By David Olusi
1. ODM needs a sufficient strong national, identifiable electoral base. It needs to strive to root itself in the electoral and interest groups that it wants to represent, in alignment, obviously, with its basic values and its programmatic profile.
2. ODM has to build an extensive organisation in order to practise closeness to citizens and to be able to mobilise voters. It has to build an open membership organisation. Membership is fundamental for the recruitment of its future leaders and should also be a relevant element for its financial basis. An active membership organisation, however, requires inner-party democracy, i.e., members who participate politically and who are able to determine the party leadership and set the course of the party.
3. ODM has to be communicative, both internally and externally. It needs a functional inner-party information system for all its rank and file on all levels and for its members. Furthermore, a constant link to the media is necessary. They are the â€œgatekeepersâ€ of the political system in the developed media democracy, generating public awareness. They need to establish daily or weekly publications and if possible own media houses.
4. ODM has to develop its own programmatic profile, differentiating itself from others by formulating targets and ways of solution in keeping up to the real problems of the time. The objective of the programme work is to enable the party to integrate public expectations and demands and to promote identification with the party by the citizens.
5. ODM has to show a high degree of inner party governability. This is the capacity to balance between a unified appearance towards the public and the inner-partyâ€™s controversial dialogue. Part of this governability is the selection and support of the younger generation of party members and party leaders.
6. ODM has to be capable of integration. This is the actual key to success and to the growth of a party. What is meant here is the constant strive to expand its electoral base, to win over new voters with different interests and young voters with other lifestyles and to establish a constant connection to these voters.
7. ODM must be capable of campaigning. It has to be able to present important topics and its own profile effectively in public and it must lead flawless election campaigns with few topics and a clear message for â€œfocused communicationâ€.
8. ODM must be capable of forming coalitions. As it is difficult for a party, if not impossible, especially in the context of past-the post voting systems, to obtain absolute majorities in parliament, a party has to be able to form stable coalitions with other parties to demonstrate governability. The problems of governability reflect directly on the reputation of the parties. In coalition formation it can be necessary to overcome deep programmatic and/or personal rifts. This is a moment where political leaders may show their competency.
9. ODM must prove its governability and capacity for solving problems internally and at every level. Only if the party can prove competency and citizen proximity at this level, can they expect trust on a national level.
10. ODM must be capable of learning the expectations, and implementing political programmes that meet the demands within the society. Considering the increased significance of social non-governmental organisations and interest associations, the parties have to intensify their efforts to be in touch with these intermediate organisations, to understand the expectations of the people, and to translate them into policies.