2.1. We do it ourselves
In The Alternative, we start with ourselves because we recognize that all change must necessarily come from within. Therefore, The Alternative has identified a number of mandatory criteria for how we will operate and act as a political party.
The Alternative’s politicians will debate from The Alternative’s debate principles. We do not believe that politicians must be omniscient oracles who can not admit that there is something they do not know, or that politicians cannot recognize a good argument, even though it came from a political opponent.
The Alternative’s debate principles:
- We want to draw attention to both advantages and disadvantages.
- We will listen more than we talk, and we will meet our political opponents where they are.
- We will highlight the values that lie behind our arguments.
- We will openly admit when we cannot answer a question and admit if we have been wrong.
- We will be curious towards those with whom we have conversations and debate.
- We will openly and impartially argue how The Alternative’s political vision can be achieved.
The Alternative recognizes that citizens can only be involved and engaged in politics if they actually hear about it. The media plays a crucial role as a facilitator, interpreter and critical watchdog on behalf of citizens. The Alternative will use the media actively and will therefore
take the effort to consider carefully how messages are communicated. We will make a media declaration that accurately accounts for what, how and why we communicate a message to one or more media source. In this way we ensure that The Alternative’s deliberations are transparent. Citizens, political commentators and other interested parties will always be able to read about our motive for telling a story to a specific media outlet or a particular journalist in a certain way.
Loosely speaking, The Alternative also makes spin. We are just open about it.
Transparency of the process
The Alternative will enter into political negotiations with the clear aim to involve citizens in the whole process and to account for how the individual results from the negotiation process are obtained. The Alternative will always openly discuss the intermediate results in political negotiations.
Political Ombudsman Council
The Alternative will create an Ombudsman Council to serve as The Alternative’s political watchdog. The Ombudsman Council will consist of five public debaters with a media, political or rhetorical background. The Ombudsman Council will be the external reviewer of The Alternative. It will make sure that we do what we say, and say what we do. The Ombudsman Council will annually publish an assessment of The Alternative’s ability to live up to our own values, and give constructive feedback on how we can improve.
The four points discussed above are The Alternative’s internal assumptions about how we, as a party, will exercise a new political culture. It is our hope that by taking the lead, we can inspire other parties, politicians and the media to consider how they too can help to develop a better political culture.