Another episode in the Gonzi administration has been concluded with a predictable result of 35 votes in favour and 34 against. This result was as predictable as the one-horse race held by Dr. Gonzi earlier this year. Franco Debono said, before the confidence motion, that he would be voting for the government. Now GonziPN can feel justified in clinging to power for a longer time; nothing else has changed.
During Dr. Gonzi’s watch we have several votes of confidence or no confidence motions in Ministers and in the Government, as well as the first instance where a Minister was removed by the House of Representatives. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister keeps plodding along as if it is business as usual.
Most people from both sides of the political divide, do not believe that Dr. Debono had a change of heart. Most people remember Dr. Franco Debono saying last January that he ‘will support anyone but Dr. Gonzi’ and Dr, Gonzi replying that ‘I feel he has betrayed me’.
In recent years, the Government seems to be keen to write the script for a sequel to ‘Yes, Prime Minister’. Government does not take place in the House of Representatives. Some politics and much theatre take place there. Government happens in private, between Dr. Gonzi and his clique. This is the way it was and the way it still is.
Government says that Malta has weathered the economic storm - businessmen in Malta can only wish that this were true. Recently the government also played down the European Commission’s concerns about the Banking sector in Malta. A short while ago, the European Commission’s working document on the performance of member states, pointed out serious concerns which GonziPN disregarded. It chose the positive comments and forgot about all the rest. Yesterday, the MFSA fined Bank of Valletta over Euro 203,000. Although it would be the norm for somebody to assume responsibility for such wrong-doing by the bank, with the government’s mentality no further action will be taken. To Dr. Gonzi and his government, the truth, about the instability and economic woes of the Maltese people, is not important and this has not changed either.
The admission that GonziPN still needs vote chasing and intends adopting more vote catching measures is proof enough that the government’s concern is not the welfare of the country but the lust to stay in power at all costs.
Unfortunately, yesterday’s exercise was a severe blow to the dignity of Parliament. The trouble is that nobody will have the last laugh. They have sacrificed the good of the country for an extension on the seat of power.