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Labour President Calls For Electoral Reform Debate: ‘We Must Never Stop Asking Questions’ 

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Labour’s president Ramona Attard has backed a discussion on potential electoral reform, arguing that the country shouldn’t shy away from considering democratic alternatives to the Single Transferable Vote system.

“The PL never stops asking questions and this is an element of renewal,” Attard told a conference today to discuss the PL’s recent ‘100 Ideas’ policy document.

“We can say we are comfortable with the current electoral system and that it certainly served us well in recent years, but we want this project to serve as a platform for us to dream and ask if the system can improve.”

“Perhaps we will decide to keep our system after analysing the other options or perhaps we can look at what other countries have done.”

Attard noted that Malta’s democratic system recently underwent two major changes in time for the next general election – namely reducing the voting age to 16 and introducing a gender quota system.

“We’ve carried out important changes but that isn’t enough, and we must ask ourselves if the electoral system and the district system need to change.”

“The principle should be one of equality. Is there equality in people’s chances of getting elected depending on whether they’re from Malta or Gozo or one district and not the other? Are services the same everywhere? Are the Maltese treated equally, are foreigners treated equally? We should ask these questions.”

Labour’s ‘100 Ideas’ policy document includes a call for a national discussion on electoral reform, without giving details on what this reform should look like. 

However, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia has previously come out in favour of allowing the Prime Minister to appoint technocrats to his Cabinet.

PL MP Oliver Scicluna has proposed adopting the New Zealand Mixed Member Proportional model, which grants people two votes during general elections – one for an MP from their constituency and another for a political party.

Do you think it’s time to update Malta’s electoral system?

READ NEXT: New Labour MP Jonathan Attard Has Ten-Point Plan To Ramp Up Democracy, Including Digitising Courts

Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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