A Government Without An Effective Opposition

Leo Olivero

A Government without an effective Opposition does not help the current debate, mainly about the role of each party, including the various labels, not all nice, that are mischievously pinned on both party leaders from each opposing side. Our job in the media is to report, inform and create debate, which I have endeavoured to do in Panorama countless times over the years.

The Gibraltar Constitution provides for a strong Opposition, which plays a significant role in Parliament by actively contributing towards new laws and policies. Therefore, as things stand, the highest legislative text of our nation already provides for the necessary checks and balances through the effective functioning of an Opposition.

However, this does not mean the 2006 Constitution doesn’t require re-visiting or seriously updating and good parts of it to be placed under a constitutional microscope, because it does.

But there are those, who still argue, that our democracy can be threatened by the fact that the Opposition is a shambles. Well I beg to differ.

In my opinion again, Gibraltar has the necessary separation of powers aimed at ensuring a strong democracy. The fact that the party in Opposition is in crisis is purely the result of lack of direction that the current leader of the GSD Party has shown.

I’ll say it again, the biggest mistake the GSD made was electing someone like Keith Azopardi to be the opposition leader. Keith is a nice intelligent guy, but not a true political leader who we know already a failed political leader. In may sound harsh, but still a fact, this is not a game. A leader must rally the people, but not be someone who appears intimidated to speak out publicly on the big issues affecting the nation. Here he has failed, because this has mostly been left to the previous leader ‘Danny Feetham’ whether these statements by the previous party leader are coordinated, is debatable.