CALD launched its new publication, Freedom to Organize, a collection of best practices in party management drawn from the experiences of its member-parties. The book launch was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 17 November 2012, on the sidelines of CALD Climate Change Seminar and CALD Conference on Democratic Transitions.
In his opening remarks, CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta described the work as a “historic little book” that CALD members can return to as a “point of reference” or even as a “source of memories.” He added that “[t]he book is about how to better handle the difficulties that we face, not just within our political parties but also within our political systems. And with technology, the internet, and social media, it becomes even more a horizon of possibilities our there for each of our political parties.”
Two reviewers from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) for Freedom, which supported the publication of the book, shared their thoughts on its value and usefulness. Mr. Jules Maaten, Country Director of FNF Philippine Office encouraged everyone, particularly CALD member-parties, to read the book, for while they may think that they already know everything about their fellow members, the book reveals valuable pieces of information which they can use in their own political parties. He also commended the book’s practical orientation, which, he said, caters to the needs and disposition of CALD’s target audience: the officials and members of CALD member-parties.
Programme Manager of FNF Thailand, Dr. Mary Dusadeeisariyakul considered the book as a welcome addition to the scant literature on political party organization in Asia. She also highlighted the relevance of the book to CALD member-parties, noting for example that the Democrat Party of Thailand may learn from the way the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan conducts its primary elections, or that the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia may get some ideas on how the Singapore Democratic Party uses new media to operate in a restrictive political milieu.
Freedom to Organize is the first offering of CALD’s Political Party Management Series, which is also envisioned to include volumes on political communication, and women and youth organizing. The series underscores, among others, the importance of democratic, inclusive and transparent political parties in the success of democracy. For as what CALD Chair Sam Rainsy pointed out in the book’s Foreword, “We cannot be effective agents of reform if we cannot run efficient, transparent and accountable political parties. Indeed, with the freedom to organize comes the responsibility to do things right.”
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This post was written by CALD