The grass roots
Hans Bruning blogs on the Partnership Days 2012 – Day 3
There is lot of talking about the influence of new media on political change. Social media have been responsible for the changes during the Arab Spring we were told. We learned afterwards that these media had a reasonable influence, although their users belonged to a minority. So it came as no surprise that the majority of voters were opposing the minority of the Facebook generation. The users of the social media can be considered to be just the forefront, but did history not teach us that no real change or even a revolution can take place without these frontrunners?
Joris Backer, a Dutch senator on behalf of D66, taught us today on political manifestos. If a political party prepares a political manifesto, it should have a clear idea of the readership of this document, and should answer the question whether it is just focusing on members or focusing on a much wider audience of journalists, experts and academics. Lesson one in finding your political strategy is defining whom to address.
This lesson of mister Backer was taken into practice by my colleague Levan Tsutskiridze, who is heading the NIMD field office in Georgia. With all political parties involved in his country he practised the teaching of strategic planning. Nice wording for doing your things step by step, timely, but in the correct order. Planning is one, you could really assist political parties in this, but implementing? That’s up to the parties themselves. Some succeed, lots of them fail.
A day of posing a lot of questions to each other: why do we do this, what do we do, for whom will it be and how do we organise? Finally, we all went to the Dutch political grass roots. VVD, CDA and D66 were each willing to receive around 20 participants of our Partnership Days. To engage and exchange.
NIMD: by parties, for parties!