Pieces of training on political education are conducted within the activities of the “Active Community” Clubs
During the month of June, 25 clubs of the “Active Community” held informal platforms for discussing important topics, finding fresh ideas and ways to solve problems locally. As the parliamentary elections will soon take place in Ukraine, it is important for every citizen to know about the functioning of the parties, their principles, and values.
Therefore, the training “Parties: What we should know about them” aims to discuss the essence and idea of political parties, to deepen knowledge regarding their creation and the activities in Ukraine and abroad, and compare them with the parties from abroad.
Coordinators and coaches from Institute “Respublica” spoke about various political systems, open and closed lists, political parties in Ukraine and their funding, party lists, and primaries. Together with the participants, examples of political parties were compared with the parties from abroad which were subsequently compared with Ukrainian realities. Also, each participant gained some knowledge using interactive exercises that will help him/her to recognize a real and honest political party from political projects.
In Zinkiv an example of an ideal political party was portrayed, providing the steps on how to form its values and principles, and how to create an image of an ideal deputy. Participants also “drafted ” a portrait of their voter and contemplated what party ideology is closer to each person and how it might affect their choice during the upcoming parliamentary elections.
During the training in Rubizhne, the trainers spoke about the information on the history of political parties, state funding of parties, and participants learned about the main tasks of the official observation of the electoral process. Furthermore, they received additional knowledge necessary to work on controlling the electoral process as observers.
During the practical exercises, participants of the Club in Rivne were able to:
- Create their own “ideal” political party and portray their “own” voter;
- Get acquainted with the interesting and actual resource RADA4YOU of the Civic Network “OPORA”, to examine how the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada vote in certain issues;
- View financing of political parties in Ukraine through the website “Gold of the parties” from the public movement Chesno.
In Skadovsk, in addition to the question of political parties and their functioning, the trainers and participants reviewed the general provisions of the Electoral Code. The trainers have also invited participants to sign a petition to support the change of the electoral system in Ukraine, of which the collection of signatures has already taken place. All signatures will be sent to the central office, and then to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
In Kropyvnytskyi, by the means of brainstorming, participants defined the principal objectives of an official observation of the electoral process. They determined the differences between the correct electoral advertising which indicates responsibility for the producing and illegal ones. Participants also read the information in more detail on the party’s financial reporting, legislative interpretation of “bribing voters” and its actual situation. As a result of the training, participants have become determined to apply in practice the methods of control over the electoral process, which should be conducted in a democratic, honest and a lawful way.
According to the results of the Clubs, trainers advise each voter to answer the following questions for themselves. These should help them to make the right and deliberate choice in the future:
- What is the party’s ideology?
- Is the party an impersonation of a leader?
- Since when the party has become to exist?
- What is the organizational structure of the party?
- Has the party announced the entire list of candidates for deputies?
- Was the party conducting the primaries, did the meeting have an open character?
- Who finances the party, particularly during the election?
- What have already accomplished the representatives of the party in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (if it is already in parliament)?
- What is the party’s position on domestic and foreign policy?
- Were the party representatives found involved in corruption scandals?
The next topic for the meeting of the “Active Community” clubs will be on: “Voter Information Hygiene”. To learn more about this training, look for information on the pages of the regional offices or in the “Active Community” group.
The “Active Community” clubs in the cities are a communication platform for discussing ideas with an objective of urban development and its implementation, obtaining new information on reforms, and on education and citizen engagement in political decision-making processes on the local level.