Bernard Grech’s lack of a clear ideological drive makes him the ideal person to lead the Nationalist Party at this moment in history, the PN’s chief strategist Chris Peregin has argued.
“He has tremendous qualities of being someone who can unite people,” Peregin said when interviewed on Trudy Kerr’s podcast The Interviewer. “He isn’t particularly ideologically driven, he isn’t extremely left or right, liberal or conservative – he really understands all these perspectives.”
“His background is that of a mediator, more than a lawyer, he has experience in bringing two parties who are really antagonistic to each other and trying to find common ground between them.”
Since his election as PN leader last year, Grech has faced criticism for his lack of a clear vision for Malta and for leaving voters unsure of what he stands for.
However, Peregin claimed that this lack of ideology may actually play in Grech’s favour as it will allow him to unite the several threads of the party.
“We often have a preconceived idea of what a leader should be. I was among many who said the PN really needs something very different – a woman, a young person, something radically different,” he said.
“However, when it comes to leadership, you need to look at the time and the PN desperately needs someone who can bridge all of these aspects and, in a sense, the broken pieces of the PN.”
“In my experience this month, I can clearly see that this is what needs to happen. The PN is full of people with very clear ideas of their own and many things to say. There’s so much energy from so many areas of the PN that expecting a leader to come in, take the reins and move it in his own direction no matter what isn’t going to happen. That’s the truth.”
Peregin added that Grech can use his mediation skills to help rebuild the public’s trust with the political class, which he claimed was broken by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
“I think Bernard Grech is the right person of the current time – he’s not a politician but someone like me who gave everything up when it was required to join a trailing party.”
“It’s not a cult around a person and their very specific ideas of how to get elected but about empowering citizens, communities, NGOs and experts to realise their dreams for Malta.”
“We all have specific ideas but what’s important is that your ideas can be channeled to a politician with a genuine interest to make Malta better and not stockpile money in Panama.”
Do you agree with this argument?