Saturday, 8 March 2014

Times: Why?
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 09:00 by Alison Bezzina

It’s no secret that during the last general elections I came very close to voting PL but ultimately voted AD. Before that I always voted for PN, and hand on heart there’s no telling whom I’ll vote for in the future.

Because of my way of voting, and because most voters in Malta don’t understand the concept of being a free-thinking floater, capable of changing my mind every time, I’ve been accused (among other things) of lacking loyalty, of being easily manipulated and, of not having strong principles. I’ve heard it all but nothing sticks and, come next election, I’ll do the same - I’ll study and research all the important issues, and once again decide whom to vote for with no promise of a repeat for the future. That’s what works for me because parties change, people within them change, and as time goes by, you find out things about them you never knew.

For example, I would never ever have thought that the the party I voted for so many times before could ever come up with their latest faux pas.

Last week, the PN proposed 13 amendments to the blessed citizenship scheme. According to Simon Busuttil’s own Tweet the amendments were to reflect Malta’s commitment to effective residency, but the second amendment had nothing to do with residency and is now the latest nail in the coffin called ‘my love for the PN’.

One of the clauses in the Act, as it is now and as it was approved by the European Commission, reads as follows:

"dependant" means:

(a) the spouse of the main applicant in a monogamous marriage or in another relationship having the same or a similar status to marriage, unless the Minister authorises otherwise on a case by case basis;

In one of their proposed amendments (the 2nd, none the least), the PN, asked for the removal of the words ‘or in another relationship having the same or a similar status to marriage.’

At first I thought I was misinterpreting the proposed amendment but there isn’t much room for misinterpretation is there? I even asked for a clarification on Simon Busuttil’s Tweet, but an answer was not forthcoming. So, as far as I can see, the PN just won’t wake up to smell the coffee, not even for the sake of political correctness.

If the amendment is accepted (which I bet it won’t) the only difference it will make is to specifically and exclusively discriminate against homosexual couples.

And whilst I understand that the PN could still be against the whole scheme in principle, I don’t get why they would propose an amendment that would not make one tad of a difference except for making them look totally and utterly homophobic.

Now I can see how people could possibly forgive a party which for 25 years did nothing in terms of recognizing gay relationships, but there’s very little that can save them if they keep putting spokes in the wheels that have already started and will not stop, turning.

If there’s any other reason for proposing this amendment other that that of stopping homosexual couples who apply for the scheme, from enjoying the same rights as heterosexual ones, please tell me. It would make me feel much better about my historic voting patterns.

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