Just under a year after the Labour Party announced a public consultation with the aim of drafting 100 ideas for the future, the century of proposals has finally been launched.
While many of them are generic statements like “providing mechanisms to give everyone equal access to educational opportunities at all stages of life”, some of the ideas are quite interesting.
Here are some of the most eye-catching proposals to emerge from the PL’s consultation.
1. Setting a target date for Malta to have the lowest rate of people at risk of poverty in the EU.
2. Clear demarcation lines in the countryside to separate public land from private land.
3. Ensuring all construction projects have completion timelines, with coordination among projects to reduce their public inconvenience.
4. Transforming urban spaces into so-called ‘green cities’, including by planting new gardens and roof gardens, creating more open spaces and underground car parks, and “prioritising people over traffic”.
5. Kickstarting a national discussion on school homework reform as part of an education shift towards arts, culture, sports, civic education and activism.
6. Medical screening among children to identify potential obesity and mental health problems at a young age.
7. Updating the laws to ensure more scientific tools are accessible to couples facing infertility challenges. Although it’s not specifically stated in the proposal, it sounds like a policy stance in favour of testing embryos for genetic disorders prior to implantation.
8. Starting a national discussion on Malta’s electoral reform. No details were provided as to how the discussion should go.
9. Providing a new “remedy” for people who feel aggrieved by comments passed against them by MPs in Parliament where they enjoy parliamentary privilege.
10. Changing the composure of the Broadcasting Authority, currently only composed of representatives of PL and PN, to include non-political appointees.
11. Allowing people to use their ID cards as voting documents.
12. Bringing technology to the courts “at every stage of the process” to improve their accountability and transparency, a possible hint of a stance in favour of live-streaming of court sittings.
13. Commencing a national discussion on voluntary euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses.
14. Government support for people with health conditions to allow them to obtain bank loans.
15. Drafting a masterplan for Gozo, with the aim of “striking a balance” between economic, entertainment, social and environmental aspects.
16. Extending the parliamentary gender quota system for MPs to local councils.
At this stage, these ideas remain mere ideas and not political commitments. However, they provide a clear sign of where the minds within PL are at, and with an election expected within the next year, one shouldn’t be surprised to see these propoals make their way to the PL manifesto.