'Sempre Avanti', the guiding principle of the President ('Speaker') of the Chambre des Députés. Is this the best political job of them all?
As President of the Chambre des Députés, the equivalent of 'Speaker of the House' in the U.K. or United States, Mars di Bartolomeo acts as a referee between the government and opposition. He is responsible for the legislative programme and has worked hard to open up the Chambre to all the people living in Luxembourg, keenly aware that parliament represents everyone.
"A good democracy needs good democrats"
If you want a problem discussed in parliament, you can get it on their agenda by developing a petition signed by 4,500 people. Contact can also be made via social media, the website and Open Days. Bartolomeo wants to make it as easy as possible for us, the democrats, to have a voice.
"Journalism leads to everything and everywhere, on the condition you get out in time!" Mars was himself a journalist, then mayor of his home town of Dudelange, and Minister for Health and Social Affairs, these cumulative experiences positioning him perfectly for the role of President of the Chambre. It's a job he loves, because there are fewer naysayers than when one is a partisan politician: "My role is 'consensual'."
From Italian stock, he values Luxembourg's immigration
Bartolomeo is third generation Italian, as the name alludes to. His mother tongue is Luxembourgish, but Italian heritage remains in both language skills and love of the food. His own family's immigration history, is part of the "constant immigration flux [that] has benefitted Luxembourg".
"A small country like Luxembourg has everything to win if the head remains open, the heart remains open and the borders remain open"
The Italian heritage also guides his moral compass:
And with that, we march forward to Election Sunday. Whatever other changes may occur, Mars di Bartolomeo will remain, at least until 30 October, when the new parliament will elect a new President. It could be Mars... or it could be someone new.
If you want to find out the various ways in which you can vote, Mars goes into some detail here:
The election interviews
The video interviews are left in long-form, rather than short sound-bites, to get a better sense of the person.
The focus is on getting to know the person behind the politics. These are not hard-core political interviews (yet).
Many of the political websites here are not in English.
For more information on how the election process works in Luxembourg go to Knowledge Bites Election.
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