Switchers are kings and queens. They made Joseph Muscat. They gave him an unbelievable majority and they remain his life-blood. But by their nature they are fickle and could, on a whim, a whiff of scandal or through fear, switch back to the other side.
This is the new face of politics not just in Malta but all over the world. People today have weaker allegiances, care less about what happened yesterday and will vote for, or back, what is right for them the day of the election. People have truly become the now generation.
Even in Turkey, where Erdogan seemed eternal, the electors - God and Allah be with them - showed him they rule, they dictate. He wasn’t actually shown the door but a yellow card was drawn out of their pockets and now his party needs some extra support in parliament.
Switchers in Malta were all the rage when the PN lost the plot, the Labour movement seemed blessed with a new vigour and, as they say, the rest is our recent history.
Why did people vote in Labour and Muscat? Why the switch by such hordes?
A jaded PN needed to be sent to the cleaners. So the switchers did a good job there.
The country needed new direction, new beliefs, new-found morals and clean ways. Super yes and that is what Superman Joseph Muscat promised.
The promise was great, the fresh air was invigorating.
Now snap you fingers and wake up two years or so after Muscat was hailed as our Labour Moses to lead us out of our suffering.
All the antics of this government today are diametrically opposed to what was promised. The whiff of scandal has turned into a pong. Money and real estate is what guides Muscat’s team.
Yet the switchers - at least the ones I have questioned - are happy. They are happy with the state of the economy, of the country, of our ways.
From Café Premier to Gaffarena to a newly-published damning Code of Ethics for ministers they seem not bothered one dot. We now even have a Finance Minister admitting that a bank guarantee for a private enterprise is a first. But all seems fine, gloriously fine. It is actually glaringly wrong.
Greed rules and no one truly cares. As long as it makes money for someone let’s go for it—and the feeling is that, as long as the Jordanian or whoever it is, supplies us with dosh, ODZ, rules and environment be damned.
If what is happening is condoned and nobody is ready to show any sign of yellow-carding Muscat and his merry men, then maybe, just maybe, rather than switchers, we had—and still have—a few swindlers around.