FinancialGuy Writes!

Who Voted You In?

Readers that are unfamiliar with the soap opera that is politics in Malta, may be unaware that there is something of a political crisis underway.

I shall refrain from boring you with the details, but let’s just say that it is less of a storm in a teacup and more of a squall on a rock. Yet, the deeply divided nature of Maltese politics means that there is a very real chance that it will bring down the current government. At the moment, the government’s problems are a little like a car crash in slow motion – the outcome seems clear but there still seems to be some way to go. It is equally painful to watch.

Your author can claim no local political affinities, and since the current opposition party (Labour) is refusing to publish a manifesto, it is not clear to me what the differences between the parties are. Never mind. It is quite possible that the lack of action will be the same.

Instead I would like to draw your attention to something that was said today by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Joseph Muscat. For a little context, the government had just tied a vote of no confidence after a casting vote by the Speaker had saved them. Perhaps it should be renamed as a vote of ambivalence…?

To quote from the Times of Malta, Mr Muscat said of Prime Minister Gonzi, “He should not play for time to the detriment of the business sector in particular” as to whether a general election is needed.

This kind of thing infuriates FinancialGuy. Politicians are not actually voted in by businesses, contrary to the belief of business owners and media barons. Democracy isn’t actually about what businesses want or what is good for them. Sure, it is important to have a healthy economy and lots of employment, but still… Politicians are elected by votes cast by people. Their constituents are the people themselves, businesses are secondary at best.

It ought to be clear from the financial crisis of 2008 onwards that focusing on companies whose goal is the creation of shareholder value is not a way to run a government, a country or the world. In fact, it seems that the rulers of the world are debating this point, the future of capitalism – amongst many others – in Davos right now.

Speaking of Davos, it is worth noting that this morning, every MP in Malta was actually in Malta for the vote. Does this suggest that there are no Maltese politicians considered important or capable enough to warrant an invite to hobnob with the super class?

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  1. Dear Writer……

    Obviously you are not too aware of Malta’s position.

    Fitch affirms Malta’s A+ rating and downgrades six eurozone nations.

    This says it all.

    Don’t be so critical.

    1. Hi Karel,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Isn’t that a separate matter though? I didn’t mention ratings agencies once. Since you brought it up, S&P downgraded Malta about 10 days ago…

      It does move away from my point though. We often hear politicians wanting to “protect business” and the like, but we much less frequently hear them talk about protecting people.

      Or perhaps I just hear and read the wrong things???

  2. Since the Financial Debacle was brought about by Bankers and Financial Investers lending too much perhaps there is an issue here.

    It is amazing that a Country like Germany (the FRG) was able to absorb the former East Germany (DDR) and come out of the melee quite well.

    It is amazing that those countries that Export Real and Tangible Goods are able to survive this World confidently without being at the mercy of their incomes being always at the beck and call of financial whims and fancies of the stock markets.

    So compared to Malta what is the Borrowing Ratio of the UK/

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