Make political profession full time to make it more accessible and sustainable

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Malta’s Union for Small and Medium Sized businesses supports the idea that politics should become a full time job that is accessible and flexible.MPGRTU has said that it supports proposals within a consultation document that politics becomes a full time employment encouraging more women and valid individuals to get involved.Their comments come in the wake of a consultation paper entitled, ‘Gender Balance in Parliament Reform’ which proposes changes to make politics more accessible to women and valid individuals who struggle to participate.GRTU states that in agreement with the consultation, MPs should no longer have to face situations where they choose to pursue politics and put aside better full time career prospects in order to serve. They say that this is not only an obstacle to women who then are unable to be with their families, it is also an unsustainable career.‘It is inhumane to ask from our MPs to stay at work because their pay at Parliament just cannot sustain them, then, after work hours, be an MP and dedicate him/herself to politics and then also be an active parent.’For this reason, GRTU agrees with full time MPs.‘Their remuneration should reflect their responsibility and, being our decision makers, they should have their own secretariat and researchers to support their work. Those that are parents should be able to have time for their kids and family and therefore the hours of Parliament must reflect this and child minding support introduced. These are the radical changes that will make a difference on how many women feature on our ballot sheet,’ they state.Gender Corrective Mechanism While stating that representing constituents should be a full time job, they also stress that restructuring parliament under a ‘Gender Corrective Mechanism’ or through ‘quotas’ to make it easier for women to serve, does not work.GRTU’s CEO Abigail Mamo says that instituting this mechanism will have the adverse effect of making women look like ‘token’ options simply to represent diversity.‘I cannot imagine what it would have been like for me personally to be placed in my position just for being female. Apart from feeling ridiculed I would have had a tough time proving my worth and changing people’s perception of me that I am not just female but also worthy in occupying my position. I am no exception, I am only proof that the society we live in has changed and women are not prejudiced as they used to be in the past.’At the same time, the GRTU state that the system is intended to actively correct voter’s choice at the voting booth, when they state that ‘the voter is not really biased against women.’To further their argument, they state that in the Maltese General Elections, there was a 5% difference in the male to female proportion of candidates, 19% and 14%.  Instead, they point to the much bigger discrepancies faced in the European Parliamentary Elections.‘In the last two EP elections the voter choice for women surpass greatly the choice of males; by 20% in the latest EP election. Where is this big discrepancy that will necessitate doctoring the composition of our parliament?’The top-ups are there for the PL and PN – ADIn a statement from Alternattiva Demokratika, it explained that the proposed top-ups for the Parliament will actually benefit the Labour and Nationalist Parties. They say that proper representation in the electoral system means that it needs to be more representative of different opinions.In AD’s words, the electoral reforms undertaken over the years created a situation that only served for the two main parties to alternate control, excluding the rest.Going further, AD said that the necessary balance between men and women should not exclude those who identify themselves as neither males or females.AD said that the electoral system should be based on the electoral list submitted by the political parties with a gender balance along with those who do not identify with any gender. This list has to be accepted by the Electoral Commission to see if there is a balance.In a statement, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Reform announced that the public consultation closed today. It was said that in the coming weeks Technical Committee will evaluate the content and public proposals. Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli said the feedback from public consultation there is “encouraging”.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img

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