While I was still uttering my first words, my family and a large number of people living in Malta were living in fear. Political fear. And let’s not beat around the bush, it was the socialists, the then Malta Labour Party who were mainly to blame.

I remember being told to hide the newspaper I used to buy every Sunday morning for my father, even though it was just The Sunday Times. I remember tension in my parents faces in an incident while choosing the different coloured wrappers of otherwise identical sweets. They were in red, blue and gold. I chose the gold one (cause I liked the colour, nothing more) and that seemed to relax my parents. There were many such incidents. I also remember the joy after the 1987 election. I also remember visibly a graffiti sprayed on a wall in Mosta stating ‘Hlisna mit-tirannijja’ (we freed ourselves from tyranny). Looking back, I realise that the author of those words was right.

Today, more than two decades later we are free from this crap. Of course we still have rampant corruption and manipulation of the media. But at least now power does not lie in the barrel of a gun. (According to the EU barometer Malta is a ‘quasi democracy’)

 The Nationalists kept the same name and have been ruling this country for nearly 20 years. The socialists changed their name, and their attitude. The PL of today has absolutely nothing to do with the MLP of the 80’s although a small number of people from the Party from those days remained. I still do not support them, but I don’t fear them anymore. Joseph Muscat, their new leader is in my opinion, quite a frivolous and arrogant person. He also has no idea of what constructive criticism, for the benefit of our country, is. However despite all his shortcomings he is clearly not a violent person. The PL today is anything but a violent party. The fear is gone. At least for me and many others.

However, some die hard PN supporters are still playing the ‘socialists are violent’ card. A card that is securing them a large amount of votes, especially the votes of those who experienced the worst in the 80’s. This can’t go on. Today’s government has flaws, big flaws. Democratic, environmental, economical and other shortcomings are keeping our country far from what is desirable. The socialist opposition is not a much better alternative in my opinion (one of the reasons why I support and vote for the Greens). However they are not a dangerous (violent) alternative, and those who play this card are actually doing a disservice to the country. A disservice because a chunk of people will never consider any alternative for the wrong reason – fear. It has, for a long time kept the PN in power despite anything the party does. It was even used against the Greens with the ‘Vote Harry get Freddy’ campaign before the last general elections.

My appeal here is not for people to support the Greens. All that I’m asking is that for the common as well as individual good one should be open minded on to whom they should support. Personally I use the answer to these two questions when I come to decide whom to support and ultimately vote:

1) What is the Party proposing?

2) How much do I trust this Party in actually implementing what they are proposing?

For the 80’s, fear of violence was in the equation. Today it is not. Well, it should not be. All that is left is ghosts. And I believe ghosts only exist in a person’s imagination

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