Part 2 – All the Kings Horses
It’s been a while now that we have been witnessing the gradual collapse of Franco Debono and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando. The latter’s fall from grace is even more phenomenal when one compares the hero status that he enjoyed in March 2008. No it’s not an insignificant detail. No we cannot brush these facts under the carpet. Franco Debono and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando were on a list of candidates approved by the Nationalist party in the infamous “GonziPN” campaign.
Ours is a party system that has been designed to reward two parties and two parties only. It is based on the Diceyan premiss that a bipartisan system is the strongest and healthiest for our form of government. Fine. Let us accept that reasoning if only for the sake of argument. Accepting that argument means that the two main players of our political system bear a huge responsibility when selecting candidates who will then go on to represent the people in parliament. The “anything goes” approach is damaging to the system and insulting to the people who are supposed to be represented.
Parties cannot go on allowing Franco Debonos and Joseph Cuschieris to be elected by popular vote. I know it’s a democracy and the people have spoken and all that but the rules of the game are such that the parties should bear the responsibility of (at least) screening the candidates as far as possible for the signs of misfits.
Which is why the PN cannot be let off so easily with this sudden semi-expulsion. Neither can anybody who actively spun the “sale” of such candidates passionately throughout the last election campaign. Who do you think you are kidding? Take one of the most stalwart defenders of JPO’s cause in 2008 – Daphne Caruana Galizia (Vote JPO #1). Here she is on July 12th 2012 telling us this about JPO and his immediate entourage:
STEPHEN CIANGURA HAS BEEN JEFFREY’S HEAVY, CANVASSER AND SIDEKICK FOR YEARS.
He was stuck to his hip already at the general election in 2008. He was Jeffrey’s keychain, going to all his meetings with canvassers and activists, to fund-raiser parties, the works.
In the 2008 campaign, if you saw Jeffrey, you saw Ciangura, with some notable exceptions like public appearances for bawling and trying to whip up sympathy, when toughs and heavies have the reverse effect on the emotions.
When Jeffrey turned up at my house during the election campaign, he was accompanied by two heavies even then, and one of them was Stephen Ciangura.
(…) Now I suggest you Google Stephen Ciangura and find out just what kind of a person he is, breaking a young man’s jaw while moonlighting as a bouncer at Gianpula for his mother’s company, when he was a lance bombardier in the Maltese army.
Now she suggests that you Google Ciangura. Now. Why now Daphne? Why now PN executive? Funny how none of this came out in 2008 when JPO wept crocodile tears over Mistra and nasty Sant’s accusations. The truth is simple. In 2008 the PN needed JPO’s votes. It needed Franco Debono’s too in order to pull off the greatest victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.
Only now - with parliament in recess and with probably little left to do come its re-opening other than to fall out and prepare for an election – only now is the PN comfortable baring its teeth. Only now will information hoarders tell you to google Ciangura. Makes you wonder doesn’t it what kind of information is withheld about other candidates until the time is ripe.
The PN’s move of cutting off the elements within it that were obviously functioning for their own interest and on the basis of their own personal grudges and not on political differences was correct. It was correct but ill-timed. A strong party would not have suffered the humiliation of allowing such persons to dictate the agenda of government.
Unfortunately for the PN the rules of the game are such that had they called an election at the most opportune moment (and not succumbed to months of theatrics) then they might have handed the reigns of government to a band of irresponsible power-hungry persons who still show no sign of getting clued in about the rules of the game.
Talk about painting yourself into a corner. Way to go Mr. Dicey.