The Nationalist Party: Will “Religio et Patria” be replaced?

The Nationalist Party : Will "Religio et Patria” be replaced?

Nationalist Party’s slogan – from “Religio et Patria” to “Ghas-servizz tieghek”

The motto of the Nationalist Party is being proposed to change from a strong statement of values to a nondescript, marketing slogan.

In an attempt to stop the precipitous slide in its approval by the Maltese People the Nationalist Party is again proposing a new statute.

Gonzi and Busuttil, following the instructions of Richard Cachia Caruana, have dispersed the Party’s electoral base and alienated many loyal activists who could not operate in a civil war environment.

The Nationalist Party seems to have lost the acumen and vigour to fuse party activists, members and supporters into a homogenous, resilient force. This will not be resolved by revised statutes. but by a clear vision of sound values that are communicated effectively by people with a credible image and who inspire confidence in the population that they can deliver.

One of the proposed changes is in the motto of the party – the statement of the guiding principles of the party and which encapsulate its beliefs and ideals. It is being suggested to change the motto “Religio et Patria” that conveyed a strong statement of values, to the nondescript, marketing slogan “Għas-servizz tiegħek.”

I welcome change. This has been amply proved by the many drastic changes I implemented in every position I occupied in my long stint in politics. But I never condoned change for its own sake. This change threatens to denude the party from its values which would mean the annihilation of the Nationalist Party.

The motto “Religio et Patria” is not a catchphrase, a slogan or a marketing cliché. Religio et Patria is a statement of values. “Religio” represented the party’s Christian Democrat root. “Patria” was a call for our country to fight for its freedom from the colonial masters and to determine its own fate. It was then the cry to find our place amongst the European nations. It is what we, who understand these values, believe in them and worked hard to realise them. It is what inspired our policies and our actions in opposition and in government.

We converted our values in action and a society that is beneficial to all the Maltese People. Our economic model does not see the market as an end in itself but as a means of generating wealth in order to achieve broader social goals and to maintain societal cohesion. This we achieved as we built a social market economy from the ashes of the devastation of the socialists.

The Social Market Economy is largely a free market economy based on a free price system and private property, but is supportive of government activity to promote competitive markets with a comprehensive social welfare system and effective public services to address social inequalities that result from free-market outcomes. Our values demand that the welfare of all people, especially the poor and vulnerable, must be protected because every human being has dignity, being made in the image of God. It is the principle of solidarity.

Our values emphasise that the individual is part of a community and has duties towards it. We hold that the various sectors of society are distinct and should not interfere with the obligations of another sphere. For example, the raising of children is the responsibility of the family and should not be taken over by the government.

We maintain that civil issues should first be addressed at the lowest level of government before being examined at a higher level, a doctrine known as subsidiarity. These concepts of solidarity, sphere sovereignty and subsidiarity are considered to be cornerstones of our political ideology.

We support the principle of stewardship, which upholds the idea that humans should safeguard the planet for future generations of life.

These principles are cohesive as they are cemented together by our Religio motto. They are not the fruit of a strategy intended to get the confidence and support of the underprivileged to then enslave them.

Patria! It is a statement of the resilience of the Nationalist Party to keep insisting against all odds for the independence of our country. The insistence of our joining the European Union and taking our place with a voice amongst the other European Countries. It is even important today when the country is being disparaged in international fora by members of the party who join forces with political mercenaries. There is much to criticise in the way the institutions of the country have been degraded. But bringing down the country in order to bring down the government is wrong.

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