With Fausto's admonition still ringing in my mind I was about to type out a whole post criticising alternattiva's program for Local Council Elections as being shallow and generic. Unfortunately (for Fausto) that was before I discovered that the alternattiva website also contains a different programme for each candidate in each locality. Surf over to alternattiva's site if you are interested in more details.
To be fair I think that Harry's article in today's Times puts too much stress on the AD vs MLPN. Why? Because at the end of the day we are talking about Local Councils where the quality of the individuals often is a more determining factor than the party they hail from. Local Council members can either be party puppets placed there for the number or individuals with a genuine love for their locality with a real interest in making Haz-Zghir (little village) a better place. Both PN and MLP have been stung by backing Mr Anybody for the sake of number (or thanks to an uncanny popularity such individuals enjoy in their little fiefdom). Just look at all the Mayoral gaffes in different localities which end up being an ugly smudge on the relative party's very own Local Council Conduct. If you still don't know what I am talking about think of the Zebbug (Gozo) mayor and his illegal dumping or the Qala Mayor's brainwave at creating that lovely beach out of building debris.
The intelligent voter in a Local Council election should be seeking out the individual who engages to deliver a reasonable set of promises with the locality at heart. Local Council electors should look beyond the blue, red and green - only pausing for an instant to examine whether MLP, PN or AD backed candidates are within the right structure to deliver what is best for the locality. It is only in this respect that I can see Harry's point that AD programmes tend to contain deliverables that are intelligently constructed and practical - and the track record of quality vs quantity does give AD candidates an advantage over the papable masses that are normally produced by the MLPN clan.
I am not trying to give you two different messages. The message is one and the same. Vote for candidates who seem to know what they are going in for and know what they want to deliver. Vote for candidates who will not put party interest before that of the locality. Such candidates are not only found in the AD camp - definitely. I just have a feeling that the stamp of guarantee offered by AD is not found elsewhere in the political field. AD's size in this campaign is its strength and not its weakness.
Of course you can always do an Alfred Mifsud and ignore the existence of AD altogether. I remember the good old days ofrunning for KSU elections. I used to have a hard time convincing fellow SDM executive members that the content of the electoral manifesto was more important than just bandying around the SDM symbol. Before taking on anyone else using the simple electoral strategy of colour allegiance I wanted to add depth and quality to the campaign. Many times my efforts fell on deaf ears (those who had long before succumbed to the MLPN mantra of "Ir-rebha taghna zgur"). The few times it worked were those that gave me much much more satisfaction.
Incidentally I had a look at the latest KSU website. It seems that eight years on the real value of the policies we started then are beginning to take shape. The KSu executive has understood its role as a moderator and given full effect to its policy forming commissions that are as representative as possible. Beyond the PULSE-SDM (renationalised SDM I would add) rhetoric a group of a few good men and women have understood the benefits of working with a fresh alternative. Well done chaps!
- This post will also appear on the new J'accuse website (beta testing of course) http://jaccuse.wordpress.com.
- Thanks to Kenneth for the feedburner tip. It's working on the new j'accuse!