He is Malta’s newest MP, after winning a casual election on the eighth district last May, and Ian Castaldi Paris has promised to use his seat to be “the voice for the voiceless and the less powerful”.
Lovin Malta sat down with Castaldi Paris to talk about his time in Parliament so far, his motivation behind entering politics and his plans for the future.
When did you first get elected to Parliament? Which district/s did you contest and from which district were you elected?
13th May 2020. I contested on the 8th District and 7th too but was elected from the 8th. I will soon open a new office at 347, Bwieraq Street, in the centre of Birkirkara, where I will be accessible to anyone who needs a helping hand.
What was your motivation to become a Member of Parliament?
My main motivation is to be in a position to be able to listen to people more often, to reach out to them and to be in a position to help them. Being an MP gives you this opportunity, especially seeing as it’s easier for people to reach out to me and easier for me to be able to bring change to people’s lives.
What would you say are the main issues that you are committed to working on during your time in Parliament? Can you give us some practical examples of your work so far?
I have spoken in Parliament on many proposed laws so far. I love working in the financial and economy sector but must admit that I love the environment and the Lands Department sectors.
My main commitments are basically to be the People’s Politician and to be effective. I want to ensure that people see me as very accessible and that anyone coming forward to me feels comfortable doing so. I can only promise that every voice will be given the utmost importance.
What are the elements of Malta’s democracy that you would like to strengthen during your time in Parliament? Can you give us some practical examples of your work so far?
We have been working to strengthen the rule of law over recent weeks and I have participated in a debate which relates to this. Malta has always been a democratic country and, both in my personal capacity and as a Government, we will surely do our best to ensure that democracy will be stronger than ever.
Are there any constituency/district-specific matters that you are working on? Can you give us some practical examples of your work so far?
I am working hard to reach out myself and to be as pro active as possible. By right, people expect politicians to be their support and at times their punching bag. I always keep in mind that we can bring about change to people’s lives and our duty is therefore a very sensitive one which we must take seriously everyday to ensure we do in fact bring about effective, positive change.
As a Government, this is what we work for and this is what we have been doing – bringing positive change to people’s lives.
Are there any party-specific matters you wish to improve during your time as an MP? Can you give us some practical examples of your work so far?
I surely want to keep on the path this Government works so very hard on – that of making everyone feel a sense of belonging and of showing how we are politicians here to serve you, irrelevant what political colour you are.
What, in your opinion, is the importance of an MP in today’s society? What resources, if any, do you think MPs should be given to improve their effectiveness?
The nice thing of being an MP is that anything you think merits attention can be discussed at the highest institution in the country. Your voice is effective and will surely be heard, so I try my best to channel people’s voices when speaking at Parliament.
At times, people appreciate it when they know that certain issues they tell you about are being heard and discussed in Parliament.
I want to ensure I am the voice of the voiceless and of the less powerful as these are the people who need most attention. I want to ensure I am the politician who can be the shield of society in every class.
It’s so nice to know that you can be effective and bring happiness and positive changes to someone’s life. At times, people just need simple things to be addressed and at times their cases are more complex.
However, I also keep in mind that there are people who do not even come forward and who suffer in silence. I want to be the voice for these too.
What are the best ways for your constituents to get in touch with you if they are facing a particular injustice or issue that you can help them with?
I am as accessible as can be. My number is public and I also deliver door to door leaflets with my e-mail and my personal mobile.
I want people to feel comfortable enough to call me, and I will personally answer their phones and forward their cases to my assistants to follow up on. It’s so nice to be close to people and to know they feel comfortable calling you anytime they might need a politician’s help. Politicians have to be accessible as possible.
Our new Birkirkara office is situated in a popular area for all people from the eighth district and will offer us a great opportunity to transmit our political values and to be near the people and with the people.
We want to be a phone call away, a doorstep close to their homes. We want people to feel that it’s easy to reach us. Being located in the core of such a lovable village will make us more people-centric, which will give us a greater opportunity to lay the ground work and see what people want us to deliver.”
This article was paid for by Ian Castaldi Paris. It is a sponsored article that forms part of a Lovin Malta series offered to individual MPs who intend to contest the next general election. We will be asking the same set of questions to each MP.