Sociologist from Malta

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Op-eds in the Malta Independent

Dear Friends, 

Once again in 2021 I am committed to write my fortnightly Thursday op-ed sociological focus in The Malta Independent print and online editions. Thanks to all readers and staff at The Malta Independent. Best wishes for 2021 ­čÄë


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (75) Kura─í─í

Kura─í─í!

Kura─í─í lil kull min qieg─žed ji─í─íieled il-battalji tieg─žu, fis-silenzju.

Battalji li jistg─žu jin─žassu iktar waqt ┼╝mien il-festi. 

Hemm affarijiet li ma nistg─žux inbiddlu. Fl-istess ─žin ─žadd ma jista' jiddettalna  l-atitudni tag─žna lejn dawn l-affarijiet. Fortunatament je┼╝istu persuni li jistg─žu jg─žinuna inqumu fuq saqajna. U kultant trid tirkeb il-mew─ía minflok ma titkisser ─ío fiha.

I┼╝da hemm affarijiet li jistg─žu jinbiddlu. Biex ikun hemm xaqq ta' tama, kultant je─žtie─í li nkunu kura─í─íu┼╝i u nag─ž┼╝lu dak li hu ─íust, dak li je─žtie─í li jsir. 

Mhux fa─őli. I┼╝da forsi l-providenza tag─ž┼╝el lil dawk l-iktar qalbiena g─žall-ikbar sfidi.

Dal-Milied, nixtieq ng─žid kura─í─í lil min qieg─žed ji─í─íieled il-battalji tieg─žu.







Friday, December 11, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (74) Simulacra and social change

I often get the impression that parallel universes exist in Malta, the small-island which happens to be the tiniest EU member state. 

Let's look at flashy protagonists of the activism/politics/media industry. Networks often support each other, legitimizing each others voices, echoing narratives, covering costs, being selectively critical and assuming that the whole world is watching.

Only that scientific value surveys consistently show that silent majorities have other concerns, and that social change is multifaceted. It goes beyond slogans, likes and photo-opportunities. But as long as we're happy applauding ourselves, that's fine. 




Thursday, December 10, 2020

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (73) Silent majorities and social bubbles

In the news we often read about sensationalist activity which makes snackable media and generates clicks. 

But at the same time, silent majorities may be doing their own thing in silence. Some express contention not through public action, but through their choices and interactions in everyday life. The same holds for those who conform to mainstream norms and values. 

And each and every one of us faces our own contradictions: We conform to certain processes, institutions and norms but do not conform to others. 

From a sociological perspective, if we wish to understand the plurality, intersections and dynamics of people's perspectives and aspirations beyond our own social bubbles, it is important both to study protest, contention and public discourses, but also to investigate the everyday interactions and choices of people beyond the public sphere.





Friday, December 04, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (72) Distorted Communication

In politics and activism, the narrative of the party, faction, group, organization, ideology, identity is often echoed in monolithic ways. 

This often leads to parallel discourses which talk past each other: Social distancing in rhetoric, a far cry from deliberation. 

How about grounding oneself into evidence and opening oneself to different possibilities before reaching conclusions in advance?

Saturday, November 28, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (71) Gatekeepers

There are so many fingers in the pie that it is not surprising that financing of/for political activism - from candidates to crusaders - is elbowed out of the debate. Better choose to be free than to be sucked in the swamp. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (70) Politics of Prejudice

When analysing political controversy we should adopt grounded research rather than allowing pre-determined narratives prejudice our critique.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

─Žsibijiet (69) The usual networks

The usual networks who gang to destroy those not in their club are conspicuous by their silence when it suits them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

─Žsibijiet (68) - Political money

 If one really wants to tackle the financial links between business and politics, one good starting point is to lobby for change in the loophole-ridden electoral expenses/revenue declaration for candidates. One can also look into 'invisible' money (undeclared, camouflaged, in kind etc, both in terms of expenditure and revenue) and agendas of networks close to politicians, both in terms of expenditure and revenue. But there are so many fingers in this pie that I wouldn't hold my breath. Many beneficiaries from this, no wonder it is elbowed out of the agenda!

Monday, November 09, 2020

─Žsibijiet (67): Discursive voids

When contradictory discourses are combined together this is referred to as "‘interdiscursivity’ (Fairclough, 2015, p. 38), where discourses with largely independent and sometimes antagonistic sources combine in novel ways to create a culturally resonant and ideologically potent fusion.” (Matt Guardino, 2017)

Maybe we can take this to another dimension - Tonkiss (1998) refers to 'discursive silence', which in turn is similar to the concept of “nondecision”, which was advanced by Bachrach and Baratz (1970). Here the power of a discourse is expressed in how it is left out of the agenda, for example by elbowing it out in favour of other discourses or by attempting to ignore the elephant in the room.

Such concepts can help us understand how political agents try to influence public discourse, often in contradictory ways. Amid the noise,  such analysis is required to help understand how power works.  

Friday, November 06, 2020

Villas at ─Žal-Fer─ž - Feedback to the Planning Authority

I submitted the following, regarding Public Consultation: Partial Review of the North West Local Plan and the Hal Ferh Development Brief - Phase 2

 

Attn: Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning

nwlp@pa.org.mt

customercare@pa.org.mt


Re:  Partial Review of the North West Local Plan and the ─Žal Ferh Development Brief – Phase 2


With reference to the above, I am hereby reiterating my request with respect to Phase 1 of the same Development Brief (ref. my correspondence dated 30 May 2020). Thus I am requesting that the Planning Authority employs a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) process.  In this regard, please refer to my correspondence dated 31 May 2019 to the PA regarding SIAs. To date, I have not been informed of any policy update in this regard.

A copy of my correspondence can be obtained from this link: 

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist




Tuesday, November 03, 2020

─Žsibijiet (66) - Niddefendu l-plurali┼╝mu u l-libertajiet

Ejjew nipprote─íu l-libertajiet li reb─žu l-─íenerazzjonijiet ta' qabilna kif ukoll dawk ta' ┼╝minijietna. 

Ejjew ukoll nuru rispett lejn persuni, ideat, kulturi u ─žsibijiet differenti, f'kuntest politiku u so─őjali ta' inklu┼╝joni u agoni┼╝mu bejn avversarji, u mhux mibg─žeda u antagoni┼╝mu bejn l-g─žedewwa. 

Sabiex ikun hemm din l-isfera ta' deliberazzjoni, rispett u toleranza, je─žtie─í li jkun hemm sens ta' komunita' u difi┼╝a effettiva tal-valuri ba┼╝i─ői ta' so─őjeta' demokratika u liberali: Dik is-so─őjeta' li fa─őli tikkritikaha, i┼╝da li sadanittant ma narawx nies iridu ja─žrabu minnha.  

Niddefendu l-plurali┼╝mu, i┼╝da mhux akkost li nitilfu l-istess plurali┼╝mu. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

─Žsibijiet (65) - Shooting the messenger

Meta nosserva dak li jintqal u jinkiteb fl-isfera pubblika, ninnota li kemm il-darba jkun hemm nuqqas ta' qbil lejn argument sempli─őiment g─žax ikun g─žamlu xi ─žadd li ma jag─žmilx parti mit-tribu' tag─žna. Hemm bosta tipi ta' tribujiet, minn dawk parti─í─íjani sa dawk fazzjonali, minn dawk ideolo─íi─ői sa dawk attivisti, u minn dawk familjari sa dawk so─őjali.

Tispikka inkonistenza fl-argument meta X hija ttimbrata b─žala ─ža┼╝ina jekk jg─židha jew jag─žmilha A i┼╝da hija a─ő─őettabbli jew sa─žansitra tajba jekk jg─žida jew jag─žmila B. 

Li jkollna affiljazzjonijiet familjarji, attivisti, fazzjonali, ideolo─íi─ői, politi─ői jew o─žrajn hi parti mir-realta' so─őjali. U li jkollna nuqqas ta' qbil jew qbil wara li nevalwaw hi sinjal ta' mo─ž─ž li jag─žrbel u  jirrifletti. 

G─žalhekk tajjeb li qabel ma ninfexxu nobog─ždu, ng─žajru jew ninjoraw lil min ─íej minn xi tribu o─žra, nippruvaw nifmhu x'inhu jg─žid.




 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

─Žsibijiet (64) Ba─íit f'pandemija

Ba─íit f'nofs pandemija m'g─žandux ji─íi interpretat b'diskorsi minn epoki tal-passat, qishom minn kapitli li qed jiddeskrivu kuntesti o─žra. Il-bidliet so─őjali tal-llum, kemm fuq livell komprensiv kif ukoll fil-perspettivi u l-aspirazzjonijiet tan-nies ma jistg─žux ji─íu injorati meta nitkellmu dwar politika ibba┼╝ata fuq l-evidenza.

Hekk kif qed nesperjenzaw il-Covid fatigue u in─őertezzi globali, tajjeb li meta niddeliberaw naraw kif nistg─žu nissalvagwardjaw u nsa─ž─žu dak li qed ja─ždem, li ma niggranfawx ma dak li mhux sostenibbli, li nkunu flessibli u li nag─žmlu l-almu tag─žna sabiex ─žadd ma jibqa lura.

Fuq kollox importanti li nkunu re┼╝iljenti u mg─žamra g─žal kuntest globali iktar stabbli: Kuntest li la nafu meta ─íej, u l-anqas jekk qatt hux ser ji─íi.

Dan mhux ┼╝mien ta' pika parti─í─íjana i┼╝da ta' kif ng─žixu l-isfidi li g─žandna quddiemna, kemm jista' jkun b'sens ta' responsabilita' so─őjali.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

─Žsibijiet (63) 204

Illum rajt nies bil-maskra u o─žrajn le, min jag─žmel is-social distancing u min qisu xejn m'hu xejn, min ifettaq u min jikkoopera. M'hemmx soluzzjonijiet fa─őli: Jin─žtie─íu de─ői┼╝jonijiet sodi, infurzar u sens ta' responsabbilt├á minn kull wa─žda u wie─žed minna. ─Židma flimkien, mhux pika u tg─žajjir f'mument kru─őjali g─žas-socjeta' tag─žna. F'kuntest ta' Covid fatigue, l-inqas li g─žandha b┼╝onn hi li jkun hemm min jipprova jiskurja gowls politi─ői jew min jipprova jrewwa─ž mibg─žeda, xetti─ői┼╝mu, surreali┼╝mu, alabiebi┼╝mu jew sensazzjonali┼╝mu. 

Ejjew inkunu ikbar minn dan kollu. Pajji┼╝ qabel partit. ­čç▓­čç╣



Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Feedback to Public Consultation - Environmental Impact Assessment (Amendment) Regulations, 2020

I have submitted the following to the 
Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning

Deadline - 16 October 2020

Re: Public Consultation - Environmental Impact Assessment (Amendment) Regulations, 2020

With reference to the above, I am hereby proposing that Environmental Impact Assessments comprise Social Impact Assessment (SIA) in accordance with international standards for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment, which is accessible from this link:

May I emphasize that a Social Impact Assessment is a comprehensive process, and not just a one-off survey.

In this regard, please refer to my correspondence dated 31 May 2019 to the PA regarding SIAs. To date, I have not been informed of any policy update in this regard.

A copy of my correspondence can be obtained from this link: 

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist




Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Birgu - Sally Port project requires social analysis

I have sent the following feedback to the Planning Authority. You may send your own representation - details below.

Attn Planning Authority

Email: representations@pa.org.mt

Re: PA 04757/19 - rehabilitation and embellishment of Sally Port Promenade, Birgu

I am hereby submitting the following objection re PA 04757/19 - rehabilitation and embellishment of Sally Port Promenade, Birgu

Whilst recognizing that the area in question requires rehabilitation, the proposed development should be in line with relevant policies (e.g.  'Kottonera Strategy' (issued by the Planning Authority, the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects and the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government) and recognize that is a public space which is enjoyed by the community. 

I therefore appeal to the PA to carry out a social impact assessment before considering this application, in accordance with international standards for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment, which is accessible from this link:

Regards,

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist



Sunday, October 04, 2020

Qui-si-sana: Objection against further noise pollution and commercialisation

Re: 1926 Beach Club, ix-Xatt ta' Qui-Si-Sana, Sliema - Addition of roof garden and seating area over approved structure

I have submitted the following objection to the Planning Authority. Feel free to do the same. You can send an email to address below or object from this link: https://www.pa.org.mt/en/pacasedetails?CaseType=PA/05780/20

To: representations@pa.org.mt

Re: PA/05780/20 

 Attn Planning Authority, 

With reference to the above application, I am hereby objecting. 

The 1926 complex is a continuous source of unacceptable noise pollution for residents, including residents who live less than 100 meters away. Such development will increase such pollution apart from further commercialising the coast. 

I appeal to the PA to carry out a social impact assessment before considering this application, in accordance with international standards for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment, which is accessible from this link:

In this regard, please refer to my correspondence about SIAs dated 31 May 2019 to the PA in link below. To date, I have not been informed of any policy update in this regard. 


Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist



Thursday, September 24, 2020

Feedback to public consultation: Outline application for the construction of a Waste to Energy Plant at Maghtab

 Re: The outline application for the construction of a Waste to Energy Plant at Maghtab


With reference to the public consultation in question, I am hereby appealing to the Ministry to employ a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) process, which is in accordance with international standards for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), which is accessible from this link:

In this regard, please refer to my correspondence dated 31 May 2019 to the PA regarding SIAs. To date, I have not been informed of any policy update in this regard.

A copy of my correspondence can be obtained from this link - Here I propose key elements of SIAs in line with IAIA policy: 

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist




Monday, September 21, 2020

How did Covid19 change Maltese society? A comment to Malta Today

Whilst Covid19 has so far had various uneven impacts on Maltese society, it would be preposterous to reduce social change (or reproduction) to any singular determining factor. On the other hand, one can look into the impacts of a social phenomenon, in this case Covid19 and how it relates to other social phenomena. For example, in the  Maltese economic sphere, industries such as tourism are facing uncertainty, and public finance is constantly under pressure to make up for the crisis. 

At the same time, Malta's dependency on construction seems to be as influential as ever. The world of employment is facing changes: Workers who lost their jobs, others who are adjusting themselves to digital methods, and new challenges for the work-life balance. In turn, this dovetails with sectors such as education and with existing social factors such as class, gender and social status. For there is a difference between a worker on contract in a sector facing precariousness with another worker with job security. 

If one factors in other considerations, such as social integration, diversity, demographic change and caring responsibilities, the equation becomes even more complex, where people share commonalities (for example Covid-driven anxieties) and particularities (for example one's specific family/household situation). 

The reproduction of salient Maltese cultural characteristics can be observed too: A sense of community when facing national challenges, a lack of planning and enforcement in certain policy aspects, personalized and factionalized politics, and the resilience of the consumerist identity in a car-driven society. Each and every one of us faces an extra covid-influenced layer of daily dilemmas and choices in a society of opportunities and risks. We may have more questions than answers . In a social reality made up of plural truths and identities, the challenges of recognising and trusting governance processes and evidence-based knowledge becomes ever more complex. Upcoming conflicting school opening challenges and vaccine narratives may be two cases in point.

My comment was included in a feature by James Debono, which can be read here:

https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/104840/200_days_of_covid_from_excellence_to_shambles#.X2if4z_is2w




Feedback to Consultation re Partial Review of the Ta’ Qali Action Plan (Phase 3)

I have submitted the following regarding the public consultation in question: 

Attn: Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning


Re: Consultation re  Partial Review of the Ta’ Qali Action Plan (Phase 3)

With reference to the public consultation in question, I am hereby appealing to the Ministry to employ a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) process, which is in accordance with international standards for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment, which is accessible from this link:

In this regard, please refer to my correspondence dated 31 May 2019 to the PA regarding SIAs. To date, I have not been informed of any policy update in this regard.

A copy of my correspondence can be obtained from this link: 

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist




Thursday, September 17, 2020

Feedback to public consultation on Water Catchment Management Plan

I have submitted the following: 

Ministry for Energy and Water Management​
(​Energy and Water Agency)
water-energywateragency@gov.mt

Re: Consultation on the Significant Water Management Issues in preparation for the development of the 3rd Water Catchment Management Plan  

Link: 

With reference to the consultation in question, may I propose that the proposal and consultation exercise employs a social impact assessment process, to ensure greater outreach and deliberation with stakeholders. An SIA could produce valuable evidence for policy formation and implementation.  Various methods, both quantitative and qualitative could be used within social impact assessments. The former refers to generalisable data especially through numbers, while the latter produce in-depth data on matters. Research methods in SIAs may therefore include, for example, quantitative perception surveys and qualitative methods  which involve a deeper look into social realities. Besides, elite interviews may verify the advice, concerns and interpretations of persons who are experts or who have experience in the respective field under analysis. SIAs should involve the participation of different stakeholders, ideally through mixed research methods. Analytic indicators should be provided and the entire process should be subject to peer review by independent experts in the field. 

This means that if a study is being carried out by a team of social scientists, this should be scrutinised by other independent social scientists. This could help identify shortcomings and possible improvements to the same SIA.


Social impact assessments should not be one-off exercises: To the contrary, they should be ongoing processes which engage with various stakeholders and which report back so as to ensure effective policy processes. They should also use complementary research methods so as to ensure reliable and valid data.


In this regard, you may refer to international SIA standards, for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment, which is accessible from this link:


Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist









─Žsibijiet (62) Narrattivi pubbli─ői

Pajji┼╝na mhux nieqes mill-kontroversji so─őjali. 

Kemm il-darba ninnota li jin─žolqu narrattivi li ji─íu ripetuti fl-isfera pubblika, minn netwerks differenti u f'setturi varji, illi mhux bilfors ikunu ibba┼╝ati fuq evidenza jew pro─őess deliberattiv. Jistrie─žu fuq twemmin li n-netwerk "tieg─ži" bilfors g─žandha monopolju fuq il-verita' u interessi le─íittimi. Fl-istess ─žin, min mhux mag─žna huwa bilfors kontra tag─žna. Ma jimpurtax jekk ─žaddie─žor isaqsi mistoqsijiet jew sa─žansitra jippre┼╝enta evidenza li ma taqbilx man-narrattivi ta' dawn in-netwerks.  Anzi, ─íaladarba dak il-─žaddie─žor mhux wie─žed minnha, niddemoni┼╝┼╝awh, g─žax bilfors ─ža┼╝in. ─Žalliha li nag─žmluha tal-bravi u tal-inklussivi.

Anali┼╝i ta' dan it-tip ta' fazzjonali┼╝mu dommatiku, ta' dawn il-pro─őessi ta' poter tista' ssir dwar kwistjonijiet, organi┼╝azzjonijiet u kampanji spe─őifi─ői. Jistg─žu ji─íu anali┼╝┼╝ati id-diskors, il-kompo┼╝izzjoni u l-iffinanzjar tan-netwerks, l-interessi, l-istrate─íiji u l-antagoni┼╝mi fost inkontri u pro─őessi so─őjali o─žra.


Navigating through Covid - Michael Briguglio

In my op-ed in today's Malta Independent I discuss various dilemmas which we face when navigating through Covid-19.

You can read the article here:

https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2020-09-17/blogs-opinions/Navigating-through-COVID-6736226986


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Feedback to public consultation on the trapping of finches

My feedback to public consultation: Conservation of Wild Birds (Framework for Allowing a Research Derogation To Determine Malta’s Reference Population of Seven Finch Species) Regulations, 2020

 Attn:

Ministry for Gozo 
(Wild Birds Regulation Unit)
wildbirds@gov.mt

With reference to this public consultation, I am submitting the following points for your consideration.

1. The policy proposal will allow trappers to keep the birds they trap without any form of enforcement or accountability. This goes against the spirit of the policy framework in question 
2. The scope of the scientific study should be to improve the conservation of finches rather than to be used as a political excuse to derogate from the directive in question. The methodology requires scientific accreditation and independent peer review.
3. The methodology being proposed will allow around 4,000 non-scientifically trained people to trap birds simultaneously using live decoys and electronic lures in a small island state. This looks like a case of over-pressure on migrating finches. The methodology requires scientific accreditation and independent peer review.
4. The proposal and consultation exercise requires a social impact assessment process, even more so since the policy proposal looks tailor made to accomodate one lobby amid a much broader field of stakeholders. An SIA could produce valuable evidence for policy formation and implementation.  Various methods, both quantitative and qualitative could be used within social impact assessments. The former refers to generalisable data especially through numbers, while the latter produce in-depth data on matters. Research methods in SIAs may therefore include, for example, quantitative perception surveys and qualitative methods  which involve a deeper look into social realities. Besides, elite interviews may verify the advice, concerns and interpretations of persons who are experts or who have experience in the respective field under analysis. SIAs should involve the participation of different stakeholders, ideally through mixed research methods. Analytic indicators should be provided and the entire process should be subject to peer review by independent experts in the field. 

This means that if a study is being carried out by a team of social scientists, this should be scrutinised by other independent social scientists. This could help identify shortcomings and possible improvements to the same SIA.


Social impact assessments should not be one-off exercises: To the contrary, they should be ongoing processes which engage with various stakeholders and which report back so as to ensure effective policy processes. They should also use complementary research methods so as to ensure reliable and valid data.

 

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist


Photo: The Malta Independent


Monday, September 07, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (61) Klassi┼╝mu politiku

Meta wie─žed janali┼╝┼╝a l-istrate─íiji ta' dawk li je─ő─őellaw fl-esklu┼╝joni ta' min ma jappartjenix fin-netwerks tag─žhom, wie─žed jista jinnota diskors selettiv u kontradittorju. Id-diskors ji─íi anali┼╝┼╝at kemm b'dak li jintqal, kif ukoll b'dak li ma jintqalx: Dak li ji─íi mwarrab mill-a─íenda politika.

In-nuqqas ta' trasparenza tikkumplika l-affarijiet. Izda anali┼╝i strutturata ta' dan il-klassi┼╝mu politiku jurik kif jitfasslu dawn in-netwerks, kif u meta to─žro─í il-propaganda u x'g─žodda tintu┼╝a g─žal dan il-g─žan.  

 





  

Feedback to Public Consultation - Aarhus Convention National Implementation Report 2021

I submitted the following with regards to this public consultation.

 To: 

aarhus.malta@era.org.mt
Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning
(
Environment & Resources Authority)

Re: Public Consultation - Intent and Objectives: Consultation on the Aarhus Convention National Implementation Report 2021
Link: 
https://meae.gov.mt/en/Public_Consultations/MECP/Pages/Consultations/IntentandObjectivesConsultationontheAarhusConventionNationalImplementationReport2021.aspx

With reference to above, I hereby propose that the policy process employs a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) process, which is in accordance with international standards for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment, which is accessible from this link:

In this regard, please refer to my correspondence dated 31 May 2019 to the PA regarding SIAs. To date, I have not been informed of any policy update in this regard.

A copy of my correspondence can be obtained from this link: 

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist




Sunday, August 30, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (60) Dibattiti u Due Diligence

Fil-futur qrib, it-tesserati tal-Partit Nazzjonalista ser jikkonfermaw lil Adrian Delia jew jag─ž┼╝lu lil Bernard Grech b─žala Kap tal-Partit. 

F'isem it-trasparenza u d-demokrazija, nemmen li t-tesserati u l-pubbliku g─žandhom dritt li jkunu mg─žarfa dwar id-due diligence ta┼╝-┼╝ew─í kandidati u li jaraw dibattiti bejnithom.

Nittama li din tkun elezzjoni fejn ti─íi rispettata l-intelli─íenza ta' min ser jivvota. Fejn ikun hemm deliberazzjoni bejn ideat, stili, proposti u persuna─í─íi differenti, u mhux strate─íiji sensazzjonalisti u distruttivi minn wara l-kwinti. 



Thursday, August 27, 2020

The breakdown of Omerta'

Today's court hearings regarding the murder of #DaphneCaruanaGalizia:

Last November 23rd, I sensed a breakdown of omerta'. In my blog I wrote as follows:

"When Mizzi and Schembri were not fired during the Panama Papers scandal it was clear that they had disproportionate power within the ruling elite.
The recent turn of events indicates that implosion may be knocking at the door of the same elite. The requests for presidential pardons hints the breakdown of omerta' and the spread of distrust and panic. Government's refusal to urgently discuss matters in Parliament, as requested by the Opposition suggests that the ruling elite is trying to cover up its newly found weakness and confusion by stonewalling debate. It is trying to put on a brave face behind precarious unity. A waiting game is in place, but in the meantime cans of worms may still be opened within the judicial process. Behind the apparent unity of the power bloc, elites may be calculating the best way to save themselves.
In such instances I admire those who see the bigger picture and act accordingly, irrespective of their affiliations and orientations. There are plural possible political outcomes, but the great unifier is that the current situation is untenable"

Thursday, July 30, 2020

#─Žsibijiet (59) - Il-vot ta' din il-─íimg─ža

Fil-kontroversja kurrenti dwar il-PN, ftit ta’ ─íimg─žat ilu jien u o─žrajn ipproponejna li l-kwistjoni tmur g─žand il-Kunsill ─áenerali u g─žand it-tesserati. 

Dan g─žax hekk titlob id-demokrazija u g─žax ─žadd m’g─žandu jqis il-partit b─žala propjeta’ tieg─žu. 

B─žalissa il-fazzjonijiet qed jag─žmlu l-almu tag─žhom biex jipperswadu lill-kunsilliera dwar il-vot ta’ din il-─íimg─ža. 

Kollox sew, sakemm kul─žadd jimxi man-normi tad-di─őenza u rispett. Sfortunatament fil-politika tas-sensazzjonali┼╝mu u tas-soundbites, dawn i┼╝-┼╝ew─í fatturi kemm il-darba jing─žataw il-─íemb anke jekk iwe─í─íg─žu nies tad-demm u l-la─žam. 

B─žala kunsillier nemmen li kul─žadd g─žandu l-intelli─íenza tieg─žu biex jasal g─žal g─ža┼╝la ─žielsa waqt il-vot. 

Personalment jien dejjem ippruvajt inkun fair, tajt il-kontribut li stajt, irrispettajt lill-kollegi tieg─ži, qatt ma ppretendejt xejn u qatt ma kont fil-but ta’ ─žadd jew membru ta’ xi tribu. U hekk ser nibqa’.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Feedback to public consultation: Wellbeing First: A Vision for Malta’s Environment, National Strategy for the Environment 2050

I have submitted the following feedback regarding this public consultation.

To: 
nse@era.org.mt
Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning
(Environment & Resources Authority)

Re: Public Consultation: Wellbeing First: A Vision for Malta’s Environment, National Strategy for the Environment 2050


The process to have a national strategy for Malta's environment is welcome in principle. In this regard, I would like to propose that both the articulation of the strategy as well as its implementation, employ the respective processes of Social Impact Assessments (SIA), in accordance with international standards for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment, which is accessible from this link:

In this regard, please refer to my correspondence dated 31 May 2019 to the PA regarding SIAs. To date, I have not been informed of any policy update in this regard.

A copy of my correspondence can be obtained from this link: 

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist