A market place of ideas and experiences
Hans Bruning blogs on the Partnership Days 2012 – Day 2
The second day of our Partnership Days started well. The Dutch Minister for the Interior and Kingdom Relations, mrs Liesbeth Spies, addressed us and spoke about the new law on party financing in the Netherlands. A law already adopted by the House of Representatives, but still to be discussed in our Senate. Some time ago the Council of Europe stated that the Netherlands needs regulations on party financing to avoid ‘misunderstanding’. So far we only had unwritten rules. Mrs Spies stated that transparency will be the keyword now. Some of NIMD’s partners suggested that an independent body should judge on contested cases and not a minister, who is politically responsible.
Immediately after her contribution the exchanges started, a real ‘market’. In contributions and break out sessions we touched upon different topics like:
- Reform legislation (Kenya);
- The use of a finance database of political parties (International IDEA);
- The role of political parties after a new constitution (Ecuador);
- Political party cooperation (Zimbabwe);
- Illicit Networks and Politics (Colombia);
- Democracy Education (Tunisia, Mozambique and Indonesia);
- Guiding Constitutional Reform (Africa);
- Post-popular revolt countries (Tunisia and Egypt); and
- Effectiveness of interparty dialogue (Uganda, Malawi and Guatemala).
This market is at the heart of these Partnership Days. It is a unique place for delegations from 18 countries. All these delegations represent their parties either in government or in opposition. The exchange of experiences, the peer-to-peer reflections, the invention of ideas and the ways in which innovative ideas can be applied are all results of this market.
I started my work for NIMD just a year ago, so I am a relative newcomer in this field of work, this being my first Partnership Days. These days are not only about facilitating the process of politics, it is not only about electoral systems, it is not only about writing manifestos, it is not only about supporting political parties and organising their dialogue. It is more: about having a passion for democracy, about being inspired to represent people, about building better societies. Being surrounded by people working on the improvement of a wide range of democratic systems is giving me more insight in the problems encountered and the solutions found. A very inspiring experience indeed.