After earlier today, former KPS Candidate Dario Cacopardo published a number of allegations against SDM about the recent Social Policy Commissioner Elections, and SDM’s subsequent rebuttal to the accusations, opinionist Mathias Mallia weighs in on the issue.
I would like to preface this opinion piece by making it absolutely clear that this is my individual opinion and in no way reflects my organisation, JEF Malta, or any other member of the executive. This is my writing as an individual student viewing the election from the perspective of one of 13,000 students. Regarding easily foreseen implications that I am pro-SDM, I assure any reader that I would very readily write the exact same article replacing every “SDM” with “Pulse” in a heartbeat.
The expression “sour grapes” comes from Aesop’s fable of the fox who couldn’t reach grapes high up in a vine and, while feeling scorned at his loss, declared them sour. Dario Cacopardo’s letter is a fine example of this analogy coming to life.
Personally, I was all for Mr Cacopardo’s candidacy. I liked his presence, I liked his plans, I liked the fact that when challenged he stood up for what he believed in and, once pressed even further, he was also honest enough to say that he was not a miracle worker. The letter published today removed every ounce of professional respect I had for the candidate for a number of reasons.
How dare Mr Cacopardo take Ms Sutton’s victory and soil it with accusations of political processes which are not only part and parcel of a democracy, but I hazard to say that they should be encouraged in terms of lobbying and pressure. It is true that SDM do have practically uncontested power at this point, but since when has it been a political crime for an organisation, political or otherwise, to push for a candidate they believe in?
I have to agree with Dario when it comes to communication issues with SDM. They are, first and foremost, a student organisation and they must be ready to listen to anyone, be it contesting candidates, their direct opposition, or the average student. I would have approached them directly asking them why they’re not replying within 48 hours, had I found myself in a similar position. But that is the only failing SDM had.
When it comes to the rumours that “SDM wanted Ms Bonkova to get elected,” this goes directly against the idea that SDM have the power to influence and upheave an entire election. It is rather obvious that Ms Bonkova, as the ex-President of Betapsi, was close to a number of people within KSU who very likely wanted her to win on a personal level; much like I, on a personal level, would have liked Mr Cacopardo to win the election. This should justify the student’s house feeling tense.
Regarding “at least 4 SDM executive members scattered around the room,” I fail to see why this is strange considering that SDM is first and foremost a political organisation and elections are kind of what political organisations are interested in at least 50% of the time, if not more so. Regarding them being “worried and pale,” is Mr Cacopardo implying that his presentation prior to the votes far surpassed Ms. Sutton’s? Or that, god forbid, this political organisation actually genuinely supported the candidate they preferred?
My question is, if Mr Cacopardo had really “won the trust” of so many organisations, what made them change their vote in the end? What kind of trust is that? And what do SDM have over every organisation? Surely with some foresight SDM know that threatening power over any independent organisation would be ridiculous if they intend to remain in anyone’s good books. Perhaps the “dishonest whisperings” were of those organisations who claimed to be ready to pledge allegiance.
As a side-note, the argument that SDM is backed by PN and therefore has so much uncontested power at University, which has already been posted in comments boards online, is entirely backwards thinking considering the PN’s power in Malta in the last four years. Perhaps SDM being in KSU so many years in a row has more to do with the fact that they have had no organised opposition for a number of years, save a few independent candidates who have tried their best. You know what those independent candidates did though, they got over it rather than sullying their opponents win.
If Mr Cacopardo does indeed not want to “discredit Ms Gabriella Sutton,” or actually believes that she put on a “fair fight,” then don’t take this victory away from her. She worked just as hard as he did amidst an even steeper uphill battle considering her forced departure from the can of worms that was the MHSA debacle earlier this year. I will hazard to say that it was her replies to the similarly scorned ex-MHSA President that might have turned some organisations around considering applause at that point was the longest heard the entire night.