Malta : the only European country with just two parties in Parliament

Malta : the only European country with just two parties in Parliament

If you believe we need to strenghten democracy and that the electoral laws need to be reformed before the next election write on this blog.

When Lawrence Gonziu was addressing EPP meeting and he spoke about values did he tell them he suffoctaes dissent and destroys whoever does not agree with him? Did he tell them we are the only European country having just two political parties represented in parliament?

Is representation not a value? Our electoral law makes it impossible for a new party to make it to parliament. Within civil society there is a great wish for a breath of fresh air and new political formations. People are fed up of politicians like Austin Gatt and Carm Mifsud Bonnici who think a parliamentary seat is a hereditary title.

We are the only European exception having just two parties in Parliament. Does our political system really value the principle of respresentation or has it slowly bust surely degenerated into an oligarchy. We have no Law on Party Financing and no Law on the Autonomy of Parlaiment, which is run on th elines of a government department.

Moreover our system does not tolerate dissent but is hell bent on suffocating it.

Probably Alternattiva Demokratika have also not proved to be a a credible party and that could well be another reason why we have not had a third party in Parliament since 1966. They seem to lack any sort of strategy


The Electoral Law need extrensive reforms especially to respect the fundamental value of representation in that as many different shades of public opionion should be represented in Parliament.

  • Lawrence of Arabia
    Posted at 09:07h, 11 September

    Franco you should form a new Party with JPO, you two are strong enough, Malta and Gozo needs a third party so no one F***KS around with us.

  • Zeppi
    Posted at 00:54h, 11 September

    Dear Dr. Debono,

    Are you still considering to start a new party??? I am eager for more details.

    I really wish we have a true third party in Parliament since we are passing laws and motions which would be passed or evaporated depending which party is proposing. We need a Parliament which can pass Laws and Motions considering the benefit not the party which is proposing.

  • Della Valle
    Posted at 14:29h, 09 September

    Mr debono, I would like to ask a sincere question ‘re your quest for a new party. Can you explain how and in what way can an independent candidate be elected in parliament? Does he have to get about 6000 votes from the district or can he go out on all the country as the European union candidates election.I am asking this as I cannot see a single candidate getting a quota from one district ever especially if not linked to mlpn. Another thing I would like to add or better suggest ,is that if you do go for this new party can you leave out the word nationalist as I think that lately this word has been abused enough by the existing pn and I cannot associate myself with it. Do not get me wrong but I feel very nationalist although not pn but every time I hear the word I feel like I have an internal conflict so I would suggest that the name of the new party should be the Maltese democratic party so people from all backgrounds can feel comfortable.
    I wish you luck if you decide to move forward.

  • Kburi li Zurrieqi
    Posted at 13:44h, 09 September

    The only countries with 2 parties in parliament are: Malta, USA and Jamaica. So Dr. Debono is absolutely spot on to point this out to us.

  • D. Borg
    Posted at 12:58h, 09 September

    ‘…Alternattiva Demokratika have also not proved to be a a credible party and that could well be another reason why we have not had a third party in Parliament since 1966. They seem to lack any sort of strategy..’

    AD surely is trying to bite more than it can chew, trying to express its views on everything – albeit with limited resources.

    However it is somewhat rich to state that AD has not proved to be credible – at least on that count only, AD has never tried to fool anyone – on the contrary.

    The fact that AD has yet to be represented in parliament is simply due to the undemocratic and unrepresentative electoral laws planned and drafted by the PNPL….. which I already had opined you ought to use your ‘position’ to induce the overdue reform, otherwise everything that you have worked for will end up effectively sidelined.

    • Franco Debono
      Posted at 13:03h, 09 September

      @ D. borg:

      if AD had any sort of rudimentary strategy they would take up my proposals for reform in the elctoral law and party financing instead of playing Austin gatt s game who has been against both

      • D. Borg
        Posted at 15:38h, 09 September

        Dear Dr. Debono
        Pls let’s not get into the same PNPL zero-sum politics….
        AD has been striving for the electoral reforms and transparent party financing for ages, in its own (possibly ineffective) way – thus let’s draw the positive out of it.
        My point is that people who have divergent opinions on various things, and who may also have ample reservations about any other person’s/group’s personality and methodology, may still decide to build a common front to try and achieve something that is far more important (especially in the long-term).

  • jack
    Posted at 10:08h, 09 September

    The USA too has a bi-partisan representation – is that some form of threat to democracy?

    • Franco Debono
      Posted at 10:33h, 09 September

      @ jack :

      FACT : Malta is the only European country having just two parties in Parliament. Why? You have any feedback or explanation? is it because of the electoral laws or because of the electoral laws plus the fact AD were never a credible alternative lacking strategy and vision?

      the american constituion is the most democratic having a strict separation of powers. the role of parties in a presidential system is different from that in parliamentary systems.

      • jack
        Posted at 10:53h, 09 September

        You can form the third party – the moral successor of the “il-farfett” party.

        • Franco Debono
          Posted at 10:58h, 09 September

          @ jack :

          if the PN comntinues to shrink as it did in MEP elections, local councils elections and divorce referendum it will be tal-farfett il-lejl not just tal-farfett

  • Borg
    Posted at 21:50h, 08 September

    The time is right for a new party. There is still something not quite right with the Labour Party. One of the good things done by Dr. Alfred Sant, has been reversed, namely the old clique is back to their fold. This move alone, to someone like me, has pushed me away totally from their ‘movement’. Additionally, the PL seem too focused on looking good to everyone, and, in my opinion, are not convincing in terms of policy and principles. On the other hand, PN has been in power for too long. They still have the best people, but something has to change…maybe a new party might bring about some change. Not to sure if such a change would be positive though, still have to be convinced!

    • thomas hedley
      Posted at 09:12h, 09 September

      Mr Borg,we’ll soon find out if the labour party is good or not..We had to endure all this time because people like you wanted to try the capitalist nationalist government…Now you will have to bare with us…If I was a true nationalist,I would be eager to see this party in opposition,so that(maybe) it is renewed…I will say it again..With a labour victory,the party who would profit the most is the nationalist party

      • Camillu
        Posted at 11:35h, 09 September

        Just like the Labour Party renewed itself after 1998.

        • thomas hedley
          Posted at 13:05h, 09 September

          No it didn’t Camillu….And the PN better take heed of this lesson in history..The Labour party(not the supporters in general,but the delegati),wanted to go on with AS,maybe so the status quo won’t be challenged,and we all know the results…
          This was my parallel universe ideal for the labour party back then..Thank Alfred Sant for the services,and let George Abela take over…It would have been a Very Different story altogether..Imagine if both parties agreed on EU membership,and they tried to discuss together the best possible deal..We would have got a much better deal(instead of the yes-no no-yes battle that wasted millions and months and months)
          I believe that the Labour party has in a way renewed now..The difference in the mentality of the leader is present and it is affecting most of the other members…Now whether the PL will have the right tools to govern(I am hearing a lot about businessman that refuse on purpose to work with a labour government just to make spokes in the wheels,which I hope is just a myth),that’s another story…But this I know for sure…At least this is a democratic country(apart from the fact that every party in government takes hold of the national station to pump out its propaganda,which is extremely unfair to the other party),and if a party in government doesn’t perform,we will change it….
          Now tell me where is the democracy in the European union????? We vote for the Eu membership before we get in,and once we get in,we cannot assess it again democratically,to see if it has worked for us or not…Don’t you think that if,after 10 years of membership,a referendum was held,asking if we want to stay in or not,it would be more democratic? Now we know what is the EU,and we can evaluate much better if it is good or not for us….It would be more democratic for sure…But it is not in the agenda of the EU to care about what the normal people think about it…Infact they don’t even care what mps in the same union think when they criticize it….UKIP Nigel Farage,who I deem fit for the title of modern day Mintoff for the UK,has been constantly shut down by the Democratic EU president and secretary,just for saying what he thinks,and the results are all proving him right….
          So here is how the eu thinks…Our aim(even if it was never publicly declared) is to make one European superstate(could never ever be)..Now people,it is a sin to speak in the interest of your own country(which taparsi you represent)…You have to speak in the interest of the EU…and we don’t care if people are suffering..Our aim will be met,even if we have to endure a revolution,extremism and civil war..
          And what is the EU for me….Apart that the initial concept of block of free trade was attractive,the EU IN 2012 is a project gone terribly wrong,and it is starting to show very clearly…
          It is like that some players were registered as members with a football club,and as time passed,this football club has turned into a tennis club…My final thought is that with the problems coming from the outside world,mainly the EU,we need two strong,nationalistic movements which,whoever is in power,will fight for our rights day and night…..

          • Grilled Angus Beef
            Posted at 14:18h, 09 September

            A very interesting reflection Mr Hedley. I too think that although I agree in principle to the EU I do not believe it is working properly.
            There are times I compare Brussles to a communist state, where the chosen elite, decide dogmatically what has to happen in its member states, there are times I consider it as a Center where bureaucratic people who have never worked a day in thier life consolidate their position and that of their followers.
            Brussles is a financial drain in itself for many state countries.
            The people who “work” there live a lavish life at the expense of the tax payers- away from the eyes of who is paying.
            We as Maltese have sent there all the leeches and trouble makers we had connected to politics.
            EU like many other organizations in principle is good- but it has never worked, and I have my doubts it ever will.
            Remember the promises of a bigger market for Maltese products? how much has our export increased?
            We have become a lazy leech, drawing some financial benefits from other countries that produce and in return becoming a haven for those people in these countries that want to cheat on TAX.

  • mario allison
    Posted at 20:13h, 08 September

    Illum Malta qed ticcelebra il waqa tal faxxismu li il partit nazzjonalista kien parti indirett fih, anke mussolini kellu l oligarkija,ghal min tinterresah l istorja,Fil hajja l istorja ghandha it tendenza li tirrepeti ruha, u illum qed nergaw nejxuha ,anke mussolini kien jehles min dawk li ma kienux jaqblu mieghu anke jekk ikunu vicini tieghu.Illum smajt li gonzi qal li il PN hu partit tal maltin kollha.L IKBAR GIDBA TAS SEKLU 21, ….SAQSU LIL FRANCO?????… M HEMMX LABURIST IMGIDDEM IMEXXU ID DIPARTIMENTI TAL GVERN

  • tadinda
    Posted at 20:03h, 08 September

    There is only one conclusion after reading the speech given by our PM to the EPP. He is such a hypocrite.

  • Danger Man
    Posted at 19:20h, 08 September

    Dr. Debono,

    At above site, I asked you following:

    Danger Man
    Sep 05, 2012 @ 17:46:49

    Dr. Debono, how feasible would it be for you to form a new political party with so-called GonziPN dissidents?

    Unfortunately, I received no answer.

  • john
    Posted at 19:16h, 08 September

    Amen Amen Franco….. You’re right 100%

  • Fullstop
    Posted at 18:54h, 08 September

    F’dan il-pajjiz mafjuz fejn it-taparsi demokrazija qedgha hemm biex taqdi dejjem l-istess familji, ftit jew xejn se jhallu c-cans li jkun hemm iktar minn partit wiehed. L-akbar MONUMENT ta’ kemm dan il-pajjiz huwa korrot huma l-kmamar illegali li ghandna madwar il-costa u sahansitra mas-swar u ara hawnx xi membru parlamentari jitkellem fuqhom. Pjaga ohra huma s-servizzi socjali li kull politikant jaf li hemm bzonn revizzjoni mill-qieh, imma tisma xi membru parlamentari jitkellem??…..LE……. U zgur li le. MONUMENT ta’ kemm dan il-pajjiz huwa mafjuz hu l-isptar il-gdid miljuni ta’ liri fuq miljuni ta’ liri u s-servizz mar ghall-ghar!!!! MONUMENT iehor hija l-power station ghada mhix lesta u qed jahsbu li jbidlu s-sors minn kif originat biex tahdem………INKREDIBBLI. MONUMENT iehor it-trasport publiku l-istess, miljuni ta’ liri u flok attirajna il-min ma kienx juzah spiccajna gerixna il-min kien juzah u tista tibqa sejjer ……… LE Franco mhux partit iehor hemm bzonn imma mewga kbira li taghtina….. u minn isalva jibda mill-gdid.

  • il-Bully
    Posted at 18:14h, 08 September

    My good friend.
    Please do not rush, I guess I am twice your age and my life experience have guided me to believe men will talk the talk but when you look back you see a few will walk the walk. If you decide by all means do it but please do not count to ten try counting a hundred before you say this is the road I take. This is a lonely road and a lot will came to wish you luck but few will hang on.
    Remember Mintoff when he tried a come back the second time how he was mugged.
    There is a saying: Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all.
    These are the people who you will be facing, lawless, unjust and an—-s.

  • Fleur
    Posted at 18:11h, 08 September

    Tahseb li Gonzi ha jhalli li tinbidel il ligi biex isseh ix xewqa tal poplu u jkollna par iehor?
    Mela ma tafx kemm kien hambaq EFA qabel l elezzjoni biex nghatu in numri kolla lil partit nazzjonalista.
    Ried jibla kollox u jien l ewwel wahda obdejt.
    Mhux hekk jaqbillhom! Imma ghalijja u ghal Maltin x jaqbel?
    Illum nemmen li ghandu jkollna iktar min partit iehor gewwa Malta taghna,u li l ligi elettorali ghanda titranga biex dan ikun possibli.
    Viva Malta u l Maltin!

  • John Camilleri
    Posted at 18:04h, 08 September

    Does having 2 parties make a country undemocratic? Ever heard of the USA? Is that country not democratic?

    • Franco Debono
      Posted at 18:13h, 08 September

      @ john camilleri :

      who told you that? first of all the american system is a presidential system with strict separation of powers between the president (our prime minister) and parliament. seconfly parties in the US are very different from ours.


      Malta is the only European country with just two parites in parliament. cn you deny that we are the only exception?

  • Jovetic
    Posted at 17:52h, 08 September

    Shame on us. We definitely need a new party. Franco, even though someone to make fun of you called you ” a simple village lawyer”, show everyone your worth and launch a new party….a true democratic people’s party.

  • robert
    Posted at 17:51h, 08 September

    it would be very difficult for a new party to have someone elected unless the electoral systeem is changed or a number of pn MPs join you .

  • M
    Posted at 17:50h, 08 September

    You’re right that we have a ridiculously anti-pluralist electoral system, but intellectually dishonest as always – you’re only fussing about this now that you can’t play the MLPN electoral game.

    • Franco Debono
      Posted at 17:51h, 08 September

      i have been speaking about electoral reform since my first speech in parliament. go see it. the dishonest one is you

      • M
        Posted at 19:00h, 08 September

        No, Franco. You spoke about redistricting (ghax ja hasra, ‘sfajt orfni’ ta’rahal twelidek. It’s always all about you).

        • Franco Debono
          Posted at 19:08h, 08 September

          From my first speech in Parliament : May 2008

          Wasal iż-żmien ukoll illi tinstab konverġenza dwar il-liġi elettorali, b’mod speċjali dak li jokkonċerna bdil fil-konfini elettorali. L-ispirtu tal-liġi elettorali għandu jkun dejjem illi r-rieda tal-poplu tiġi riflessa bl-aktar mod fidil possibbli fil-komposizzjoni ta’ dan il-Parlament u fir-rispett tal-governabilita’.

          • M
            Posted at 20:43h, 08 September

            Yes. I read it. It does not mean what you say it does. The only thing you’re clear about in that part of your speech is your great suffering and the need for electoral laws to suit you (although I do agree with you on party financing; shame your thesis was crap)

          • Franco Debono
            Posted at 23:49h, 08 September

            M :

            enough is enough now. you should be really rude.

            i had to contest a district where a minister dished out public contracts to certain constituents a magisterial inquiry found out. remember? i had to contest a district where i couldnt even organise a party because of great spies. so I had to keep ultra low profile.

            what are you thinking? it is easy to contest a district where two ministers and a parliamentary secretary possibly considered you a threat ? you think they made my life very easy? but I always kept mouth shut and worked harder

            mela hallini ara! cos i never got any opportunities and i am fed up of being in the shadow just becuase others in power are afraid of my qualities

          • M
            Posted at 02:37h, 09 September

            Whenever you appear to change the subject you simply confirm that the subject is you.

          • BETTER FUTURE
            Posted at 14:40h, 09 September

            Dear M, it is always personal. Because we are humans and we show concern firstly to ourselves, then to our nearest and so on and so on. Whatever thoughts cross our mind, whether wise, stupid, popular or selfish, it is always about us. Of course, then these some thoughts would apply to many others, more or less equally. That is why people with similar ideas get together to push their ideas forward. This is natural and applies even to the animal kingdom. Then it is a question of choosing whose ideas are best and which ones would help the most people.

      • M
        Posted at 20:08h, 09 September

        Lovely platitudes there Better Future, but ideas that change according to personal circumstances are not best described as ideas – they are pretexts.

          Posted at 08:06h, 10 September

          Dear M, agreed, but that is not what we are talking about here. Then again, ideas should not be fossilised as this would make them obsolete. Just trawl through history for examples.

  • Spiteri
    Posted at 17:49h, 08 September

    Just goes to show you how deeply rooted in the past our nation is. Fear of change is one of our greatest vices which is hindering our cultural and intellectual progress.

    • Franco Debono
      Posted at 17:50h, 08 September

      mental and intellectual suffocation. Either you are a lackey, submissive and you succumb to the Evil Clique or you have problems with the system.

      • Ella
        Posted at 23:10h, 08 September

        agree totally! ask the thousands of Maltese who effectively feel that they are living in exile abroad because they have had problems with the system and just couldn’t take it anymore.

      • thomas hedley
        Posted at 00:26h, 09 September

        Emminni Dr Debono,din f kull qasam tinsab hawn Malta..Fil qasam tieghi,li hija l muzika,rajt hafna nies jghamlu success iktar minni u jkollom xoghol iktar ghal raguni li 1)kellhom genituri jippuxxjawhom,jew kuntatti ma nies tal klikka(u nista nsemmi nies li anki inti personali taf)
        2)jew li huma laqa mit twelid,u jaslu ghal kollox biex jidhru
        3) huma nies fitti u anki jekk ikollom prodott tan nelh,xorta ghandhom l ego jippromowtjawh sakemm dak li jkun jiddejjaq u jakkomodahom
        Dan minghajr ma nsemmi favuri sesswali u hekk

        Naturalment hawn hafna kapaci wkoll,imma ironikament,iktar rajt persuni b talent minsijin iktar minni,milli rajthom jirnexxu…Ghallura tistaqsi..xi haga hazina hawn fis sistema?
        Din tigri f kollox hawn Malta..politika,anki fl isports,u specjalment fuq il post tax xoghol…..Imma l qofol ta din is sistema nahseb bdiet mill irhula taghna….Gieli qrajtu xi ktieb Malti antik,fejn ikunhemm familja tibla kollox,u tkun korrotta,ghalkemm tmur il knisja kuljum u taparsi tghamel il beneficenza?
        dil mentalita’ trid tinbidel..Ghandna nahdmu biex indahhlu l meritokrazija u l fairness f kollox…..Xi darba nghidlek xi grali personali is sena l ohra jien fil music awards,u tinduna li certu affarijiet hawn Malta tant huma accettati,li jekk ifettillek titkellem fuqhom jghidulek sore loser,mentri tkun taf li ghandek ragun