mardi, octobre 04, 2005

Continue the Politics

"Politics is no longer as ideological. People don't think of themselves as right-wing or left-wing. They look to politicians not for ideology but for solutions, not for theories but for real problem solving." � Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Tory Party Conference)

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In the first posting under the title "Begin the Politics" I had outlined the need to start thinking about a new politics. A politics that detaches itself from the old hand stagnation that we have become used to in today's world and more particularly in our island. To start the discussion, I was proposing that we kick off from the presupposition that what we intend to do is engage in a new form of politics that does not conform with the dogmas, knee-jerk reactions and current methodologies of the political parties with which we are saddled today. In short, we have to move away from the "I am right, you are wrong" mentality.

This entails moving away from the received perceptions of methods of evaluating electoral need. It involves an interactive politics that listens to the electorate while it is in a constant search of a basic set of values that are commensurate to the needs of today's society. This "new politics" as a term did not find favour with readers like Fausto or Vlad. Both chose to minimise the need for change in today's politics and in Fausto's case it seems to be a case of work as usual. Here's what he said about the politics and change:

"Politics is changing. But it was also changing in the 1990s, 1980s, 1970s, 1960s and as far back as you care to go. Of course, it happened to different degrees and of different kinds. But Jacques is wrong on the kind of change he announces."

Fausto's reasoning here is very much the kind of reasoning that goes on at Dar Centrali in Triq Herbert Ganado. Fausto frequently adopts the tactic of attacking a line of reasoning by (a) minimising its importance and (b) breaking down something that is incidental but not exactly the same as the original argument, all the while using what I call selective truths because in themselves the statements are true but by the time they are used they have nothing to do with the original assertion of the interlocutor. The discussion starts off on politics and change and the need for a new style of politics (which is in essence a criticism of current parties and their methods) but Fausto prefers to comment on the reasoning behind the floating voter (and note� not the party). We could discuss the needs of the Maltese voter, his priorities, her distractions etc. My problem is that I believe that due to the decades old nurturing by the twisted methods of MLPN, the voter has only turned into a pavlovian poodle ready to react when the right buttons are prodded.

I am fully aware that this approach does not say much about the political acumen of the average voter but what I am trying to say is that focusing on the voter and his flaws/merits will not get us far. Beyond confiscating the vote of all the people we deem unfit to vote, there would be no other remedy on the horizon� and that ain't too democratic innit?

On the other hand, the debate I tried to start � the new politics debate � or if you want we can start calling it Open Politics on the same lines as the discussion here � is about reforming the way politics is done. When I said "Begin the Politics" it was not an arrogant assumption that I have some monopoly politics but rather an invitation to discuss what needs to be done next.

One last thing I must say about Fausto's retorts: (which are always very appreciated since they are done in a decent manner and never offensive) all too often I fear that the underlying theme of Fausto remains that the current government with all its faults is the lesser evil we can impose on this country. I know this is an emotional appeal but I would love it if Fausto were to apply his (considerable) intellectual capability to stop defending and start dreaming and building.

As an aside, the Labour and Tory party conferences in Britain both had one theme which seemed to unify them: CHANGE. They both discussed for hours and hours the need for their respective parties to change and listen to the people or their roots. They feel the pulse of this moment of change. As do, I suspect, most western parties. Can we afford to be left behind?

Some Maltese individuals have already caught on this need of shaking up the government and opposition about what priorities are needed. Unfortunately in my book they are the wrong sort. It is sad that while we are here squabbling like headless chickens (can a chicken squabble once it is headless?), others are marching on Valletta, forming organisations and writing loads of gibberish. It is really a time for Carpe Diem.

It is time to Continue the Politics.

1 commentaire:

Fausto Majistral a dit…

Fausto's reasoning here is very much the kind of reasoning that goes on at Dar Centrali in Triq Herbert Ganado.

Hmm, smearing by association! Isn't this incidental to the argument?