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This is what we started

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

This is not a column about politics. For almost a decade I have been writing every week about day-to-day things that happen to me, my family and my friends. Sometimes it’s frivolous things, like why are we obsessed with blow dries or how to flush the loo without using your hands; at other times more painful things, like the death of someone dear, or marriage break-up or the coping with a friend’s diagnosis of cancer. Things that, really, can happen to everyone.

But maybe the editor will bear with me if, just for today, I discuss politics. Over the last three-and-a-half years, my personal life became entwined with politics; these last couple of months even more so. And I simply cannot talk about the butterflies I spotted in the garden today, without closing a very important chapter in my life.

My previous experiences of election campaigns were in an independent newsroom. This time round, I was involved directly in a political party campaign. I hasten to add that I chose to be involved – not because I happened to be the partner of the Opposition Leader – but because I was truly inspired by the cause. Like thousands of other people, I believed that we had every right to demanding integrity and honesty out of the top people leading the country.

These three-and-a-half years, I witnessed first hand how a politician can go against the  politika tal-pjaċiri which for decades has been rotting us to the core. For once in our political history someone was actually doing it: not promising the earth, but simply promising a crucial change to the Constitution so that the principles of good governance would be entrenched once and for all.

The real victor is not the one who won the power; the real victor is the one who powered our hearts

In the end, in a freakishly early election called instead of culling heads at the top, people did not vote for the common good, but went for booty handouts.

However, I was, and still am very proud to have formed part of the Forza Nazzjonali campaign. The result was what it was. But it does not take away an inch of the pride I feel. I can look our children in the eye and tell them that this is what we started – the fight against corruption, the fight against the ‘mhux xorta’ attitude.

With the result came the resignations from the Opposition camp; this in a country where the word ‘resignation’ is alien-speak. But that is what good governance is all about – carrying the responsibility and doing it with dignity. It is not about giving up; it is about leading by example. And God knows, in this country we desperately need more people like this, instead of Prime Ministers who snigger and bully to cover their mates’ illicit actions.

It was very disconcerting that during his victory rally, the Prime Minister undemocratically gloated about how this electoral result swept all forms of opposition.

Here’s some news: the mass of people who are no longer fooled by lies won’t be silenced. The number of people who have since wanted to join the cause for clean politics has tripled since the election result came out. People have not stopped coming forth to offer help, because we all realised that what we started was not enough, we need to do more.

We may not have the same man to lead us at the helm, but by God, this does not mean that we are going to stay mum in the face of corrupt practices. Each one of us has to find a different role, and in that role oppose that which would be unacceptable in any other EU country.

The way I see it, the real victor in this is not the man who won at all costs and who used the power of incumbency in the most corrupt of ways. The real victor is not the one who won the power; the real victor is the one who powered our hearts. Our spirit to fight for what is right has been awakened and no one can take that away from us. From now on, we will be intolerant with liars, and equally less tolerant with politicians from both parties who think they are walking saints on earth or who think they are above the law.

In a sense, the mission has been accomplished: we have woken up from the lumber sleep of apathy, to the reality of wanting to make a difference in politics, and this because we were shown that yes, it is possible to be a politician and to be honest.

We will not be silenced. By all means, let’s move on, let’s go about our daily lives, let’s change our roles, our jobs, whatever – but let’s always stand up and speak out for what is right. We owe it to this beautiful land of ours.

[email protected]
Twitter: @krischetcuti

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