Malta finds itself in election mode as the announcement of a date is imminent. During election campaigns, we have grown accustomed to expecting one main rivalry between the two biggest political parties in Malta. Throughout history, one can say that only these two parties managed to make an impact in elections and during their tenures in government. Whilst there have been other smaller parties that tried their luck in general elections, most have failed to make an impact, leaving Malta’s parliament firmly split between the Labourites and Nationalists. In this article, we shall be discussing why a third party was never solidly established in Malta.
One of the reasons why Malta remains in a situation where two political parties steal all the limelight is simply because it has always been like that. For significant segments of society, one can either be a Labour or a Nationalist follower, leaving very little leeway for alternative options. The political duopoly within Malta is strong and is expected to remain as such for the foreseeable future.
The two main political parties in Malta can drive their promotional messages through their fully owned media stations. Having the luxury of owning media such as television, radio and newspaper stations allows such parties to constantly feed their message to viewers. Other political parties do not have such infrastructure, making it practically impossible to compete. The established parties use their media influence to organise fundraising events that are necessary for them to launch fully-fledged campaigns, outperforming other potential competitors.
Lack of vision
Another contributing factor is the fact that small political parties are rarely perceived to have an encompassing vision that can lead a country. Most of the smaller parties tend to focus on singular issues such as the environment, illegal immigration and liberalism to mention a few, without a 360 vision of what they would do if they were elected to lead the country. One must also mention that such parties may be operating with constraints related to financing and media exposure and hence cannot communicate their full message consistently. This would inevitably dilute their presence.
Many smaller parties are deemed less relevant by significant numbers of the population. It is not the first time that the ideas brought about by such political parties are deemed less important and in certain cases ridiculed as well.
What do you make about the chances of a solid third party in Malta? Have you ever considered voting for such a party? Let us know your views in the comments section below.