Thursday, March 23, 2017
The Green Coalition debate (continued)
Malta Today journalist James Debono has published a sober and reflexive analysis of my proposal to investigate a pre-electoral coalition as well as Carmel Cacopardo's take on this. As James rightly says, the differences between Carmel and myself are not substantive but tactical.
In the meantime I wish to clarify the following:
1. I have been putting forward my proposal for quite some time, both within the Green Party as well as in public, for example in my weekly column in the Times of Malta. In short, I believe 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.
2. Contrary to what is being said by some other columnists and some commentators in the social media, AD's executive has decided not to close any doors on such proposals. Indeed, this is a proposal which requires a process, and not rash decisions. Some people are really quick in appointing themselves spokespersons of Green politics, but then you never see them around come election time.
3. For Greens in Europe, coalitions are something normal in the democratic process. This what enables Greens to participate in national, regional and local governments. In Malta it is even more imperative as it is what can enable Green participation in parliament. Ironically, some local critics of this mindset are trapped in a PLPN binary logic by ignoring the opportunities for a more pluralistic parliament and for small parties. Thinking outside the box? Ma tarax! I do not happen to be a person who in encapsulated in total love or total hate for one party or another. I am Green, but I have no problem seeking coalitions of the willing with others. And I happen to believe that this is the safest bet to do away with our suffocating tribalism.
4. I also want to dispel any myths regarding my relationship with Carmel Cacopardo and Arnold Cassola. The three of us have strong characters, which inevitably lead to sparks when I chaired the party. Again, this is normal in all leadership structures, and Greens are surely no exception. But we also agreed most of the time and also contested on the same party ticket. I feel I can contribute much more to Green politics as a local councillor and as one of the coordinators of the Ceratonia Foundation.
5. Some have asked me whether I intend to contest the 2017-8 general election. For the record, I have been asked to contest the election by more than one party, but I belong to the Greens, full-stop. I do not intend to contest this election for the simple reason that I do not aspire to be a parliamentarian. I am a dad, a full-time lecturer and I have been occupying the role of Green local councillor for around 12 years. I am more than happy like this. But I do aspire to have the Greens in parliament, and I am doing my utmost in this regard.
James Debono's analysis can be read here.