Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Investigating Green coalitions
My recent interview with Albert Gauci Cunningham (Illum) brought different reactions. Some public, some private. Some positive, some negative. Some from people within AD, some from people who have some sympathy for AD, some for others whose sympathies lie elsewhere. I have no problem with different opinions which are genuine, even if we disagree. This only enriches debate. And I hope that this debate continues within AD and within the public sphere.
In case you missed the interview, I argued that AD should consider and investigate a pre-electoral coalition so that it would have a real chance of being elected in parliament whilst doing away with the ''wasted vote" preoccupation of so many voters who agree with the Greens but who choose a bigger party so as not to give advantage to another bigger party which they would not want in Government.
Some self-proclaimed 'leftists' who are suddenly shedding crocodile tears for AD did not support it when it had a green-left manifesto in the 2013 and 2014 general and European elections. Just because they yell and troll on Facebook doesn't make them Green Party members and only reveals their lack of contact with diverse AD activists who are contributing to the party in different ways. Green Parties in Europe are always characterised by vibrant dialogue from the radical and realist wings and this is what enriches them. My appeal to the crocodile criers is simple: Be consistent and match your rhetoric with action. Talk is cheap.
Needless to say, some of those who are most nervous with my intervention include some who want a Labour government at all costs. Fair enough, but they should make this clear. My intentions are clear: Having the Greens in parliament through realistic strategy, and not through the politics from Mars. And this is precisely what most Green Parties in Europe do: forming coalitions at national, regional and local levels with other parties including social democrats, christian democrats, liberals, leftists and others, depending on the context and arrangements. As Green icon Petra Kelly once said, "not left, not right, but forward".
Perhaps my role as Green councillor since 2003 and former Green Party leader puts me on the pragmatic side of things. For this reason, and I believe that coalitions of the willing and give-and-take politics can succeed, provided there is genuine goodwill.
The politics that I believe in is based on possibilities, not grudges. On bridges not walls. It is forward looking, and not trapped in the cages of yesterday.