Outspoken criminal lawyer and former MP Franco Debono has urged the Maltese public to open its eyes to the state of democracy after a survey found that public trust in Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is double that in Opposition leader Adrian Delia.
“In a normal country, a survey showing the government’s support is double that of the Opposition would give rise to widespread panic and alarm and the public will do its utmost to give itself a strong Opposition,” Debono wrote in a blogpost. “People will stop whatever it is they’re going and prioritise this state of emergency. Because this is an emergency.”
“Even if the government were perfect, which it obviously isn’t, a country which lacks an Opposition is a weak country. This isn’t the government’s fault though – the people must wake up and provide an Opposition in its own best interests.”
“The biggest loser [in this situation] is the public, who haven’t realised they are the biggest loser. Today’s problem is not politicians but rather a lethargic and opiated public. If the public is pleased, then we’re all pleased. Have fun! Have a lovely Sunday! Absolutely no one, myself included, is ready to stick their neck out for an opiated public. Have fun!”
Trust rating published in It-Torċa today
A survey published by It-Torċa today found that public trust in Muscat stands at 66.1%, while that in Delia stands at 32%. A second survey, published today by MaltaToday, paints a similar situation – with Muscat’s trust rating at 54.8% and Delia’s at 15.9%.
Trust rating published in MaltaToday today
Debono said he believes Delia is making genuine effort to open the PN’s doors but that the PN is not yet an inclusive party. However, he repeatedly stressed that the lion’s share of the blame doesn’t lie with PN or PL, but rather with the public for allowing the distance between the two main parties to grow to such historic margins.
“This situation reflects worst on this poor society which isn’t capable of providing itself with an alternative, a society dry of ideas and without even the will to provide itself with two, if not more, alternatives,” he said.
“History will judge the current Maltese society extremely harshly – not only the government and the Opposition but society itself.”
He compared the political situation to the state of Italian football, where Juventus have won the last seven Serie A titles but Italy failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup.
“It could either be that Juventus is extremely good or that their opponents are too weak and the level of football in Italy has sunk,” he said. “The best of times for Juventus but the worst of times for Italian football. The best of times for a political party but the worst of times for democracy and therefore this country.”
“Not even in the 80s was the country in this state, because if the government was abusive, there was at least a credible and alternative Opposition in waiting.”