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National Contributions – By Lino DeBono

National Contributions - By Lino DeBono “Can a private citizen have a voice in the national sphere? Can one’s voice be heard? Is a citizen only contribution made once every 5 years when s/he go to the polling station to vote? In between these and during these 5 years is s/he forgotten and so rendered useless in one’s ailments?

Many believe so. I tend to counter this with several arguments. Any citizen who follows the national trend of happenings in the social media, yes, can have a voice. A citizen can use to power of the pen which the saying states that “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword” by writing articles – letters – ailments and suggestions through numerous Media facilities. Facebook – Twitter – Aps and other Media news can be very effective. Social – Ambient Groups & Societies all provide a voice, small as may be, but still a voice. Taking part in activities, both organised and unorganised spontaneous marches all of these can make one’s voice heard.

So yes, a citizen voice is not made once every 5 years. One’s voice can be continuous and strongly made all the time. It is simply a question of one’s conviction in what the objectives are formed on. Time shift priorities and issues. Today’s issues are not those of 10 years or 5 years ago. Time stands still for nobody, nor does it remains still for the political or social issues our country faces from time to time.

Citizens are more conscious of the people elected to parliament. They want these elected to deliver and contribute both positively and actively in Parliament during each and every legislation. Citizens want their representatives to be well informed and keeping in touch with both local and European Laws so as to protect and direct our country in the right direction.

Many are the called but few are the chosen. This quote from the Holy Book speaks volumes especially for those entering the political arena. So how does one choose the chaff from the corn when deciding whom to elect? Political Parties tend to entice several people, especially from the professional field, entertainment, Sports, Band Clubs and whatever these believe that these will gather a good percentage of popular votes for their Party. As a consequence each and every political party do introduce many new faces in new elections. A mixture of old and new faces will be forwarded for the electorate to choose from.

So many will be called but as the Holy Book says, few will be chosen. Now crops another vital point for those chosen. Which of these have the faith, believe and convictions in idealist beliefs that make a person viable to hold office and be one of the chosen?

New faces are introduced in each and every elections. Some stay for a long time being re-elected several times through their popularity and some not on the basis as main achievers. Good, but apart from one being popular and being given public exposure on the media, the question will be “what has this individual accomplished? How did the country benefit from his/her being elected? What contribution, projects have the individual achieved during the legislation? Is one’s incompetence hidden so as not to put a bad light on the individual?

On the positive part, Members of Parliament from both sides, do contribute actively/positively in Parliament. Intelligent debates, proposals and serious studies in preparations make these interesting to hear and followed by the electorate. Several simply are there to warm the seats or when they open their mouth bore one to death. Others have never ever opened their mouths or claim they find it hard to climb up the stairs to attend sittings. Some don’t ever bother to take the Adjournment time when it’s their turn. So what classification can be given to these latter ones?

Political parties have a duty upon themselves as well as an obligation to the general public when first and before seeking new candidates, to make a complete vetting of a candidate/s for their beliefs, honesty, financials and integrity. Political Parties have an obligation to the general public to prepare Candidates in Parliamentary affairs – Constitutional Laws – Procedures – and all aspects needed.

At present I view these elements sadly lacking from political parties. Introduction to these elementary basics are essential for better future of our new participants and country.

One can valuate for oneself in deciding with hindsight whom from those not re-elected continue contributing to the general welfare of our Islands. Very, very few, who continue giving any political contribution. Sadly these few are not appreciated by both political spheres and are generally side-lined. Time – experience and hard knocks received through a politician life can form a hard core base elements for valid contributions. Apart from one not being regimented in direct political rules and party obligations, makes one more mature and constructive in political views. Views that are provided from and by these people are worth listening too.

Others which sadly are in the majority simply disappear from the scene as if never ever existed. I believe that political parties have and must take note of this fact. Where these pushed forward only for their local popularity to garner votes? Recent happenings of Parliamentary “Musical Chairs Game” is bringing this so important Institution to ridicule. These Musical Chairs changing is becoming so ridiculous that voters are getting confused whom to vote for. A citizen is right to start questioning the Candidates value of which political parties some are really representing the electorate.

Ideals – believe – hard sincere convictions of the party ideology are a must. I see the Labour Party calling for interesting Women to enlist their interests’ in entering the political arena years beforehand any elections are great steps in the right direction. These women all volunteered and were not “pushed” to enlist. Lessons should be learned from this innovative step.

May our parliament have prepared, dedicated and convicted elected representatives that the citizens will not have to protest or have to take to social media to make their point. Justice – honesty – proficiency, transparency and social aspects in all forms are the priorities people look for and cherish.”

Lino Debono