Political Parties and Role of Party Executives…

A more normal and regular limitation on a leader whether President or a Presidential candidate than the very remote possibility of a breakdown of party loyalty lies in his relationship with his ministerial colleagues or if a candidate, his party’s executives.The limitations arise in several situations.When a leader is chosen or wins an election, he has great power conferred upon him, but his immediate desire must be to end any old party feud, to draw everyone together round his leadership.

The role of a leader and party executives is crucial in parties growth and electoral fortunes.Party executives usually exhibit different posture and character depending on where their parties find themselves at a particular point. In Government, they appear more defensive and display moderation in their activities. One common phenomenon which affect most parties when in government is this phenomenon where party executives get themselves closely involved in governance activities creating enough and comfortable space for the opposition to carry out its activities without limitations.

In opposition, party executives become very aggressive and reasonably intolerant. That notwithstanding, certain unique traits are expected of party executives needed to support their parties activities in government or when it lands in opposition. The NPP in opposition appeared solid and effective because of the executives it paraded the effective coordination we saw them exhibit. I remember the youth organizer say in 2012 that they were going to  use same method used by the young guys in the NDC in 2008 to torment the NDC and true to his words the youth organizer and his boys exhibited same effective skills culminating in the victory they enjoying today.Political competition must be handled like a soccer game, you need to place effective players as check on deadly players in the opposing team. If you carelessly allow such deadly players to operate freely, they will punish you. I am happy the two dominant parties are working seriously on their post election issues it shows seriousness on their part. The NDC is now in opposition and the pressure is going to be on their executives to take back power for the party’s teeming supporters who were seriously bruised in the last elections.

The party’s success in 2020 would depend on the kind of persons elected to fill the various executive positions and personally, I hold the position that 60% of the victory operation depends on the executives going to support the party and the elected leader. I always do my political calculations when it comes to internal party issues using the ANC system. The ANC, Labour in Britain and other pro- left parties attach much seriousness to their internal arrangements especially election of party executives. Election of party executives shouldn’t be handled like a one short ritual,the parties ideological growth and dissemination etc must be considered, elected leaders must be people who understand the party’s philosophy and must be people who are ready to teach and practice them.

The NDC in opposition needs strong executive base, focus must not placed only on election of a flagbearer. The first and most important step the party must  focus on, is election of effective executive officers. Much of the party’s future depends on the kind of persons who are going to handle the party into 2020.

ORGANIZER –

The party needs an organiser who will have the strength and wherewithal to work for all candidates through his branch,constituency and regional officers. One who can liaise between local party members and candidates. One who who have the ability to manage projects and events to promote party locally and at the national levels. One who can maintain party membership records and analyse the electoral roll or register. In this technological era, parties need an organiser who can handle production, printing and distribution of party literature,leaflets etc. Voluntarism has become an accepted phenomenon across the globe the NDC therefore needs an organizer who in his own capacity and using his organisational skills, can organise volunteers to help with campaign work,raise and manage local party funds and deal with correspondence etc. The party need a tough minded person who can put together effective electoral campaigns and ensure compliance with electoral laws and party regulations.

Two key attributes delegates must consider when electing the party’s organizer or organizers at the regional or local levels are,compatibility and acceptability. Delegates must look beyond the party’s immediate environment and consider the organizers ability to reach out to those outside the party’s stables, the floating voters,first time voters, the middle class,academia etc must be considered. Headliners and fanatics only protect the status quo,moderates however bring changes all these dynamics must come to the decision table. The incumbent organizer is one of the sharp politicians in the country and exhibited exceptional skills in the last campaign despite the lost. The promises by the opposition were too sweet to battle hence the abysmal performance. I am not sure whether he will contest for same position but if he decides to climb the ladder upwards, then the party needs an effective replacement somebody who possess the attributes mentioned.

COMMUNICATION-

My personal recommendation is that the NDC appoints a communication director instead of using the electoral college.Political communication is gradually becoming a challenging field that demands a unique set of skills. With the kind of politics we witnessing,the party needs a person with thick skin and a quick wit. The old communication antics are dead and buried they have become just ugly noises with no effective effect. The NDC needs a communication director who is a good and patient listener, a thorough researcher and tough and coherent speaker. The party needs whose public speaking and presentation skills are exceptional, someone whose public speaking and presentation will reflect those a calm, knowledgeable and poised professional. The political game is changing globally and social media has become the common communication platform for politicians and parties. The party must have someone with vast knowledge about social media communication. The Kalypo craze, the “incompetent” propaganda etc are enough examples to confirm the fact that social media can make or break a political campaign. Even though social media still seems casual than speech or presentation because of the level of illiteracy and accessibility, it should be taken just as seriously.Tweets, post on Facebook comments on online news portals etc support the overarching narrative of parties campaign or organisation

The party needs a person I term “communication ranger” whose demeanor and stature can intimidate his opponent and command respect in the media. It is very necessary because of the dynamics. The incumbent did marvelously well but just like I said earlier, the promises by the opposition were too succulent to battle. The NDC is now in opposition so needs to change its communication strategy to meet the realities of the time.

YOUTH ORGANISER

It is one of the lower positions on the ladder but the most sensitive position because of the percentage of the youth on our electoral register.

The party needs a youth leader who can effectively match the the youth leadership of the opposition, one who  can organise the youth and inculcate in them the principles of the party. A youth leader who will focus more on issue oriented activism than mere traditional partisan and electoral politics, one who organise the youth in public protests and advocacy whenever the opposition goes overboard. Technology and use of social media has changed the way youth participate in activism, our youth because of experimentation, are more active in media both social media and traditional Media than older generation the party must therefore get a leader who understand these changing trends. The person must understand the sociopolitical development of the system. A leader who can reach out to new voters and coordinate effectively with students across the country including the younger ones. The stature and demeanor of leader must come first when making our decisions. The party needs someone who talks reasonably tough and very coherent. The incumbent per its activities will pose serious problems,they have the resources and state institutions at their disposal hence the need to elect a tough skin person who will not succumb to pressure and intimidations. It is not about fine dictions and tribal blocks it must be about electing a leader who can move the youth when necessary.

I will continue in my next write-up but for now,let’s ponder over some of the points enumerated and add our contributions.

Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow

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