Sociologist from Malta

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spin, facts and factions: The Green case

Both Malta Today and its sister Illum newspaper have once again implied that I my decision to resign from the post of AD chairperson had to do with some conflict I had with moderate elements in the party led by Carmel Cacopardo. I want to make it clear that this is absolutely not the case.

Even though I had my fair share of ideological and strategic arguments with Cacopardo and other moderates in the party, this is something which I consider to be essential in any democratic party. Indeed, Greens are no exception, where radical and moderate factions are two sides of the same coin. Under my chairpersonship, and through internal democracy, the radical wing was often prominent, and this was and is the case in other Green parties – for example the German and French Greens under their present leaderships. At other times, for example during Arnold Cassola’s leadership between 2008 and 2009 (for the 2009 European Election campaign), the moderate wing was prominent. The same can be said as regards the German Green party when Joschka Fischer led the party. A party without diversity and without different voices is either a dictatorship or a fossil.

In my view the radical route was not only ideologically robust, but was also strategically vital - it was the only way how AD could increase its share of votes especially since most Maltese voters vote for Governments and consider a vote for AD to be wasted, and since it was clear for a long time that there was a consistent shift of voters who simply wanted PN out of power.

In previous blogs, I had already explained why I resigned from the post of Chairperson. One can read them here:


This resignation does not mean that I will disappear from civil society activism (I have been doing this since 1994, and I truly feel at home here) and local council politics. As regards the latter, I owe my participation to Sliema residents who have elected me 4 times in the past ten years and especially since I got a record number of votes for a Green councillor this year.

Perhaps not everyone appreciates that having a prominent role in a small party of volunteers is no mean feat. I gave my utmost to the party during these years, but this had a toll on other roles I occupy in my life and left me worn out. In short, I needed to reclaim my life. To those persons who have appealed to me to contest the upcoming European elections or to join another party, I also make it clear that I have no interest in doing either.

From what I read in the press, no-one has offered to contest for the post of AD Chairperson, leading the party to postpone its Annual General Meeting. To those well-intentioned persons who would like AD to move on, my appeal is simple. Join the party and do your part. A party is only as strong as its members, and no party should ever be personalized. My suggestion to the party: Carry out an inclusive and open process wherein new faces can feel welcome, beyond top-down formalities.


Ralph Cassar said...

Michael's post says things as they are...why do some people always have to look for some "dramatic" reasons for choices people make? Sadly some also think that activism is a walk in the woods and go on to dispense lists of what should be done...but when it comes to the crunch they always have a million excuses not to pull their weight...

David said...

The post of AD chairman is a poisoned chalice. Only Cassola managed to get political mileage out of it.