On Sunday, 13th of May 2018 the Young Liberals hosted the Liberal Laboratory (LibLab) 18.1 in Northern Attica. This first LibLab for 2018 was dedicated to the future of liberal youth within the political landscape of Greece in view of next year’s local and European elections.
This workshop, the LibLab, comprised sessions on the new proportional electoral law that will affect the elections system for the local administration, a seminar on political strategy with the President of the Liberal Alliance party, Makis Spyratos, as well as a discussion with liberal candidates for local administration positions.
In the first part of the LibLab on tackling the new proportional electoral law, the Young Liberals argued that it would offer a new window of opportunity for liberals in Greece. This law could make it easier for smaller political groups to acquire positions within local councils. This means that it would finally be possible for liberals to overcome the necessary threshold. The group of Young Liberals agreed in this discussion, that it was the right time in order to join forces to gain seats in as many municipalities as possible.
In the seminar hosted by Makis Spyratos from the Liberal Alliance party, participants developed the idea from the previous discussion further, into a more practical context. The party president laid out the responsibilities of a candidate, at party and individual level, and explained what the focus should be on, in order to properly organize a campaign. He showcased several examples from his own experience. In his assessment, 2019 would be a better year in order to get out the liberal vote, compared to the years of 2010 and 2014. In his opinion, candidates, as well as the electorate were better prepared and more receptive to liberal messaging.
The Liberal Laboratory gave participants the opportunity to discuss the upcoming elections with liberal candidates themselves. In the final part of the LibLab Apostolos Siokas, Vice Mayor of Moschato-Tavros, Mary Manta, City of Kallithea and Dionysis Kampiotis, candidate Mayor of Oropos discussed the need to use a rhetoric that provides clarity and openness. They also spoke about the necessity for a flexible and efficient plan, in order to make campaigning economical.
To wrap things up, LibLab provided an opportunity for the participants to draft a liberal political programme by themselves in order to equip them with hands on tools.
The next LibLab (Summer School) in July will pick up on the lessons learned and is hopeful to continue the path of fostering fruitful liberal discussions, know-how and best-practice exchange in Greece.