Joining the Nationalist Party was not a decision I took lightly because I knew it would change my life. No matter how much people try to prepare you (and warn you) about this life-changing decision, you only know what it is really like once you are in it.
Although it is a completely different scenario, to an extent, I can compare it to my personal circumstances. I am going to be a mother for the first time and no matter how many people tell me about the first, second and third trimester, reality only hits home as the months go by.
Whether about politics or pregnancy, people’s experiences or thoughts are valid and always well received. However, they do not always necessarily match my own experience. This is a constant reminder of how people feel and see things differently.
The benefit of diversity of thought is something I intend to keep at the forefront of my political life ahead. Having different opinions is healthy and pleasing or agreeing with everyone is just impossible.
It is early days in my new political mission but life has truly changed. I got busier and I have been faced with people who have given me their full support and others who have tried to persuade me to pull out. I thank both equally.
Support is always needed for such a mammoth task. When faced with people who disagree with my decision and somehow try to convince me that politics is awful, I somehow get more strength to go on. I explain to them that, just because they dislike it, it does not mean everyone should.
Thankfully, there are some who don’t dislike it. The reality is that someone has to do the job. So far, I think I made the right decision.
Why does one get into this?
I have always had a great interest in politics. I was never one to regularly attend mass meetings, though I’ve attended a few, but I’ve always admired people who support their party.
Throughout my childhood, youth and adult life, I’ve always been involved in one organisation or another and lobbied, in particular, on equality issues and employment matters. This has led me to politics.
The timing was right too because I was so frustrated seeing the party I support not doing well. I therefore decided to stop grumbling and do something about it – give my small share.
I was very angry at the way the divorce and some other issues were handled. I had to stop and think. In fact, before the last election, I thought for a very long time before deciding not to base my decision on the divorce issue (I am divorced, although back with my former husband).
I decided to look at the common good, to assess what has been achieved under a PN government, which is a lot, and to focus on the central elements of a democracy the PN stands by. I then castmy vote.
The common good was highlighted by a number of speakers at the party’s first convention and, if we were to vote not on the basis of what we can obtain personally but according to what is best for the country, then I strongly believe that, in the long run, we will all be better off, so much better off.
I feel I must take this opportunity to say what a great initiative the convention was. I left feeling inspired and positive.
I could not have asked for a better ending to the convention – Simon Busuttil’s speech. It was clear and inclusive, it had vision and the feeling in the room was one that I wish many others would have experienced, especially those who took it upon themselves to write him off when they were not even present. As I said earlier, pleasing everyone is not possible.
I conclude by sharing two good pieces of advice I have been given.
When I got pregnant, a friend told me to always listen to my body. Simple but great advice.
The other piece of advice is about politics. A wise man told me to be loyal to the people and serve them and to always play fair and clean. He also told me to always remember my loyalty towards the party and to my leader.
This is advice that is in sync with what I believe in.
I have been blessed with a good life, sprinkled with hard times, like most, and now it is my turn to give something back. I know that I will benefit a lot because nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction and knowing you are doing something, no matter how small or big, to make the Maltese islands a better place to live in for all of us, no matter which party we support.
The most important thing is that I’m not afraid to fail. When it comes to pleasing everyone, I know I will fail miserably. But that’s ok.