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  • Writer's pictureGail Debono

BALLOT PAPER REFORM: ARE WE REALLY DISCUSSING THIS?!

So…election has been announced for March 2013, and the onslaught begins. For those of you not familiar with Maltese politics, they are a partisan farce during which people treat the political party supported by their fathers like they do their football team – as if political ideals are genetic. My father voted red or blue, and so will I. Yup you guessed it… our partisan politics mean that no other party, other than Nationalist or Labour, ever stands a chance to be elected because our country-folk are busy trying to convince their neighbours that the god they worship is the one true god, and therefore have no time to think about who would be the best person to rule our country. Which brings me to today’s reason for blogging:

There are talks about our ballot papers being unfairly-written out. Apparently, such is our blind devotion to one party or another that we cannot be trusted to vote for the right ruler, but choose instead to fill in a ballot sheet, with the numbers 1-whatever from top to bottom, in the section represented by ‘our’ political party. Our ballot paper is written out alphabetically, so yup, you guessed it, our parliament, since 1921 – when Malta first gained internal self-government – has had three quarters of its politicians with last names beginning with the first 6 letters of the alphabet. Sad right?!

If there was ever proof needed that partisan politics is for the chicken-brained or self-serving propagandists this would be it. How about, instead of changing the way our ballot paper is written, or thinking of ways to avoid this phenomenon from continuing, we try to educate our people? It might not be the cheapest option, or the most beneficial one to said chicken-voters (they’d be forced to think critically) and self-serving propagandists… but it may be a way to ensure that our country is run by deserving people.

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