From a linguistic and discourse-analysis perspective, general elections are an intriguing time. Political campaigns, speeches and press releases are riddled with generic, patriotic discourse adopted by parties and politicians alike to attract people. Albeit short, the 2017 electoral campaign was nothing short of fierce bickering, which put the spotlight on 9 particular words.
EN: A dinner featuring the rabbit
Being an integral part of Maltese cuisine, it was only fitting that the rabbit featured prominently during a political campaign which kept us on our toes. When the media released new allegations about Egrant inc., the Police Commisioner happened to be in Imġarr for a casual fenkata, which was immediately picked up by journalists who wanted to point out his inaction when faced with these allegations.
People are bombarded by a limitless amount of pictures, articles, blogposts and, above all, versions of the truth. On top of that, having leaders calling each other liars, constantly demanding a resignation from the other, doesn’t make things any better.
Not used to political parties coming together to forming a coalition, primarily because of Malta’s long-standing dualist political scenario, koalizzjoni was more a concept we used with reference to foreign political representations. Giving rise to a Forza Nazzjonali (a National Force), this coalition has created something along the lines of the 2013 Moviment.
En: Bank Accounts
It has earned considerable attention from all around the world following the publication of some 11.5 million documents exposing thousands of offshore companies helping individuals hide undeclared income. The emergence of two popular names in the list made this term a wild card in this general election.
If anything, the 2017 campaign for the fast-approaching general election is coming to an end following a very long line of exposed individual wrongdoings. Individuals from both camps have made it their intention to wash their rival’s dirty linen in public. In fact, korruzzjoni is constantly topping the lists of the principles that influence voting intentions, demonstrating the relative importance of this term this year.
Tal-Oranġjo is the catchphrase that the newly formed Democratic party resorted to in order to distinguish its candidates from those of the Nationalist Party. Whilst being the only political party that is currently distinguishing itself by directly referring to its colour, this nickname is very similar to that of Tal-Ajkla, which has taken a backseat during this election.
This is what everybody has been asking for for a long time now. Allegations have been met by the opposing party and their leaders with a nonstop demand for evidence. Maltese citizens have become rather sceptical and the reluctance of many to reveal their voting intentions is probably a direct consequence of this.
Money laundering allegations by both parties have been transformed into sheer mudslinging, with both party leaders requesting the resignation of the other, either because he failed to take the necessary action, or because of alleged accusations.
An Italian loanword in Maltese, this word took centre stage following Michelle Muscat’s couple of words to the media before heading to her car, hours after reports that she’s the alleged beneficiary of Egrant. This has been taken up by government supporters to exhibit their coolness in front of all the allegations.
The widespread use of the social media exacerbates the trend of picking and choosing whatever one like to believe and whatever he likes others to believe. All the allegations, accusations, statements and denials making the rounds on mass media have threatened the concept of truth, practically making us sceptic about everything more than ever.