For many of us youths, this shall be our first experience of casting our opinion, thus helping determine the future of our nation. Without the inevitable drama and appearance contest, such a feat already seems huge; add the two completely different directions our parties are proposing, and you’ll soon find yourself begging to be spared from this trauma. Yet, voting is a duty as well as being a right, and abstaining means quitting, and us youths are not quitters, right? A mature, well-informed, analytical study of the parties’ proposal is key in helping us reach a final tick on the ballot sheet.
Politics was never meant to be a stationary process; a system of clans, where our support remains unwavering through the years. Unfortunately however, our islands have been gripped by the looming presence of partisan politics, many of us being born into families which have been staunch supporters of the same party for decades. Yet, in order to reach a sensible decision, we must first remove the prejudice and assumptions on parties, and analyse their leaders and proposals through a new perspective. This should not mean forgetting past experiences, successes, and failures of our parties, but rather attempting at starting off without an insensible amount of hate against the party we traditionally oppose. Being frank and honest, and admitting the errors of our party sets us on the right foot towards a mature decision.
Polls have already started cropping up on major media outlets, hinting at who’s most likely to be trusted, and which party has got the lead. This is actually worrying, considering that we are not even halfway through the campaign, and parties have still to go into the details of most of their proposals. An election such as this, overshadowed by an ailing European economy, and urgent issues such as immigration, cannot be determined on the basis of appearance cheap talks, but on concrete proposals which can guide our country through the years to come.
For Malta, the period 2013-2018 encompasses what perhaps are the most challenging two years since acquiring independence: the term of presidency of the European Union, soon followed by the European Capital of Culture which Valletta was awarded for 2018. During these two years, we must prove to our fellow Europeans that albeit minute, Malta can rely on a responsible nation of young men and women such as ourselves, working in synergy to guide the nation towards its destiny. Come next year, we’ll be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary since becoming independent, and an opportunity for us all to examine our roots and determine our moves forward.
Therefore, March’s election is probably one of the most influential we’ll be having in a while. We cannot afford entering the polling station without having been well-informed about the parties’ plans and roadmaps. A badly-informed electorate can very well be a dangerous one as well, since it can be easily deceived and mesmerized by charm and mere talk. In order for our decisions to be mature, they must be based on hard facts and a comprehensive side-by-side study of what the parties are proposing.
Soon, the campus will be ablaze as the much-anticipated leaders’ debate approaches. Unfortunately, similar debates in the past were not so memorable; however we believe that past mistakes can guide us towards a mature, civilised exchange of views during this campaign. As emerging citizens and relatively new voters, we must prove that we are capable of conducting a balanced, constructive dialogue with our leaders, which will surely help us in reaching a responsible decision at the end of this electoral campaign. Respect is essential in these cases, and none of us should be tempted to resort to cheap attempts at provocation and insults. We must after all keep in mind that come a day or two after the election, we’ll be resuming our everyday routine, irrelevant of who is given the mandate to rule.
Let’s keep on observing, analysing, and moving towards reaching a mature decision which will help determine the road ahead for our nation, families, and ourselves! We believe that as youths, we can rise to this occasion and show that our opinion truly does matter!