You are here

An act and a process

Sep 24,2022 - Last updated at Sep 24,2022

There is a difference, regarding political parties, between the act of forming parties, and the process of party formation. 

What we see at present are acts of formation, rather than formation processes. 

The act of formation refers to a number of individuals or groups getting together and declaring the formation of a political party overnight, agreeing on the name of the party, some general principles, the names of the founders, and the publicity or promotion of the party. 

All of a sudden, we get a new political party in the political scene, in a short period of time, and without much preparation. 

Such an act is, in pricinple, both understandable and even welcome, in light  of the recent recommendations of the National Committee for Political Modernisation, the recently passed Political Parties Bylaws, and our desire to develop and modernise. 

The process of political formation, by contrast, is noticeably different where political parties materialise after a long period of thinking, planning, formulating principles, maturation and formation. The process is longer, deeper, and more grassroot- entrenched than in the case of a hastily executed act. 

It is much like the birth of a baby after a long period of courtship, marriage, and pregnancy. 

Why are we raising this matter and this difference? 

For three main reasons. 

One, because we all seek a better life for ourselves and better conditions for our society, and one of the ways of achieving this is by having a complete, mature democracy made possible through real, vibrant political parties. 

Two, because a successful and impactful political party is the one that is amply aware of its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities, making it possible for it to come up with a relevant and robust strategic action plan. 

Three, because a solid, effective political party is the one that results from a meticulous process of formation, and not just a simple act. 

The latter point is of extreme importance, because for a vibrant political party to materialise, a lot of preparation, initiation and maturation is needed so that the party truly presents a big segment of the society, especially at the grassroot level, as opposed to one formed by a number of activists, intellectuals, or an elite group. 

When I was a graduate student in the U. S., what attracted my attention most about American students belonging to political parties was the fact that they came to the university already politically mature and fully versed in their party's basic principles, as reflected not so much in what they say about their parties, but in their well-articulated positions regarding societal matters. 

By contrast, a lot of people in our society, students and others, join parties now regardless of any prior positions on matters. 

Taking the specificity of our situation into account, where the idea of encouraging individuals to join parties is a relatively new one and where we do want to have political parties in a short period of time, the main challenge for us is to combine the act of forming parties with the process of political formation and maturation. 

Which should come first, on may ask, the act or the process?

Realistically speaking in our situation, we cannot wait for the process to deepen and mature and then to execute the acts of formation. 

What seems more realistic is to work on the two together, in parallel. We execute the act and then immediately start working on the process. 

With this in mind, there is a lot of hard work awaiting our newly-formed political parties, if they are to succeed. 

An act alone will not cut it; it has to be an act complemented with a process.

up
24 users have voted.

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
4 + 5 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.