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Q&A | The voice of reason | Danika Formosa

Sometimes people follow politicians blindly without really understanding what their party is doing: AD candidate Danika Formosa tells MaltaToday why the Green Party is the alternative party

30 May 2017, 12:57pm
Danika Formosa
Danika Formosa
How did you first get involved in politics?

My interest in politics began as I grew older and more independent. In an environment where politics is high on many people’s agenda, it was almost impossible for me not to learn and understand better the political situation in the country. I decided to actually get involved in politics around two years ago. I had attended one of the events organised by the Maltese Young Greens in Valletta and since then, I continued working in the political sphere. 

Which part of the political life appeals to you?

Politics is a tough game and we are often faced with difficult situations. As a woman in politics, a student and a mother, it is very difficult to keep up but I have a lot of support and I have managed so far. The part of politics which I find most appealing is the opportunity that I am given to speak up about the things we like, the things we do not like and most of all, the things which can be improved. 

Why AD?

Alternattiva Demokratika gave me a space where I could share my views, be part of the team and work together to represent more people. I agree with the green principles followed by the Green Party so I feel that I could openly represent them. Another nice thing about AD is that we are united and we help each other out for a good cause.

The current system makes AD’s chances of getting elected extremely hard: can AD make it on its own? What are the main challenges?

Alternattiva Demokratika is a small party and we definitely cannot run the country however, we can be elected in parliament if people vote for us. I strongly believe that we need more young people in parliament and we definitely need a third party. We need people in parliament who truly care about the environment and the people, and not just the paycheck at the end of the month. I believe that AD is the voice of reason in the political crisis that we are all facing. 

We face many challenges. It has been very evident over the years that the majority of people support the two major parties’ partisan politics. Sometimes, people follow them blindly without really understanding what the party is saying and what the party is doing. This is a very big challenge for us because we not only need to break this barrier but we also need to get the people to listen and understand our green values. 

How can AD attract more young people?

I was attracted to AD because I shared the same values that the party had to offer. The problem with partisan politics is that people are not open to new ideas and hence are not always willing to listen to what we have to say. I believe in continuing the work we are doing and continue encouraging young people to listen, to think and to understand as individuals. This I think, is very important. 

‘Vote Green, Vote Clean’ is AD’s electoral slogan: don’t you think that the electorate places issues like job creation and tax cuts before issues like good governance?

The electorate chooses not to put good governance first because they seem to be in denial of what is happening in the country. It is more beneficial for governments to put job creation and tax cuts before anything else because these are the ways that they will earn votes. 

A newspaper recently described a vote for AD as a vote ‘for Labour’. In reaction, someone said that this was ‘an act of bullying’. What is your comment?

A vote for AD is a vote for AD. There is no doubt about that. There is no rightful argument for parties to resort to scaremongering amongst their people to gain votes. I think it is an immature way of doing politics. 

Based on your door-to-door encounters, what are the top three concerns of families?

This election came at an extremely bad time because I am just finishing off my second year of my degree. I did not have the time or the energy to do house visits, however I have attended events which have given me the opportunity to speak to people about their issues. Good governance is at the top of everyone’s agenda. Traffic issues and the state of the environment are the two other issues many people discuss with me. 

Which, in your opinion, was the government’s best decision and worst mistake over the past four years?

The government’s best decision was to provide free child care, I feel this has helped many mothers to get back into the working industry. The government’s approach towards our environment is one of the worst mistakes (apart from the denial of all scandals, and the reclamation of all institutions etc.), made in the past four years. People elected the Labour Party with the impression that something positive will come out of the past state of the environment however I feel immensely disappointed. 

Which, in your opinion, was Alternattiva Demokratika’s best decision and worst mistake, as a party?

What many might consider the worst decision is not accepting to contest in the PN’s name since this way AD gave up an easy possibility of having candidates elected. I instead believe that this was a noble choice of principle, indeed the best choice. Though controversial, we stuck to our principles. I would like to be clear before I am bombarded with criticism – I would have agreed with a coalition should it have been done appropriately but the circumstances did not allow it. I do encourage people to read more about the issues (and read the right material) related to the coalition before I am bombarded with nasty messages against the party. 

Danika Formosa is contesting the ninth and tenth districts for Alternattiva Demokratika

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