Constitutional change should not strengthen 2-party duopoly

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that it is bizarre to have the Nationalist and Labour parties being both reported to be open to discuss constitutional change to avoid situations where a government ends up with a one-seat majority in Parliament. AD said that what is needed is real electoral reform so that Malta moves closer to other European democracies.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said: “The two-party system is bankrupt, and there is no guarantee that it will lead to stability, even if a party in power has more than a one-seat majority. The Nationalist and Labour parties should read the writing on the wall and join AD in the call for updating Malta’s electoral system so that it can be in line with that of established European democracies. Cross-party stable governments are the norm in the EU.”.

“Whilst AD agrees that candidates should be elected from their respective district, as is the case right now, we are also calling for a national quota for a party to be represented in Parliament. This system would be similar to that of highly-developed democracies such as Germany. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that all countries in Europe, including minnows such as San Marino, have more than two parties in Parliament. Hence, PN and PL should follow the examples of our European counterparts, rather than strengthen the stagnant 2-party system”.

Ralph Cassar, AD General Secretary said: “AD favours stability through real changes in electoral reform not through patch work aimed at accommodating partisan interests of the two parties currently represented in parliament. What is being proposed is another piece of patch work aimed at perpetuating a two party system which is in crisis because both parties know that they cannot hold together the contradictory views of MPs elected on their behalf. Coalitions of parties on agreed programmes ensure more stability and reforms than coalitions of individuals in a 2-party duopoly.”

Prof. Arnold Cassola, AD spokesperson on EU and International Affairs, stated: “It is amazing how this proposal, which originated from Labour’s Michael Falzon, has now been embraced by PN whip David Agius.  The hunger for absolute power by a one party government is simply insatiable.  Do PN and PL realise that this proposal goes against all basic tents of EU democratic pluralism?  Does Malta want to be isolated by its EU partners like its Hungary counterpart because of the arrogance of its Prime Minister Orban?  What Malta needs is the widening of pluralism to respect the diversity of Maltese public opinion and not institutionalising further the helplessness of a two party parliament and the arrogance of a one party government”