Leadership Training in Campaigning
Third Training Workshop for KASYP Batch 2016-2017
April 2 Sunday
April 2 - 5, 2017
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Mr Mark Hauptmann, MdB; Prof. Dr. Mario Voigt, MdL; Dr Priyanca Mathur Velath; Mr Ibrahim Suffian; Mr Atheek Marikar
The 7th batch of the Konrad Adenauer School for Young Politicians (KASYP) met in Colombo, Sri Lanka for their 3rd training programme on "Leadership Training In Campaigning" from 2nd to 5th April.
Also available in Deutsch
The Konrad Adenauer School for Young Politicians (KASYP) is a regional programme for Asian political leaders aged 25-35 years old who have a keen interest in developing personal skills sets and knowledge capacities in order to better contribute to their political parties and communities back home.
20 participants from 9 different Asian countries met from 2nd to 5th April for a three-day seminar on "Leadership in Campaigning" with invited expert resource persons and practitioners in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This was the first time KASYP was held in South Asia.
The training programme began with a welcome dinner where we invited Mr Mahinda Haradasa, National Organiser of the United National Party to welcome the participants and say a few words. In his speech, he stressed on the importance of international cooperation and highlighted evidence of benefiting from regional exchanges evident in programmes like KASYP, for instance. This was a good segway to the rest of the workshop where regional and international trends in polling, electioneering and campaigning were shared and discussed.
The first day of the training programme began with an overview presentation by Dr Priyanca Mathur Velath of St Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She presented on the history of electoral systems and covered country examples of respective electoral systems and their opportunities and limitations. Her presentation stressed that “electoralisation of democracy” is simply not enough though important; the need to deepen political processes and democratic development is crucial as well. The next presentation by Mr Ibrahim Suffian of the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, Malaysia covered the background, utilisation and implications of opinion polling and elections. More specifically, he covered the uses of political polling in campaigning within the region, providing case studies and the use of polling to influence campaign strategies. He also stressed that polling may not paint the most accurate of pictures at times, nevertheless new trends in this arena allow for stronger targeting and testing. But this is also dependent on the freedoms allowed in the political environment in which many political parties have to navigate in.
After lunch, the participants presented respective voter contact compilations – providing deeper insights into the respective country overview on electoral system, political environment as well as trends in campaigning as seen in the most recent elections. These presentations covered both the South Asia and South East Asian region, providing greater understanding of each other’s political situations. Eventually, the first day of conceptual overview, culminated with a Sri Lankan focused presentation from Mr Atheek Marikar. He focused on the last presidential and parliamentary elections in 2015/2016 and showed the polling trends as well as explained the political environment in which these elections took place. This introduced the participants to the nuances of the country situation as well as its political set up. The following day continued presentations by Hon. Mark Hauptmann, MdB and Hon. Prof. Dr. Mario Voigt, MdL who took the group through the fundamentals in political communications, followed by a retrospective trends analysis with case examples from German and American elections. The group also had the highest honour of meeting the President of the Deutscher Bundestag (German Federal Diet) at a luncheon discussion. Hon. Prof. Dr. Lammert was very kind to share his perspectives on the role of parliaments, electoral systems and democracy in the world and the growing need for agendas to be more majoritarian than polarising. Following his special address, five selected KASYP representatives presented their political projects and country scenario to Prof. Lammert, highlighting the role of KAS in political education and capacity building across Asia. The luncheon discussion was also attended by board members of the Consortium of South Asian Think Tanks (COSATT) and representing them, Dr Nishchal Pandey of Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS), introduced the regional project and thanked KAS for promoting regional synergies in South Asia.
The group wished Prof. Lammert and his delegation a safe trip back to Germany and resumed their training programme with Mark Hauptmann and Mario Voigt who covered various campaign strategies and messaging tactics with the participants. These sessions were interspersed with scenario based learning and role play discussions, facilitated by the two members of parliaments.
On the final day of their training programme, the KASYP delegation was hosted for lunch by the Sri Lankan parliament. The delegation had the privilege of meeting and discussing current political issues with the Honourable Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Karu Jayasuriya; from national integration policies to role of parliaments and political parties. Following lunch, the group went for a tour of the parliamentary chambers where there was a live parliamentary debate taking place. The training programme then concluded with certificates presentation by Mark Hauptmann and Mario Voigt and an informal feedback session.
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