Suffocating

Someone spotted this quote from an article in today’s Independent:

“It is already suffocating that our parliament is only made up of two political parties.”

… no it is not an AD activist/candidate/whatever who said it.

Read for yourself.

Nationalist MP threatens to abstain
by Francesca Vella

Article published on 14 October 2011

Nationalist MP Franco Debono said yesterday that Transport Minister Austin Gatt should shoulder political responsibility over the situation in the public transport sector, and expressed his intention to abstain in the parliamentary vote on a motion in which the Opposition is seeking the minister’s resignation.

Speaking to this newspaper, Dr Debono said a democratic system should mean much more than a general election every five years.

“I want something good to come out of this. Let’s start a debate on constitutional reform, on the dignity of parliament and the need for parliamentarians to be accountable. Why is it that nobody ever shoulders responsibility? Ministers respond to parliament. It is unfortunate that our model of democracy is run on a strong executive and a weak parliament.

“I’m not saying Dr Gatt should resign, that is up to him to decide, but he must assume political responsibility; this is what happens in all other civilised countries. It is already suffocating that our parliament is only made up of two political parties. I feel that MPs are firstly Maltese, then members of political parties.”

Dr Debono’s abstention would mean that the Speaker, Michael Frendo would have to use his casting vote.

In December 2009, when he was absent for a vote on two amendments to a government motion, Dr Debono had also raised the issue of parliamentary dignity and had also mentioned fundamental problems in the justice sector, as well as problems in the south, specifically the “huge environmental deficit” in Birżebbuġa.

In an interview with this newspaper a year ago, he had said parliament is not an institution for MPs, but belongs to the people. He had complained that parliament, the highest and most representative forum of discussion for the people, lacks adequate facilities to fulfil its fundamental role in a democracy.

Yesterday, he brought up the issue of parliamentary debates being broadcast on television, saying this would be a direct link between parliament and the electorate. People have the right to follow debates involving the politicians that they themselves elect to parliament.

Lifted from here: http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=133622

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