Monday, 27 August 2007

The Politics of Including & Excluding:
- A Challenge to the CUD Delegation Team

Some individuals may want to create a political monopoly of their interests. I believe having diversity of thoughts and perspectives in party politics is of real value. It is expected that any democratic political party gives a platform to all political ideologies and thoughts but most importantly a democratic party has to be inclusive in engaging non-partisans civic organisations to be the major part of the democratic system.

The Ethiopian Diaspora community has existed long before the establishement of the CUD. I believe it is those several civic activities that have maintained the unity of the Ethiopian communities for decades and these civil societies are the basis for the unity and shared values by the Diaspora community. By civil societies, I mean formally organized non-governmental organizations; think tanks; issue advocates; member based or activist organizations; organized but informally structured citizen groups or networks. These institutions are important because they are built on trust and shared values, which can be transferred into the political sphere, help to hold society together, facilitating an understanding of the interconnectedness of society and interests within it.

While political positioning, antagonism, or obstinate personalities can make partisan-civic cooperation challenging, there are benefits to working through the challenges to build a constructive partnership. Particularly where resources are limited, cooperation can heighten the impact of either partisans or civic groups acting alone. The delegation team should utilize the knowledge, experience and contacts they are capable to establish with civic organs. Improved public trust is important. The CUD delegation and other supporting actors should have complimentary public images. The delegation should also be aware of the potential partisan-ness of the civic organizations. If the delegation wish to gather an unbiased view, it should to discuss to a range of civic institutions to ensure that they are accurately portraying the needs of the entire Diaspora.

I wish the delegation and Kinijit the very best.