Therese Comodini Cachia must be fuming – and who can blame her

Published: September 25, 2017 at 10:14am

When Therese Comodini Cachia won a seat outright in parliament last June and then immediately announced that she would be giving it up to retain her seat in the European Parliament, people were furiously and outspokenly disapproving, not least those who elected her. She backed down right away, shifting her life to Malta in a way that she was clearly not happy with. Apparently, she had stood for election thinking that she wouldn’t be elected, to help out the Nationalist Party with another solid name on the list, only to find that she had won a seat with barely any canvassing for votes.

Now Jean Pierre Debono, who like his wife Kristy campaigned and canvassed hard for his seat and who wanted it really badly, has given it up and instead of being ripped to shreds as Comodini Cachia was, his praises are being sung. Because it is ‘heroic’ to give up your seat – in a slew of scandal about forged signatures on proxy documents – so that somebody who was never in politics, let alone elected politics, can undemocratically become Opposition leader. But it is selfish and a betrayal of your constituents to give up your seat because you would rather be in the far more civilised environment of the European Parliament and Brussels.

But if it is wrong and unethical to give up the seat to which you were elected by citizens to represent them in parliament, then it is wrong, full-stop. The only democratically acceptable reasons for giving up your seat in parliament are physical or mental ill health which render you unable to carry out your duties as a member of the House, and when you have been discovered to have been involved in wrong-doing or corruption, or the forgery of signatures on proxy documents. In both those situations, it would be wrong and unethical to keep your seat.

In sum, Jean Pierre Debono should indeed resign from parliament, but certainly not for reasons which deserve any praise or description as a heroic act. He should resign because of his involvement in the scandal surrounding those proxy votes. But nobody in the party wishes to point that out, still less the Delia groupies – not because they wish to avoid causing offence to Debono or trouble for him, but because they wish to avoid causing trouble for themselves.

Because if the real reason why Debono has got to resign is pointed out, graphically, then the reasons the other candidates on his ballot sheet have given for immediately resigning the seat they will win in the ensuing casual election are overtly unfounded: that they will give up their seat because the only reason Debono is resigning his is so that Delia can become leader.

No. The only reason why Debono has to give up his seat is because he is involved in scandal concerning hundreds of suspicious proxy documents. And when you win a seat in a casual election after the source of scandal gives up his, you most certainly do not give it up or you are complicit in this betrayal of democracy and the electorate.

I do understand that it is difficult for the individuals involved to withstand the onslaught by Delia’s groupies, now and let alone afterwards if they refuse to give up the seat they win in the casual election. But nobody said politics was easy, and those in the Nationalist Party who entered politics when the party was in the ascendant and in government are particularly susceptible to this belief that politics is about taking the road that makes their life easier within the party itself.

It most certainly is not. Things are very difficult and are bound to become more difficult still. The Delia groupies are busy banging on about glory and victory, like people on drugs in a cult. The reality is that the Nationalist Party’s darkest days are ahead of it, not least because it has elected a man who has racked up huge debts of his own to manage a party that is in a black hole of debt mainly because of its broadcasting stations, and who thinks that he should first start sorting it out by taking a large salary himself – and, no doubt, putting all his hangers-on on the party payroll too. Because he is not in government, so what else can he offer the high priests of his sick cult?

Will Adrian Delia be putting Rebecca Dimech on the party payroll too? Surely NET TV needs some decorative items to rival Super One’s. Mario Frendo isn’t sexy and now he isn’t credible either, thanks to the false step of fawning over Delia.