February 22-24 the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation together with the Bosnian centre-right party PDP arranged this year’s first conference. The theme for this weekend was Local Politics and Campaigning, due to the local elections held in Bosnia in October 2012. The participants were newly elected local politicians as well as their more experienced colleagues.
Two Swedish speakers participated at the conference; Gustaf Stenlund, Public Relations officer for the Moderate Party in Stockholm County Council and former press officer of the Moderate Youth League as well as Kristoffer Tamson, Senior Consultant at the agency Hallvarson & Halvarsson and former Chief of Staff for Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
The Saturday started off with a session on the essentials in local politics, where Kristoffer among other things brought up the generally most important questions to a voter and the importance of more jobs for a prosperous municipality. After that, Gustaf discussed the Moderate party’s journey to become the “new worker’s party” and the impact it gave on a national as well as regional and local level.
During the afternoon the participants engaged in different workshops. In the first one the participants got to, with the help of pictures, mediate how they thought the voters saw their party and how their own view of the party was. After that they discussed if there were any differences or similarities in the views and what conclusions could be drawn from that.
In the second workshop they made an analysis on their own municipality. This was done by first taking three problems that the inhabitants of their municipality cared most about. Then the participants got an assignment to make a vision and a strategy on how these three problems would be solved. The last step in this exercise was to make suggestions on how to communicate these solutions to the voters.
The Sunday was dedicated to presentations from the Saturday’s group exercises as well as an opportunity to get feedback from Gustaf and Kristoffer. The last session was held by Mladen Ivanic, Party Leader of PDP. Mladen talked about important questions from now on and opened up for a dialogue where the participants could come with their own views and thoughts.
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