Politics of Malta

The politics of Malta takes place within a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Malta is the constitutional head of state. Executive Authority is vested in the President of Malta with the general direction and control of the Government of Malta remaining with the Prime Minister of Malta, the head of government and the cabinet. Legislative power is vested in the Parliament of Malta which consists of the President of Malta and the unicameral House of Representatives of Malta with the Speaker presiding officer of the legislative body. Judicial power remains with the Judiciary of Malta. Since Independence, the party electoral system has been dominated by the Christian democratic Nationalist Party and the social democratic Labour Party; the Economist Intelligence Unit rated Malta a "flawed democracy" in 2019, down from a "full democracy" in 2018. Since independence, two parties have dominated Malta's polarized and evenly divided politics during this period: the centre-right Nationalist Party and the centre-left Labour Party.

Third parties have failed to score any electoral success since the pre-independence 1962 general election. In the 2013 election, the Democratic Alternative managed to secure only 1.80% of the first preference votes nationwide. The 1996 elections resulted in the election of the Labour Party, by 8,000 votes, to replace the Nationalists who had won in 1987 and 1992. Voter turnout was characteristically high at 96%, with the Labour Party receiving 50.72%, the Nationalist Party 47.8%, the Democratic Alternative 1.46%, independent candidates 0.02%. In 1998, the Labour Party's loss in a parliamentary vote led the Prime Minister to call an early election; the Nationalist Party was returned to office in September 1998 by a majority of 13,000 votes, holding a five-seat majority in Parliament. Voter turnout was 95%, with the Nationalist Party receiving 51.81%, the Labour Party 46.97%, the Democratic Alternative 1.21%, independent candidates 0.01%. The Nationalist government wrapped up negotiations for European Union membership by the end of 2002.

A referendum on the issue was called in March 2003 for which the Nationalists and the Democratic Alternative campaigned for a "yes" vote while Labour campaigned for "no" vote, invalidate their vote or abstain. Turnout was 91%, with more than 53% voting "yes"; the Labour Party argued that the "yes" votes amounted to less than 50% of the overall votes and citing the 1956 Integration referendum as an example, they claimed that the "yes" had not in fact won the referendum. The MLP Leader Alfred Sant said that the General Elections, to be held within a month would settle the affair. In the General Elections the Nationalists were returned to office with 51.79% of the vote to Labour's 47.51%. The Democratic Alternative polled 0.68%. The Nationalists were thus able to form a government and sign and ratify the EU Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003. On 1 May 2004 Malta joined the EU and on 1 January 2008, the Eurozone with the euro as the national currency; the first elections after membership were held in March 2008 resulting in a narrow victory for the Nationalist Party with 49.34% of first preference votes.

In May 2011, a nationwide referendum was held on the introduction of divorce. This was the first time in the history of parliament that a motion originating outside from the Cabinet had been approved by Parliament. In March 2013, the slim majority enjoyed by the Nationalists was overturned with the Labour Party returning to Government after fifteen years in Opposition. A record-breaking lead of 36,000 votes was achieved by the Labour Party leading to the resignation of the Nationalist leader Lawrence Gonzi. In June 2017, after a snap election was called by the Labour Party on its May Day celebrations; the record-breaking vote disparity achieved by the Labour Party in 2013 was again increased to around 40,000 votes. The leader of the opposition Simon Busuttil announced his resignation shortly thereafter; this election saw the first third party elected to Malta's Parliament since its Independence, with the election of Marlene Farrugia in the 10th District representing the Democratic Party. Under its 1964 constitution, Malta became a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom was sovereign of Malta, a Governor-General exercised executive authority on her behalf, while the actual direction and control of the government and the nation's affairs were in the hands of the cabinet under the leadership of a Maltese prime minister. On December 13, 1974, the constitution was revised, Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth, with executive authority vested in the President of Malta which can be exercised directly or through officers subordinate to him; the president is elected by the House of Representatives for a five-year term. They appoint as Prime Minister the leader of the party with a majority of seats in the unicameral House of Representatives, known in Maltese as Kamra tad-Deputati; the President nominally appoints, upon recommendation of the Prime Minister, the individual ministers. Ministers are selected from among the members of the House of Representatives, which consists of 65 members unless bonus seats are given to a party which gains an absolute majority of votes but not a Parliamentary majority.

Elections must be held at least every 5 years and the electoral system used is single transferable vote. Malta is divided into 68 elected local councils, with each council responsible for the administration of cities or regions of varying sizes. Administrative responsibility is distributed between the local councils and the central government in Valletta; the Local C

Forum Cafeteria (Minneapolis)

The Minneapolis Forum Cafeteria was located at 36 South 7th Street constructed in 1914 as the Saxe Theater the Strand Theater. A 1930 reconstruction created a cafeteria with a stunning Art Deco interior of black onyx and pale green tiles, sconces and mirrors with a Minnesota-themed motif: pine cones and Viking ships; the cafeteria did not outlive the era of fast food and closed its doors in August 1975. Threatened with redevelopment, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1976. Three months the old Forum opened as Scottie's on Seventh, a disco nightclub that retained the Art Deco style of the Forum; when the venue was again threatened with demolition to make way for the City Center Project, preservationists brought suit. Thus relocated to 18 South 7th Street, Scottie's on Seventh reopened in 1983 but closed in 1985. Several restaurants have since occupied the space since then: the Paramount Cafe, Mick's, Goodfellow's from 1996 to 2005, The Forum, most Il Foro which opened in June 2015 and closed in May 2016.

In 2018 a brand-new restaurant, Fhima's, opened in this space with a French-Moroccan influenced menu. The Forum Cafeteria at the MHS Downtown: long gone

Asher Hucklesby

Asher John Hucklesby was an English businessman, the five-time mayor of Luton, Bedfordshire between 1892 and 1906. A major hat manufacturer, he became known as the "straw hat king." From modest beginnings as the son of a grocer in Stopsley, he became the owner of the largest hat business in Luton. Hucklesby began working for hat manufacturer CJ Rosson at the age of 13; when he started his own business, it was an immediate success. In 1880 he bought the site of the old Luton Times offices and the neighbouring Spencer's Yard in George Street for £4,500 and built a large warehouse. Hucklesby used the upper floor of 48 George Street as a warehouse as well as 12 Guildford Street. Buying the site in George Street was a shrewd business move; the building of the proposed tramway in George Street had made it impossible for businesses along that road to load goods for the railway station but Hucklesby owned Bond Street, which ran from George Street to Barber's Lane, giving him a private and direct link with the railway station.

Bond Street is now lost as a road in Luton, it would have run where Primark now is. The warehouse he built is now the site of Snappy Snaps, his business went on to be Lutons most successful hat manufacturing business during the 19th Century. As well as his council duties and his thriving business, Hucklesby found time to serve as a JP and was active in the local church, he was president of the local YMCA and the Temperance Federation. He was keen on educating the people of Luton and the University of Bedfordshire is on the site of Luton Secondary School, which he helped to found in 1904 and was a member of the governing body. Along with councilor Edwin Oakley, Hucklesby purchased the estate that became Wardown Park for £16,500 in 1904 and sold it to Luton Council at the cost price, for the perpetual enjoyment of the people of Luton. Hucklesby lived in Leaside Villa, built in 1878 and is now a hotel and restaurant and the newly constructed road outside the hotel bares his name. On his death in 1908, he was given a civic funeral, the largest the town has seen, with hundreds of people lining the route to his burial in Rothesay Road cemetery.

He left a massive fortune of £164,862