People who engage in political parties do so because they want to change something. For most people the challenges facing themselves, their neighbors and their community are things that they want to address. Therefore, the party at local level, the Branch, is crucial. But it’s not enough to think that because you live in an area and are aware of all the problems you also know what the residents’ attitudes are, how they perceive the problems and how they think the problems should be solved. It’s on the ground – and between elections – that the voters are won.
A political party must be serious and professional in its approach. General statements which have no facts behind them are weak arguments and can be easy for opponents to criticize. To do your own research is necessary to get reliable information. You will have to go to people and ask questions about things.
A good politician needs to be a good listener, to be interested and to be able to answer questions, explain issues and handle criticism in a constructive way. There are many ways one can get in contact with people directly. Door-to-door canvassing, street meetings, forums, information tables at shops or events, and handing out pamphlets are some good examples.
Most people belong to some organization, such as a church, a sports club or something similar. You should make contact with these organizations, and communicate with them. It is a good way of creating a network for gathering information about people’s thoughts on different issues and challenges. Also, such a network is a very valuable channel when you want to get a message across to many people quickly.
Many decisions that influence workers’ lives are made at political levels and cannot be settled in negotiations between employers and employees. Therefore it is natural for trade unions to try to influence the political decisions of government that affect people’s lives.
Cooperation with trade unions give us insights into the conditions of workers’ lives such as poor safety, unemployment, low salaries, shift work, and insecure employment – this helps us make better decisions.
Explore the different sections of the factory below to get some ideas outlining how you can organize your contacts and cooperation with trade unions.