The Malta Independent 22 February 2020, Saturday

Time to build a strong foundation on common ground

Camilla Appelgren Tuesday, 15 January 2019, 09:43 Last update: about 2 years ago

During the weekend I announced that I am contesting the 2019 MEP elections.

I knew from beforehand that it would be triggering reactions, like any decision made in private life or career does. It is normal. The ones cheering for you bring out the motivational spirit, and the ones challenging you bring out the need to explain your views, and along that journey you learn a lot.

My mother always taught me that all experiences are experiences.  

This is where the interesting part starts. I have been challenged by some to dislike the people that won't give me their vote. I beg to differ; politics is not about hate, not even near. I was brought up in an environment where politics were not even mentioned until reaching voting age.

I shaped my own view of what a politician is and I will now share this view with you. I just ask you to have an open mind, not necessarily to agree with me.

Being a politician is not about choosing black or white; it is not about either loving someone or something or hating it. It is much more about keeping a balance and listening to all parties taking part in the discussion.

People keep telling me "don't even bother to discuss with the people who disagree with you" and yet I keep on discussing. Why, you may ask? The answer to that is that I am constantly learning and analysing the behaviour of others but more so my own. Sometimes communication makes us misunderstand things and I strongly believe that all humans can find common ground, one way or another.

I may disagree on some topics with people being far from my core views - that doesn't mean that I have to dislike them. This is the biggest mistake a person can make. We are all unique and that is what makes us so amazing. I don't have one friend or even family member who thinks identically to what I think of the world and the issues we face. We complete each other, but only if we unite around the common ground and work together while at the same time have a healthy debate on the matters where we differ.

I am an environmentalist and going into politics won't make me any different from who I was last Friday, the day before the announcement.

Some have also approached me claiming that this was my agenda all the time. My answer to that is the fact that I personally believe that having an agenda to safeguard the environment for the future generation is not a bad one to have.

Agendas aren't bad when handled correctly. Corruption is a proof of agendas going in wrong direction, people being lea onto dark paths where they decide to stay. I have my compass set to follow the good paths and my goal has been clear from the moment I picked up the first plastic bottle at the shore of St Paul's Bay and Wignacourt Tower back in 2012.

I want the future generation in Malta, in Europe and in the world to enjoy the environment they depend on, and for that to happen we must not overuse the resources and be careless.

For years I've heard people claiming that there are too many crooks being politicians, on both sides.

Many are claiming that a "politician will always be a politician". Well, maybe it is about time for politicians to break that norm? Maybe it is time for a new kind of politician?

I will not make a big fuss about me contesting the MEP elections, nor will I launch a massive campaign. I will keep on doing what I do on a day to day basis and my actions will speak for themselves. Just like I mentioned in my speech, leaders eat last. I do not go into MEP election to gain anything for myself, but I do it to maybe be able to give more back to the society I live in. There is nothing glamorous about being a politician. I see it like a more advanced version of customer service. The people are my customers and I am here to serve them and even though we may disagree at times I should not be disrespectful or fuel tribalism.

It is up to the people to have their say if they would like me in EU or not. I will personally continue my fight for a better environment until my last breath in any way possible and keep on having healthy discussions with the people, whom I love to serve.

No matter who they vote for, no matter their origin and no matter if they like me or not. We all live on this rock and have to be able to find common ground to build a strong foundation to stand on.

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