Jonathan Attard has become Labour’s newest MP after he was co-opted to take up the seat vacated by Manuel Mallia. A lawyer by trade and a longstanding party activist, his new role was agreed upon unanimously by the PL parliamentary group.
Attard was recently entrusted by the PL to chair a forum about the future of the democratic sector in Malta as part of the party’s ‘100 Idea’ policy consultation process.
These are the proposals his forum came up with:
1. Strengthening the “unprecedented” recent reform programme in the governance and rule of law sector to ensure Malta is considered as a best practice on a European level.
2. Launching a national discussion about Malta’s electoral system.
3. Introducing a remedy for citizens who feel aggrieved by declarations made against them by MPs in Parliament who abuse their parliamentary privilege.
4. Making the Broadcasting Authority more relevant to this day and age by ensuring its representation also include people independent of politics.
5. A Broadcasting Authority administered fund to sustain and incentivise specialised journalism.
6. Kickstarting a process towards allowing people to use their ID card as a voting document.
7. Ensuring that Malta has more specialised judiciary members in technical sectors.
8. Digitising the courts “through all the technological tools available at every stage of the process” to improve their transparency, accountability and efficiency.
9. Increasing the size of the judiciary and the training granted to them so as to clamp down on court delays and ensure justice is served as speedily as possible.
10. More tools to NGOs so that they can fulfill their function of activism within communities and of scrutiny on a national level.
In a speech at the launch the policy document, Attard said the PL must be ready to work with and carry out dialogue with everyone, including with people who have different perspectives and are critical of the party.
“History has shown us that that is this element of openness which distinguishes us from other parties,”
“Criticism is an essential ingredient in policy drafting; parties which project themselves as some kind of example of competence or perfection and lock thesmelves up in an ivory tower will become irrelevant.”
Cover photos: Credit: Jonathan Attard (Facebook)