A historic perversion of the quota system, to favour PL and PN women candidates over the rest

Despite the Prime Minister’s and some other’s claim that the bill amending the electoral system currently being discussed in parliament is ‘historic’, it is in fact yet another case of collusion between PL and PN so that they continue to avoid a real reform of the electoral system and instead get a top-up ‘bonus’ of 6 unelected MPs each. The use of the term ‘quota’ in this case is purposefully deceitful. Top-ups and bloating parliament are not ‘quotas’.

ADPD spokesperson Sandra Gauci said: “It is indeed deceitful that in Malta PL and PN manage to pervert the concepts of quotas and representation, when in fact what they are colluding on is a back scratching mechanism, through which they can get 6 extra MPs each, with no effort and no real and deep changes to a system already skewed in their favour. The bill is discriminatory because it is a top-up mechanism which is only set into motion if PL or PN candidates are elected to parliament. Discrimination based on party affiliation is purposefully written into the bill. Some women are more equal than others for Rosianne Cutajar, Bernard Grech, Robert Abela and Claudette Buttigieg. It is ironic that the concepts of  ‘equality’ and ‘quota’ are perverted so much to fit into the PL and PN scheme of things. The top-up system enshrines into law two types of women – privileged Labourite and Nationalist women candidates, and all other women candidates, who are discriminated against.”

ADPD Secretary General Ralph Cassar said that a proper representative electoral system, which incorporates gender representation is achieved by a system in which all votes have equal value. The source of underrepresentation of different genders, different political opinions and also of different backgrounds of people in parliament is a system which reinforces a confrontational duopoly, with parties which are photocopies of each other in nearly everything but name colluding to skew the system in their favour.

“The current system applies the concept of proportionality only to PL and PN. In fact top-up systems are already in place, increasing the size of parliament over and above the 5 MPs per electoral district. This top-up ‘corrective mechanism’, similar to the proposed new gender top-up, applies only to PL and PN. Through this undemocratic mechanism, in 2008 for example, PN got awarded 4 extra seats for the 1580 votes it got more than PL nationwide – 1 MP for just 395 votes spread over the whole country. This perversion of representative democracy can be corrected if a national quota system is introduced through which all votes carry equal weight. Article 52 of the constitution should be emended such that a party obtaining 2.5% or more votes nationally is guaranteed representation.”

“Gender balance, for all genders, in our electoral system is possible if the electoral system reflects different opinions as represented by different parties. A fair system, which does not discriminate between candidates of different parties, including women and non-binary persons, would be a party list system. Party lists should be representative of all genders. In a party-list system voters vote for a party, and candidates are elected according to their position on the list and the proportion of votes obtained by their respective party.”

PL and PN persist in discrimination including against women who happen not to be privileged Labourite or Nationalist women.

Detailed document with our proposals (February 2020):