Dad, political sociologist, local councillor, drummer from Malta

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

A democracy that tramples upon checks, balances and accountability is treading on dangerous ground


Before the 2013 General Elections, when I chaired Alrernattiva Demokratika The Green Party, I experienced fierce criticism from Daphne Caruana Galizia and others. 

It hurt and caused me terrible anxiety. What hurt me more was that certain 'friends' did not empathize: neither face-to-face nor in public, unlike other true friends- those who are always there come rain or shine. 

But I always thought that Daphne had every right to criticize me, as this is a basic freedom in a democracy. She is a journalist, and good journalists do their job. 

I have the same thoughts for state propagandist Glenn Bedingfield, who criticized me big time during the Panamapapers civil society protest which I co-organized. Strong democracies require criticism and diverging views. 

In short, I have no brief for Daphne. But today's garnishee order against her is over the top and should be opposed by all those who believe in the basic norms of democracy. Some have already spoken up. I hope others do so too. I personally couldn't give a hoot about partisan politics when basic democratic norms are threatened.

See also: Carmel Cacopardo's blog on the matter. Click here




1 comment:

Paul Sant-Cassia said...

I read your comment and I commend you for your frankness. It seems to me that this aspect of the law ought to be changed and that it is this provision enabling politicians to muzzle journalists by such sanctions that is a threat to democracy. Presumably this law was enacted with the support of at least one party...and perhaps another party was complacent or complicit in this. Can somebody please give us the history of this law? What was the position of political parties on this? Why has it remained on the statute books? And has any party campaigned to remove it? If not, should there not be civil pressure, including by journalists to have it removed.