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MALTATODAY 17 April 2022

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 17 APRIL 2022 COMMENT What are we skinning? The sudden appearance of dozens of WOMEN in parliament! Why are we skinning it? Be- cause it's unprecedented, and was brought about by means of a controversial electoral mechanism. Does the thought of women in parliament make you uncomfortable? Not any more than certain men being in parliament, no. For me, it's most men, truth be told. Where is the corrective mechanism against the very real threats who continue to occupy increasingly warmer seats as the years go by? I mean, Anglu Farrugia is still around… Yes, but that's only because successive prime ministers likely interpreted his strange pronunciation of Eng- lish words as being indicative of some form of divine 'speaking in tongues', and found it best to simply let him be. But doesn't the need for such a corrective mechanism mean that the people do not really want female politicians all that much? There's a lot to unpack in that question that we don't even remotely have the time for. But the PN side of things gives us some hope on that front… How can you say that, when Eve Borg Bonello was elected through the same mechanism which she insists she doesn't actually believe in? I was actually going to focus on the fact that the PN now has two beloved Eurovision stalwarts in its ranks: Claudette Buttigieg and Julie Zahra. I mean, they're no Ira, Chiara or Mary Spiteri… Leaving aside the fact that Mary Spiteri would never cross the Rubicon from the Labour pastures that she's grown into and around… yes, you have a point there. But still, there's a quaint charm to Eurovision has-beens finding themselves in the has-beens political party. Nostalgia is pretty much the only brand the PN have going for them at the moment so yes, might as well embrace it by doubling down on '90s divas. Still, Eve Borg Bonello is 18, making her the youngest member of parliament ever. A teenage female politician who STILL insists on being pro-life. She may as well be an 81-year- old male Vatican scholar at this point. Amen. Do say: "There has been some justified criticism of the gen- der-corrective mechanism over the past few months. But any development that unsettles the status quo will inevitably suffer from growing pains. Its results should be assessed in the long term." Don't say: "Where's the ADPD female candidate in all of this?! Oh right, silly me… why would PN-PL workshop anything that could potentially benefit smaller parties?" Derogating the Birds Directive? RAPHAEL VASSALLO PGS 10 & 11 The Skinny Malta, shrunk down MICHAEL FALZON Full House PAGE 7 No 135 – Attack of the Women Politicians! JOSANNE CASSAR Malta's cultural and spiritual need for religious pageantry PAGE 5 EDITORIAL Divorcing planning from environment PAGE 2 RALPH CASSAR A legally rigged system for the PLPN PAGE 13 Our newly-appointed Environment Minister – who had shown so much promise, too! - has chosen to kick- start her new career by committing what can only be described as a 'crime against wildlife' PHOTO: ARON TANTI

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