The person behind the name – Ralph Cassar (AD)
As Election Day looms closer we’ll bring you short interviews with those at the centre of the ballots – the candidates themselves.
The three political parties were sent the same questions to pass on to their respective candidates. To date the Nationalist party has sent no replies.
Active in AD since 1992, Ralph Cassar, from Attard, is currently the party’s Secretary General and spokesperson on energy, IT and transport. He served as a Green councillor in Ħ’Attard between 1994 and 1998, 2007 and 2012, with his priorities being the improvement of the recyclables collection scheme; educational, cultural and sports activities; planting of indigenous trees, the defence of open spaces and the introduction of green technology in the locality. He holds a BSc in chemistry with computer studies, an MBA from the University of Malta and an MSc in Science and is currently a lecturer of applied science at MCAST.
What made you choose a political career?
Politics means working to promote ideas to make our country a better place for all.
What makes you believe in your party?
As a party we believe in social justice, ecological modernization and civil rights. I choose AD because we are free - free from ties to big business, free to raise issues which others either cannot or will not even raise and discuss.
What party values or policies do you cherish?
The party's emphasis on the creation of green jobs, ecological sustainability and a fair, just and inclusive society are the policy areas which are closest to my heart.
What can you offer to the electorate and if elected what issues will you insist on?
I will insist on increasing nature reserves, a green economic policy and raise awareness on the need for a sustainable mobility plan for Malta and Gozo.
What are your views on the two main political parties?
They practice what I call 'bulldozer politics' and have a 'winner takes all' mentality.
Given your background (career) what policies and bill will you lobby for?
A clear roadmap is needed for the serious take-up of clean energy in Malta; Germany's clean energy bill is a model I would push for. Also, we absolutely need to invest more in R&D, which is key to a healthy economy. My view is that R&D should be targeted towards the green economy with resource and energy efficiency a top priority.
What should the public expect from a new government?
The public should demand and expect good governance - something which we have not really seen much of!
‘Fil-Parlament ma jikbrux fjuri’ – What will you do to make Parliament bloom?
A parliament with 3 parties necessarily means that discussion; constructive criticism will become the order of the day. It will also mean that issues ignored by the other parties will have to be, at the very least, discussed.
AD has never been elected in parliament. Is the party ready to form part of the government?
AD is always ready to discuss a programme for government with any of the other parties. Discussions would be based on the parties' manifestos.
Why should people go for new blood rather than the devil they know? In a parliamentary structure shrouded in allegations of corruption and lack of accountability, why get involved?
Aren't people fed up of the devil yet? If people do not get involved in politics then we will have really and truly abandoned our country’s institutions to those involved in corruption and arrogantly refuse to be accountable.