I want to congratulate Arnold Cassola for being elected the new Chairperson of Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party.
I've been knowing Arnold since I started my political activism in the mid-1990s and have worked with him in various environmental civil society campaigns such as the victorious Front Kontra l-Golf Kors (1997-2004). I also worked closely with him when I was public relations officer of AD between 2000 and 2003. There were also occasions when I worked with Arnold in my role as AD's Sliema Local Council, which I have been occupying since 2003.
I do not agree with Arnold on all issues - indeed my ideological position is more towards the Left. Yet there is convergence between us on various issues such as precariousness at work, which is being experienced at various levels of society, and the need to deal with issues such as security, the latter having been monopolized by the right. This requires the articulation of discourse which deals with the bread and butter concerns of people whilst not being xenophobic. I also agree with Arnold that there needs to be a clever synthesis between one's beliefs and the way how they are communicated.
I believe that Arnold will be a much more open and down-to-earth leader than his predecessor. Arnold has a wealth of experience in the European Greens and has much practical knowledge on how politics works.
I am confindent that the new AD leadership will take heed of the recommendations of AD's report, which, amongst others recommends more realistic and well-planned strategy, better organisation, and, on an ideological level, the articulation of discourse which reflects basic social concerns.
I also augur that under its new leadership, AD will be more inclusive, creating durable alliances with civil society actors such as NGOs and leftist political organisations.
Good luck Arnold!