Evarist Bartolo, former Minister of Education and Foreign Affairs, has proposed that Malta make voting in general elections mandatory for its citizens. He expressed this during a recent TVM show Popolin, stating that the time has come to address the controversial topic.
Bartolo believes that voting is not only a responsibility but a duty, especially as more and more people seem to be losing interest in participating in elections. He fears that if this trend continues, political parties will become more focused on pleasing their supporters instead of the general population.
Last year’s general election saw a record number of non-voters, with 60,000 citizens abstaining from casting their ballots.
Bartolo predicts that this number will only increase in the upcoming European Parliament election and future general elections.
He criticised the main political parties, the Labour Party and Nationalist Party, for not adequately studying the phenomenon of non-voters in the 2022 election.
Additionally, Bartolo proposed that Cabinet members should suspend themselves from Parliament, in order to reinforce the separation between the legislative and executive branches of Maltese democracy.
He believes that this move would free up government MPs to scrutinise their own administration more effectively.
In conclusion, Bartolo’s proposal to make voting mandatory and his suggestion to separate the legislative and executive branches of Maltese democracy aim to enhance the country’s democratic system and ensure the proper representation of its citizens.