internal democracy of liberal political parties

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Internal democracy of liberal political parties. Dennis Hesseling & Lousewies van der Laan Abidjan, 21/10/2012. 11. Workshop Outline. Introductory Session Focus: candidate selection Group discussions. Introduction topic, trainers and group Focus: candidate selection Group discussions. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • *Internal democracy of liberal political partiesDennis Hesseling & Lousewies van der LaanAbidjan, 21/10/201211

  • Introductory SessionFocus: candidate selectionGroup discussionsWorkshop Outline

  • Introduction topic, trainers and groupFocus: candidate selectionGroup discussions

  • Education: PhD in mathematicsPolitical activities (voluntary):Former president and international officer Jonge Democraten (young democrats D66)Former D66 candidate at the national parliament (2 times)Trainer in Morocco, Tunesia, Mali, Burundi, Kenya, South AfricaObserver at elections in ParaguayFormer Board member International Democratic Initiative D66 Professional career :Management consultant at McKinsey, Brussels Competition Authority, NetherlandsIntroduction Dennis Hesseling

  • Introduction Lousewies van der LaanEducation: International Baccalaureate (UNWC American West) Law Degree (University of Leiden) Degree in International Economics (John Hopkins University)

    Political activities & Professional Career:Joined D66 in 1993Ran for EP in 1994 (13th place on list)Elected to European Parliament in 1999 Delegation leader, vice-president committee on civil Liberties, justice and home affairs, member of delegation for relations with Palestinian Parliament, founder campaign for Parliament reformElected to Dutch Parliament in 2003Became party leader in March 2006 after leader had to resign over Uruzgan (until November 2006, when did not stand for re-election)Top woman and nr 2 on national list Deputy party leader, spokeswoman international relations, human rights, justice, police equal opportunities, chair Technology committee, vice-chair Europe committeeLost leadership election June 2006, brought down Dutch government July 2006 (after ministerial abuse of power)Chief of staff President of the International Criminal CourtIndependent advisor on human rights, rule of law and democracy

  • D66: social liberalsPolitics should promote individual developmentCombination of individual liberty and solidarityOpen and pragmatic approach

    Member of LI and ELDR

  • 6Coalition politics in the Netherlands

  • D66 focused on democratizationReferendum Direct elections for prime minister and mayorElectoral system based on constituencies

    Highest organ of the party: general assemblyOne party member one voteGroup members have the right of initiative and amendementElection of members of the national bureauDetermination of the electoral program Elections for candidates for parliamentary elections Identical structures on local and regional levels

  • Your name, your party name, your country, position within the partyOne strong point of your party vis--vis internal democracyOne question vis--vis internal democracy

    Participant introduction

  • Questions?

  • Introduction topic, trainers and groupFocus: candidate selectionGroup discussions

  • Improve quality of ideas and peopleMass mobilisation (especially among youth)Strengthen party organisation and build geographic spreadIdentify dissent (avoid Malema-like situations)Training of new party cadre and culture of grass roots engagement Limit floor-crossing and ensure internal party discipline

    Drawbacks: sharing power, may lose internal voteWhy internal democracy?

  • *Applicability of internal democracy


    SubjectLocalRegionalNationalChange of leaderCandidate selectionFocus of todayDetermining the political program

  • The best politicians? Necessary knowledge for parliamentary work (e.q. judicial, financial, etc.)?A representative ofRegions?Male - female? N.B. Quota by law?Young - old?Ethnicities? N.B. Representation by law?Particular groups (e.g. workers)?An effective group collaboration?What is the desired effect of the electoral list?

  • The partys national bureau? All party members?A representation of the members (e.g. at the party congress)?Non-party member role?

    Can be differentiated according to level (national/regional) and position (top of the list/other positions)Who decides on the electoral list?

  • Party CongressLibDems, UK September, 2012

  • The electoral law and the electoral code The party rulesThe culture/country of the partyThe logistical/financial possibilitiesThe available timeFactors to consider in the decision making process

  • Scheme of the optionsLowHighPractical options (time, logistics)LowHighDemocratic level

  • On the right to voteOn the processOn the decision making processOn the delays

    And... always in advance!Transparency is crucial!

  • Candidate selection procedureCall within / outside of the partyTo apply oneself, or To be nominated by someone / a party unitOfficial proposal form, within the specified periodCandidate nominationList presentationDecisionComposed by the national bureau / an independent commission, orOn alphabetical order, random beginningBy voteAlways secret and anonymousAlways an independent voting commission (3 persons)Preserve voting cards in case of objections

  • Independent of the vote (including family)Knowledge of the partyPolitical experienceAuthority within the partyDiscretionMember profile of commission draft first list

  • Established by the national bureauWritten set of specifications, including special interestsSpecified periodProcess: in any case conversations with all candidatesResults: an ordered list, including motivationObligation of the commission to propose a list

  • Established in advance in writing and communicated to the partyIn case of a proposal list: vote on alternative propositions,starting with position no.1In case of absence of a proposal list: each person with the right to vote composes his ordered listMethods of Decision

  • Aim: to inform members who have the right to voteDesired result: a better list of candidatesGood exercise for external electionsMethods: leaflets, telephone, website, discussion at party congress, regional presentations etc.Electoral campaign - internal!

  • High integrity method and decision makingChecks and transparency, before and during the processHonest campaign (positive vs. negative)Distance persons with a function within the partyPublic promises of candidates respecting the results of the processInclusive attitude of the winner (e.g. Obama)How to avoid conflicts?

  • Campaign material examples

  • Questions?

  • Introduction topic, trainers and groupFocus: candidate selectionGroup discussions

  • Input morning sessionProcess: subgroups French/EnglishReport back in plenaryTo discuss



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