The Voters without a Ballot Box | Juanita Galea
Updated: Mar 14
In order to start off this analysis, I think it is crucial to set the picture. Malta is a small island state located in the middle of the Mediterranean. It therefore finds itself between two realms— one dominated by the overarching hand of the European Union, and the other by the imagined community composing the MENA region and beyond.
As a population, the Maltese are generally proud of their accession into the European Union, as it symbolised a new Malta which embraced the west and its values of democracy and common values. However, what happens when the West is no longer representing your ideals? We may form part of the democratic West, however the Schadenfreude found locally manifests in an ugly monster of tribalism, in which political discourse is poured like pestilence into the ear of the general populace in the form of propaganda.
Malta has a long standing political tradition composed of two parties grappling for majority over the other. This instantly evokes the image of two individuals grappling at the ends of a rope, lost in a game of tug of war. However what happens when the two parties who are fighting for dominance over the other— trying to win the game, are actually found on the same side? In typical Southern Mediterranean fashion, our passion and emotions do little to inspire us to break away from long standing political associations with a respective party— which is more often than not inherited down from our parents and their ancestors. We have been conditioned to just accept the political scenario as is. The first victim of such a political reality is critical thinking.
Whilst you would expect the two traditional parties to take on a dichotomy of opposing views, lines are now getting blurred. The irony exists within the likeness both parties hold. Contemporarily, there might be an evident difference in their strength and votes respectively. However, they make up with the likeness they share within their views. What they promote has now become inherently identical.
The Labour Party has now been in government since 2013, and are expected to win this election with ease. Placing the many cases of corruption and the damage done to Malta’s reputation aside, if we had to assess the ideology of the current government it could be summed up as ‘give the populace what they want as long as we get a vote’. traditionally, this party was founded upon socialist beliefs. However now it has jumped on the woke train, implementing numerous progressive policy in order to appeal to youth. This works out in the Party’s favour as it gets to take away votes from the disgruntled Nationalist voters who felt that their party was run by conservative dinosaurs. The Nationalist Party, instead of understanding that now is the time to hold steadfast beliefs and not bend the knee to any group-think collective who feel they can dictate the course of an entire country’s policy, have now also bought a ticket on the woke train.
Whilst their movement to the left has not been so in your face, they exhibit this through the candidates they are promoting, and their lack of spine to make concrete timely statements on issues such as cannabis and abortion. The party which was once the party of religio et patria, has abandoned its ideological roots, leaving conservative youth derelict. Without a party which they can relate to and cast their vote to, conservative youths are left with no real representation in government. To say the least, within parliament itself there is no direct representation of any form of real conservatism within Malta. In essence, country lacks a strong conservative movement lead by individuals who have read and studied this ideology which goes beyond the politics— it is in fact a lifestyle.
Locally, without a party representing them or their ideals, conservative youths are left to walk around wondering what to do with their vote. With no outlet for conservative youths to join, some youths choosing to align themselves with more radical leaning groups such as far right movements, which perverse the true conservative movement. Other youths have instead chosen to abandon such conservative values in favour of centrism.
Whilst the situation in Malta might seem bleak at first glance, in the last couple of months I have found new hope. Unlike what mainstream media tries to make seem true, the number of conservative youth is growing. Locally, throughout the last year I have been witness to a growing movement of youth across the island who have come out as conservative. Such individuals are well-read, going beyond the propagandist rhetoric of one party versus another. In the same way, I have found fellow conservative youth— such as the CYOE group. I encourage youth across Europe and beyond not to lose hope. There are others like us who have a desire to live in a world dictated by truth, duty and morality. As Sir Roger Scruton eloquently stated, “The conservatism I shall be defending tells us that we have collectively inherited good things that we must strive to keep”.