For the same reason that someone who’s had a bitter experience form a first marriage would want to remarry.

        A successful marriage is an ideal that many people aspire to. This is something with which the pro-divorce lobby agrees. However, as Dr Galea Salomone put it yesterday (19-05-11) “You show your love for the institution of marriage not by the number of times you marry, but by what you’re willing to invest to make your marriage work.”

    • asp says:

      There’s nothing at the moment that stops ANYONE from leaving ANYONE and meeting someone else and having children and LEAVING again when s/he feels the need.

      • @ ASP

        What you say is true, unfortunately. I believe that the introduction of divorce will increase or facilitate that. I strongly believe that the YES vote will win.

        I think that when the dust settles or, rather, when the novelty wears off, people will begin to understand what divorce means on a practical, day-to-day level. People will continue to leave each other – possibly at a higher rate – but I don’t think that they will want to remarry.

        We will end up with a situation (I think) where people will think twice before getting married – not out respect for the institution, but out of fear of a potential divorce suit a few months/years down the line.

        “Some people” will rush in where angels fear to tread, while others watch from the sidelines to see how this thing works.In the first few years it will be a deterrent, but as time goes by people won’t even get married so that they won’t even have to contemplate the potential consequence of not staying married.

        Bottom line: Although “theoretically” divorce should be a stronger deterrent to leaving a marriage than just separating, in my opinion it will make people shy away from marriage in the first place and there will be even less to stop us walking away from partnerships and relationships because a significant proportion of said relationships will be happening “below the radar”

    • attent01 says:

      Oh, and how are you so sure? I and the kids have been abused by my wife for years and suffered in silence though she did everything possible to make me react in her manner which thank God I did not and also to protect the kids, even though the kids are up to their nose with her behaviour.

      Are we to keep on suffering? You have to be in it to feel it. Whoever is saying NO now might hide in shame when it hits them or their families. And please, the sin campaign is worse than divorce itself.

      Being a fervent Catholic and suffering will not stop me from being a Catholic – it’s a pity that a number of priests are still living in the dark ages and do not have a clue of the suffering of people like me and my kids, while others comfort you and tell you that you should have left her/him long ago and not continued to suffer.

      This is the difference between down to earth priests and close-minded priests and secular No campaigners.

      • miguel says:

        Well said. I went through the experience as a small child. Thank God it’s over now and living a better life. I’m 20 now, still studying, don’t smoke and have no babies. I think kids shouldn’t suffer for a relationship which is not working out.

    • me says:

      [ A “no-fault” divorce is cruel because it will often be the abusing spouse who will force the divorce on the unwilling spouse who is the victim.]
      So you would rather allow the abuser to persist in his endeavors than free the abused.
      Vacuum your brain will you.

    • Antoine Vella says:

      Lino, why should a victim insist on staying with an abusing spouse? That would be even more painful than divorcing.

      In the end it boils down to what we (and the law) understand by fault. If someone files for divorce there surely must be something wrong with the marriage, some ‘fault’.

    • Vincent says:

      Would you like the ‘unwilling spouse who is the victim’, to stay in a marriage with an ‘abusing spouse’ ?

      Do you think that the absence of divorce is stopping anyone wanting to leave from doing so ?

    • el bandido guapo says:

      So the “victim” you assume, would prefer to be separated, i.e. in the exact same physical situation, but simply unable to remarry.

      Anti-divorce “reasoning” is only based on a total lack of capacity for logical thinking.

      You are proving the “theory”.

    • Tired says:

      Lino, I think you are being a tad short-sighted. It’s important to think thing through to the end. The abusing spouse can always walk-out or legally separate. What’s the difference?

  5. ciccio2011 says:

    According to what’s stated in il-Mument, seems like we have had divorce in Malta for the last 20 years or so, at least.

  6. Harry Purdie says:

    I fear the Nationalist Party is about to disappear up it’s own a**hole. Where the hell are the rational thinkers?

    • R. Camilleri says:

      Heh, I guess rational thinkers don’t go into politics. They make a decent living for themselves and enjoy life.

    • ciccio2011 says:

      Harry, I have to agree with you. It seems that it is going down the same path of DSK – that of self-destruction.
      It is putting too much the good of the community before the good of individuals. This is no more and no less than communism.

      • “It is putting too much the good of the community before the good of individuals. This is no more and no less than communism.”

        And what is a community made of?

        In any community you’ll always find a “minority” that needs something that is “bad” for the majority e.g. drug abusers, common criminals, fraudsters etc. You can’t allow everybody to have his way. Which is why we have laws.

        This divorce matter is a completely different issue. It is a civil issue only up to the point where it affects society. Per se it is a moral issue and in our Catholic frame of mind it is an attack on a part of our collective identity.

        The people baying for divorce know that it is a) immoral and b) goes against our grain. That is why – I think – it has turned into such an emotional issue. What I interpret as support for this theory is that the people who want divorce have so far only offered variations on a “divorce is the lesser of two evils” theme. That divorce is evil is implicit in their attitude. They probably feel that they want something that goes against who they really are deep down. They can’t justify their choice rationally.

        Divorce becomes a moral issue the moment people start mentioning good or bad. Good and bad have to be measured against absolutes which transcend any attempt of qualitative analysis. Qualitative analysis of good and/or bad is an ethical/moral endeavour.

        An example: Cod pieces were all the rage in Shakespeare’s day.Today we’ve moved on. We can’t say that our dress sense is objectively better than theirs because there is no such thing as an absolute dress sense that transcends time and cultures.
        The closest we can get – without revelation – to absolute good and bad is natural law. Without reference to an absolute point OUTSIDE the system you cannot say why killing or stealing is bad and helping people is good. If it’s outside the system you can’t qualify it “scientifically”

        This is why divorce is not essentially a civil issue. To qualify – not quantify – its effects you have to refer to absolutes. And, whether we like it or not, the true value of divorce can only be qualified morally.

        Quantification has to be based on certain assumptions that presume the existence of said absolutes i.e. “statistical” support that divorce is bad only makes sense when you have established what is good and what is bad. You can’t use them to SHOW that divorce is “bad”

        The ugly picture the NO movement paints of divorce does not make divorce bad; rather it is because divorce is bad that the NO lobby can do nothing else but paint a nasty picture of it.

        We have to sympathise with people in “dysfunctional” families, but we must also make it clear that since their predicament has a moral dimension,its solution must also draw from a “moral source”

      • ciccio2011 says:

        Reuben Scicluna –

        When you say “Per se it is a moral issue and in our Catholic frame of mind it is an attack on a part of our collective identity” – who exactly are “we” in your use of the word “our”? How many persons in one do you represent?

        I always speak for myself, and my comments reflect this. I have no right to speak for a community, and especially on moral issues of a personal nature.

        I do appreciate that divorce has civil implications – indeed, I believe this is where the No movement can score most points. But then, individual freedoms and rights must not be crushed for the sake of something loosely called “common good.”

        Too much harm has been done in the world under that false premise.

    • Tired says:

      It won’t, Harry, because, sad as it is, many of it’s members see nothing wrong in that thinking.

  7. Jean Paul says:

    My parents buy Il-Mument on Sundays and I occasionally skim through.

    Since the divorce issue started heating up, the newspaper took the form of a church publication. I feel disgusted reading front pages and letters to the editor being all against divorce.

    2013 will be the first general election in which I am eligible to vote.

    I had no doubt of supporting PN as I don’t want Joey screwing around with the economy and foreign investments. But with PN going nuts about this, maybe it’s time to leave the island after all.

  8. Teo says:

    Even KullHadd would have a hard time coming up with such a load of total garbage.

    Just as well I never buy any of the Maltese-language newspapers. They’re more or less all fit for the bin. Louis Camilleri is right: our once great party is slowly but surely going to the dogs.

  9. Carmel Scicluna says:

    Daphne,

    qed issir tixbah lil tal-Moviment IVA f’li qed tghid fuq id-divorzju. Qed tipprova ssib ix-xaghra fl-ghagina u qed tiggranfa b’mod iddisprat ma’ kull haga – I should also add that I have seen a surfeit of religion -particularly the prayer group ‘everything is in God’s hands’ variety, to do far more damage to children than marital strife. This is just my observation, but I believe it to be true. – u aktar qed taghzaq u thawwad u tikkonvinci lil min se jivvota LE biex ma jitharrikx pulzier mill-qaghda tieghu. Ma rridx naghtik il-parir li inti tajt lil JPO. Imma jekk taqbad l-argumenti varji kollha tieghek issib torri ta’ Babel shih. Dan li jigrilu d-dudu tal-art meta jghid lill-Iben t’Alla li ghandu zball fuq id-divorzju.

    • Kenneth Cassar says:

      Dudu ta l-arti iehor li jippretendi li jaf xi jrid Alla.

      • Joseph A Borg says:

        False pride, Kenneth: his supposedly meek ego is just a mask. He is in fact saying that he’s god and Carmel Scicluna knows best…

      • Carmel Scicluna says:

        Jien dudu tal-art li jaf xi jrid Alla ghax ihobb lil Alla, ghandu relazzjoni intima ma’ Alla u m’hu xejn minghajr Alla.

      • Jien dudu tal-art li jaf xi jrid Alla ghax IHOBB lil Alla, ghandu relazzjoni INTIMA ma’ Alla u m’hu xejn minghajr Alla.

        Oh dear, do you go to bed together?

  10. jae says:

    I will be voting No in the referendum.

    This notwithstanding I fully agree with you on this one. Some of the reasons being given against divorce are more than ridiculous and this excerpt from il-Mument is a case in point.

    Those against the introduction of divorce legislation should stop shooting themselves in the foot.

    • Tired says:

      Aren’t you ashamed to admit it? Intolerance of minorities and denying their rights is bigotry.

      • jae says:

        I will be voting no with conviction because I believe that the introduction of divorce legislation will result in more breakups of families.

        The introduction of divorce will change the nature of marriage.

        Without divorce, marriage is a commitment for life – for the marriage to work one needs to work at it everyday.

        With divorce legislation, there will be more people who opt for marital breakup (i.e. divorce) because they perceive it as the (relatively) easier way out.

        Divorce legislation will affect all society and not just those who consider using divorce. Therefore, your reference to imposition on minorities is misplaced. I also disagree with you when you say it is a ‘right’. Marriage is a lifetime commitment. Backtracking on that commitment cannot be described a ‘right’.

  11. VICTOR says:

    Daph, you seem to be thorn between two “loves”: you love to see divorce go through and you love to see Dr Joe lose his divorce campaign! Which one would you give away: a NO for divorce ( for the moment) and a victory to the PL in 2/3 years time or a YES to divorce now and a victory for the PN in 2/3 years?

    [Daphne – I am not ‘thorn’ between anything. I am very clear that I want the Yes vote to win. As far as I am concerned, the Opposition leader doesn’t figure at all. He certainly has no campaign.]

  12. Interested Bystander says:

    The referendum question asks if you agree a couple can live apart for four years and then get a divorce.

    I think it’s too vague.

    I much prefer where a couple goes through the legal process for separating and then after four years they get a rubber stamp divorce if either wants it.

    If a man leaves his wife and applies for divorce after four years then where are the details of how law will be applied to that divorce, apart from waffly talk of adequate maintenance guaranteed and children protected?

    They should have left the living apart option out of the question.

    By adding divorce as the final act of separation after four years it would make more sense to me in a Maltese context.

    For that reason, I will vote No.

    But thanks to Gonzi for giving me the chance to have my say.

    Cheers mate.

    • Kenneth Cassar says:

      Enough with your silly excuses. I doubt that anyone is buying it. You might as well have simply said: I will be voting no.

    • Tired says:

      Weak argument! Kenneth Cassar is right!

    • Cyrus Engerer says:

      I think you haven’t read the proposed bill.

      Just for some clarification, the proposed bill in parliament speaks on two scenarios for divorce: when the couple would have been legally separated and when the couple would have separated de facto.

      In the case of a legal separation, the process is simple: divorce can be attained after 4 years.

      When it comes to only de facto separations, Article 71 of the bill addresses the scenario. Apart from the couple having to have been separated (de facto) for four years from the previous 5, it also mentions what grounds divorce can be given on, which are exactly those of a legal separation, including today’s section 40.

      • ciccio2011 says:

        As far as I am aware, on 28 May, the Maltese electorate is not voting on “the proposed bill”, but on a long-winded question drawn up at the Centru Nazzjonali Laburista.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Spot on, Ciccio2011 me old mucker. And the Le People who are preparing nooses and cyanide capsules in case Daphne’s vote and mine tip the balance next Saturday would do well to remember that divorce law will have to be introduced by parliamentary vote. If indeed the voting ever takes place.

  13. il-Ginger says:

    The only reason people are against divorce is because their church tells them to.

  14. mark says:

    It could have been worse. We could have been reminded that it’s the ‘devil’s weed’.

    Furthermore, since there is absolutely no doubt that hash is a so-called gateway drug (is there?), we can also surmise that divorce will turn us into a nation of heroin infested junkies.

  15. mark says:

    This referendum will only be a mock election. PN supporters will vote freely either Yes or No but MLP supporters will vote Yes en masse to please the dear leader and claim another VICTORY.

    Personally I’ m against divorce because I am a Catholic and if you are part of a club you have to abide by the rules. Secondly the way the question was formulated reflects rookie minded Joseph. Thirdly I don’t wanna have the option to opt out of marraige at will.

    Some ambiguities I need info on are:

    ‘separated for four years’ – legally separated?

    Who is going to pay for the first family of a minimum wage erarner divorced husband?

    Very low percentage of separated people want to remarry?

    What law am I voting for? Is it final? What will be amended?

    Manteniment garantit? That does not exist if I lose my job u nahdem bla ktieb?

    The sensible way around the problem was to pass a law in parliament and vote on the final amended law but Joseph knew it wouldn’t pass so he bargained for a referendum in the shortest time possible to claim another victory.

    Jpo and Jesmond played his game. Where are the PN strategists? Can anybody please wake up before we end up with the an ex policeman in that famous brutal police force as a justice minister?

    PN supporters have to consider Anglu Farrugia, Joe Mizzi, Joseph Muscat, Karmenu Vella as ministers at the helm of this nation before choosing to abstain or vote Labour in the next election.

    • Tired says:

      So you’re a Catholic (not a very good one I would think) and don’t want divorce for yourself and neither for your neighbour, your family, your friends and everybody else. Where in the Church’s teaching are you told to deny the rights of minority groups who do not share your beliefs? The Church does not condone bigotry and it follows that one who denies rights for minority groups cannot be a true Christian.

  16. Sabiex nirbah nghid u naghmel kollox ghax ma tafx int. In nazzjonalisti ma jizbaljaw qatt u dejjem li jghidu huma biss tajjeb. Ejja u aqbzu il barra min hemm.

  17. joe cassar says:

    Daphne messu kellha d-decenza tghid li IL-MUMENT kien qieghed biss jikkwota rapport li deher f’gazzetta serja Awstraljana dwar survey li sar recentement. Jekk riedet tkun serja u kredibbli fl-attakk taghha, missha ghamlet dan car mill-bidu nett.

  18. C Chircop says:

    The true importance of strengthening marriages – that of having a strong pre-marriage preparation – is being left out completely of the divorce debate. By both sides. And the scaremongering created by this article actually worsens the smoke screen set up!

    By pre-marriage preparation, I am referring to a more intensive and updated Cana course for Church marriages and a ‘secular’ preparation course for civil marriages.

    Irrespective of the Yes or No victory, the risk of lightly-taken civil marriages will still be there, since people may agree on marrying on the go without delving into their own issues.

    With regards to this published article on Il-Mument, it has taken Nationalist media reporting to a new low. What a far cry from the patriotic and well-edited read we had in place in the 80s!

  19. Balance says:

    Il-Mument probably has the kind of readership that accepts these arguments. It is the only Sunday paper with a clear position against divorce – it would make for a drab Sunday read to have only the Yes camp batting. And to be fair, Mument also features articles by Yes campaing leader Deborah Schembri.

    Other media in the Media.Link stable have been more balanced, particularly NET TV.

    The PN TV station has been reporting the Yes campaign quite fairly even though Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando made it a point to antagonise the very media that got him elected in 2008.

    Discussion programmes on NET TV this week always featured the Yes camp and I have seen Deborah Schembri several times on NET these past few days.

    Let’s be balanced and not lump all PN media together. They do have different audiences.

    The PN party base is obviously against divorce and Il-Mument wouldn’t want to antagonise its own base and people of faith. For the wider audience of pale-blue and middle-of-the-road voters who watch NET TV, one should acknowledge that they’re receiving much more balanced reporting.

  20. Mjones says:

    If it wasn’t for the fact that such a front page is tragic and people actually believe this cr*p, it would be hilarious.

    It reminds me of the days of the EU referendum, when Manual Potty-Mouth Cuschieri frightened Labour housewives into believing that the Sicilians would invade us and pregnancy would last for 10 months after accession.

    I will vote Yes in this referendum and abstain in the next general elections. Both parties are spineless and without any clear agenda on how to run this little hole.

  21. Mike says:

    The party might not be made up of crackpot spinsters, but the Cabinet certainly is. Go through them one by one… you would be surprised.

  22. edgar rossignaud says:

    Can somebody kindly answer this question? Is the validity of the referendum dependent on the percentage turnout of voters? If say, only 45% of eligible voters turn up, out of which say 23% (out of the 45%) vote in favour, will Govt still be obliged to bring the bill before Parliament? Or is there a threshold?

  23. Pete says:

    Jiena Nazzjonalist minn guf ommi imma, emmnuni, ma stajtx nemmen lil ghajnejja meta l-Hadd qrajt dawk il-punti dwar id-divorzju u l-konsegwenzi fuq it-tfal fl-ewwel pagna tal-Mument.

    Min dak il-hin hadt decizjoni li l-Mument u n-Nazzjoni ma nixtrihomx izjed Veru PN gejna fi stat tal-biki.

    Anke tisma l-ahbarijiet fuq 101 jew Net, tisma jghidu li Dr. Deborah Schembri qalet li ma tistax tinghat garanzija li ‘l quddiem ir-regoli ma jinbidlux. U din mhix ovvja, meta jekk ‘l quddiem ikun hemm gvern differenti ikun jista jibdel ir-regoli jew ligijiet kif fuq kollox qed isir illum.

    Qed naraw li per ezempju l-Ministri hadu 500 Euro u perkacci ohrajn. Din mhix regola li nbidlet wara 2008. Gholew astronomikament il-kontijiet tad-dawl u ilma u l-gass. Mhix regola ohra wara 2008.

    Se titnehha l-funtana tal-bieb il-Belt ghal post iehor. Mhix regola ohra wara 2008. Li ma sarx huwa tnaqqis fit-taxxa, tnehhija tal-licenza TV u ohrajn.

    Please NET TV, Radio 101, Nazzjon u Mument f’din il-gimgha li fadal qabel ir-referendum ahjar tirregolaw sew lilkom infuskom qabel ikun tard wisq jekk mhux ga qeghdin tard. Dr. Gonzi please ikollok ftit hniena minna s-supporters tal-PN ghax inti u shabek stess ser iggeghluna nwarrbukom.

    Tibqghux taghlqu widnejkom ghal krib taghna u tibqghux aktar arroganti maghna. ISIMGHUNA ghax wara jkun TOO LATE.

  24. Ronnie says:

    By the end of the list I was expecting them to say that children of divorced parents are more likely to be gay, in keeping with the troglodyte reasoning. Ma xi dwejjaq!

  25. ray says:

    My thinking at the moment is that, with all the nonsense coming out of the PN, the PL is not that bad after all. And that is the scary part.

  26. Vanni says:

    I wonder what these people who crusade so much against divorce are afraid of? If they are so sure of their marriage, than surely they have nothing to fear.

    I find the thought amusing that whilst the Roman Catholic Church bleats on about God allowing free will, its local representative in Malta would move heaven and earth to shackle liberties.

    The RC Church has every right (and duty) to speak to and guide its faithful, by what imaginable presumption can it speak on behalf of those who are not its members? Malta is not only populated by fervent Roman Catholics.

  27. Jake says:

    I cannot understand why many Liberal Nationalist supporters are so surprised about their party’s stand on divorce. I was always convinced that they would have reacted in that way because they have always been very narrow minded on social and moral issues – it was bound to happen and if you did not ever see this coming you never understood well enough our political parties.

    I was also not surprised on the Labour party’s stand on the EU membership and the type of economy that Malta should adapt as many of the Labour party members and supporters have always been against free market and liberalisation of the Economy. Not to mention the outlook their dependency culture and that the government should be the major player in the country and the Economy – all political parties of the Left are or have been like this in every country of the World.

    What we are experiencing now seems a chaos in political terms but we should see it as a very positive development because now it’s time that the Nationalist party to update itself on the moral and social issues of a modern country. As much as Labour had to come to terms with the EU, Liberalization and that it should not be totally against business.

    Malta is updating itself with the modern world.

  28. stephen brincat says:

    Now let’s see how many couples – who have been separated for 4 years – you know of, who got back together again. That’s roughly the impact divorce will have on family break-up. If the various No To Divorce movements want to help the common good, perhaps they can do something to increase happiness in our society. Any offers? Bit at a loss here.

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