Asking Questions and Demanding Answers – Greens in Parliament

As the youth section of the Green Party, one of our ambitions is to have members of the Party in government, especially through a coalition. However, while this is what every Party aspires for, even more than that, we find it of utmost importance that we have Green MP’s, even if not in government. There is a lot a Member of Parliament can do, that activists can’t. One of them is asking the right questions and demanding the right answers.

 

I am writing this just after reading an article in the papers about Dr Adrian Vassallo (PL) asking the Home Affairs Minister, what happened on the issue he himself had raised on pornography being available for tourists in hotels. Obviously very few people care about such a non-issue. However, the point is that Dr Mifsud Bonnici had to reply to Dr Vassallo’s question. He tried to be evasive as much as possible but he did state that the Police are investigating into it. Needless to say Dr Vassallo will sooner or later raise the issue again as to how the investigations are proceeding.

 

While Dr Vassallo is fighting windmills, and most MP’s ask a lot of superficial questions, I’m sure that a member of Alternattiva Demokratika would not only ask more relevant questions, but also demand non-evasive answers.

 

A clear example is the power station extension controversy. While the PL had a precious opportunity to ask direct, non-open ended questions and demand specific answers to what is really going on, they just turned the issue into a farce. The issue turned into whether a PN member of parliament wanted to say yes, but happened to say no. Was it a genuine mistake or the Nationalist MP actually wanted to say no? A Freudian slip, or maybe it’s because he had been drinking before the vote? Obviously, the PN rebutted with equally ridiculous answers – that even a Labourite MP wasn’t clear in her vote.

 

Do we really care about that? An Alternattiva Demokratika MP will not offer favours or jobs to friends and their friends. However the electorate can be promised that a Green MP will not ask how many tots of whiskey a rival MP has drunk. Or whether tourists are allowed to watch pornography on their Hotel Television.

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