01 Aug 2012 A case study in political science : the delia paradox
Could it be that recent facts are immortalised in political science as the phenomenon of the delia paradox and applied as a yardstick in political science textbooks?
If, as Mario Monti said a politician looks at the next election whilst a statesman looks at the next generations, the political scientist takes a bird’s eye view and analyses objectively.
And i think recent political events have provided political scientists worldwide with formidable material for a case study about the relationship between a political party and a democratic constitution.
Is the party greater than the people in a democracy? Or when that happens, that is, when a political party becomes greater than all, including the constituion, democracy has broken down? Can this be a lithmus test for democracy?
In Malta Manuel Delia was one of the main brains behind the public transport fiasco which erupted a public outrage for months and which is still ongoing. Together with his boss, Minister Austin Gatt he was responsible for a failed reform which cost the Maltese people millions of euros in its implimentation as well as material and moral damages, if ever it is going to be quantified.
None of them has to date resigned.
A government member of parliament, being a representative of the people, abstained in parliament in a no confidence vote in Minister Gatt as the minister responsible for the gross mismanagement in implementing the reform. The doctrine of individual ministerial responsibility is part of the Maltese constitution. In normal countries especially those of the EU ministers resign without waiting for the Opposition to present motions further embarrasing their government.
The no confidence motion failed only due to the Speaker’s casting vote. The minister still did not resign and in a subsequent cabinet reshuffle, he was not removed from cabinet.
Back to the party Minister Gatt, in vindictive mode, objected to the dissenting member’s candidature for the next election, because, inter alia he had abstained in his no confidence motion, whilst at the same time pushing Manuel Delia as a candidate in the same district of the dissenting member.
Not only did Minister Gatt and his staff including Delia not resign for their dimal performance and blatant mismanagement, but back in the party Minister Gatt is blocking the candidature of the person who objected to his mismanagement, precisely, amongst others, becauseof that objection!
I hope this episode furnishes political scientists worldwide with formidable material for a case study into the relationship between political parties, the constitution and the people in a democracy.
Possibly a formula is devised in political science, which could be given the label ‘ a delia paradox’ whereby such behaviour indicates totaliatarianism where the party is greater than all.