A step closer to a more liberal Malta – Civil Unions Bill approved

marriage equality + civil union

It is with great pleasure that I read about the passing of the Civil Union Bill. Finally Malta is a step closer to being a more liberal and awesome country. A big congratulations goes to the Labour Party for sticking and delivering this promise.

I know I am not known to be vocal supporter about certain decisions the current Government takes but this is definitely one that should be saluted. This is a celebration of love and the LGBT community deserves this win.

I must admit that I’m quite disappointed to see the PN taking this kind of stance towards the bill. A free vote would have shown the PN as being the fresh, new party they were saying they wanted to be. Abstaining is not only a bad PR move considering circumstances but also brings back bad memories of the divorce issue. With a free vote the party would have shown its a mixed one of liberals and more conservative members, something the rest of the country understands. Bringing in the issue on adoption as an excuse frankly doesn’t hold water as gay adoption is already possible through single parent adoption. The PN would have really shown itself as being a renewed party and this was a missed chance.

So once again congratulations to the Government of Malta for passing this bill.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was quite right when he tweeted the following:


Airports and thoughts

Specifically those thoughts about Nikita Alamngo’s blog about the launch of mychoice.pn

Airports; don’t you just love them? In the age of web check in, even if I do check in online I still like coming to the airport earlier so I can stay at some departure gate coffee shop. I just love the feeling of transit, that feeling of going somewhere different, and with Apple by my side, I’m never bored.

At this moment in time I’m waiting to board a flight to London and I’m killing a little bit of time going through my RSS feed. Apart from the fun blogs of Snuffalicious and the sweet blogs of Claire’s Online Chronicles, I also read some bitterness from Nikita Alamango. My oh my, what an angry, full of resentment, blog that was.

She talks about the launch of the PN’s electoral website; www.mychoice.pn, and she seems to be really ticked off that the PN want to engage with the people. She seems to be really pissed off because now Lawrence Gonzi wants to talk, when till now he has never listened. Without going into the merits of how accurate that is, I think the launch of this website is a very positive thing,

When Franco Debono had his 15 minutes in the spotlight and there was a feeling that a general election was in sight for March 2012, I blogged about the state of the Twitter accounts of Malta’s 3 parties. You can read my conclusions here, but in a nutshell my view was that none of the parties were using Social Media properly; there was no engaging with the people, it was mere one way communication.

With the launch of mychoice.pn, the PN are addressing just that, the vacuum of two way communication online. The website is in itself engaging; inviting you to share your thoughts and connect through Facebook and Twitter, and if you have any questions, there is even an explanatory video by Lawrence Gonzi in form of a mini FAQ. Thumbs up also on the design which is fresh and flowy. Probably the only disconcerting thing about the whole website is the fact that a user needs to submit an email, mobile number and an ID card number to get exclusive access. While I understand why this has been done (I assume it’s to keep away spammers and time wasters), I’m a little concerned about a certain group of users, which this website is targeting, which won’t be too happy about giving up such information.

But back to Nikita Alamango and her rants, which by all means I’m not dissing. She expressed her opinions, I read, digested and am ready to give my own. Her blog reads like the usual columns on Orizzont; “we, the people, have the right to *insert anything you aspire to here” because that is what our European brothers and sisters have”. OK fair enough, but don’t stop at the tip of your nose. Everyone cannot have everything, and you would be foolish to say that everyone has nothing. Also, whatever happened to working hard for what you want. Why are we living in a country where people expect to be given what they want?

“Students aspire to the possibility of finding job straight out of University and not have education become a political ball in the hands of politicians.”

Well yes that’s what everyone aspires to, but it doesn’t mean that that is what happens. Not everyone manages to find a job straight out of University, especially when we find ourselves in continuos global economic instability. I for one spent a year working in a customer care department, with a Masters degree, but at least I didn’t have to worry about a €30,000 loan I had to take to complete my studies. Nikita seems to forget our education system is not only free but you also get an allowance, which is weird considering she still is a student.

She goes on to attack many other things such as the pensions, free medicines, the free healthcare, and yet again I question if she even bothers to have a look at any news website bar maltastar.com, whose editor was actually the one who caused delays in ICT courses a few years back (talk about a political ball in the hand of politicians).

A rant answered with a rant I guess, but at least I got some things off my chest. I’m tired of reading these regurgitated blogs, over and over again, which go on attacking the myriad of services and opportunities we are more than lucky to have. In the real world, if you want something you have to work very hard for it. The PN may not have all the answers or solutions but neither are they blind to today’s realities.

Maltese elections in 140 characters

Everyone seems to have stepped into election mode, and since I’ve been lured to the J’accuse election blogroll I thought I’d write something about the sorry state of local Twitter use amongst the local political parties.After the Barack Obama win in 2008 the world started seeing the potential of Social Media when fighting out an election. If some of you remember the latest British elections in 2010 Twitter was an unexpected tour de force. Would the same thing happen locally?First things first; thankfully both parties have a Twitter account;
Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) – https://twitter.com/#!/PNmalta
Partit Laburista (PL) – https://twitter.com/#!/PL_Malta

These are the numbers, including a Klout score which is a nifty way to measure online influence, assuming influence is what the elves behind the accounts crave.

So far, analyzing the numbers, the PL are definitely way far ahead than PN when it comes to Twitter use. However, and this is a big however, both parties’ use of Twitter is appalling.  Why? There is no engagement. Nada, zero, zilch! Whilst the PL have automatic posts from their Facebook, which is already a big no-no in Social Media, the PN post every single thing which is published on their online newspaper. There is no interaction with other Twitter users, no reply or retweets.One way communication with everything else pretty wide shut. PN even go a step further and not even follow any users. Both parties treat Twitter like a link garbage can, abusing it only for the link juice it so freely provides.So why do PL have a better Klout score than PN if they are doing the same thing? This happens because the PL happen to be more active when it comes to posting than the PN are. The PL have a very strong following on Twitter which continuously retweet whatever they post and mention them in a lot of their posts. Most of these are their own MPs which seem to have taken to Twitter quite well, and that is why they are currently winning the Twitter war.

AD, Malta’s Green Party, also unfortunately makes the same mistakes and this gives them a Klout Score of 10. And I say unfortunately because I truly believed they would be the ones who would try to use means such as Twitter to better reach their target audience.

That brings me to the question – will Social Media lead the next elections in Malta? From the way things stand, the answer is no. None of the parties seem to want to devote any time, money, or interest to Twitter. Facebook will be discussed in a later blog, but for now it seems like it all rests on the good old BORING billboards.