How Long can Malta Continue to Remain a One-Party State?

We have just come through another set of elections where the Labour party has absolutely dominated with another landslide victory. With a government which continues to surprise and over-perform as the years progress and an opposition in tatters, it is very difficult to imagine a different scenario.

In the past, we were accustomed to a government which would have a strong first legislature, with a weaker second one, paving the way for the opposition party to govern the country. The Labour government continues to defy all odds as not only did it win with repeated landslide majorities, but it continues to grow its already significant margin as the once strong Nationalist party spirals into irrelevance. The Member of European Parliament elections saw four representatives from the Labour party getting elected, with only two from the Nationalist party winning a seat in the European Parliament. This reflects a strong lead as in our last MEP elections, the Labour party also boasted a significant landslide but still could not manage to win the coveted fourth seat. Now they have!

A similar landslide victory took place in the Local Council elections, where the Labour party continued to increase and sustain its stronghold across different localities in Malta. The Labour party got an approximate forty-seven thousand lead over the Nationalists in the Local Council elections, around five thousand more than in the MEP elections. Whilst it is true that the Labour party has always performed considerably well in the Local Council elections, this victory serves to cement the dominance that it has built over the Nationalists. This obviously puts further pressure on the leadership of the Nationalist party, with several calls for resignations and changes.

Hats off to the Labour party. A remarkable evolution.

Those who have been around for a while could easily remember that the Labour party fortunes were not always as bright as they seem today. Following the passing of Dom Mintoff from his leadership role, the Labour party would succumb to years of failure as the Nationalists would triumph for twenty-five years, save for two, where Labour was elected only to return to the opposition seats after two years.

In the years of Dom Mintoff, Labour earned itself the label of the socialist party, as it eradicated poverty and created several benefits which improved society. Such included the established minimum wage, children’s allowance and compulsory education up to the age of sixteen. Following a successful stint by Dom Mintoff, Labour would lose its feet and endured years of electoral failures under the leaderships of Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and Alfred Sant. Following the twenty-five years of underachievement, the new kid on the block, Dr Joseph Muscat would make history, becoming the youngest Prime Minister with a battle cry of being the new pro-business government and an electoral pledge of reducing utility bills. An electoral promise which was well-received by the Maltese.

The Labour party would go on to build on its strong foundations, with key personnel which continue to help the government reach its objectives. As it stands, we do have a while of seeing the Labour party continuing its political domination. For how long can it last? How long can the country remain with lacklustre competition to compete with the Labour party?

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