The debate on transport politics was intense throughout this electoral campaign, even though the other parties conveniently avoided discussing the basic car addiction problem.
We need the same intense public engagement on ethics in public life.
We have selected the broom as the political symbol for this general election. The broom is clearly identifiable by one and all as the basic tool which assists us in achieving cleanliness. Achieving cleanliness in public life is an objective which should be shared by all parliamentarians.
There is so much to do to get this country back to normal. Unfortunately, unethical behaviour has been normalised as a result of political parties seeking to protect their own at all costs when faced with various allegations of improper behaviour, which allegations are many times proven.
The last months of parliamentary debate have been dominated by the consideration of the reports of the commissioner for standards in public life on the unethical behaviour of members of cabinet.
These reports have led to the resignation of two members of cabinet and a permanent secretary. They were reluctant resignations. The prime minister unfortunately did not act decisively in both cases: he acted only as a result of substantial public pressure of civil society.
The prime minister has announced his intention to nominate George Hyzler, the commissioner for standards in public life, as the Maltese member of the EU Court of Auditors, thereby ensuring that Hyzler vacates his role as commissioner.
This will lead to protracted discussions to nominate his successor who must be approved by a qualified majority of MPs.
It will prove difficult to identify his successor, just as we are currently still without an agreed nominee for the post of ombudsman, in view of the fact that the current ombudsman has not accepted the renewal of his term.
It is a well-known fact that accountability, transparency and ethics in public life are severely hindered by the close connections between political power and business concerns.
It is not only ADPD that has been saying this for a long time. The inquiry commission investigating the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia has also confirmed this unsavoury link between politics and business: they are too close for comfort.
It is a well-known fact that accountability, transparency and ethics in public life are severely hindered by the close connections between political power and business concerns- Carmel Cacopardo
We need a parliament that is ethically sensitive. We need more members of parliament of integrity, able to oversee continuously and consistently the public administration.
We have had enough spineless specimens! We need a parliament that includes ADPD representatives elected from among the candidates being presented to the electorate in each district, candidates that are there to serve and not for personal gain.
I emphasise the verb “includes” as ADPD candidates are not the only ones who can contribute positively to the development of our politics.
I speak with utmost respect about the candidates presented by other parties. Most of them are dedicated men and women willing to be of genuine service to the community.
Our agenda is to be of service to the whole community. We want to be a political tool for renewal. A green broom to sweep clean.
Politics that serves today while keeping an eye on the impact on tomorrow: ensuring that actions taken today do not deny future generations their right to eventually take their own decisions.
If you vote as usual do not expect different results. Vote for change. It is about time that we swept Maltese politics clean.
Carmel Cacopardo, chairperson, ADPD – The Green Party