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Opinion & Analysis

An open book, a rebel in Parliament

Independent Social Democrat Robert Vasquez.

By Robert Vasquez
I believe in ‘FACTS’, Fairness, Accountability, Community, Transparency and Stability. My manifesto deals with many issues. They can all be found published on Llanito World on Facebook and at

If you vote for me, you will get all that and more. I am fighting this election campaign alone and for the feedback I am achieving much. Imagine how much more I could achieve if you elected me to Parliament.

You don’t have to block vote: vote for me alone or mix vote including me. Don’t stay at home, come out and vote. I will be a rebel in Parliament. I will do my best to break the two-party system.

Gibraltar’s half-hearted democracy needs reform to encourage more people to contribute and for Gibraltar to have real democracy. Our voting and parliamentary systems need improvement to get that democracy and to hit corruption, abuse of public office and cronyism (‘enchufaos’) hard.

The current 10 vote system translates into one vote to choose a Chief Minister who rules virtually without challenge. This elected dictatorship must be ended and replaced with a form of Proportional Representation that meets Gibraltar’s needs.

I will fight to achieve a reform of Parliament so that we get a separation of powers, more Government accountability, more questioning of Ministers, less control by the Chief Minister, more Standing Committees, and a Public Accounts Committee to investigate expenditure and uncover hidden money: your money. It will give us truer democracy.

The new laws in place that deal with corruption, misconduct in public office, and cronyism (‘enchufaos’) are lacking and need to be dealt with independently of political bias.

Greater transparency generally and in party funding is also necessary.

For too long we have been governed by self-interested politicians, whose main concern is to ensure re-election and look after their own. That does not provide for the ‘common good’, briefly the best for us.

Our system enables politicians to take advantage of their positions and benefits those who are in their ‘good books’ or need to be ‘looked after’ to retain their power. All politicians need to do is ensure they don’t upset enough people to lose the following election.

Introducing independent checks and balances, like separating Parliament from ministerial edicts, would reduce abuse of power.

Electoral and parliamentary reform would allow wider representation and encourage coalitions, delivering better democracy, less corruption, more accountable government, and better management of our public finances.

A lot of people don’t know anything about the public finances, your money. There is lots hidden in companies. It’s time that that was made more visible because it’s our money, it’s not the money of Ministers or the Chief Minister, it is the money of each individual voter in Gibraltar, and they deserve transparency.

One downside of years of misgovernment is massive recurrent expenditure and unaffordable direct and indirect debt which needs to be faced. Who will be the best people to pull us out of that hole dug by the GSLP-Liberals?

The GSLP-Liberals are quietly cutting public spending because there is no money which will become more noticeable.

The GSD are also to blame thanks to massive over-spending whilst in government, that has been continued over the last 12 years by the GSLP-Liberals.

Voting for me, an Independent Social Democrat (Ind.S.D.), sends a loud protest message about the wish of many to put things right, and your disgust at both parties. It is a critical message to the two main parties who have been in government.

Further, a vote for me is a vote to promote and protect other important areas of life in Gibraltar, as set out in my manifesto. In Housing – to have a fairer system. In Health and disability services – to improve standards and confidence in the service. For the Environment to protect a clean Gibraltar and its seas; in social services, to help our vulnerable citizens, in public finance to ensure transparency and spending for the many not the few, and in the upcoming deal with Europe to be a critical voice in support of our sovereignty and future prosperity.

Give Robert Vasquez, your rebel voice in Parliament, a vote, and show the main parties that politics as usual is just not good enough. Show your disgust at both parties.

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