LIBERALISM? CALD Annual Report 2016
Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats
MESSAGES Oyun Sanjaasuren Abhisit Vejjajiva Mu Sochua Jayanthi Balaguru Bulgan Bayasgalant
PROFILES Abhisit Vejjajiva Kiat Sittheeamorn
Q & A WITH KHUN ABHISIT
PROJECTS CALD Taiwan Presidential & Parliamentary Elections Mission 6th CALD Party Management Workshop CALD Philippine General Elections Mission 7th ALDE-CALD Meeting IFLRY-CALD Youth Climate Change Workshop CALD Executive Mission to Taiwan 11th CALD General Assembly
SPEECHES CALD Keynote Speeches Abhisit Vejjajiva Florencio “Butch” Abad Speeches from Liberal Leaders Ing-wen Tsai Leni Robredo Aung San Suu Kyi
52 RESOLUTIONS 53 LETTERS 56
CALD MEMBER PARTY HIGHLIGHTS Democratic Space Tightens, But Change Is Inevitable Economic and Political Setbacks, But Hope Remains High Redefining the Liberal Party’s Role SDP’s Call for Democratic Change Still Strong On Course Despite Profound Sadness
BULLETIN CALD Youth attends 39th IFLRY GA Liberals celebrate Taiwan’s vibrant democracy Asian liberals ponder together with LI manifesto drafting committee A bustle of activity at the Assembly’s sidelines Despite setbacks, liberals told to stay positive CALD condoles with grieving Thai people PKB becomes full CALD member
SPEAKERS & SESSION CHAIRS
MEMBERS & PARTNERS
Liberalism Still Lights the Way Oyun Sanjaasuren, Outgoing CALD Chair
HOW WAS it to be a liberal in 2016? “Not good,” many would say. In the CALD General Assembly that had as theme “Liberalism vs. Illiberalism”, not a few opined that 2016 was the worst year for liberals in recent history. From Brexit to the denunciation of regionalization and globalization, from the decline of liberal democracy to the rise of populist, ultranationalist leaders, there appears to be enough reason for liberals to feel defeated. But is liberalism, as an ideology, really defeated? Is there any real challenger to liberalism’s claim — as The Economist puts it — to be the “best way to confer dignity and bring about prosperity and equity”? Despite the bitter harvest of 2016, I still believe that liberalism remains to be the ideology that caters to our fundamental aspiration as human beings: the desire to be free. To be in control of our lives — to have the liberty to shape our lives as we pleased — is what defines our humanity. It is what defines us as liberals and democrats. However, freedom, which should really be our birthright, is seldom treated as such. History is replete with examples of nations and individuals who fought long and hard to enjoy the freedom that they have now. One example is the country where I came from, Mongolia. The recent history of the Mongolian people is a testament to this indomitability of the human spirit in the struggle for freedom. Landlocked between Russia and China, Mongolia appears to be “democratically challenged”, geographically speaking. Mongolia is the 18th largest country in the world in
terms of territory, but our population of three million people is miniscule compared to Russia’s 140 million and China’s 1.4 billion. Despite these, the Mongolian people became masters of their own destiny when they chose the democratic path in the early 1990s, ending seven decades of socialist rule. Our democracy remains to be a work-in-progress, but in recent years, Freedom House has consistently ranked Mongolia as one of the few “free” countries in the Asia-Pacific region, along with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Mongolia’s journey to democracy, like many Asian countries, comes with a price. And at times, the cost is more deeply felt as it is tied with our personal circumstances. I, for one, lost two loved ones in the course of my country’s tumultuous political history. My grandfather, Russian geographer and scientist Simukov, fell victim to the Soviet-orchestrated Mongolian political purges in the 1930s. In 1998, my elder brother, Zorig Sanjaasuren, one of the leaders of the 1990 democratic revolution, was murdered in his own apartment, three days before the announcement of his candidacy as prime minister. His case remains unresolved to this day. Those of you who had been or witnessed similar circumstances can attest to the fact that they lead to an “existential crisis” of sort. They make you question everything – your disposition, your goals, your priorities. Should you be afraid or be courageous? Should you remain quiet or speak up? Should you retreat or press on? These questions also crossed my mind. In my heart of hearts, however, the answers have always been clear.
And so I entered the unchartered terrain of politics hoping that I could continue what my brother had started: the promotion of democracy, human rights, and good governance in Mongolia. In the process, the Civil Will Party was formed in the year 2000 to serve as a “third force” in a country where the political landscape has always been dominated by two large political parties since the introduction of democracy. A little more than a decade after its formation, the Civil Will Party became the 10th member of CALD in 2011, and subsequently, its chair-party in 2014, albeit under a new name, the Civil Will Green Party. There is no easy way to summarize the past two and a half years that the Civil Will Green Party has been given the opportunity and privilege to lead Asia’s foremost network of liberal and democratic political parties. Allow me, however, to emphasize three aspects where the impact of CALD has been most felt in the past 30 months: (1) promoting climate change as a key liberal issue; (2) strengthening ties with liberals worldwide; and (3) remaining as a critical voice against threats to democracy and liberal values. Promoting climate change as a key liberal issue Environment is an issue that is personally close to my heart, having served previously as Mongolian Minister of Environment and Green Development and Inaugural President of the United Nations Environment Assembly. Now, in my capacity as Chairperson of Global Water Partnership, I am pleased that I am still working on an issue that deals with the environment and its resources.
It is for this reason that during the incumbency of the Civil Will Green Party, CALD had, on average, two to three climate-change events a year – most of which were under the auspices of CALD Youth, which had readily taken on the mantle of climate change advocacy. Under the chairmanship of fellow Mongolian and environmental advocate Bulgan Bayasgalant, CALD Youth even spearheaded, together with the International Federation of the Liberal Youth (IFLRY) and Liberal International, the gathering of liberals on the sidelines of COP 21 in Paris in 2015. In August 2016, CALD Youth and IFLRY renewed their partnership in a workshop that aimed to promote the use of social media for climate-change advocacy. We ended the year 2016 with another climate change workshop in Bangkok on climate-smart and climate-resilient infrastructure – a testament to the importance of climate change in CALD’s agenda. Strengthening ties with liberals worldwide Apart from IFLRY, CALD also strengthened its links with other liberal organizations such as Liberal International, ALDE Party, and ALDE Group in the past two and a half years. The mere fact that the President of Liberal International, Juli Minoves, and the Political Adviser of ALDE Party, Andrew Burgess, attended CALD’s last event for 2016 in Bangkok manifested our “ever closer union”. I remember quite well that my very first CALD international event as Chairperson was the one we had with Liberal International in Hong Kong in November 2014, at the height of the so-called “Umbrella Movement”. Our
friends from the Democratic Party of Hong Kong, Martin Lee, Sin Chung Kai, and Ted Hui Chi-fung, who were with us in 2014, have remained active in CALD even after the massive victory that brought the democratic forces in the halls of parliament in September 2016. 2016 was also an election year in Taiwan and the Philippines, and CALD electoral and executive missions in these countries were enriched by participants from the German liberal youth, Junge Liberale, and the Africa Liberal Network (ALN). In June we also met with our European counterparts in Brussels on the occasion of the 7th ALDE-CALD Summit. As illiberal and populist forces threaten the very fabric of regional integration, European and Asian liberals took the opportunity to step back and reexamine our issues, problems, and strategies – particularly in relation to economic crises, refugees, and terrorism. One conclusion from the Brussels meeting highlights the need for cooperation amongst liberals in confronting threats to democracy and liberal values. Remaining as a critical voice against threats to democracy and liberal values CALD was formed precisely for this reason – to be a bulwark of democracy and liberalism in a region still populated by authoritarian or semi-authoritarian countries. Then and now, CALD’s has not faltered in its role as a liberal voice in Asia’s authoritarian wilderness.
the fundamental right of the Hong Kong people to chart their own destiny as promised in the Sino-British Joint Declaration”. On the ongoing political crisis in Cambodia, CALD released a number of statements and resolutions condemning the persecution of the political opposition and the crackdown on peaceful protests. Amidst the summary executions of suspected drug dealers and users in the Philippines, CALD circulated a resolution condemning in strongest terms the spate of extrajudicial killings and calling for respect for the rule of law. CALD has also consistently denounced the restrictive political environment in Singapore, which CALD members experienced firsthand when the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) hosted the 6th CALD Party Management Workshop in March 2016. As the Civil Will Green Party transfers the mantle of CALD leadership to the Democrat Party of Thailand, I, on behalf of my party, humbly expresses our gratitude to all of you, fellow liberals and democrats, for the honor and opportunity you have bestowed on us in leading CALD in the past two and a half years. I am confident that the Democrat Party of Thailand will take CALD to greater heights in the next two years. Long live CALD and liberalism!
For one, at the height of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, CALD issued a statement enjoining China and the international community “to respect
Liberals Must Reinvigorate, Relate, and Reclaim Abhisit Vejjajiva, Incoming CALD Chair
IT IS a great honour and pleasure for the Democrat Party of Thailand to assume the chairmanship of CALD again. This will be the third time for us to do so – – the first time, of course, was when CALD was founded. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Chair, Hon. Oyun Sanjaasuren, and the Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia for having done an excellent job during her tenure of carrying the torch of liberal and democratic values. In particular, her active and passionate engagement on the issue of climate change points the way for Asian Liberals and Democrats as we must continue to make progress on such a vital agenda for all. I would like also to thank our partners and friends, the FNF for the continued commitment and essential support, and ALDE as well as Liberal International for fruitful cooperation and engagement. Allow me also to thank the Secretariat for all the hard work they have put in to make possible all our activities. As 2016 draws to a close, it is important for us to take stock of the situation of liberalism and democracy in the region. While progress continues to be made in countries such as Myanmar, Indonesia, and Taiwan, the general mood here and worldwide is that liberal democracy is under threat. From the Philippines to the United States, where liberal democrats faced electoral defeats, from Brexit to the rise of extremist parties across Europe, and the political situation in Thailand, Hong Kong,
Malaysia, and South Korea, liberals and democrats are facing challenges of a scale unseen in recent political history. Contrast this to the mood when this organization was founded where there was genuine optimism in this region after People Power in the Philippines and after the May demonstrations in 1992 in Thailand. Much progress was achieved in the subsequent decades even when the region faced a severe economic crisis. The recent reversal proves the path to liberal democracy is not irreversible. In most cases, the threat now is no longer a traditional form of dictatorship. Instead, a combination of authoritarianism and populism – – and even terrorism – – is what liberalism and democracy must overcome in order to protect democracies and advance liberal values. To do so means we must recognize our weaknesses. Electoral defeats and impatience with liberal ways on the part of the public suggest the need to close a growing gap between liberal democrats and the people at large. My suggestion is that CALD’s agenda should be to reinvigorate, to relate, and to reclaim. To reinvigorate is for us to refresh our liberal values and principles, beginning with the completion of the new Liberal International Manifesto next year. CALD should use this opportunity to review and revise the core principles that should guide us in our work. The new Manifesto, however, would be a missed opportunity if it fails to relate the Liberal agenda to the needs
of the people today. Liberals and democrats can no longer afford to be seen to be ignoring ordinary people’s livelihoods, especially the disaffected and marginalized, while becoming part of the political elites’ establishment. By making our ideology relevant, we can then reclaim our rightful place as champions of the people. In addition, CALD must expand by actively by seeking new members in the region and by working more closely with LI and partners in other regions. There are benefits to be reaped from sharing experience and know-how in our fight to advance our values. These are no small tasks but our beliefs and strength are ultimately founded on our faith in the people. Let us join hands and work together to make sure that 2017 will be the year when illiberal tides are beaten back and people renew their faith in liberalism. I look forward to working with all CALD colleagues to achieve this end.
Liberalism: A Defence of Women’s Rights Mu Sochua, Outgoing Chairperson, CALD Women’s Caucus
OVER THE past decade, we have made great progress in Asian and Pacific countries in terms of women’s rights. We have seen substantial improvements in enrolment in all levels of education, especially for girls, more women obtaining advanced degrees, an increase in women’s labour force participation, and a reduction in poverty.
Solomon islands and Vanuatu. These figures are shockingly high.
Yet despite the improvements in the overall figures, we know that these advancements are still not enough. As leaders, decision makers, and as women, we continue to face an uphill battle.
Illiberal leaders have pushed back the progress of civil, political, and property rights – rights women struggle to achieve even in what we would consider the most open of societies. On a world stage we have recently heard leaders condone sexual harassment, bully women for their looks, and silence women’s cries of sexual harassment.
The glass ceiling in public administration still remains, posing sizeable obstacles to decision-making. In Cambodia, for example, public administration is made up of 34 percent women, but only 18 percent at the decision-making level; and in Indonesia the divide is greater with 47 percent of public administration being women, and eight percent at decision – making levels. We are still striving towards gender equality in education and in the labour market; it is estimated that the Asia-Pacific region loses up to US$47 billion per year because of women’s limited access to employment opportunities, and an additional US$16 to US$30 billion due to gender gaps in education. This is not to mention ongoing, pervasive violence against women, and barriers to exercising freedom of expression. Approximately one out of three women in the world will experience gender violence. Thirty percent of women in Vietnam have experience physical violence from intimate partners, and more than 40 percent of women have experienced this type of violence in Bangladesh, Samoa, and Timor Leste and over 60 percent in
To burden us further, we are now at a critical point in time where the breakdown of liberalism is resulting in overt oppression, discrimination, and violence under the guise of democratic systems.
In Cambodia, we have fought against an illiberal system for decades. Our elections were plagued by threats, oppression, and corruption, and basic liberties of speech went unprotected. Women activists are continually and brutally arrested for peaceful protests on our streets, their freedom of speech questioned by police, and their civil liberties removed by authorities. Land owners fight for the right to maintain their own property; for women, the loss of land is the loss of their livelihoods – the loss of their ability to support their families. We are continually reminded that women’s rights are human rights. That equal to all those who live under liberal systems we should be free from violence and even the threat of violence. Free to make decisions about our bodies and our lives – our partners and how we raise our kids. We should have access to options, to learn, work, or to stay at home and raise a family if we so choose. It boils down to that: Women should have a choice.
But when those civil, political and property rights are being stripped on a country level, due to shifting politics, all those basic rights are put under threat. And we know how difficult a journey it is. My term as the CALD Women’s Caucus Chair has been an influential medium to discover not only the struggles and hardships, but also the conquest and triumphs of women all over Asia. I am very delighted to hand over this role and voice for women to Ms. Jayanthi Balaguru who, like myself, has been actively defending equality and justice. As we transition to this new chairmanship, I encourage you – as defenders of women’s and human rights – to continue to join me and the CALD Women’s Caucus Chair, on what will be a challenging but fruitful journey to come. We cannot assume that democracy means liberalism. Instead we must maintain to be vocal; we must denounce the slander, the oppression, discrimination, and violence. In this way, those who hide behind the veil of democracy can be revealed as inadequate and dangerous. Silence legitimizes illiberalism. But by gathering, vocalizing, and organizing around women’s rights, we can proceed and progress towards a more equal, a more liberal future.
Because Women Do Matter Jayanthi Balaguru, Incoming Chairperson, CALD Women’s Caucus
WE ARE experiencing some of the worst catastrophes, wars, discrimination, issues of statelessness and violation of rights since World War II. At times such as these, the role played by the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats becomes imminent in continuing to provide platforms for dialogues and cooperation. Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) is honoured to be a part of this Council, which provides a channel for discussions on challenges facing democracy, rule of law, and human rights.
Equally, school completion and literacy rates among women are better than ever, yet overall women are concentrated in low-paid jobs and unpaid housework. In Asia, we see heads of states speak often for women’s rights but fail to deliver on promises or stop the imprisonment of prominent women’s rights activists. The rate of child marriage in Southern Asia remains high.
And it is indeed my privilege to be appointed the Chairperson of the Women’s Caucus.
The refugee crisis in Southeast Asia continues to uproot families, destroy lives, and increase incidents of trafficking of women and children, who often suffer sexual and physical violence.
Despite many successes in empowering women, numerous issues still exist in all areas of life, ranging from the cultural to political, and to the economic. For example, women often work more than men, yet are paid less; gender discrimination affects girls and women throughout their lifetime; and women and girls are often the ones that suffer the most poverty.
It’s therefore crucial that organizations such as CALD continue to work with political parties and key stakeholders based on the common bonds that we share, such as love, family, values, and friendship to create a positive change and empower these women.
This feminization of poverty has created two poor women out of every three adults. The United Nations’ latest data on women’s rights and gender equality (released in October) paint a mixed picture. The number of women in positions of power has been rising, but there are still just 19 female
heads of state, and only four percent of top CEOs are women.
For my part, I will play an active role in the Council’s efforts to build bridges between different marginalized communities to provide a safe environment, protect and impart knowledge about basic human rights, and celebrate diversity. And I wish all of you success in your efforts towards creating a better world in 2017.
Youth Power Strengthens and Spreads Bulgan Bayasgalant, CALD Youth Chairperson
2016 HAS not been the greatest year for liberals around the world, but at CALD Youth we progressed further on our commitment of empowering youth and promoting democracy and liberalism in the region. First of all, CALD Youth joined all CALD events—from Singapore in March to Thailand in November—with the CALD network’s senior political figures sharing the youth’s perspective and serving as a bridge among generations. From these meetings, we reassured ourselves that while the youth are referred to as apprentices and often described as inexperienced, we are also viewed as the hope and the new dawn by our seniors. Often referred to as the “privileged generation”, we are also the generation that has mastered social media, as well as the new media. Indeed, as the importance of social media and communication increases, we had thought it very timely to jointly organize with the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) a workshop with the theme “Climate Change and Social Media” in August in Bali, where all our member parties participated. We also strengthened our international presence by attending the General Assembly of IFLRY in Istanbul, Turkey in April, and by making the youth’s voice heard
at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium in June. And with the new CALD chairperson, Khun Abhisit Vejjajiva, unfolding his action plan during the CALD chair party handover in Bangkok in November, we at CALD Youth have taken to supporting the new plan. We will thus be starting the “report back” system for our upcoming events to ensure that our events and training endeavours are reaching down to the grassroots in member parties. We also will be expanding CALD Youth’s presence by engaging more with other non-member youth and civil-society organizations in Asia and of course will be continuing our work of inspiring local youth through meetings-atlarge. We aim to redouble our efforts in 2017. We plan to launch a Social Media Campaign for CALD Youth; we are also looking to grow as an organization by establishing connections with like-minded organizations and individuals. While we remain committed to our core goals of empowering youth and spreading liberalism and its values, we will start many other interesting initiatives that should be very timely for 2017! Thanks for all your support and cooperation through the years.
“[W]e believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone, for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people and for people with disabilities. For everyone.”
Democratic Presidential Candidate United States of America Concession Speech United States of America 9 November 2016
“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
Republican Presidential Candidate United States of America Presidential Announcement Speech United States of America 16 June 2015
Abhisit Vejjajiva Hon. Abhisit Vejjajiva was Thailand’s 27th Prime Minister, holding the post from December 2008 to August 2011. Even before that, he already had a storied political career. In 1992, Khun Abhisit won a seat in Bangkok for the Democrat Party. After the Democrat Party won the subsequent general elections, he was appointed Government Spokesman (1992-1994). In 1997, when the Democrat Party formed the ruling government after the abrupt resignation of the then premier, Khun Abhisit was appointed a Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office under the government of Khun Chuan Leekpai. From 1992 when he won his first election, Khun Abhisit has emerged a Member of Parliament in each and every election he has contested. In a political career that has spanned two decades, he has assumed many responsibilities: Deputy Secretary General to the Prime Minister for Political Affairs (under then Deputy Prime Minister Supachai Panichpakdi); Chairman of the House Committee for Education; and as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives for three terms. Within the Democrat Party, he has also assumed many positions: Party Spokesman; Deputy Party Leader; and since 2005, Party Leader. Khun Abhisit was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom in 1964. After completing his primary education in Thailand, he returned to the United Kingdom to study at Eton College. He later graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) with 1st Class Honours from Oxford University, where he would also earned a Master’s Degree in Economics. Khun Abhisit came home to Thailand to teach at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy from 1987 to 1988. From 1990 to1991, he was a member of the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat University.
Kiat Sittheeamorn Hon. Kiat Sittheeamorn is the Deputy Leader of the Democrat Party of Thailand. Elected twice as a Member of Parliament, he has been actively involved in Thai politics since 1997. When the DP was the ruling party, Khun Kiat served as Thailand Trade Representative (Deputy PM ranking), acting as the special envoy of the Prime Minister on international trade and investment. He was also responsible for developing strategies, negotiations and implementation of international agreements. In addition, Khun Kiat has worked extensively as a member of various House and Senate Committees in several areas, including foreign affairs, as well as trade and investment. Before going into politics, Khun Kiat was a Director of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). He has also been Chairman of ICC Thailand, Director of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Deputy Secretary General of the Board of Trade of Thailand. He has served as well as Thailandâ€™s representative in the East Asia Vision Group to map out a new architecture between ASEAN and China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. Khun Kiat has had extensive work experiences in many countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He has also written many articles on trade and investment strategies and published books such as As FTA Catches You and Government Budget Reform. He has been a guest lecturer at several leading academic institutions on such topics as international negotiation, trade and investment strategy, and economic laws. Born in 1959 in Bangkok, Khun Kiat received his B.S. in Engineering from Chulalongkorn University in 1981. He is certified in Business Management by Harvard University and holds an M.A. in International Affairs from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He also received an Advanced Certificate in Public Administration from King Prajadhipokâ€™s Institute of Politics and Governance.
Q&A with Khun Abhisit What do you consider your biggest achievement? Effecting a swift recovery of the Thai economy from the global financial crisis while advancing key policies such as free education, income support for farmers and the elderly, as well as protecting democracy in a very polarized environment. On a personal level, itâ€™s keeping my principles and integrity throughout more than two decades in politics! If you could change one thing when you were Prime Minister of Thailand, what would that be? My ability to better communicate the many difficult decisions we made. If you had superpowers, how would you address Thailandâ€™s political crisis? Eliminate corruption and fake news, and allow democracy to serve the Thai people. Who do you see when you look at the mirror? Hopefully a wiser version of myself when I started, but with no less fire. How do you see CALD two years from now? A bigger family of Liberals and Democrats in the region with a more active role worldwide.
“When people in many Asian countries are still suffering from authoritarianism, we in Taiwan are immensely proud of our democracy and cherish our hard-earned social and political rights and individual freedom, together with the rise of civil society and freedom of choice.”
Speech at US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies United State of America 3 June 2015
“I do not care what the human rights guys say. I have a duty to preserve the generation. If it involves human rights, I don’t give a sh*t. I have to strike fear because the enemies of the state are out there to destroy the children.”
Interview with Al Jazeera Manila, Philippines 16 October 2016
PROJECTS CALD Taiwan Presidential & Parliamentary Elections Mission 13-17 Jan | Taipei & Taoyuan, Taiwan As its first main activity for 2016, the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), in partnership with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Taiwan, a founding member of CALD, organized the mission for delegates to learn about campaign strategies and election processes and to observe Taiwan’s 2016 presidential election.
6th CALD Party Management Workshop 11-14 Mar | Singapore The sixth installment in the Political Party Management series, the workshop’s overall goal was to strengthen the competencies of CALD member-parties (and CALD as a network of political parties) in strategic planning by familiarizing themselves with its process and relevant best practices. It had as theme “Strategic Planning for Political Parties” and was hosted by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).
CALD Philippine General Elections Mission 9-15 Apr | Manila & Iloilo, Philippines This mission was aimed in part to provide participants with a general understanding and appreciation of the Philippine democratic system, electoral framework and political party dynamics. Organized by CALD in cooperation with the Liberal Party of the Philippines (LP) and with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), the mission took place a month before the Philippines’ 9 May general elections, which was touted to be the “the most hotly contested” polls since the restoration of democracy in that country in 1986, with “reform politics” battling it out against “traditional politics”.
7th ALDE-CALD Meeting 30 May – 3 Jun | Brussels & Ghent, Belgium Since 2004, CALD has been having a biennial summit with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), with the general objective of learning from each other’s experiences on crucial issues towards the advancement of the regionalization process in both regions. The 7th ALDE-CALD meeting that took place in Belgium had the theme “Bailout, Refugee Crisis, and Terrorism: Implication for Regional Integration” and had delegates drawing lessons from the European responses to the economic crisis, refugee issue, and terrorism, and how these affect regional integration. The event also tackled possible areas of cooperation between ALDE and CALD, with the hope of further institutionalizing and strengthening relations between the two organizations.
IFLRY-CALD Youth Climate Change Workshop 19-22 Aug | Bali, Indonesia After a series of workshops and conferences to promote the Liberal Climate Change Agenda, it became imperative for CALD to think of how to translate ideas into action, strengthen the engagement among stakeholders, and come up with sustainable solutions to the global green crisis. Social media was pinpointed as an effective tool – – and who better to wield it than the tech-savvy and ever-online youth? Thus, CALD, in partnership with CALD Youth, the International Federation of the Liberal Youth (IFLRY), and FNF, organized the IFLRY-CALD Youth Climate Change Workshop that focused on “Social Media Campaign and Climate Change Advocacy”. Among its results was a social media action plan on how to advance youth initiatives and expand youth participation in the region.
CALD Executive Mission to Taiwan 9-12 Sep | Taipei, Taiwan The event, composed of the CALD Executive Mission and CALD’s participation in the first Asia Democracy Forum organized by the DPP’s Democracy Institution, examined the democratic developments in Asia and the experience of Southeast Asian nations visà-vis their pursuit of democracy. The mission also discussed the prospects and cooperation between the DPP-led Taiwanese government and CALD in achieving their goals and vision in the broader Asian region.
11th CALD General Assembly 3-7 Nov | Bangkok, Thailand CALD’s final project for 2016 was its 11th General Assembly that it organized in cooperation with the Democrat Party (DP) of Thailand, and with FNF support. With the theme “Liberalism vs. Illiberalism: Which Side Does Asia Belong?” the event aimed to serve as a forum where the most pertinent issues and problems about the future of liberalism in the 21st century, particularly in Asia, could be raised and discussed. Another aim was to come up with a list of proposals on how liberal political parties can address these issues and problems, particularly those relating to the rise and persistence of populism and illiberalism. A Climate Change Public Forum, Party Network Workshop, Youth Forum on Climate Change, and CALD Executive Committee Meeting also took place on the event’s sidelines.
I V. P R O J E C T S
CALD Taiwan Presidential & Parliamentary Elections Mission 13-17 January | Taipei and Taoyuan, Taiwan
“LIGHT UP Taiwan” – those words rose up with a roar again and again from the Democratic Progressive Party supporters at the DPP’s pre-election rally in front of the Presidential Office Building of Taiwan. Yet not only did they repeat that mantra with conviction, they also helped make it into reality on 16 January, giving the DPP a historic electoral victory – with CALD witnessing everything firsthand. DPP Chairperson Dr. Tsai Ing Wen was elected as the first woman to become the President of Taiwan while DPP itself won majority of the seats in the Legislative Yuan, which was another historic first. CALD had gone to Taiwan for a mission from 13-17 January. Organized in partnership with the DPP, the mission’s aim was two-fold: to learn about campaign strategies and election processes, and to observe Taiwan’s 2016 presidential election. Not surprisingly, the 23 CALD mission delegates from 10 countries had a jampacked agenda, but the resounding victory of a CALD member-party was no doubt the highlight of all the activities. The CALD mission’s list of to-dos included a visit to the DPP Headquarters in Taipei and Taoyuan for an election briefing and a discussion on vital poll issues such as DPP’s international agenda and New Southbound Policy, the new immigrants in Taiwanese society, Taiwan’s democratic roadmap, gender and youth issues, and human rights and judicial reform.
Then DPP International Affairs Department Director James Huang led the discussions and introduced the New Southland Policy, which is part of DPP’s foreign-relations platform. The policy in gist promotes the development of networks and relations with Southeast and South Asia. DPP Women’s Department Director Dr. Lin Ching Yi, meanwhile, talked on the challenges faced by migrants in Taiwan. Members of Taiwan’s democratic movement were also on hand to discuss Taiwan’s history and democratic transition. Former DPP Chairman Hsu Hsin Liang, who had been Taoyuan County commissioner, recounted his fight for freedom after he was impeached for his support of opposition activities. Hsu also provided an overview of the coordination and campaign efforts in Taoyuan and Hsinchu.
LP representative and CALD secretariat with former CALD Secretaty General
As part of the CALD Women’s Caucus’s efforts to empower women leaders in Asian, the mission included a discussion on gender issues, which highlighted Dr. Tsai’s being Taiwan’s first female presidential candidate. DPP Legislator at Large Yu Mei Nu, who shared insights on women’s rights and the struggle to pass gender-equality bills in the legislature, noted as well that human rights and gender equality have always been a priority for the DPP. The CALD delegation was still in Taiwan when election results came out, enabling the mission members to celebrate DPP’s victory with the party. Dr. Tsai received 6,894,744 votes (56 percent of the total votes) while her closest contender from the then ruling Kuomintang (KMT) received 3,813,365 votes (31 percent of the total votes). The DPP also got the majority in the legislature with
CALD delegates in a campaign rally
PARTICIPANTS Cambodia National Rescue Party Monovithya, Kem Phirum, Keo Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Bazar, Chimed Odgerel Democrat Party of Thailand Adithepworaphan, Narisa Jitt-itsara, Tankhun
Rahong, Sutham Tarana, Kovit
Liberal Party of the Philippines Cruz, Stephen Roy
Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Chou, Ya-wei Huang, James
Liberal Party of Sri Lanka De Silva, Dunston Peiris, Newton
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Kleine-Brockhoff, Moritz Reinartz, Armin
Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Balaguru, Jayanthi Devi Ling, Lim Yen Peilin, Ooi Pei Nar Yu, Chong Ah
Singapore Democratic Party Ang, Christopher Go, Jaslyn Yean, Lilian Chia Kai CALD Secretariat Panday, Francis Salonga, Jorgia Zamora, Paolo
TA I WA N E L E C T ION S M I S S ION
The delegation in the DPP headquarters
Delegates pose in the campaign headquarters
68 seats out of the 113 seats; KMT came in second with 35 seats. Another historic moment was the election of former CALD Secretary General Bi-khim Hsiao as Hualien County’s representative in the legislature—the first ever DPP candidate to do so.
CALD delegates show their confidence in DPP victory
And so the light was lit, and a new dawn began in Taiwan. But the work would continue. As Dr. Tsai said in her victory speech: “This election is now over and brings end to the conflicts and frictions in the election campaigns. Together with the 23 million people of Taiwan, we will
overcome the challenges that this country faces. We will not be divided by the elections; instead we will become more united because of our democracy.”
Acquired information and knowledge on campaign and party management strategies particularly on social media and youth development
Informed about the DPP’s platform on women empowerment and LGBT rights
Discussed the DPP’s New Southbound Policy
Expanded CALD’s network of DPP Parliamentarians
Forged partnership with the DPP Taiwan on future programs
Conducted initial planning of the CALD Executive Mission to Taiwan
Expressed support and solidarity with the DPP Taiwan
I V. P R O J E C T S
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6th CALD Party Management Workshop 11-14 March | Singapore
EVERY SUCCESSFUL endeavour begins with a plan. With a good strategic plan, the battle can be won even before it’s ever fought, to paraphrase Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu. Strategic planning, therefore, should be a core competency of all organization—political parties included. Strategic planning is defined as “a process of developing a plan to guide an organization towards a clearly articulated mission, goals and objectives. It is a process of assessing where an organization is presently, ascertaining the challenges and opportunities that present themselves, and determining what destination is most desirable and how to get there”. In many parts of Asia, however, the institutional weakness of political parties, coupled with a restrictive political environment, diminishes the capacity of political parties to come up with a viable strategic plan. Thus, when time came for CALD to hold the sixth workshop in its Party Management series, it chose “Strategic Planning for Political Parties” as theme. The workshop site was Singapore, marking the second time CALD was able to hold high-level events in the politically repressive city state. The Singapore Democratic Party hosted the workshop, as well as the CALD Executive Committee Meeting that took place right before it.
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CALD delegates with SDP members
But first was a welcome dinner at the SDP headquarters for the workshop participants, who were from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. With key SDP officials, including Chairperson Dr. Wong Souk Yee and Secretary General Chee Soon Juan, and members as their hosts, the participants feasted on traditional Singaporean dishes as SDP’s 2015 general elections campaign song “I Will Be the One” played in the background. The next day, 12 March, began with the ExeCom Meeting presided by CALD’s Chair-party, the Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia (CWGP). In the afternoon, the workshop proper commenced with Nick Clelland of Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s largest opposition party, facilitating the discussions. “Strategic planning requires an understanding of the nature of the issue, and then finding of an appropriate response, or an outside-in mindset,” Clelland said.
This, he added, necessitates a clear grasp of the political party’s core values, together with its vision statement and goals. Clelland then tackled the importance of situation assessment/environmental scan in the strategic planning process by looking into the cases of Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The case of Singapore became more relevant because of a surprise announcement earlier that day that by-elections would be held in Bukit Batok, a single-member constituency that SDP contested in the 2015 general elections. The workshop’s highlight came on 13 March, when strategy formulation, which entails synthesizing opportunities and strengths, and choosing the best approaches to address critical issues were taken up. As Clelland put it, this is where “the magic happens” – the most critical stage that could spell the difference between success and failure. A group activity then followed where the participants were asked to formulate
strategies on a hypothetical scenario: how to make the soon-to-be-released IPhone 7 the best-selling smartphone brand in the market. In the afternoon, a session on strategic political communications was held, in which Clelland gave this advice: “Find an issue. Drive relentlessly. Repeat till you retire.” On the last day, 14 March, a strategic planning for CALD took place, where the participants formulated strategic plans on funding, profile, networking, electoral role, and internal relations. In the afternoon, SDP requested a special session with Clelland to guide the party in the upcoming Bukit Batok by-elections. In the end, the workshop participants were able to acquire knowledge on the different steps in strategic planning, especially on political communications and branding. At the same time, an agreement was made on the formation of the CALD Charter Revisions Committee.
PARTICIPANTS Cambodia National Rescue Party Nheng, Ngim Phirum, Keo Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Bayasgalant, Bulgan Nyamdavaa, Monsor Democrat Party of Thailand Dhnadirek, Rachada Punthakeirtpaisarn, Nattapong Sittheeamorn, Kiat
Democratic Party of Hong Kong Hui, Chi-fung Ted
Setiawan, Hanjaya Yunus, Ihsan
Sajahan, Mansura Yee, Wong Souk
Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Cheng, Chung-Seng Chou, Ya-wei Wu, Pei-yi
Liberal Party of the Philippines Umali, Reynaldo
CALD Secretariat Arlegue, Lito Banico, Francis Zamora, Paolo
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Kleine-Brockhoff, Moritz Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Aribowo, Sudiyatmiko
Nation Awakening Party Bahar, Hesbul Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Balaguru, Jayanthi Devi Tang, Ching Sern Dave Singapore Democratic Party Ang, Christopher Chee, Soon Juan Go, Jaslyn
6 TH C A L D PA R T Y M A N AG E M E N T WO R K S H O P
Delegates pose for a group photo
Working group session
Chee Soon Juan with Kiat Sittheeamorn
Delegates learn about strategic planning
Workshop host SDP also wound end up among the event’s beneficiaries. Said SDP Secretary General Chee: “Strategic planning only comes once in a while in Singapore, and this is invaluable for a party like the SDP that is struggling to get into parliament and push for democracy. The kinds of strategies and
techniques – how to set goals and put together a program – these will enable us to be more effective in our work. So thank you CALD for organizing this event in Singapore.”
Acquired knowledge on the different steps in strategic planning focusing on political communications and branding
Discussed CALD’s critical issues regarding funding, regional profile, networking, electoral role, and internal relations
Assisted the SDP in coming up with a strategic plan for the Bukit Batok by-elections
Agreed on the formation of the CALD Charter Revisions Committee
I V. P R O J E C T S
CALD Philippine General Elections Mission 9-15 April | Metro Manila & Iloilo, Philippines
PHILIPPINE ELECTIONS in the post-Martial Law era have been generally free and fair, with a consistently high voter turnout, and with active engagement of the media, business community, and various citizen groups that ensure the sanctity of the ballot. But entrenched political clans that routinely employ “guns, goons, and gold” to influence the poll results still dominate these electoral exercises. Such competing trends of democracy from below and elite democracy have led some scholars and analysts to describe the Philippines as a “contested democracy”. With the country’s more than 55 million registered voters poised to select on 9 May their next set of leaders, CALD organized in April a week-long pre-election mission in Manila and Iloilo, Philippines. After all, Philippine elections, to a significant extent, are reflective of the state of many fledging Asian democracies where democracy is still in the process of being institutionalized. CALD thought it would be good for countries in similar circumstances to share insights and best practices on how to advance democratic consolidation by ensuring free, fair, honest, and credible elections. Delegates for the mission were from CALD member-parties from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Taiwan, and Thailand, as well as from CALD partner Africa Liberal Network (Seychelles). By the time the mission was over, the participants were supposed to have a general understanding and appreciation of the
PARTICIPANTS Africa Liberal Network Ramkalawan, Wavel Cambodia National Rescue Party Seng, Mardi Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Magadaai, Tumenjargal Tseepel, Ganbat Democrat Party of Thailand Thitisarnsiri, Nopparat Democratic Party of Hong Kong Chau, Man-fong Ashley Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Chou, Ya-wei Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle Aribowo, Sudyatmiko Nation Awakening Party Ulfa, Maria Eva Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Ismail, Mohammad Azrin Bin Mohd CALD Secretariat Arlegue, Lito Banico, Francis Iñigo, Tanya Gaye Panday, Francis Salonga, Jorgia Zamora, Paolo LP event in Club Filipino
Philippine democratic system, electoral framework, and political-party dynamics. On the first day of the mission on 9 April, the delegation travelled from the historic Manila Hotel to the Liberal Party of the Philippines National Headquarters in Quezon City. There, they were given an overview of electoral preparations and strategies by LP officials including Gerry Bulatao, Lambert Ramirez, Rey de Guzman Jr., and Stephen Roy Cruz. Said Cruz: “We are confident that the party machinery would deliver the votes for our candidates and bring us to victory come 9 May.” The LP hosted a sumptuous welcome dinner afterwards. The next day started early for the CALD Mission, which joined the annual Freedom Run organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. With the theme, “I am Free from Corruption”, the fun run attracted thousands of runners who vowed not to squander the anti-corruption gains of the past years and to continue the straight path to good governance by choosing the right candidates in the upcoming elections. After lunch at Ilustrado and a quick tour of San Agustin Church and Museum – all inside Intramuros, the old Walled City of Manila – – the delegation proceeded to the University of Santo Tomas for the Vice-Presidential Debates organized by the Commission of Elections (COMELEC). Senator Mardi Seng, a Cambodian member of the delegation, remarked, “The debate is full of energy. Political debate is democracy in action. To televise a formal debate between candidates is a sign of healthy democracy, which Cambodia is lacking.” The long day was capped by a traditional Filipino dinner at Barbara’s.
Session in the Commission on Elections
PHILIPPINE ELECTIONS MISSION
The delegates in Iloilo
The mission’s agenda for the third day, 11 April, included a visit to the COMELEC Head Office for a briefing of Commissioner Luie Guia and Spokesperson James Jimenez. Guia and Jimenez provided an overview of the upcoming elections and the preparations of the commission, particularly in relation to automation. Then the delegation was off to catch a plane to LP bailiwick Iloilo City – – some 466 kms south of Manila – – where they were welcomed by LP Vice President for the Visayas, Congressman Jerry Trenas. Said Trenas: “The LP is strong in Iloilo because here, the government works and the people can clearly see that.” On 12 April, the CALD mission was treated to an Iloilo City tour that showcased the city’s modern infrastructure, magnificent churches, and heritage mansions and buildings. After an Ilonggo cuisine lunch at Camiña Balay Nga Bato, the delegation joined the campaign-consultations of local candidates in three different locations in the city.
These meetings, which were meant to bring the party’s campaign message to the grassroots, also showcased the use of Filipino musicality in the campaign as almost all of the local candidates could either sing or dance. The day ended with a debriefing session over a relaxed dinner setting. The following day had the delegation returning to Manila. After lunch in Metro Manila’s newest business district, Bonifacio Global City, the CALD mission visited the campaign headquarters of Senate President Franklin Drilon, who was running for re-election. Drilon, who also previously served as CALD Chair, is the incumbent Vice-Chairperson of LP. He greeted the delegation and expressed his appreciation for the latter’s visit in his home province, Iloilo. The highlight of the mission was the last day, 14 April, when the delegation joined LP officials, members, and supporters at Club Filipino in San Juan City, Metro Manila for their event dubbed,
“Tuloy-Tuloy, Sama-Sama” (roughly translated as “Continuing Together”). Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, who was then also LP Chairperson, spoke at the gathering, together with the party’s standard bearers, presidential candidate Mar Roxas, and vice-presidential candidate Leni Robredo. Next came lunch with Ronald Holmes, President of Pulse Asia, Inc., one of the two largest survey organizations in the Philippines, to discuss recent survey trends pertaining to the election. The last order of business for the delegation was the FNF forum “Bark: Unmuting the Silence on Martial Law”, which aimed to draw experiences from various countries with regard to dealing with military past. The forum proved to be relevant to the Philippine elections because the then survey frontrunners were either supporters of strong-arm rule, or personally connected to the past martial-law regime.
Met with the key leaders and candidates of the Liberal Party (LP) of the Philippines as well as officials of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
Attended the Vice Presidential Debate organized by the COMELEC
Immersed in the political realities of handling local campaigns
Showed solidarity and support to the LP Philippines
I V. P R O J E C T S
7 th ALDE-CALD Meeting 1-2 June | Brussels and Ghent Belgium
ECONOMIC MELTDOWNS, refugees, and terrorism – Europe and Asia have had to deal with these issues for years, and even now they continue to be challenges for both. For sure, while this trio of issues seem to be more complexly intertwined in Europe, Asia has by no means escaped being burdened by the same concerns. For the 7th ALDE-CALD Summit, CALD and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group thus chose the theme “Bailout, Refugee Crisis, and Terrorism: Implications for Regional Integration”. Held on 1-2 June at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, the summit aimed to have participants learn from each other’s experiences on crucial issues towards the advancement of the integration process in their respective region. Before the summit’s start, though, the CALD delegation composed of representatives from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, had “warm-up” events and met with other Brussels-based institutions on 31 May, such as the ALDE Party, the European Liberal Forum (ELF), and the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS). ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen, MEP, welcomed the CALD delegates at the ALDE Party headquarters. In his opening remarks, he emphasized the need for liberals to assist other liberals, through both formal and informal channels. Van Baalen said, “We should
I V. P R O J E C T S
use the party-to-party connection more than how we used it in the past.” A roundtable discussion then followed, where ALDE and CALD representatives shared innovative ideas on how to make regional party networks more viable and effective. A luncheon address was delivered afterwards by Myanmar MP Dr. San Shway Winn of the National League of Democracy. In his talk, “Myanmar under the New NLD Government”, the Burmese legislator discussed the goals, opportunities, and challenges of the recently installed NLD-led Myanmar government. Next came an ELF-hosted forum on European political foundations and European integration that was led by ELF Executive Director Susanne Hartig and former LYMEC Secretary General Igor Caldeira. At EIAS, the CALD delegation was received by the Institute’s CEO Axel Goe-
thals and a number of senior associates, and there was a lively exchange of views with regard to regional integration, China’s rise, and Myanmar’s democratization. EIAS would later share on its website this observation regarding the discussions: “Democratization need not be seen as something requiring the West’s patronage or China’s approval. Myanmar serves as an example of a country that democratized not due to external sanctions, nor pressure from Western or neighbouring countries, but simply because of a realization that the old system was unsustainable. These reforms were initiated from the inside, and can provide hope for other Asian countries, and for the cause of Asian regional integration.” In the evening, MEP van Baalen hosted a welcome dinner on behalf of the ALDE Group in Restaurant Cospaia, where CALD Individual Member Martin Lee delivered the keynote address. Expressing
Session in the ALDE Party
optimism on how liberals could address current challenges, Lee remarked: “When the sky is at its darkest, we know that the dawn is fast approaching. So, let us stand firm together in our principles, and share these when the sun rises tomorrow.” The first day of the summit on 1 June commenced with the attendance of the CALD delegation in the ALDE Group meeting in the European Parliament, and a short tour of the Parliamentarium. During lunch, European Parliament Vice President Anneli Jäätteenmäki and Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy spoke on behalf of ALDE Group and CALD respectively. At the summit’s opening session afterwards, former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva emphasized the need “to remind ourselves of the liberal values that bind us” in addressing the issues of economic downturn, refugee crisis and terrorism.
Historical tour at Ghent
PARTICIPANTS ALDE Group Jäätteenmäki, Anneli Nart, Javier Paet, Urmas Van Baalen, Hans Vanden Broucke, Willem Verhofstadt, Guy ALDE Party Burgess, Andrew De Schaetzen, Didrik Cambodia National Rescue Party Rainsy, Sam Tioulong, Saumura
Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Bayasgalant, Bulgan Democrat Party of Thailand Sittheamorn, Kiat Vejjajiva, Abhisit Democratic Party of Hong Kong Lee, Martin Sin, Ching-kai European Institute for Asian Studies Goethals, Axel European Liberal Forum Hartig, Susanne
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Heinz-Paqué, Karl Hoffmeister, Frank Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Sitorus, Deddy Liberal International Kirjas, Emil Wintraecken, Robert Commission on Human Rights Gascon, Jose Luis Martin Chito National League for Democracy Wynn, San Shway
Open VLD Party Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Annemie Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Balaguru, Jayanthi Devi Grewal, Ivanpal Singh Singapore Democratic Party Go, Jaslyn CALD Secretariat Arlegue, Celito Banico, Francis Salonga, Jorgia
7 T H A L DE-C A L D MEET ING
The official 7th ALDE-CALD group photo
Sessions on the Greek bailout and refugee crisis then followed, where the speakers looked into the European responses and comparable Asian experiences. Dr. KarlHeinz-Paqué, Deputy Chairman of the FNF Board of Directors, expressed optimism on the impact of bailout to Greece and to the broader Eurozone, although this view did not appear to be widely shared. As regards the refugee crisis, Chito Gascon, chairman of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, and Ivan Grewal, vice chairman of Gerakan Youth of Malaysia, both agreed that the approach to refugees should be in accordance with human rights and humanitarian law. Day One ended with a dialogue programme on EU-US-Asia trade agreements spearheaded by FNF European and Transatlantic Dialogue, Brussels.
Delegates in front of the European Parliament
The next day saw the session on terrorism opened by ALDE MEP Javier Nart, who noted that “terrorism destroys the twin pillars of human dignity and personal security”. It was in this light that the succeeding presentations of A. Krauss, an ALDE staff member, and Jayanthi Devi Balaguru of Malaysia’s Parti Gerakan Rakyat tackled the crucial role of intelligence agencies and other counterterrorism measures. But, they stressed, these should not be at the expense of liberal and democratic values. The summit’s concluding session had the chairs of the previous sessions providing a summary of lessons learnt that might be of relevance to both Asia and Europe. Capping what turned out to be yet another successful summit between Asian and European liberals, though, was a historical tour of the medieval city of Ghent and a consultative meeting with Liberal International. Commented Sam Rainsy: “CALD and ALDE meeting in Europe is an opportunity for us to share lessons and experiences. And each time, especially this time, we have benefitted tremendously from our meeting with our ALDE colleagues in Brussels. For Europe remains a source for inspiration for the liberals and democrats all over the world especially in Asia.”
Abhisit Vejjajiva with Jaslyn Go and Sam Rainsy
Strengthened the partnership with the ALDE Group and the ALDE Party
Sustained the cooperation with the National League for Democracy (NLD) through their participant, Hon. Dr. San Shway Winn, MP
Established cooperation with the European Liberal Forum (ELF) and the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS)
Held a consultative meeting with Liberal International (LI)
Continued the dialogue program with FNF Brussels
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IFLRY-CALD Youth Climate Change Workshop 19-22 August | Bali, Indonesia
LAIDBACK YET mystical Bali is a place where people usually go to recharge, but for a group of liberal youths from across the globe, it was the perfect brainstorming site for a social media-driven green campaign. After all, Bali’s pristine beaches and verdant fields inland could very well prompt discussions on climate-change issues and inspire ideas towards a greener planet. From 19 to 22 August, 30 liberal youths from 12 countries attended a workshop there with the theme “Climate Change Advocacy and Social Media Campaign”. Organized by CALD in partnership with CALD Youth, the International Federation of Liberal Youth and with the support of FNF and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), the workshop had three main aims: to provide a social media campaign proposal that the CALD Youth can use to reach out and engage the youth in the region; provide information on how to maximize and develop effective social media strategies and to train youth leaders in utilizing these strategies; and share and learn best practices between and among liberal youth groups. The workshop’s speakers included Yani Saloh, who was the Assistant Special Staff for Climate Change to former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and who is now a consultant on the Asian Development Bank’s Sustainable Infrastructure Assistance Programme and Forest Investment Project. She presented an
Official group photo of the workshop
overview of the commitments made at COP21, otherwise known as the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, and how inaction on the agreement signed there could lead to global uncertainty and a massive jump in greenhouse-gas emissions. Both the government and the public, she said, have responsibilities to push for more renewable resources in order to sustain low emission targets. IFLRY Vice President Sven Gerst, for his part, discussed environmental ethics, arguing that philosophers are needed to inform the public about the credibility of scientific modelling and the concepts of uncertainty. It is important, Gerst said, to know why climate change is an ethical problem to understand the moral dilemmas that accompany climate action – or inaction. The workshop then turned to discussions on social media as a tool for raising climate-change awareness, among other things. Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler Indonesia bureau chief, for one noted that in order to use social media effectively, one should ensure regular engagement on issues, use creative graphics for posts, and tap “influencers” to further expand reach. “There is actually a huge advantage to being a youth organization using social media because...we are digital leaders,” Gutierrez said. “Every day, it’s integrated into our lives – checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.” But she also pointed out, “The relationships online are most successful if they emulate offline relationships. Be genuine. Engage. Be interesting.”
Raphaella Prugsamatz, regional communications officer of FNF Southeast Asia and East Asia Office, meanwhile said that preparation is crucial to having a successful social-media campaign. “In starting a social-media campaign, it is essential to know your numbers, your story, target audience, the way you’ll share it, the outcomes, and the best social-media advertising tools to use,” said Prugsamatz. She added that in social-media advertising, “Facebook algorithm is God.” She also said that while the world of social-media marketing needs creativity, vision, and strategy, the resources it calls for are a lot cheaper than the traditional media. But she said that it all boils down to the amount of work done. Said Prugsamatz: “If you want zero, do zero. If you want more, do more.” As an output of the workshop, CALD Youth was able to gather exciting proposals for its social media campaign, including Increase Renewable Energy Share #CleanIndonesia; Improve Urbanization #SurviveBangkok; and Stop human trafficking #StoptheTraffic. A communication channel between CALD Youth and IFLRY was also established via a joint Facebook page. “The workshop was successful in terms of the lessons learned during the sessions, networking among organizations, and the sharing of experiences in and out of the conference room,” said CALD Youth Chair Bulgan Bayasgalant. “As a result, CALD Youth now has very interesting proposals for its social media campaign. The output is attributed to the vision and work done by the diverse and collective effort of liberal youth organizations present.”
PARTICIPANTS Cambodia National Rescue Party Khean, Vises Sun, Bunvath Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Dambajav, Sarangoo Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Chen, Yu-jung Chou, Ya-wei Jou, Gahong Democrat Party of Thailand Jitt-itsara, Tankhun Keeratiparadorn, Pakapol Thanakitamnuay, Tanat Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Caguicla, Jasper Hauter, Ingo Batavia Herzog, Sigfried Montessory, Elisabeth Kleine-Brockhoff, Moritz Piech, Stefan IFLRY Bjørnal, Tone Gerst, Sven Kaiser, Justin Kastermans, Pauline Liberal Party of the Philippines Abesamis, Kristopher Peregrino, Alcariza Ramos Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Bon, Kennick Keenlek Grewal, Ivanpal Singh Singapore Democratic Party Lin, Kenneth Salim, Jufri CALD Secretariat Banico, Francis Panday, Francis Salonga, Jorgia Zamora, Paolo
YOU T H CL IM AT E CH A NGE WOR K SHOP
Working group session in progress
CALD Youth Chairperson with IFLRY
Delegates listen intently to the facilitator
Crafted a social media action plan on how to advance youth initiatives and expand youth participation in the region
Discussed the challenges of CALD Youth operation
Extended IFLRY membership invitation to CALD Youth member organizations
Established a communication channel between IFLRY and CALD Youth through a joint Facebook Page
Explored on how to further strengthen cooperation with IFLRY
I V. P R O J E C T S
CALD Executive Mission to Taiwan 9-12 September | Taipei, Taiwan
WELL INTO 2016, liberalism and democracy were still encountering serious headwinds in Asia and beyond. But one of the remaining beacons of hope for CALD and the rest of its extended family was the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan. And so in September CALD organized a short Executive Mission to Taiwan, in part to recognize the critical played by DPP, one of CALD’s founding member-parties, in institutionalizing Taiwan’s democratic gains and consolidating further the country’s role in regional politics. At the same time, CALD sought to be inspired by Taiwan – considered to be one of Asia’s most stable democracies – that under the DPP was strengthening its ties with Asia through its “New Southbound Policy”. The Mission was actually composed of several activities, which enabled CALD to establish cooperation with the DPP Democracy Institute. It also conducted a brainstorming session with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy on the possibility of setting up a CALD Academy in Taiwan as a regional hub for training and research. CALD participated as well in the Asia Democracy Forum, a public dialogue that focused on democratic developments in Asia, particularly on the role and impact of media, youth, and women empowerment. At the forum, keynote speaker Dr. Michael Hsiao, who chairs the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, observed that while democracy “is not cheap...(it) can be sustainable, developed, and strengthened”. He then went on to note that democracy in Taiwan did not happen
C A L D E X E C U T I V E M I S S ION T O TA I WA N
PARTICIPANTS Bernama, Malaysia Yong, Soo Heong Cambodia National Rescue Party Keo, Phirum Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Tegshjargal, Erdenechimeg Democrat Party of Thailand Dechgitvigrom, Warong Dhnadirek, Ratchada Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Heinze, Wolfgang Reinartz, Armin
Group photo of speakers and session chairs
Liberal Party of the Philippines Bagro, Herminio III Bag-ao, Arlene Kaka Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Balaguru, Jayanthi Devi Singapore Democratic Party Chee, Soon Juan CALD Secretariat Arlegue, Lito Zamora, Paolo
Filipino, Malaysian and FNF delegates with the organizer
overnight, but was the result of the struggle of activists, people from the grassroots, intellectuals, and professionals who refused to give up their ideals. For sure, among these was Chang Wen Ying, one of the founders of DPP and a political victim of the 1979 Formosa Incident. The CALD mission delegates met up with her at the Jing-Mei Human Rights Memorial and Cultural Park in Taipei, and she shared some of her experiences. Trained as a dentist, Chang had been thrown in jail in the 1980s for making dentures for a then fugitive opposition leader. But she would go on to become the representative of Taichung in the Taiwan Provincial Assembly; she would also be elected as the first female mayor of the city in the late 1990s. Now in her 60s, Chang said that she can still work, be productive, and fight for what she thinks is right. In addition, the CALD mission members were able to sit down and talk to Taiwan
Vice President Chen Chien Jen at the Presidential Office, with their discussions including the prospects of the Southbound Policy. As the Vice President explained it, the policy would see Taiwan deepening “our relationships with friendly democracies in Asia to advance multifaceted cooperation on the basis of shared values”. Chen also took note of what CALD has been doing to help democracy flourish in the region. “At this crucial juncture,” he said, “the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats is playing a stabilizing role as a platform for governments, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations within the region to conduct free dialogue and share experiences.” The 13-strong CALD mission team was made up of members of CALD member-parties, the CALD Secretariat, and FNF.
Held a dialogue with Taiwanese Vice President, Chen Chien-Jen, on cooperation with CALD and the prospects of New Southbound Policy
Established CALD’s cooperation with the DPP Democracy Institute
Conducted a brainstorming session with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) regarding the possibility of setting-up the CALD Academy in Taiwan as a hub for research and training in the region
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11th CALD General Assembly 3-7 November | Bangkok, Thailand
IN TODAY’S raging battle between liberalism and illiberalism, on which side is Asia? That was the main question that participants in the 11th CALD General Assembly Conference grappled with in Bangkok, reflecting the concern of the liberal political establishment over the “spectre of illiberalism” now haunting the world. Actually the centre activity in a group of events from 3-7 November in the Thai capital, the oneday conference was held on 6 November and organized by CALD in cooperation with the Democrat Party of Thailand and with FNF support. Liberal International President Juli Minoves-Triquell, FNF Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia Siegfried Herzog, and DP Deputy Leader Kiat Sittheeamorn formally opened the conference. Former Thai Prime Minister and incumbent CALD Chairperson and DP Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva delivered the keynote address, during which he pointed to the popular perception that connects liberalism with elitism, or being too distant with the people. Reflecting on the victories of liberal parties in Canada, Taiwan, and South Africa, Khun Abhisit said that liberals must “regain the competitive edge by saying that we, too, want change”. “We have to make sure that we fully live up to our values,” he continued, “and that the people feel that we are relevant – that we respond to their needs.”
DP officials with FNF Regional Director Siegfried Herzog
The rest of the morning was taken up by two panel discussions. In the first – “What Every Liberal Ought to Know about the Global Rise of Illiberalism” – had Liberal Party of the Philippines Secretary General Josephine Sato describing the rise of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines as part of the global trend that shows an increasing number of illiberal democracies. Singapore Democratic Party Secretary General Dr. Chee Soon Juan then highlighted the need to connect free trade with its attendant civil and political freedoms. Otherwise, he said, free trade becomes exploitation. Ted Hui Chi-fung, a newly elected Legislative Councilor from Hong Kong, closed the session with an elaboration of China’s tightening grip over Hong Kong and its implications for the Special Autonomous Region’s democracy and the rule of law.
The second panel discussion had as topic “Trends You Need to Understand about Liberalism in Asia”, with Dr. Punchada Sirivunnabood of Mahidol University first describing the political and economic trends in the region, particularly those aspects that limit the exercise of political and economic freedom. Her presentation was followed by talks on two liberal success stories in Asia: that of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) and of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan. PDIP’s Hanjaya Setiawan tackled the nine priorities of the Joko Widodo administration, particularly those dealing with infrastructure, human development, and economic deregulation. DPP’s Ya-wei Chou, meanwhile, focused on the success of the party in advancing liberal issues such as LGBTI rights, immigrant rights, and the promotion of innovation-based economy.
In the afternoon, an open and frank fishbowl conversation involving key CALD personalities took place regarding “The Most Common Mistakes that Liberals Everywhere Make”. The participants made straightforward assessments of how and why their respective political parties lost elections or popular support, as well as on how to move forward from their current predicament. The discussions continued in a world café session where they dealt with this dilemma: “How to Make Liberal Parties Win Again”. Another keynote address, this time by former Philippine Budget and Management Secretary and former CALD Chairperson Florencio Abad Jr., brought the conference to a close. In his speech, Abad gave a timely reminder to liberals everywhere, saying, “Ultimately, it is the people themselves whom we must never lose sight of…(We) mustn’t forget
PARTICIPANTS ALDE Party Burgess, Andrew
Hui, Chi-fung Ted Sin, Chung-kai
Cambodia National Rescue Party Keo, Phirum Seng, Mardi Sochua, Mu
Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Chou, Chia-hung Chou, Ya-wei Lo, Chih-chung
Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Batchuluun, Gerelmaa Bayasgalant, Bulgan Nyamdavaaa, Monsor Sanjaasuren, Oyun
Democrat Party of Thailand Anusiraya, Chala Dhnadirek, Ratchada Keeratiparadorn, Pakapol Leekpai, Chuan Piromya, Kasit Sitheeamorn, Kiat
Democratic Party of Hong Kong
Sriratana-Tabucanon, Monthip Vejjajiva, Abhisit Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Bannach, Katrin Dusadeeisariyakul, Pimrapaat Mary Herzog, Sigfried Salao, Minnie Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Setiawan, Hanjaya Liberal International Minoves-Triquell, Juli
Liberal Party of the Philippines Abad, Florencio Butch Sato, Josephine Liberal Party of Sri Lanka Amaraarchchi, Roshan De Silva, Dunston Peiris, Newton Nation Awakening Party Bahar, Hesbul Ulfa, Maria Eva Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Aw, Lily
Balaguru, Jayanthi Devi Pang, Whye Nam Steven Singapore Democratic Party Chee, Soon Juan CALD Secretariat Arlegue, Lito Banico, Francis Frias, Audrey Panday, Francis Salonga, Jorgia Zamora, Paolo
11T H C A L D GE N E R A L A SSE M BLY
Opening session of climate change workshop
LP's Butch Abad raises a point
that it is the ordinary person – in their entire humanness – whose interests we shouldn’t neglect.” He added, “If history proves one thing, it is this: That hope will time and again outlive fear. That power in brute force is false and fleeting, and what will always endure, in the end, is the purest strength of freedom.”
World Cafe session
Facilitated the handover of CALD and CALD Women’s Caucus leadership
Approved the membership application of Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) or Nation Awakening Party of Indonesia as full member party of CALD
Approved the CALD Charter revisions
Finalized the list of 2017 CALD programs
Approved CALD Resolution No.5 S.2016 on the exile of Sam Rainsy
Identified the priority areas of the Democrat Party of Thailand as the new CALD Chair
Consolidated CALD contributions to the draft Liberal International (LI) Manifesto
“This dream of the free movement of people, this dream for others of the Schengen area: It hasn’t just meant the free movement of people, it has meant the free movement of Kalashnikov rifles. It has meant the free movement of terrorists, and it has meant the free movement of jihadists.”
Member of the European Parliament United Kingdom Statement on the Paris attacks United Kingdom 17 November 2015
“The basic position of all the institutions in Europe is very clear: The four freedoms are bound to each other. The internal market is based on four freedoms — not three, or two. Goods, services, capital, and the free movement of people. You cannot separate them. I think this is a perfectly firm and clear position for everybody.”
Member of the European Parliament President, Alliance of Liberal and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group Interview with Business Insider Brussels, Belgium 07 November 2016
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Liberalism in a Populist Age by Abhisit Vejjajiva Incoming CALD Chairperson and Former Thai Prime Minister
11th CALD General Assembly in Bangkok on 6 November 2016
IT’S A great pleasure to have this opportunity to talk about our fight, our struggle to instil liberal and democratic values in Asia. Today our discussion will be on liberalism versus illiberalism and the question “To which side does Asia belong?” But a much easier topic would have been, “To which side should Asia belong?” Because if Asia does not currently belong in the liberal camp, then we have to make that happen, and to do that it would be helpful to assess the present situation. Then again, we may have to start with the past, as far back as maybe two decades ago, when there was a phrase coined that invited disgust whenever it was mentioned alongside Asian politics. That phrase was “Asian values”, coined by leaders of some countries in this region. While there was no exact definition for it that was agreed upon, it was generally taken to mean that Asia somehow was an “exception”, that due to our cultural and traditional facets we had
to find a model different to “Western” liberal democracy. Now many would argue that the 1997 financial crisis had a lot to do with dismantling that notion. Siggi [Siegfried Herzog, FNF Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia] talked about financial crises disrupting the establishment, and he was saying that in other regions liberalism became the victim. Two decades ago, the 1997 financial crisis also destroyed the establishment in Southeast Asia and in the rest of the region, in the process destroying the authoritarianism in some countries – Indonesia being the clearest case. Thailand, which also suffered from the financial meltdown, embarked as well upon a reformist constitution around that time. So we can talk about Asia, we can talk about regional variations, but I think we can also learn a lot from global trends because there are often more similarities and parallels than we think. Indeed, every time we gather around like this we’re often surprised in our casual conversations how there are so many similarities and parallels in different countries. When we are living our lives in our countries, we tend to think every country is unique, we do things different, the situation is not quite the same. Yet I’m sure that over the last few days, you would talk to your colleagues and discover that you have so much in common in terms of what we all have been doing or trying to do. So the question is, if Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia are going through cycles where sometimes liberalism is ripest, sometimes it recedes, how can we be sure that the progress of liberalism can be sustained? For me, I think liberalism has won the talk, but it hasn’t won the walk. We now have to make sure that the whole world walks the talk. Why do I say that? Well, before I go straight to what I feel needs to be done, let me tell you a couple of stories – political stories that reflect something. And you might correct me on this but I think it was Tony Blair who was once campaigning when a lady came up to him. She complained that he hadn’t had the tax credit given to her on time. Tony Blair decided to respond to her by reminding her that before the Labour government came to power, there was no tax credit; the fact that she’s getting
tax credit at all was due to the Labour government. To which the lady replied, “That’s why I voted for you the last time. Now go and get my tax credits.” My point is, we’ve made a lot of progress, our societies have absorbed liberal and democratic values, but we can’t take that for granted, that they will continue to support liberal and democratic values. Because ordinary people – voters – care more about the future than what has happened in the past and the present. If they feel that their future needs are not being met, all the things we have achieved would be meaningless to them. That’s the first story. The second story is my own experience of campaigning. I remember this vividly. I served in the Chuan government after the financial crisis. We had to implement difficult austerity programmes that brought the country back to stability, but of course with a lot of hardship. So
“... I think liberalism has won the talk, but it hasn’t won the walk. We now have to make sure that the whole world walks the talk.”
when the next election was held, I was campaigning and again, a lady came up to me and very gallantly pointed to me saying, “We’re not voting for you!” Being a good liberal and democrat, I invited her to sit down, hear her complaints, ask her why didn’t she like what we were doing. And she spelt it all out, it was all economic grievances, so I’m there for the next 15 minutes explaining to her why the austerity measures were necessary, why they would prepare her for a better future and so on. She listened very patiently and at the end of 15 minutes, she said to me, “You know, you’re right. Very rational – that’s why we hate you. We’re not voting for you.” And she got up and left. We are very rational – Siggi just said that as well. But people want emotional responses. People don’t really care about us winning arguments. Liberals
are winning arguments but we’re not winning elections. We need to recognize this first so we might see how to move ahead. We are winning the talk, we are now labelled part of the establishment, so much so that even people who don’t have liberal values would go out of their way to say they are not against liberal values, they’re not against democracy. For example, every time I get invited to China for a political-parties dialogue, in the hotel room there would be a little booklet explaining China’s political system, and the first thing it says is that China is a multi-party system. You didn’t know that, did you? That there are eight or nine political parties in China – the communists happen to be in power, the others provide some services to those running the government. So China is not saying that it is not multi-party. She thinks that there is value in saying they are a multi-party system. And now you listen to Donald Trump, and he says he is the least racist person you’ve ever met, he is a person who respects women most. Why does he need to say all that? Because people cannot argue against our values, although they don’t live them and they don’t necessarily appreciate them. The rise of Trump clearly reflects the fact that the progress liberals have made in the United States lasted – I don’t know how many decades – but it has only been in form. At least 20 to 40 percent of the American people still don’t really believe in these values, although they accept them on a superficial level. That is what we are up against. For us to make further progress we have to tap into the root causes of illiberalism. So we complain about authoritarianism, populism, terrorism, and I’ve said that this has to do with people who felt they had lost out from globalization and liberalization, which are identified with liberalism. It would be hard to argue that liberalization or globalization have not done a lot to advance human progress. We’ve lifted millions and millions of people out of poverty, so what do we mean by losers in globalization? Well, it’s different for different generations. For instance, for the older generations, their lives have been improved but they feel insecure adapting to the changes. Brexit I think pretty much reflects that, they voted “leave” because they could not recognize a Britain as part of Europe. So, while we
have made some progress, we have not been able to convince people that they are secure in the environment and in the progress we have made for them. For the younger generation, it is different; they have found wealth but they think they can do better. But they live in an age dominated by information technology, the new media, which means, what? They want results, they want speed, and they see liberal and democratic values often don’t deliver. In fact if you look at the rise of populist, authoritarian leaders, their popularity – and I can tell you our Prime Minister is a very popular man in Thailand – stems from the fact that the people think they can deliver stability, order. They don’t care about the process and the means, but they think these leaders will deliver results and deliver them quickly, something that they feel they cannot get in a liberal democratic system. Recently, I read a book on populism where the author said, “Populism is the result of the broken promise of democracy.” So do I have any initial suggestions about what we have to do? Well, first, I think we ourselves have to walk our talk. While we complain about somehow getting pushed into the establishment or elitism, the fact of the matter is that some our parties and leaders have become part of the corruption or corrupt system, making it easy for illiberals to say, “Well, they’re just the same as all the politicians.” One of things we have here then is that we get accused of being just as bad as the other parties, but at least the other parties move quicker and respond more to people’s needs. We liberal democrats have to make sure that we fully live our values and that people feel that we are relevant – that we respond to their needs. The framing of policies should not only be about the principles or the values that we can talk about amongst ourselves, but also what it really means to improve people’s livelihoods. The reason why I’m still an optimist is, apart from the progress Siggi has mentioned in a number of countries in Asia, we also have had some significant liberal victories all over the world. Canada is one, Taiwan of course, and then South Africa is another country to watch. But did you notice something that is common in these countries? The liberal candidates – maybe apart from the charisma – were seen as anti-estab-
lishment. Trudeau was a third party and during the elections he was a fresh hope, a change from the two bigger parties. Taiwan of course had the challenge of the Kuomintang, while in South Africa, the African National Congress or ANC had become the establishment. We can talk all we want about liberalism and illiberalism, but the voters don’t necessarily see the differences. They see the problems, they see the regime. The voters decide whether they want change. Surely, everybody has aspirations and expectations, and we have to be part of the change. We have to regain a competitive edge, project liberals as those standing for change. We want to improve things, but we have to point out to people that the authoritarians, the populists – they have never offered policies that have led to lasting success. The war on drugs is not new, we had it here with Thaksin, resulting in thousands
new, but we can convince people that we are for change for the better and that we can respond to their needs. So I hope in our discussions today and in our work ahead of us we will put a concerted effort to come up with a joint position, where we really do offer the people concrete hopes about what we can do as liberals and democrats. What I said earlier was a weak point – that we’re all together and they come one by one – but we have to turn that into an advantage. We must somehow share our experience and use those of others to learn and to also communicate. That’s something I hope we can begin doing from now on.
“We liberal democrats have to make sure that we fully live our values and that people feel that we are relevant – that we respond to their needs.” of people dead. The policy was very popular at the time, but it didn’t solve the drug problem. A milder version in the United States met the same fate. But people have to be reminded about these, and do you know why? While we as liberals are often identified together, so whatever happened in the past or in other places we all take responsibilities for, the authoritarians come one by one. No one will be looking at Trump and be thinking about Germany back in the pre-war period. Nobody is going to look at the Filipino president today and be reminded of another demagogue from another era or even the old days in the Philippines. Because populists market themselves as somebody new, somebody different. When we liberals adhere to principles, however, we adhere to policy. It is not easy for us to say that we are something
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Learning from a Loss by Florencio B. Abad Former President of the Liberal Party of the Philippines
11th CALD General Assembly in Bangkok on 6 November 2016
BEFORE ANYTHING else, on behalf of the Liberal Party of the Philippines, I would like to extend our deep sympathies and condolences to Khun Abhisit, the Democratic Party, and the people of Thailand for the passing away of your greatly admired King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It was indeed a great privilege to have witnessed your people expressing their love and admiration for your inspiring leader — the depth of which, we know we cannot fathom. Let me also acknowledge and thank Khun Abhisit for investing time in all sessions these past three days, which I find unusual for a leader of your stature, and which augurs well for CALD as you and the DP assume its leadership. Thank you. If I were to put a title to this evening’s presentation, it would be along this line: “How to Govern Successfully, and Fail in the End”. But kidding
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aside, this in brief is what happened to the LP. Indeed, how is it possible, in a short period of time, for an administration to transform a country that was once ridiculed as the “Sick Man” of Asia to become its fastest growing economy in the region and Asia’s bright spot, and lose the opportunity to cement these gains of the past six years in just one day?
very honest, as a political party, we have not yet figured out what hit us. Perhaps the benefit of time and distance may allow us an objective assessment of this debacle.
But let me go back, and explain to you why we think we did very well in the past six years.
At the risk of simplifying the reasons for this, however, let me venture some possible explanation, some of which are internal to us, which means in some way we could have influenced. Some are exogenous factors — the root causes and the ramifications of which are seemingly beyond us, and require deeper and collective reflection among liberals, not just back home, but across the globe.
How did we dramatically transform the Philippines over the past six years?
Let me begin with what I view as internal factors.
As we committed during the campaign, we demonstrated unrelenting resolve in fighting corruption, especially in holding the big fish accountable to the people. We dramatically reformed our public financial management system that enabled us to plug leakages, and minimize inefficiency in the use of public funds that resulted in the doubling of our revenue collection, in reducing debt and the dependence on debt, and keeping our deficit well within two percent. We made unprecedented investments in social protection, basic education, public health, and infrastructure development. We transformed the economy to become the fastest growing in the region, and raised our risk profile to investment grade status – the first time it ever happened to us – and received 25 positive credit actions, with no negative, over the past five years. A feat no other country could match. We reduced unemployment to its lowest level in 10 years. We brought down poverty incidence to lowest level in 18 years, and self-rated poverty to its lowest level in 33 years. Such that when President Benigno S. Aquino III ended his term on 30 June 2016, he did so with the highest trust and approval that no president before him had attained from the beginning of his term up to the very end of his term. In short, we more than delivered on our campaign promise, which in my humble view is unusual in any jurisdiction. But then you ask the question: Why did we lose in the May 2016 elections? To be
“How is it possible, in a short period of time, for an administration to transform a country that was once ridiculed as the ‘Sick Man’ of Asia to become its fastest growing economy in the region and Asia’s bright spot, and lose the opportunity to cement these gains of the past six years in just one day?” The first thing that comes to mind is our failure to communicate the gains of the administration over the past six years. Because of the pervasiveness and the success of our reform initiatives, both across sectors of our society as well as across regions of the country — we assumed wrongly, as we now realized — that the reforms would explain themselves. I don’t think that it would even be enough to inform our people. I think what is the more important is to engage — sitting down and talking about how they feel about these changes. We may have also been complacent in communicating those gains by assuming that the continuing popularity of Presi-
dent Aquino during the entire period of his administration was enough indication for us to conclude that the people knew about and appreciate the changes that we had introduced. We were unmindful that there was a sustained and vicious pushback coming from ideological, partisan, and vested interest groups including the Catholic Church, which threatened us with excommunication for our vigorous support for reproductive health and family planning services. This pushback from these groups, whose position and interests were greatly diminished by our reforms, accelerated as we approached the elections. They were able to deftly exploit the ever-present social media to launch a sustained campaign targeted at the millennials, exploiting their propensity to distrust government, politics, and the status quo. These disgruntled groups — the Marcoses, the Arroyos, and the Estradas, and the communists — all came together, however tactically, in one big push under the banner of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. The second factor, I believe, is that in our desire to make a huge impact on the lives of the poor, we ignored, without intending to so, our growing and noisy middle class who were more concerned about day-to-day problems that hindered their employment and livelihood. Parenthetically, the growth of the middle class has been accelerated by the huge influx of OFW remittances from 10 million Filipinos living abroad and BPO revenues from services being outsourced to the Philippines – – the dollar incomes from which constitutes 17 percent of our GDP. While we preoccupied ourselves with the more pressing problems of the country — poverty, debt, peace, social conflicts, and climate change – – we overlooked and paid scant attention to everyday middle class concerns like the worsening traffic jam, which is now a permanent fixture in Manila streets, as well as slow and expensive Internet connection, and erratic mobile phone service, among others. The third factor, which is deeply rooted and therefore longstanding, is the persistent problem of inequity. To be honest, I cannot see how, with our focus on anti-corruption and good governance reforms and economic expansion, we
could have dramatically improved on this problem in the six years we were privileged to be in power. But surely I can say state that we have established the momentum, and laid a firm foundation to progressively close this gap in the medium and long-term had we been given a chance to carry on. While generally, our reforms lifted the lives of all sectors of society, the very few elite families, without doubt, benefited much, much more so that when the poor see the rich flaunt their excessive wealth on television or social media, they instantly forget about all their gains, and end up being disappointed, resentful, and angry, as if nothing had changed in their lives — the general feeling of being left out. These are some of the internal factors that may explain our 2016 debacle. But I think that these are not enough to fully explain it unless we touch upon the external factors that were also in play, and which to our great misfortune, we did not anticipate. We failed, for example, to grasp the depth of the fear, uncertainty, and insecurity that people feel about the rapid changes happening around the world as a consequence of globalization, the Internet, and social media. These, coupled with their high expectations and their dissatisfaction with their own conditions, have translated into anger and resentment against the establishment, and any one or any group identified with it. (Looking back, in this context, designing our campaign messaging around the idea of continuity – Ituloy ang Daang Matuwid or Continue the Straight Path – – when the current of anti status quo, anti establishment, and anti anything related to government was strong spelled our doomed. Unfortunately, we only realized that near the end of the campaign.) This mental frame, this collective psyche, created a fertile ground for the rise of political demagogues who promised strong, uncompromising, anti-establishment, devil-may-care leadership, who put forward simplistic solutions — the root of our problems is drugs — to very complex socio-economic and political problems. It is in this context, the political equivalent of a perfect storm, that brought the punisher, the tough-talking, the cursing, irreverent Rodrigo Duterte to the Philippine presidency.
Now what do we have? From a country that was showing the way in anti-corruption and good governance reforms, in poverty reduction, in economic expansion, and in conflict resolution, we find ourselves too preoccupied with a single issue: the problem of drug trafficking and drug addiction, as if the solution to all our problems, a panacea, lies in eradicating this problem. Every day, we find ourselves being ridiculed by the world because of the unorthodox antics of a ranting and cursing President. We are overcome with fear and uncertainty, and a national leadership that is unpredictable. What can we learn from this experience?
“I think that it is most crucial now for us to give substance to our imperfect democracy by ensuring that every citizen has a stake in it.” I think it’s important for us, in the process of reforming our societies, to keep in mind how to communicate with and engage our people every step of the way – – patiently explaining to them the gains achieved no matter how marginal, and why certain deeply embedded problems in our society, like poverty, patronage, and inequity cannot be solved overnight, and will take a little longer to solve by their nature. We have to keep in mind that this is not a one-sided affair: those who are adversely affected by our liberal reforms that we are pushing have all the resources, and are working just as hard or even more to undermine and discredit our reform initiatives, manipulating the reach and pervasiveness of social media for this end. But merely engaging is no longer enough. As frightening as the world of social media can be, it also promises spaces for spirited and positive action. Let us find where these spaces are and make the most of them. Let’s take advantage of the fact that there is considerable room for innovation in social media. Remember: Anyone can be a pioneer on
the Internet these days. There’s time yet to influence the discourse. All we need to do is take some brave and intelligent risks, and to keep exploring new ways to reach out to our people. I do not agree that globalization, which is the free movement of talent, technology, and capital, is the culprit itself. But if we do not prepare our respective societies, especially those in the margins and most vulnerable, for the harsh consequences of globalization like the outshipment of jobs or the collapse of certain industries leading to mass unemployment, or more positively to take advantage of this phenomenon to advance their economic standing, in the end, it is only the rich who will benefit from it. And when this happens, it can only aggravate the persistent inequality that is dividing our societies today. It is not enough that our societies today enjoy the formal attributes of democracy, like free, peaceful, and periodic elections, vibrant media, checks and balances in government, a working legislature, among others. I think that it is most crucial now for us to give substance to our imperfect democracy by ensuring that every citizen has a stake in it. This can only come about in a society that has less and less poor people and a burgeoning middle class, enjoying sustained and shared economic growth. Ultimately, it is the people themselves whom we must never lose sight of. We are each of us, in different ways, doing our best to maintain a political presence in our countries. We champion so hard for liberal democracy because we know that authentic freedom is the taproot of all progress. In advancing our cause, we mustn’t forget that it is the ordinary person — in their entire humanness — whose interests we shouldn’t neglect. Reaching out is a constant necessity, because that is how we can best deliver the message of hope and freedom that liberalism has always borne. Unlike demagogues, we will never use the people’s fear as currency for political gain. And if history proves one thing, it is this: that hope will time and again outlive fear. That the power in brute force is false and fleeting, and what will always endure, in the end, is the purest strength of freedom.
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History Will Remember Our Courage by Tsai Ing Wen President of the Republic of China
FROM LIBER A L LE A DER S: INAUGUR A L A DDR ESS
Plaza in front of the Presidential Official Building in Taipei on 20 May 2016
JUST MOMENTS ago, in the Presidential Office building, Dr. Chen Chien Jen and I were officially sworn in as the 14th President and Vice President of the Republic of China. We must express our gratitude to this land for nurturing us and to the people for placing their trust in us. Most importantly, we deeply appreciate the democratic institutions of this country, which have allowed us to accomplish Taiwanâ€™s third transition of political power through a peaceful electoral process. We also overcame many uncertainties throughout a four-month long transition period that concluded peacefully today. Once again, the people of Taiwan have shown the world through our actions that we, as a free and democratic people, are committed to the defence of our freedom and democracy as a way of life. Each
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and every one of us participated in this journey. My dear fellow Taiwanese, we did it. I would like to tell you that, regarding the results of the 16 January elections, I have always had one interpretation only. The people elected a new president and new government with one single expectation: solving problems. At this very moment, Taiwan faces a difficult situation that requires its leaders to shoulder the burdens without hesitation. This is something I will not forget. I would also like to tell you that the multitude of challenges before us requires that we face them honestly and shoulder the responsibilities together. Therefore, today’s speech is an invitation. I invite every fellow citizen to carry the future of this country. It is not the leader who makes a country great; it is the collective striving of the people that makes this country great. A president should not only unite her own supporters; she should unite the entire country. To stand united for change – that is my earnest hope for this country. Here, I sincerely call on everyone to give this country a chance. Let us leave behind the prejudices and conflicts of the past, and together fulfill the mission that the new era has entrusted to us. At this moment and as President, I declare to the citizens of this country that my administration will demonstrate resolve in spearheading this country’s reform, and will never back down.
Building a Better Country for the Younger Generation The path forward is not a smooth one. Taiwan needs a new government that readily takes on each and every challenge. And it is my job to lead such a government. Our pension system will go bankrupt without reform. Our rigid educational system is increasingly out of touch with society. Our energy and resources are limited, and our economy lacks momentum, with the old model of OEM manufacturing facing a bottleneck. This country urgently
needs a new model for economic development. Our population is rapidly ageing, while the long-term care system remains inadequate. Our birthrate remains low, while a sound childcare system seems a distant prospect. Our environment still suffers from severe pollution. Our country’s fiscal situation is far from optimistic. Our judicial system has lost the trust of the people. Our families are deeply disturbed by food-safety scandals. Our wealth disparities are still widening. Our social safety net is full of holes.
“The people elected a new president and new government with one single expectation: solving problems.” Most importantly, and I must stress: our young people still suffer from low wages. Their lives are stuck, and they feel helpless and confused about the future. Our young people’s future is the government’s responsibility. If unfriendly structures persist, the situation for young people will never improve, no matter how many elite talents we have. My self-expectation is that, within my term as President, I will tackle this country’s problems step by step, starting with the basic structure. This is what I want to do for the young people of Taiwan. Although I cannot give every young person a raise instantly, I can promise that the new administration will initiate actions immediately. Please give us some time, and please join us on this journey of reform. To change young people’s predicament is to change a country’s predicament.
When its young people have no future, a country is certain to have no future. It is the solemn duty of the new administration to help young people overcome difficulties, achieve generational justice, and deliver to the next generation a better country. 1. Transforming Economic Structures To build a better country, going forward, the new administration must accomplish a number of tasks. The first is to transform Taiwan’s economic structure. This is the most formidable task that the new administration must take on. We must not think lightly of ourselves, and we must not lose confidence. Taiwan enjoys many advantages that other countries lack. We have the vibrancy and resilience of a maritime economy, the pragmatic and reliable culture of engineers, a well-developed industrial chain, nimble and agile small and medium enterprises, and of course, our relentless entrepreneurial spirit. In order to completely transform Taiwan’s economy, from this moment on, we must bravely chart a different course – and that is to build a “New Model for Economic Development” for Taiwan. The new administration will pursue a new economic model for sustainable development based on the core values of innovation, employment, and equitable distribution. The first step of reform is to strengthen the vitality and autonomy of our economy, reinforce Taiwan’s global and regional connections, and actively participate in multilateral and bilateral economic cooperation as well as free-trade negotiations including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. We will also promote a “New Southbound Policy” in order to elevate the scope and diversity of our external economy, and to bid farewell to our past overreliance on a single market. Furthermore, the new administration believes that the only way for Taiwan to overcome the current economic stagnation is to stimulate new momentum for growth. Our export and domestic demand will serve as twin engines for growth, allowing business production to become closely integrated with the livelihoods of the people, while building
FROM LIBER AL LEADERS
close ties between foreign trade and the local economy. We will prioritize our plans to promote five major innovative industries, with the goal of reshaping Taiwan’s global competitiveness. By protecting labour rights, we will also actively raise productivity and allow wages to grow in lock-step with the economy. This is a crucial moment for Taiwan’s economic development. We have the resolve and the ability to communicate. Going forward, we have systematic plans to engage in interagency cooperation, in order to consolidate the strength of the entire country and bring forth this new model. As we pursue economic development, we must not forget our responsibility to the environment. Our New Model for Economic Development will be fully integrated with national land-use planning, regional development, and environmental sustainability. Industrial planning strategy and national land-use should not be fragmented or shortsighted. We must also pursue balanced regional development, which requires planning and coordination by the central administration. And it requires our local governments to uphold the spirit of regional joint governance. We must not endlessly expend natural resources and the health of our citizens as we have done in the past. Therefore we will strictly monitor and control all sources of pollution. We will also bring Taiwan into an age of circular economy, turning waste into renewable resources. We will gradually adjust our energy options based on the concepts of sustainability. The new administration will seriously address issues related to climate change, land conservation, and disaster prevention. After all, we only have one earth, and we only have one Taiwan. 2. Strengthening the Social Safety Net The second area that the new government must address is to strengthen Taiwan’s social safety net. Over the past few years, several incidents of violent crime affecting the safety of children and youth have shaken our entire society. However, a government cannot remain in a state of shock. It must demonstrate empathy. No one can endure the pain
and suffering on behalf of the victims’ families. However, the government, and especially the first responders, must let the victims and their family members feel that, when unfortunate incidents occur, the government is on their side. Beyond offering empathy, the government should propose solutions. We must do everything we can to prevent the repeated occurrences of tragedy, by swiftly mending holes in areas such as public safety, education, mental health, and social work. The new administration will address these issues with the utmost seriousness and readiness to act, particularly on public safety and anti-drug efforts. The issue of pension reform is crucial for the survival and development of Taiwan. We should not hesitate, nor should we act in haste. Vice President Chen Chien
“The path forward is not a smooth one. Taiwan needs a new government that readily takes on each and every challenge. And it is my job to lead such a government.” Jen is spearheading the establishment of a Pension Reform Committee. Previous administrations have devoted some effort to this issue, but public participation was inadequate. The new government will launch a collective negotiation process, because pension reform must unite everyone involved. For this reason, we will convene a national congress on pension reform that brings together representatives from different social classes and occupations to engage in negotiations on the basis of societal unity. Within a year, we will offer a workable proposal for reform. Whether you are employed in the private or the public sector, life after retirement for every citizen should receive fair protection.
Furthermore, on the issue of long-term care, we will establish a high-quality, affordable and extensive long-term care system. Like pension reform, long-term care is a process of social mobilization. The new administration’s approach is for the government to lead and plan, while encouraging citizens to organize in communities; through the efforts of collective social assistance, our goal is to build an adequate and comprehensive system. Every senior citizen can comfortably enjoy life after retirement in a community they are familiar with. Every family will see their burden of care lightened. We cannot leave senior care entirely to the free market. We will take up our responsibilities, plan and implement step by step, and get adequately prepared for the arrival of a hyper-ageing society. 3. Social Fairness and Justice The third area the new government must address is social fairness and justice. On this issue, the new government will continue to work with civil society to align its policies with the values of diversity, equality, openness, transparency, and human rights, so as to deepen and evolve Taiwan’s democratic institutions. For new democratic mechanisms to move forward, we must first find a way to face the past together. I will establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission inside the Presidential Office, to address the historical past in the most sincere and cautious manner. The goal of transitional justice is to pursue true social reconciliation, so that all Taiwanese can take to heart the mistakes of that era. We will begin by investigating and sorting through the facts. Within the next three years, we plan to complete Taiwan’s own investigative report on transitional justice. Follow-up work on transitional justice will then be carried out in accordance with the truth unveiled by the report. We will discover the truth, heal wounds, and clarify responsibilities. From here on out, history will no longer divide Taiwan. Instead, it will propel Taiwan forward. Also related to fairness and justice, I will uphold the same principles when addressing issues concerning Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. At today’s Inauguration Ceremony, before they sang the national anthem, the indigenous
V. S P E E C H E S
children first sang the traditional melodies of their tribes. This means that we dare not forget who arrived first on this island. The new government will address issues concerning indigenous peoples with an apologetic attitude. My administration will work to rebuild an indigenous historical perspective, progressively promote indigenous autonomous governance, restore indigenous languages and cultures, and improve the livelihood of indigenous communities. Next, the new government will actively promote judicial reform. At this juncture, this is the issue the people of Taiwan care the most about. The general sentiment is that the judicial system is not close to the people, and is not trusted by them. It is unable to fight crime effectively, and has lost its function as the last line of defense for justice. To demonstrate the new government’s resolve, we will hold a national congress on judicial issues this coming October. By allowing public participation and letting in social forces, we will advance judicial reform together. The judicial system must respond to the needs of the people. It will no longer be a judicial system for legal professionals only, but for everyone. Judicial reform is not only the business of legal professionals; it must be inclusive. These are my expectations for judicial reform.
But where there is crisis, there is opportunity. The present stage of Taiwan’s economic development is highly connected and complementary with many countries in the region. If our efforts to build a New Model for Economic Development can be linked to other Asian and Asia-Pacific countries through cooperation, to jointly shape future development strategies, we will not just contribute to the region’s innovation. We will also contribute greatly to the region’s structural adjustment and sustainable development. Together with other members of this region, we will forge an intimate sense of “economic community”. We will share resources, talents, and markets with other countries to achieve economies of scale and to allow the efficient use of resources. This is the spirit on which our “New Southbound Policy” is based. We will broaden exchanges and
“At this moment and as President, I declare to the citizens of this country that my administration will demonstrate resolve in spearheading this country’s reform, and will never back down.”
4. Regional Peace and Stability and Cross-Strait Relations The fourth area for the new government to address is regional peace, stability and development, as well as the proper management of cross-Strait relations. Over the past 30 years, Asia and the world have undergone dramatic changes. And governments have become increasingly concerned over global and regional economic stability and collective security. Taiwan has always played an indispensable role in the region’s development. But in recent years, regional dynamics have been changing rapidly. If Taiwan does not effectively use its strengths and leverage to proactively participate in regional affairs, it will not only become insignificant, it may even become marginalized and lose the ability to determine its own future.
cooperation with regional neighbors in areas such as technology, culture, and commerce, and expand in particular our dynamic relationships with ASEAN and India. We are also willing to engage in candid exchanges and pursue possibilities for cooperation and collaboration with the other side of the Strait on our common participation in regional development. As we actively develop our economy, the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region is becoming increasingly complex. Cross-Strait relations have become an integral part of building regional peace and collective security. In this process, Taiwan will be a “staunch guardian of peace” that actively participates and is never absent. We will work to maintain peace and stability in cross-Strait relations. We will make efforts to facilitate
domestic reconciliation, strengthen our democratic institutions, consolidate consensus, and present a united position to the outside world. For us to accomplish our goals, dialogue and communication are absolutely crucial. Taiwan will also become a “proactive communicator for peace”. We will establish mechanisms for intensive and routine communications with all parties involved, and exchange views at all times to prevent misjudgement, establish mutual trust, and effectively resolve disputes. We will handle related disputes in adherence to the principles of maintaining peace and sharing interests. I was elected President in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of China. Thus, it is my responsibility to safeguard the sovereignty and territory of the Republic of China; regarding problems arising in the East China Sea and South China Sea, we propose setting aside disputes so as to enable joint development. We will also work to maintain the existing mechanisms for dialogue and communication across the Taiwan Strait. In 1992, the two institutions representing each side across the Strait (Straits Exchange Foundation or SEF and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits or ARATS), through communication and negotiations, arrived at various joint acknowledgements and understandings. It was done in a spirit of mutual understanding and a political attitude of seeking common ground while setting aside differences. I respect this historical fact. Since 1992, over 20 years of interactions and negotiations across the Strait have enabled and accumulated outcomes that both sides must collectively cherish and sustain. It is based on such existing realities and political foundations that the stable and peaceful development of the cross-Strait relationship must be continuously promoted. The new government will conduct cross-Strait affairs in accordance with the Republic of China Constitution, the Act Governing Relations Between the People of Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation. The two governing parties across the Strait must set aside the baggage of history, and engage in positive dialogue, for the benefit of the people on both sides.
FROM LIBER AL LEADERS
By existing political foundations, I refer to a number of key elements. The first element is the fact of the 1992 talks between the two institutions representing each side across the Strait (SEF and ARATS), when there was joint acknowledgement of setting aside differences to seek common ground. This is a historical fact. The second element is the existing Republic of China constitutional order. The third element pertains to the outcomes of over 20 years of negotiations and interactions across the Strait. And the fourth relates to the democratic principle and prevalent will of the people of Taiwan.
greenhouse – gas emissions in accordance with the agreement negotiated at the COP21 meeting in Paris. Together with friendly nations we will safeguard a sustainable earth. At the same time, the new government will support and participate in international cooperation on emerging global issues including humanitarian aid, medical assistance, disease prevention and research, anti-terrorism cooperation, and jointly tackling transnational crime. Taiwan will be an indispensable partner for the international community. Today Is the Day
5. Diplomatic and Global Issues The fifth area for the new government to take up is to fulfill our duty as a citizen of the world and contribute towards diplomatic and global issues. We will bring Taiwan closer to the world, and the world closer to Taiwan. With us here today are many heads of state and delegations. I would like to thank them for their longstanding assistance to Taiwan and for giving us the opportunity to participate in the international community. Going forward, through governmental interactions, business investment, and people-to-people collaborations, we will continue to share Taiwan’s experience in economic development and build lasting partnerships with our allies. Taiwan has been a model citizen in global civil society. Since our democratization, we have persisted in upholding the universal values of peace, freedom, democracy and human rights. It is with this spirit that we join the alliance of shared values and concerns for global issues. We will continue to deepen our relationships with friendly democracies including the United States, Japan, and Europe to advance multifaceted cooperation on the basis of shared values. We will proactively participate in international economic and trade cooperation and rule-making, steadfastly defend the global economic order, and integrate into important regional trade and commercial architecture. We will also not be absent on the prevention of global warming and climate change. We will create within the Executive Yuan an office for energy and carbon-reduction. We will regularly review goals for cutting
From the first direct Presidential Election in 1996 to this year, exactly 20 years have gone by. Thanks to two decades of hard work by successive governments and civil society, we have overcome many obstacles that emerging democracies
“As long as we believe, the new era will arrive. As long as our leaders have unwavering faith, the new era will be born in the hands of our generation.” must confront. Throughout this process, we have had many touching moments and stories. But like other countries, we have also experienced anxiety, unease, contradictions, and conflict. We have witnessed confrontation within society, confrontation between progressive and conservative forces, between pro-environment and pro-development views, and between political ideologies. These confrontations have sparked the energy for mobilization during election seasons. But also because of these dichotomies, our democracy gradually lost its ability to solve problems.
For us, falling backwards is not an option. The new government’s duty is to move Taiwan’s democracy forward to the next stage. Before, democracy was about winning or losing the election. Now, democracy is about the welfare of the people. Before, democracy was a showdown between two opposing values. Now, democracy is a conversation between many diverse values. To build a “united democracy” that is not hijacked by ideology; to build an “efficient democracy” that responds to the problems of society and economy; to build a “pragmatic democracy” that takes care of the people – this is the significance of the new era. As long as we believe, the new era will arrive. As long as our leaders have unwavering faith, the new era will be born in the hands of our generation. Dear fellow Taiwanese, my speech is coming to a close, but reforms are just about to start. From this moment on, the weight of the country rests upon the new government. It is my duty for you all to see this country change. History will remember this courageous generation. This country’s prosperity, dignity, unity, confidence, and justice all bear the marks of our struggle. History will remember our courage. It will remember that in the year 2016, we took this country in a new direction. Everyone on this land can be proud of having participated in changing Taiwan. In the earlier performance, I was really touched by a verse in the lyrics of a song: “Today is the day, my brave fellow Taiwanese.” Dear fellow citizens, dear 23 million people of Taiwan: the wait is over. Today is the day. Today, tomorrow, and on every day to come, we shall all vow to be a Taiwanese who safeguards democracy, freedom, and this country.
Democracy is a process. In every era, those who work in politics must recognize clearly the responsibilities they shoulder. Democracy can fall backward, but it can also move forward. Standing here today, I want to say to everyone:
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Inspiring Change Within by Leni Robredo Vice President of the Philippines
FROM LIBER A L LE A DER S: INAUGUR A L SPEECH
Oath-taking of the Vice President of the Philippines at the Quezon City Reception House on 30 June 2016
TO MY beloved countrymen: There are moments in our lives that shine brighter than others. Like when I met Jesse. Or when I saw my childrenâ€™s faces for the first time. Or when the plane crashed. We are facing one of those moments once again. I will be forever grateful that you are here today. You, who have given me your trust and have taken this fight as your fight. I am touched that you are with me again in this journey we are about to take. But this journey is not just about us. This is a chance to bring those at the fringes of society to prosperityâ€”in a bigger, more powerful way.
This is a dream come true for someone like me who holds consultation meetings on train tracks, sleeps on boats, and rides single-motor version of tricycles called habal-habal to reach those we need to serve. We are in this position because we cannot and will not turn our backs on the responsibility for inclusive growth and progress that matters. We will not waste this chance to lift our advocacy to higher levels. We accept this chance to serve with humility, gratitude and a commitment to excellence. The chosen direction of our President and our plans for the country have wide intersections and converge on the singularity of this vision: Bringing real prosperity to our people, especially those that have been left behind. Much has been done, but we continue to face more challenges. That is why we aim to resolutely face all obstacles, determined to eradicate them. We will not allow anything to derail us in our goals and we are willing to work with all to bring our plans to fruition. The only way for all of us to realize our vision for our nation is to work together. During these times when there seem to be significant divisions and conflict in the world, the challenge is to come together, celebrate our commonalities and differences, and turn them all into strengths. We must do right by the people, not only by our own people. Our loyalties must lie on those we are sworn to serve, even at the cost of personal interest. This has always been the manner by which we have served, and it will remain that way for the rest of our lifetime. The doors of the Office of the Vice Presidency are always open. Ours will be a listening office. We seek to unite the government and the private sector in a partnership for change, for those at the fringes of society who we have vowed to serve. Our plan is to create partnerships between the government and the private sector towards real change. Collaboration is today’s most important and powerful resource. In our world today, our most important work are the things that we can do together.
If you recall, this is exactly the story of our journey together. When we started, very few believed that we had a sliver of chance to win. But because of the contributions of each single individual— like Nanay Alberta who pawned her ring to help with the campaign, like the Sumilao farmers who walked again to Metro Manila, like the dad-and-son tandem we randomly witnessed fixing our destroyed posters—like each one of you who sacrificed so much to get us where we are now and believed when nobody believed. When we stand for what we believe in, when we are ready to sacrifice our personal interests, we can make the impossible possible. We can accomplish many things in the next six years. We invite all who have a passion for helping the poor, for fixing
“The chosen direction of our President and our plans for the country have wide intersections and converge on the singularity of this vision: Bringing real prosperity to our people, especially those that have been left behind.” systems for the poor, for unlocking barriers that perpetuate the status quo in the poorest areas of our country, to come to our office. We will streamline and bring all these efforts together so that we can extract the highest possible impact from each point of collaboration. We have identified hunger and food security, universal health care, rural development, education, and people empowerment as our main priorities. In these areas, there is no time to lose because every day, there is real suffering on the ground. Our dream is to make headway on easing that suffering as soon as we can.
In our first 100 days, we plan to once again go to the farthest and the smallest barangays to pray with you, to laugh and cry with you, and most of all to listen to the things that you want changed. This is what we did in Naga City and in our district—the place where I was born, where I built a family with the love of my life, the place that formed my awareness of society’s problems, and calcified in my mind the solutions that work best. The place that gave birth to me as a public servant. The transformation that we personally saw in our district as we literally wore out our slippers walking with people on the ground strengthens our resolve that this is the best way to bring about change in our nation. We hope that as we bring the Office of the Vice Presidency to your barangay, you will feel the government is truly there for you, and when you feel that, you will be inspired to spark your own change as well. When change begins in ourselves, the change we want to see in our nation will truly happen. We have seen this in the farmers and fisherfolk we have helped, in each battered woman we tried to empower, in each indigenous person and barangay health worker. Any groundswell begins from an individual’s resolve. If you want our country to leave behind the things that hold it down, we must start within. That will spark a real groundswell, a unity of effort that brings about strength. Whatever change we want to see in our nation must begin within ourselves. And when we do that together, nothing is impossible. As Jesse used to say when he was alive: “What brings us together as a nation is far more powerful than what pulls us apart.” During these times of conflict, unity is most important for our nation. We may come from different walks of life or different advocacies, but our dreams are the same: that each Filipino will live a dignified, prosperous life. This moment, today, is the start of the fulfillment of these dreams.
Join me. Together, let’s take another journey.
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Following the Path of Peace by Aung San Suu Kyi State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
FROM LIBER AL LEADERS
General Debate of the 71st session of the United National General Assembly in New York on 21 September 2016
AS THE first representative of the new government of Myanmar to speak before this Assembly, it is my duty, and my privilege, to reaffirm our faith and confidence in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The strength of this organization lies in its universality and legitimacy, anchored in the Charter and in the fundamental principles of international law. For all its imperfections and limitations, the United Nations remains a receptacle of our hopes for a more peaceful and prosperous world, a kinder, more compassionate home for all mankind.
My country joined the United Nations as the newly independent Union of Burma in 1948. It was an era of determined hope, when the peoples of the world rose out of the ravages of war to build anew their countries and their faith in the human capacity for achieving peace with egality, prosperity with justice. Now, once again, it is a time of determined hope for Myanmar. When our people cast the overwhelming majority of their votes in favour of the National League for Democracy during the elections last November, they were demonstrating their support not just for a political party, but also for a political culture founded on a belief in their right, and their capacity, to fashion the future of their country in the shape of their dreams and aspirations. And these dreams and aspirations echo those that had led to the founding of the United Nations. The dream of turning swords into ploughshares—or to use a more modem idiom, converting weapons of destruction into farm machinery —is one that our people, who have long been compelled to sacrifice their sleep and their fields to the exigencies of conflict, understand with their hearts and their minds. To be safe in our own homes, to be confident in our capacity to realize our full potential, to be happy in the promise of progress for our young and security for our elderly, to be strong in our rights and duties as citizens of a peaceful and prosperous Union. These are our simple aspirations. Simple, but, it hardly needs to be said, not easy to achieve. And the only path that will lead us to our goals is the path of peace, the path that we must follow with hope and determination. The people of Myanmar have long been deprived of their inherent right to live in peace and security, to fundamental freedom and to development—in the context of our 2030 goals, sustainable development. For a country that has experienced over six decades of internal armed
conflict, nothing is more important than the achievement of lasting peace and national reconciliation. It is a difficult and complex task that the new government of Myanmar is taking on as a major challenge and a high priority. Recently, we convened the first session of the Union Peace Conference, also known as the 21st Century Panglong, as it embodies the spirit of Panglong, the conference of 1947 that paved the way to the founding of the independent Union of Burma. Attended by representatives of the Government, the Parliament, the Armed Forces, ethnic armed groups, political parties and civil-society organizations, the Union Peace Conference is based on the principle
“And the only path that will lead us to our goals is the path of peace, the path that we must follow with hope and determination.”
of inclusiveness and embodies the spirit of Union. The Conference is not an end in itself. It is the first vital step on our journey to national reconciliation and lasting peace that will save succeeding generations from the scourge of fraternal strife, which has brought untold sorrow to our peoples. Over the last few years, the world has focused its attention on the situation in the Rakhine State. As a responsible member of the community of nations, we do not fear international scrutiny. We are committed to a sustainable solution that will lead to peace, stability, and development for all communities within the State. Our Government
is taking a holistic approach that makes development central to both short – and long-term programmes aimed at promoting understanding and trust. The Central Committee for the Implementation of Peace, Stability, and Development in Rakhine State was established soon after our new Government took office. The Working Committees established under the Central Committee are undertaking the tasks of establishing security, peace, and stability and rule of law; scrutinizing immigration and citizenship; facilitating settlements and implementing socio-economic development; and coordinating and cooperating with the UN agencies and international organizations for providing humanitarian assistance. To buttress our efforts to address the issue comprehensively and more effectively, we have also established the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, chaired by Dr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations. The mandate of the nine-member Commission will cover humanitarian, development, basic rights, and security issues in Rakhine State. There will be a strong focus on conflict prevention, humanitarian assistance, rights and reconciliation, institution-building, and promotion of development. There has been persistent opposition from some quarters to the establishment of the Commission. However, we are determined to persevere in our endeavour to achieve harmony, peace, and prosperity in the Rakhine State. Here, I would like to take the opportunity to ask for the understanding and constructive contribution of the international community. By standing firm against the forces of prejudice and intolerance, we are reaffirming our faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person. Peace and national reconciliation are prerequisites for the successful implementation of policies and programmes aimed at fulfilling the
FROM LIBER AL LEADERS
social and economic needs of our people. Myanmar’s 2016 national economic and development policy is designed to meet many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including the enhancement of infrastructure investment, agriculture, private sector, SMEs and, in particular, poverty alleviation, national reconciliation, job creation and preservation of natural resources, capacity building and creating opportunities for the young. These are the key objectives of our people-centered and inclusive policy. Many of our shared concerns as members of the United Nations have been discussed comprehensively in this assembly since the general debate opened yesterday. I will therefore touch upon just a few issues, mindful of your exhortation to keep within the limits of the time allotted to us: migration, terrorism, and nuclear disarmament. Durable solutions to problems can be found only by investigating their roots. The unprecedented scale of migration in recent years and the consequent sufferings makes it an imperative to address the two most important causes of irregular migration: lack of peace and lack of development. When we talk about building peace and development, we cannot neglect the important aspect of enhancing respect for human rights, equality, diversity, and tolerance with a balanced implementation of multi-dimensional economic policies. This is a challenging task and there is a need for countries to work in collaboration to seek just and comprehensive solutions in compliance with international law. We must not forget that migrants contribute to the economies of their host countries as well as to the global economy. Hence, I believe that building cooperation and collaboration between the host country and the country of origin in ensuring the rights of migrant workers will be mutually reinforcing for both economies. Our planet is a place to be shared
by all. Sharing values and wealth will create a better world for us. We must be united in standing together against all forms and manifestations of violent extremism related to religious, cultural, and social intolerance. Having identified extremism as the root of terrorism, we need to explore the causes of extremism. Lack of social and economic security no doubt are important factors, but we also need to consider the possibility that lack of purpose, of a sense of direction in life, could also be a force that drives many, especially the young, into the snare of ideologies that appear to offer certainty.
“I would like all those who have helped us along our road to build a truly Democratic Federal Union; it has been a hard road and it has been helped by compassion and by loving kindness and by understanding. “ Myanmar advocates a world free of nuclear weapons. The annual resolution tabled by my country on nuclear disarmament aims at achieving peace and security for present and future generations. Establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in different parts of the world contributes to this goal. I am happy to inform this Assembly that we will be depositing our instrument of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) this afternoon. We have known the cost of contention and suffered the wounds of strife it is something we don’t wish on anybody or any country in our world. I would like all those who
have helped us along our road to build a truly Democratic Federal Union; it has been a hard road and it has been helped by compassion and by loving kindness and by understanding. We would like to call for more of these in facing the problems of our world today. I have seen too much anger and hatred and resentment – as well as demands for, not offer of, services. We would like our world to be a kinder world, a world that places giving above receiving. We are taught in Burma that the causes of corruption are greed, anger, fear, and ignorance. I’m not talking of corruption as simple as the taking of bribes or the offering of bribes, but the corruption of human nature. Corrupt human nature and it corrupts a whole world. I would like to call on all to help us in making this world truly a better place for us to live in, for our grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren to live in. And where but in this gathering of nations can I make such an appeal? So I appeal to you that we all stand up against anger and hatred, against fear and ignorance, and find a way to a better world through our capacity for compassion, for love and kindness, and for the ability to be happy in the good fortune of others.
“You can do a lot more with weapons and politeness than just politeness.”
During an exhibition of armored personnel carriers Moscow, Russia 18 November 2014
“The right to life is a right that is enjoyed by every person. The government has a duty to protect this right for every citizen – a convicted felon or not. We should not give up on those who have done wrong and exhaust all means possible to help them rehabilitate and reintegrate into society.”
Vice President Republic of the Philippines Forum on the Right to Life and The Death Penalty Manila, Philippines 2 December 2016
RESOLUTIONS Resolution No. 1 S. 2016 Congratulates the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan for achieving a historic first: winning the Presidential and Legislative elections, which were held on 16 January, even as DPP commits to having a transparent, accountable, and democratic government. Issued 19 January Resolution No. 2 S. 2016 Noting questionable actions by authorities against Cambodian opposition legislator Kem Sokha, urges the Cambodian government to immediately stop any form of political harassment against the opposition and its leaders, and instead uphold at all times due process of law and pursue peaceful resolutions in addressing conflicts. Issued 31 May Resolution No. 3 S. 2016 Expresses concern over the process leading to the 7 August referendum in Thailand on a constitution drafted by a military-appointed committee; reiterates the call of the international community to retract any form of restriction that inhibits free expression and freedom of assembly; urges the Thai government to foster genuine commitment in making Thailand a functioning democracy; and trusts that the Thai people will remain vigilant against possible violations of their rights and freedoms before, during, and after the referendum. Issued 4 August Resolution No. 4 S. 2016 Condemns in strongest terms the spate of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines – a consequence, direct or otherwise, of the intensified campaign against illegal drugs launched by the Duterte administration; calls on the Philippine government to publicly condemn and investigate summary executions and to bring to justice the perpetrators of such acts; and reiterates the liberal belief that both national and human security are but inevitable results of the respect for, and the promotion of, rule of law, due process, and fundamental human rights. Issued 26 August Resolution No. 5 S. 2016 Condemns the Cambodian government’s directive that prevents opposition leader Sam Rainsy – who has promised to return from self-imposed exile before the 2018 elections – – from entering Cambodia, as well as other forms of political forms of political intimidation and suppressions against the opposition; and urges both the government and opposition to seek dialogue to foster peace and stability in Cambodia. Issued 5 November
VII. Letters LIBERALS and liberal values had a tumultuous time in 2016, but some members of the CALD family still managed to score significant victories. CALD’s first letter for the year, in fact, was to congratulate Dr. Tsai Ing Wen and the Democratic Progressive Party for their win in Taiwan’s 16 January elections. With Tsai poised to become Taiwan’s first female president and DPP clinching a majority in parliament, CALD was moved to write that Taiwan “remains to be an inspiration and a shining beacon of hope” for those still struggling to keep democratic requisites respected and in place. In its 16 January letter addressed to then President-elect Tsai, CALD even said, “Today is a great day for democracy, and we thank you and the DPP for making this possible.” Two days later, CALD was writing again to another DPP stalwart, Bi-khim Hsiao, who had been freshly elected as Hualien County’s first DPP representative to the Legislative Yuan. Aside from congratulating Hsiao for her win, CALD noted in part, “Your victory is a testament to how voters ultimately reward hard work, dedication, vision, and patience. With your leadership, we have no doubt that Hualien would be in good hands in the years to come.” CALD’s next letter of congratulations had a farther destination: Germany, the recipient being Christian Lindner, leader of the Free Democratic Party. FDP had just emerged triumphant in the Baden-Wurttember and Rhineland-Palatinate state elections. In its 17 March letter to Lindner, CALD said that FDP’s commendable electoral performance only supported the trend that the party was regaining political ground in a Germany that sorely needed the type of politics FDP represents. But CALD was soon back in Asia, with an 18 March letter congratulating Htin Kyaw of the National League for Democracy for his election as President of Myanmar. “After 50 years of military rule,” CALD wrote, “we are elated that the first democratically elected government under your leadership will soon
assume the responsibility of shaping the future of your countrymen.” CALD also congratulated the “entire NLD membership for its patience, dedication, perseverance, passion, and hard work that carried the party to where it is right now.” It observed as well, “For the past decades, your party has pressed on and showed the world that the flames of democracy may at times flicker, but they can never be extinguished. With your party’s vision for good governance, we are confident that a more inclusive society geared towards ethnic harmony and national reconciliation can be forged.” CALD would also be congratulating NLD head Aung San Suu Kyi a few weeks later, on her appointed as Myanmar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister in the Office of the President. It also said in its 8 April missive that it was “pleased to know that the newly created position of State Counsellor, which Your Excellency also assumes, plays a very crucial and significant function that could help facilitate the translation of crucial pieces of legislation into action”. CALD had also observed in an earlier letter to Isra Sunthornvut of Thailand’s Democrat Party that Myanmar, the “erstwhile ‘problem child’” of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, was now “making significant strides in the democratization process”. CALD had written a letter dated 21 March to Khun Isra to congratulate him on his election as Secretary General of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly at a “critical juncture in ASEAN history”. Indeed, CALD said, while Myanmar looked headed for positive change, “democratic challenges...remain” in countries like Cambodia, Singapore, and Thailand. CALD thus told Khun Isra: “(We) sincerely hope that AIPA under your leadership can be an instrument to bring these countries to the democratic path.” Interestingly, CALD would be writing to Singapore opposition leader Dr. Chee Soon Juan a couple of months later. In its 11 May letter, CALD commended
Chee, Secretary General of the Singapore Democratic Party and his party for “your strong showing and positive campaign” during the 7 May by-election for the Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency in Singapore. Taking note that SDP saw an increase in the percentage of votes it received – from 26.38 percent in the 2015 general election to 38.79 percent in the 2016 by-election – CALD expressed confidence that “SDP’s goal of entering parliament will soon become a reality”. It added, ‘By bravely participating in this by-election, despite the odds stacked against you, you showed the residents of Bukit Batok that Singapore deserves nothing less than the commitment and resolve to real public service and leadership.”
their ideals. Years may wrinkle their skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.’” “We honour the man,” CALD said, “who fought the dictatorship, who upheld the rule of law, and who remained faithfully committed to the promise of democracy. He was, and will remain to be, a guiding light to many of us who are still struggling for democracy in Asia.”
By 7 September, CALD was sending yet another congratulatory message, this time to the Democratic Party of Hong Kong. Addressed to DPHK Chairperson Emily Lau, the letter commended not only DPHK for winning seats in the Legislative Council, but also the people of Hong Kong “for conducting the elections in a peaceful manner”. “We believe that the 30 pro-democracy seats won out of the 70 seats contested reflect the public’s thirst for change,” CALD said. It added, “Amidst the emergence of ‘democratic recession’ in the world today, DPHK’s victory is, indeed, a breath of fresh air. While a lot remains to be done, the next steps definitely remain hopeful.” Unfortunately, 2016 also had CALD witnessing the passing of three revered personalities in the global liberal community. In March, the Liberal Party of the Philippines lost former Philippine Senate President Jovito Salonga. Recalled CALD in its 18 March letter to Transportation and Communication Secretary and Acting LP President Joseph Emilio Abaya: “We remember Senate President Salonga in 2010 when he addressed the CALD Conference on the occasion of the inauguration of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III in Manila. He said, ‘Nobody grows old by living a number of years. People grow old by deserting
CALD also wrote a letter of condolence to Germany’s FDP leader Christian Lindner on 21 March following the passing of former German Deputy Chancellor, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle of the FDP. Said CALD: “Dr. Westerwelle lived a principled life – undoubtedly a difficult choice – particularly in the world of politics. That he chose to stand by his beliefs and principles, despite popular opposition and ridicule, definitely deserves our admiration and respect.” CALD’s last letter for 2016 was also steeped in sadness. In its 13 October letter addressed to former Thai Prime Minister and current Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, CALD extended its “deepest sympathies” to DPP and the Thai people on the demise of the much loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. “Truly, it is difficult to accept the passing of a graceful leader who served as one of the world’s longest reigning monarch,” CALD wrote. “We saw how the King helped the people and reached out to them throughout his 70-year reign.” CALD also said, “As the people mourn for His Majesty, we hope that the country would find comfort in being united and in working together to build the country back on its track and to allow a smooth transition towards a more stable and inclusive democracy.”
“This is something that we are able to do in this country because we define a Canadian not by a skin colour or a language or a religion or a background. But by a shared set of values, aspirations, hopes and dreams that not just Canadians but people around the world share.”
Prime Minister Canada
Remarks delivered at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport before greeting 163 newcomers from Syria who arrived on a government-sponsored flight from Beirut. Toronto, Canada 11 December 2015
“When immigration is too high, when the pace of change is too fast, it’s impossible to build a cohesive society . . We know that for people in lowpaid jobs, wages are forced down even further (as a result of immigration) while some people are forced out of work altogether . . The evidence – from the OECD, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee and many academics – shows that while there are benefits of selective and controlled immigration, at best the net economic and fiscal effect of high immigration is close to zero. So there is no case, in the national interest, for immigration of the scale we have experienced over the last decade.” Theresa May
Prime Minister United Kingdom
Speech during the Conservative Party conference Manchester, United Kingdom 6 October 2015
Democratic Space Tightens, But Change Is Inevitable By Sam Rainsy, CNRP President
THE DEMOCRATIC space in Cambodia became more and more constricted in 2016. As the leader of the Cambodian National Rescue Party, I remained illegally exiled from my own country, with the government telling international airlines that it would block any airplane carrying me from landing in Cambodia. My deputy Kem Sokha spent months hiding in the CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh in the face of threats to arrest him on politically motivated charges.
have said that CNRP won. The new system was introduced with the support of the European Union, which supplied an array of computers, and Japan. The international community is in no mood to tolerate the falsification of elections for which it has supplied the technological infrastructure. Crucially, the non-existent “ghost voters” who have been used to manipulate previous election results have been eliminated under the new computerised system.
Numerous CNRP activists remain in jail or in exile to avoid arrest. A United Nations body confirmed in November that arbitrary imprisonment is being employed by the government.The deputy head of the National Election Committee (NEC), Ny Chariya, is in prison on fabricated charges. The assassination in July of Kem Ley, founder of the Grassroots Democracy Party, is universally acknowledged as being politically motivated. The CNRP has filed a legal demand in the United States to secure footage of his execution, which was carried out in broad daylight as he drank coffee at a Chevron-owned service station in Phnom Penh.
The 2016 registration period ran from September 1 and lasted for three months. Despite CNRP appeals for a longer period, the window was extended at the end by only one day. With people queuing until midnight at some centres to try to register, even a modest further extension would have widened enfranchisement; that this was denied is in itself a warning sign to election monitors.
Against this backdrop, the CNRP confronted the challenge of voter registration for Cambodia’s local commune elections in 2017 and the national election in 2018. A new, computerized electoral registration system was part of an agreement reached in 2014 between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the CNRP after the 2013 national ballot, which independent observers such as Human Rights Watch
A double standard was apparent in the fact that members of the military were able to register wherever they are stationed, but the hundreds of thousands of Cambodians who work in Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam were obliged to go back home to do so. The cost in time off and travelling expense for those working for low wages was a major deterrent. Requests for migrants in Thailand to be allowed to register on the border were refused, with the NEC saying that this would require a change in the law. Voters abroad are harder for the government to control, and many are natural supporters of the opposition. The NEC itself admits
that most of eligible voters who did not register are migrant workers.
the 2017 update is used to extend enfranchisement, and not restrict it in the light of the local election results.
Serious imbalances remain in the electoral system. The number of National Assembly seats for the cities has not kept pace with rapid urbanisation. Voters in the main population centres are therefore under-represented in relation to the countryside. Some constituencies need three times more voters to elect a National Assembly member than others. The CPP predictably encouraged urban workers to register near their place of work.
Genuinely free and fair elections in 2017 and 2018 will only be possible if intimidation of the opposition ends. This intimidation serves only to mask the fact that the lifespan of the dictatorship, which since the 1980s has served a small and corrupt elite, is drawing to a close. Technological advance and the rise of social media have made state-censored news obsolete. Even in this poorest of countries, the Internet has become the most popular way to get information.
Considered alongside the obstacles placed in front of migrant workers, the strategy of the CPP seems to be to give maximum weight to the votes of the older, rural population, which it hopes will support it, and to try to dilute or exclude the votes of a younger, increasingly educated and technologically aware generation, who are entering the workforce and the electorate in rapidly increasing numbers. The CPP has little or nothing to offer them as they do so.
The 2013 election saw the government confronted and defeated by a united opposition in the shape of the CNRP. That unity is intact despite the ruling partyâ€™s onslaught. It will be impossible to conceal the CNRPâ€™s victory in 2018. The real work will start then with the implementation of the partyâ€™s policies on industrial development, job creation, improved education, and agricultural productivity, underpinned by a commitment to end the endemic corruption that has thwarted the Cambodian state in its most basic functions. Former supporters of the CPP can be assured that they will be treated fairly and with dignity as these plans are put into effect.
Of the 9.6 million officially eligible voters, almost eight million were finally registered. This will be the total number of eligible voters for the local elections in June 2017, and the NEC has said that it will be able to update the list in late 2017 for the national election. The number of disenfranchised voters remains far too high, and the security of the information stored on the new computers has yet to be put to the test. It will be important for election monitors to verify that
Economic & Political Setbacks, But Hope Remains High By Bulgan Bayasgalant, CWGP Youth President
Mongolia had quite a challenging year in terms of economic development. The country’s economy that was growing at 17 percent some three years ago slowed down to three percent in 2016 as a result of decline in some of the commodity prices. Cash handouts and populist promises in previous elections by then ruling parties had resulted in big deficits in the budget and it is likely that the country will be struggling to find ways to finance its debts in 2017. The Civil Will Green Party had been warning about the consequences of cash handouts and populist policies from the very beginning and is now anguished to see that the worst has become a reality.
We will soon resume our talks with the Democratic Party, which also lost majority of the seats in the legislature and which is currently in the process of electing new leadership. Whatever the decision will be, it will be for the sake of continuation of our legacy and ideology, and the implementation of our platform.
For all its difficulties, however, Mongolia still managed to host the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Ulaanbaatar in June where 51 countries were represented through heads of states and governments, as well as other high officials. The country also held a parliamentary election in June and a municipal election in October. But because the then ruling Democratic Party approved a transition from the newly introduced mixed system to the all first-past-the-post system, a political earthquake happened and the People’s Party of Mongolia won by a landslide in the parliamentary polls.
Our youth wing was represented at the recent gathering of liberals in Europe witnessing the liberals’ discussion on the new direction of Europe. The convention was organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation under the theme “Re-shaping Europe”.
Meanwhile, the CWGP itself had its Party convention in 2016 where Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren and Gankhuyag Tserendorj were elected as co-chairpeople. It was also at the convention that it was agreed that CWGP would merge with the Democratic Party for the parliamentary and local elections. Due to Mongolia’s sudden shift, via the new election laws, to the first-past-the-post system, the Party considered it hard for it to achieve its aim to gain more seats in Parliament. Hence, CWGP Chairwoman Oyun had suggested a possible merger with the Democratic Party for the polls. It was actually the Democratic Party had offered the merger first to allow two to five constituencies for the CWGP candidates. A few of our prominent candidates thus ran in the elections under the Democratic Party.
Despite our less than fortunate performance at the Parliamentary and local elections in 2016, the CWGP still progressed in its foreign relations and overall position during the year.
CWGP leader Oyun also actively participated in the drafting of the new Liberal International manifesto in New York, and in Bangkok. We renewed our presence in Asian platform, as well through the handover of our CALD chairmanship to Thailand’s Democrat Party. CWGP’s chairmanship of CALD gained our Party a great opportunity to lead in the liberals’ sphere in Asia and brought it to the international front row, allowing it participation in liberals’ discussion and cooperation at a global scale. The year 2017 will be a year of re-organization and a year of strength for CWGP. Whenever you hit the bottom is also when you rise the highest. Failure is the chance to reflect on our past actions, accumulate more strength, and develop a new plan. By saying this, CWGP is not only referring to itself, but also to all our liberal friends who had to learn a hard and bitter lesson in 2016. CWGP has planned many great things in 2017, including a youth fellowship programme initiated by our youth wing, where we will seek your kind moral support and advice.
Redefining the Liberal Party’s Role By Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan President of the Liberal Party of the Philippines
Across the world, the culture of democracy – – tolerance, debate, and unarmed truth – – is on the decline and authoritarian tendencies are on the upsurge. In the Philippines, this is partly due to the collective failure of society’s leaders (political, religious, business, and other civic groups) to free the country from the clutches of entrenched political and economic dynasties, and to transform our inchoate democracy into one that addresses the unfulfilled promises of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt. Despite economic recovery from the methodical Marcos plunder of the national treasury, the major problems of poverty, inequality, and exclusion remain. Amid massive joblessness, workers are forced to work in dirty, dangerous, difficult, and mostly temporary jobs (many abroad) even as their labour rights to organize, and have security of tenure as well as decent work are suppressed. The agrarian reform programme is a big let-down, with peasants hungry, poor, and dispossessed of land and/or earning subhuman wages. Millions live in squalid conditions with hardly any of the essentials for a life of dignity. Many turn to scavenging and drug peddling as a means of survival. Tax and other economic policies remain largely skewed (especially in the implementation) towards the super-rich and unfairly against the middle class and those further below. Systemic corruption continues to bankrupt the nation’s coffers and morals. Government after government failed to secure job, food, shelter, health care, education, and other social services for the ordinary Filipino. Philippine society has failed to redistribute resources and give equal access to income, opportunities, and services.
All throughout the post-EDSA period, the Liberal Party has been part of revived democratic institutions, largely ideologically indistinguishable from other political parties, with most of its leaders removed from the dangers that common folk face every day. Moreover, technology, globalization, and climate change are rapidly transforming the world as we know it. Robots and artificial intelligence portend a new realm for work – – and the class and identity attached to it. Wealth and thus power are increasingly concentrated on so few, imperiling fragile social cohesion and economic stability. Clean air, clean water, and arable land – – most basic for human survival – – are becoming scarce and precious commodities. A combination of these has fundamentally changed the political landscape worldwide. The mix of cheaper phones and ever simpler social-media access has allowed interest groups to produce troll armies and fake-news websites that amplify opinions not facts, as well as influence crucial issues like Brexit and climate-change denial and events like some national elections. Populism and its kin – – racism, fascism, and extremism – – are arising from this troubling new world. In desperation, people have turned to the old, familiar, and more tyrannical ways of political leadership, falsely thinking that this will save them from a dark future. Powered by social media, time-tested propaganda rules are blurring the lines that divide truth and lie. For one, this new technology is creating a more impatient if less discerning public that embrace “tough” leaders
who make things happen in place of polite, “decent” ones who tend to be more circumspect. For another more dangerous effect, it creates filter bubbles of prejudice and hatred, not solidarity and common humanity.
Democracy is a continuing process. These reforms needed time to grow for a significant if relatively stable harvest of economic growth and political stability to create substantial if not irreversible inroads to poverty, inequality, and exclusion – – across administrations.
Against this backdrop, the Liberal Party must redefine itself.
The Liberal Party cannot do it alone. It must join the global democracy, climate defence, and similar activist movements that tackle humanity’s borderless problems, starting with the siege on truth, the all too important foundation of justice and peace.
The Liberal Party was part of the broad socio-political movement that fought the Marcos dictatorship. But his legacy of deception and corruption continues. Thirty years since strongman Ferdinand Marcos fled the people’s wrath in 1986, his remains now lie beside the nation’s real heroes, upon orders of President Rodrigo Duterte. The Liberal Party was among the first to express the nation’s collective outrage at this insult to our history. But more than taking on a possible resurgence to power of the Marcoses in particular, or of authoritarianism in general, the challenge to the party is to pursue social justice in its entirety. This means urgently stopping and correcting the historical impacts of patronage politics and more so, the dominant socio-economic geopolitical system that proved indifferent to the people’s needs and the planet’s future. As the party in power six years prior, the first time in close to 50 years since it had a member serve as President of the Republic, the Liberal Party leadership was able to grow the anti-dictatorship, pro-democracy (anti-patronage) seeds planted throughout post-EDSA. It addressed extreme poverty and lack of access to health and education services through, among others, the expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer program, and the enactment of the Reproductive Health Act and the Sin Tax Law, the revenues of which continue to fund the Universal Health Care programme. Its strong institutional anti-corruption, pro-accountability, and participatory democracy campaigns produced unprecedented budget increases for social services without income-tax hikes and the revolutionary and empowering Bottom-Up Budgeting program. It also put known plunderers in jail, including a former President. Its bold peace efforts with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front earned the respect and participation of the international community. Its practice of clean governance made the Philippines the darling of foreign investors and tourists.
How should the Liberal Party leadership now move forward? Towards a clear path to the future, the party and its leadership need to look back to its past. We need to go to the grassroots, engage with the marginalized sectors, and become a genuine people’s party. We need people to inspire our young people, including the so-called millennials, to become more pro-active citizens willing to collectively shape a kinder tomorrow. We need to know and understand the people’s misery and poverty, and transform these into peace and prosperity. We need to empower people to become more upwardly mobile and expand the middle class. We need to use the principles of participatory democracy and solidarity, human rights and social justice, ecological wisdom and sustainability, and respect for diversity. And in this our post-truth, volatile, and complex reality, we fight together against trolls, fake news, and lies with a clear and convincing vision of the future, with relentlessness and dogged determination, and with the truth told a thousand times. The Liberal Party must aim to pursue and strengthen collective strategies and actions towards people-centred democracy – – that is, democratic ownership and control of those that are central and crucial for sustaining life: air, water, land, energy, jobs, housing, health care, education, transport, and so on. It must work to present an alternative socio-economic system that provides for the needs of person and society, taking into account the regenerative capacities of the environment. A system that satisfies the fundamental rights of citizens and actualizes their stewardship of nature. A system that realizes that the survival, dignity, and development of the person are all connected to the life of the community, and fundamentally to the very life of the planet.
Unfortunately, these successes were just saplings when the leadership turned over power to the new government.
SDP’s Call for Democratic Change Still Strong By Jaslyn Go, SDP International Liaison
Going into 2016, opposition parties were still coming to terms with the vast swing of votes to the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) in the August 2015 general elections.
was revealed to have an extra-marital affair and as a consequence had to resign his office.
As in past polls, the results then were a foregone conclusion. The state control of the media, electoral process under the direction of the ruling party, and the absence of fundamental freedoms had kept the PAP in power for more than 50 years. Lee Kuan Yew’s death that year and the ensuing outpouring of emotions driven largely by the state media added to the huge PAP-victory margin. The celebration of Singapore’s 50th year of Independence accompanied by numerous state handouts was another factor that contributed to the dismal result for the opposition. Then in May 2016, a by-election was called in the constituency of Bukit Batok; its sitting PAP member of parliament
The Singapore Democratic Party’s candidate in the by-election was Secretary General Chee Soon Juan. Yet while he was unable to wrest the seat from the PAP, the SDP’s political future looks hopeful. This is borne out by two observations: One, in the 2015 elections, it was the best-performing opposition party by registering the least percentage of votechange against the opposition. Two, this reinforces the fact that it was the most improved party in terms of vote-change for opposition parties in the 2011 elections. The next elections are not due until 2020. The SDP will continue to spread its message of democratic change, using the Internet as a communication platform.
On Course Despite Profound Sadness By Kiat Sittheeamorn, DP Thailand Deputy Leader
“WE SHALL reign with righteousness, for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people.” So promised the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty when he was formally crowned as the Thai monarch on 6 June 1946 at the age of 23. It was an oath that he not only kept, but lived – -winning the hearts and minds of his subjects decade after decade. And so when His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok in the afternoon of 13 October 2016, Thailand was plunged into profound sadness. The government declared a year-long mourning period for His Majesty, who was the world’s longest reigning monarch. Until now, more than 40,000 people visit the Grand Palace each day to pay tribute to the much loved and revered late king. Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932. But His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had acceded to the throne in 1946, was nevertheless an essential pillar for Thai society and a source of wisdom and inspiration for Thais from all walks of life. He initiated more than 3,000 programmes covering agriculture, the environment, public health, water resources, communications, public welfare, occupational promotion, and education. He also actively promoted sustainable development and introduced the philosophy of Sufficient Economy that has been widely adopted in Thailand and beyond. Although Thailand remains in mourning, the succession process has so far been smooth and in accordance with customary law – contrary to the predictions of sceptics. After His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn accepted the invitation of National Legislative Assembly President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, he formally acceded to the throne on 2 December 2016 in accordance with the Palace Rule on Royal Succession 1924 and the interim
Constitution. The 10th King of the Chakri Dynasty was then formally named His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. His coronation will take place at a later date, when he will be called in Thai Somdet Phra Chao Yoohua Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. In the meantime, Thai politics has been on course, with the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) having finalized an organic law governing political parties that would pave way for general elections expected to be held sometime towards end-2017. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has so far insisted as well that the political roadmap announced earlier would remain unchanged. In August, voters had passed a new constitution through a nationwide referendum – though without much public debate and despite the concern of stakeholders over several articles in the draft charter. The CDC is now in the process of writing organic laws to cover the rules and procedures governing the political and electoral processes. The laws must then be passed by the National Legislative Assembly. One of the most important bills was that on political parties, which was sent to the Assembly on 7 December. The draft law governing the Election Commission was also nearing completion as of this writing and would soon be sent to the Assembly for passage. At this stage, all political parties in Thailand are prohibited from holding formal meetings and/or engaging in any political activities. Still, the Democrat Party remains in the process of providing comments and suggestions to the CDC on various issues, such as membership and fees, the role of paid members in a party’s management structure, membership categories, and the time required for implementation.
“We don’t have to be afraid of change, we have to be afraid of fear.”
Chairman, Free Democratic Party Germany
“Immigration is an organized replacement of our population. This threatens our very survival. We don’t have the means to integrate those who are already here. The result is endless cultural conflict.”
Marine Le Pen
President, National Front France Interview with RT News Paris, France 27 April 2011
CALD Youth attends 39th IFLRY GA CALD is always for expanding its horizons, and its youth wing is no different. So when the International Federation of Liberal Youth held its 39th General Assembly on 14-17 April in Istanbul, Turkey, CALD Youth was there, eager to learn and to participate. CALD Youth is actually an IFLRY regional bureau member. At the Assembly, which had more than 80 participants from nearly 30 countries, CALD Youth was represented by its Chairperson, Bulgan Bayasgalant. The event was made up of the General Assembly itself and a conference with the theme, “Refugees Welcome?” Co-organized by IFLRY with the 3H Movement, a classical liberal youth association in Turkey, the General Assembly had a lengthy to-do list, including reports about IFLRY activities in the last two years, as well as a lively discussion stemming from questions and feedbacks from members. IFLRY also welcomed two new members at the event: VESNA Youth Democratic Movement from the Russian Federation and observer member Liberal Alliances Ungdom from Denmark. In addition, participants – including CALD Youth’s own Bulgan – – adopted several resolutions on the pressing issues such as the illegal use of rainforests, promotion of mental-health awareness, sexual and reproductive-health rights, assisting LGBTQ2 refugees, Nagorno-Karabakh border incidents, and accelerating the closure of coal-fired plants
around the world. As well, participants exchanged updates from their respective organizations – – which proved helpful in enriching CALD Youth’s knowledge of the latest goings-on in its sister organizations. The highlight of the General Assembly was the new Bureau election, which led to the formation of a strong and experienced team. For the next two years, IFLRY will be led by President Pauline Kastermans from Jonge Democraten of the Netherlands, Secretary General Tone Bjørndal from Young Liberals of Norway, Treasurer Danylo Korbabicz from Young Liberals of Canada, as well as Vice – Presidents Sven Gerst (Junge Liberale, Germany), Ab Brightman (Liberal Youth, United Kingdom), Anders Rehnberg (Liberal Youth of Sweden), and Ahmad Al Rachwani (Future Youth Movement, Lebanon). CALD Youth Chairperson Bulgan later met with former IFLRY President Christian Scharling and the rest of his team to congratulate them for a job well done, and especially on their great cooperation with CALD Youth through the several projects they had organized together. Bulgan also attended a meeting with the new Bureau to discuss continuing cooperation between the two organizations, starting with the climate-change workshop that was to be held in Bali, Indonesia in August.
Liberals celebrate Taiwan’s vibrant democracy
Taiwan has a new president – and she is a woman and a liberal. That’s why when Tsai Ing Wen was sworn in as the 14th President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on 20 May, CALD – along with representatives from Liberal International, the Africa Liberal Network, and FNF – made sure it was there to celebrate the momentous occasion with Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party. The inauguration included the official swearing-in of the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect, the march of outgoing and incoming president, and cultural performances by the honor guards, students, and artists. In her inaugural speech, President Tsai shared five crucial points that the new government would need to work on to improve the welfare of the Taiwanese people, foster peace and stability in the country and in the region, and reinvigorate the country’s economy. In the next four years, Tsai said, attention would be focused on: 1) transforming economic structures; 2) strengthening the social safety net; 3) addressing social fairness and justice; 4) maintaining regional peace and stability and the properly managing cross-strait relations; and 5) actively participating in diplomatic and global issues, so much so that Taiwan would be an “indispensable partner for the international community”. “Democracy is a process,” said Tsai. “In every era, those who work in politics must recognize clearly the responsibilities they shoulder. Democracy can fall backward, but it can also move forward. The new government’s duty is to move Taiwan’s democracy forward to the next stage. Before,
democracy was about winning or losing the election. Now, democracy is about the welfare of the people. Before, democracy was a showdown between two opposing values. Now, democracy is a conversation between many diverse values.” This historic event also provided an opportunity for liberals present at the inauguration to convene and discuss the liberal approach to “Taiwan’s Future Role in Promoting Democracy in Asia Pacific Region”. In truth, CALD and the global liberal partners attended the momentous event not just to celebrate and show solidarity with the DPP, but also to express optimism and confidence that the DPP will deliver on its promises and that liberal principles will continue to guide its leaders in forging democratic reforms and improving the welfare of the people. Held at the DPP headquarters, the seminar tackled the role of Taiwan’s civil society in the political process, China’s pressure on Taiwan’s democratic institutions, and the challenges and opportunities in promoting regional efforts to further strengthen democracy and maintain peace. For Taiwan itself, the future is looking bright. At the very least, President Tsai had emphasized a new beginning and promised “(to) build a ‘united democracy’ that is not hijacked by ideology; to build an ‘efficient democracy’ that responds to the problems of society and economy; to build a ‘pragmatic democracy’ that takes care of the people – this is the significance of the new era”.
Asian liberals ponder together with LI manifesto drafting committee
Is the world moving forward? Based on how Prof. Karl-Heinz Paqué recalls the historical conditions surrounding Liberal International’s founding document, which was adopted in 1947, the answer to that would be “no”. “In Oxford liberals gathered to speak out against fascism and communism,” recounted Paqué, the Deputy Chairman of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF – LI Cooperating Organization), describing the world in the late 1940s. “Seventy years later the world looks very different.” “There is a new trend towards authoritarianism,” he added. “In Russia and Turkey fundamental rights are curbed, and media are increasingly constrained in their operations, but also inside countries such as Hungary and Poland there seems to be a nationalistic revival.” Fortunately for LI, it had set into motion a rethink of liberalism a few years ago and has been readying a new manifesto. On 19 July, the Drafting Committee for the 2017 LI manifesto brought together representatives of LI member parties in Asia to hear their thoughts and opinions on liberalism in the 21st century. The discussions were held in Taipei, where the liberals were welcomed by no less than
recently elected Taiwan President Tsai Ing Wen, who also heads the Democratic Progressive Party, an LI full member. At the meeting, the Drafting Committee discussed contributions to the draft manifesto from LI’s worldwide membership. But particular attention was paid to opinions from liberals in Asia, including the Liberal Party of the Philippines, the Cambodian National Rescue Party, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat of Malaysia (LI Member), and the DPP. In fact, before the meeting in Taipei, LI President Juli Minoves had dedicated bilateral discussions with former Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III and current Vice President Leni Robredo, both from the Liberal Party. (Minoves was also at the Taipei meeting.) The drafting of the new manifesto is part of the LI President’s Reflection Process on Liberalism in the 21st Century, which was initiated at Oxford University in March 2015. The Drafting Committee will present its conclusions on the global liberal agenda, which include climate change as a key part, to the LI Membership at the organization’s 197th Executive Committee Meeting in November 2016.
A bustle of activity at the Assembly’s sidelines CALD is no newcomer to multitasking, and at its 11th General Assembly that was held in Bangkok in November, it proved itself once more as a master of it. On 4 November alone, on the sidelines of the Assembly, CALD held three events: a climate-change public forum, a consultative meeting with Liberal International, and workshop with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party.
The forum concluded with an internal planning session amongst CALD members, where these action points were identified: (1) come up with a common stance as regards climate finance; (2) explore climate funding opportunities; (3) emphasize the need for green alternative in infrastructure projects; and (4) conceptualize a common climate change policy platform for CALD members.
The climate-change public forum, with the theme “Mobility in the Time of Climate Change”, aimed to contribute to the promotion of climate-smart and climate-resilient infrastructure in the Asian region. In her opening remarks at the event, CALD Chairperson Oyun Sanjaasuren – – also the Chairperson of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) – – said that the old business model is no longer sustainable in the time of climate change. Given the nature of the challenges we are confronting in relation to global warming, she said, there is a need now for “holistic solutions”.
In the CALD-LI consultative meeting, LI President Juli Minoves-Triquell presented the draft LI Manifesto 2017 and gathered inputs from CALD members. In the draft Manifesto, three key “threats to freedom” were identified: authoritarianism, populism, and terrorism. The Manifesto then identified the mission of liberals in the face of these threats: “To relaunch liberalism as a project of progress”. This led to an enumeration of specific responses to bring the mission into fruition. The issues and questions raised by CALD members on the draft Manifesto were subsequently summarized, compiled, and presented in the LI Executive Committee Meeting held in Marrakech, Morocco a week after.
ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General Isra Sunthornvut then gave the keynote address, in which he noted that there are still people who do not believe in climate change despite the presence of overwhelming evidence. This prompted Khun Isra to ask: “How do we reach out to the people who don’t believe… or to the people who are in doubt about climate change? Is there a way to be less preachy about climate change and global warning? How do we start building that trust?” CALD Climate Change Committee Member Monthip Sriratana – Tabucanon, meanwhile, took the discussions from general to particular by zeroing in on Bangkok and looking into five vision points on how to make the Thai capital a low carbon and climate change – resilient city.
The CALD-ALDE Party network workshop, which was facilitated by ALDE Party Political Adviser Andrew Burgess, tackled best practices in different aspects of organizational development and party management, drawing from the rich experiences of ALDE Party and its members. More specifically, Burgess discussed ALDE Party’s individual membership scheme, as well as successful initiatives on electoral campaigns and political communication of various political parties from Europe. A welcome dinner hosted by the incoming CALD Chair-Party, the Democrat Party of Thailand capped the events-packed but fruitful day.
Despite setbacks, liberals told to stay positive Even a month before the year was done, it was already clear that 2016 was annus horribilis for liberals all over the world. But former Thai Premier and current Democrat Party of Thailand head Abhisit Vejjajiva has kept faith. At a sumptuous dinner on 5 November in Bangkok, he remarked, “The path to liberal democracy is not irreversible… The struggle, the fight, must continue…. We have to assess both the successes and failures of the past as we try to move forward… We must reinvigorate, relate and reclaim.” The dinner was actually part of an event marking the CALD Chair-Party handover from the Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia to the Democrat Party of Thailand. In so doing, Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren of the CWGP was also handing over the CALD chairmanship to DP’s Abhisit.
CALD member-parties take turns at the helm of the organization, each holding the position for two years at a time. This was DP’s third time to be CALD Chair-Party. Held at the scenic Supatra River House along the Chao Phraya River, the CALD Chair-Party and chairmanship handover also became an occasion to reflect on the state of liberalism in Asia and the world. Khun Abhisit noted that when CALD was founded in Bangkok in 1993 with then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai – – who was also present that night – – there was genuine optimism in the world about the future of liberal democracy. Yet while it has since become clear that the liberal democratic path would not be without difficulties and challenges, the only choice for liberals is to keep pushing forward.
CALD condoles with grieving Thai people CALD had some of its busiest days of 2016 in Bangkok where it held its 11th General Assembly in early November, but it made sure to make time to once more express its sympathy to the Thai people on the demise of their revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927-2016). In the afternoon of 5 November, the members of the CALD delegation, led by then incoming CALD Chairperson Abhisit Vejjajiva and incoming CALD Secretary General Kiat Sittheeamorn, participated in a ceremony to honor the beloved Thai monarch at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel. After the ceremony, the delegation went to the Grand Palace where the remains of the late king lay in state. There the CALD members witnessed firsthand how hundreds of thousands of Thais clad in black were patiently lining up for hours to pay their respects to the king. The Thai government had previously announced an official year-long mourning period for King Bhumbol Adulyadej, who died on 13 October 2016 at age 88 after an unprecedented 70-year reign. On the day of the monarch’s death, then CALD Chair Oyun Sanjaasuren wrote to Khun Abhisit to extend condolences on behalf of CALD. In the letter, Dr. Oyun stated in part that CALD “will strive hard to defend and strengthen democracy to honor the legacy of the king. We stand with the people of Thailand during this difficult time”.
PKB becomes full CALD member The CALD family continues to grow, with the latest addition being Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) or Nation Awakening Party of Indonesia. At the 34th CALD Executive Committee Meeting held on 5 November in Bangkok, members of CALD’s governing council unanimously approved the application of PKB for full membership.
Hesbul Bahar, head of PKB’s National Coordination Council of Garda Bangsa, represented the PKB at the Executive Committee Meeting, along with PKB election staff Maria Ulfa.
PKB had been an observer member-party in CALD for about a decade. The late Abdurrahman Wahid – more popularly known as Gus Dur – – the fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia, CALD Individual Member, and father of pluralism and moderate Islam in the country was one of its founders. PKB is a Muslim-based political party that stands for an open, democratic, and just society for all Indonesians. It adheres to the belief that moderate Islam is compatible to democratic values and principles. Although the party has a strong commitment to Islam, it rejects the idea of Islamic state and promotes the institutionalization of democracy and pluralism.
“We are very pleased to become a full member-party of CALD, and we look forward to enhancing further our cooperation with our sister-parties in the region and beyond,” said Hesbul Bahar. “Our founding father, the late Abdurrahman Wahid, must have been delighted that PKB has taken this important step in making our relationship with CALD stronger, especially at a time when our shared values and principles are under threat.”
The party participated in the four general elections in the post-Soeharto era: 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014. In 2014, it obtained 9.04 percent of the national votes, making it the fifth largest political party in Indonesia. The ruling Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan or Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, a full CALD member-party, is the largest party with 18.95 percent of the national votes. PDIP and PKB are currently part of the governing coalition.
“So this is what I have promised to the Thai people: transparency, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law, equal treatment and reconciliation with those with opposing views, especially by providing them with political space. We need not trade off majority rule for transparency and good governance, and in order to move forward, these principles must go hand-in-hand.”
Former Prime Minister, Kingdom of Thailand Chairperson, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Speech on “Taking on the Challenges of Democracy” St. John’s College, Oxford University, United Kingdom 14 March 2009
“I declare, the 2018 election will be held on Sunday, on the fourth week of July . . not before, not later. The reason why is because all of you are stupid.”
Prime Minister Kingdom of Cambodia Speech canceling an agreement with the opposition party, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Phnom Penh, Cambodia 4 August 2015
Speakers & Session Chairs CALD Taiwan CALD Philippine Presidential & General Elections Parliamentary Elections Mission Mission Aquino, Benigno Simeon III Huang, James Director, International Affairs Department Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Hsu, Hsin-liang Former Chairperson, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Former Commissioner, Taoyuan County Lin, Ching-Yi Director, Women’s Department Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Tsia, Ing-wen Chairperson, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Presidential Candidate, Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan Yu, Mei-Nu Legislator-At-Large Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
6th CALD Party Management Workshop Bayasgalant, Bulgan Chairperson, CALD Youth Civil Will Green Party, Mongolia Chee, Soon Juan Secretary General Singapore Democratic Party Go, Jaslyn Member, Central Executive Committee Singapore Democratic Party Kleine-Brockhoff, Moritz Project Director, Indonesia and Malaysia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Nyamdavaa, Monsor Vice President, Civil Will Green Youth Association Civil Will Green Party, Mongolia Wong, Souk Yee Chairperson Singapore Democratic Party
President, Republic of the Philippines Chairperson, Liberal Party of the Philippines Cruz, Stephen Roy Deputy Director for Administration Liberal Party of the Philippines Drilon, Franklin Former Senate President, Republic of the Philippines Former Chair, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Former Chair, Liberal Party of the Philippines Guia, Luie Tito Commissioner Commission on Elections Holmes, Ronald Member, Board of Trustees Pulse Asia Jimenez, James Spokesperson Commission on Elections Maaten, Jules Country Director Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Robredo, Leni Vice Presidential Candidate Liberal Party of the Philippines Roxas, Mar Presidential Candidate Liberal Party of the Philippines Treñas, Jerry Representative, Lone District of Iloilo Liberal Party of the Philippines
7th ALDE-CALD Meeting Arlegue, Celito Executve Director, Council of Asian Liberal and Democrats Balaguru, Jayanthi Devi Vice Chairperson, CALD Women’s Caucus Central Committee Member, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Bayasgalant, Bulgan Chair, CALD Youth Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Burgess, Andrew Political Adviser, ALDE Party
De Schaetzen, Didrik Head of the Communication Unit ALDE Party Gascon, Jose Luis Martin Chito Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights Republic of the Philippines Go, Jaslyn International Liaison and Central Executive Committee Member Singapore Democratic Party Goethals, Axel Chief Executive Officer European Institute for Asian Studies Grewal, Ivanpal Singh Political Secretary to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Hartig, Susanne Executive Director, European Liberal Forum Heinz-Paqué, Karl Deputy Chairman, Board of Directors, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Dean, Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Magdeburg Minister of Finance (ret.), Saxony-Anhalt Hoffmeister, Frank Head of Unit, Investigations II, Anti-Circumvention, Directorate for Trade Defence, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Trade Commissioner Carel de Gucht, Tutor, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Jäätteenmäki, Anneli Member of the European Parliament (Netherlands) Vice-President, European Parliament Member, BURO Parliament’s Bureau+ENVI Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Kirjas, Emil Secretary General Liberal International Lee, Martin Founding Chairperson, Democratic Party of Hong Kong Individual Member, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats and Liberal International
Nart, Javier Member of the European Parliament (Spain) Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs and Subcommittee on Security and Defence Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Annemie International Secretary, Open VLD Party Former Minister of State, Belgium Former President, LI and ELDR Paet, Urmas Member of the European Parliament (Estonia) Substitute Member, Committee on Foreign Relations and Subcommittee on Security and Defence Rainsy, Sam Minority Leader, Cambodian National Assembly President, Cambodia National Rescue Party Sin, Chung-kai Former Legislative Councilor, Hong Kong Deputy Chairperson, Democratic Party of Hong Kong CALD Individual Member Sitorus, Deddy Special Staff of the Minister, Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises, Indonesia Sittheamorn, Kiat Deputy Leader, Foreign Affairs and Economics Democrat Party, Thailand Former President of Thailand Trade Representative Tioulong, Saumura Cambodia National Rescue Party Vice Chairperson, Cambodia’s National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairperson, IPU Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade Van Baalen, Hans Member of the European Parliament (Netherlands) President, ALDE Party Chair, Delegation for Relations with South Africa Member, CPDE Conference of Delegation Chairs + AFET Committee on Foreign Affairs SEDE Subcommittee on Security and Defence
Vanden Broucke, Willem Head of Unit, Interinstitutional Relations & Networking Unit Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group Vejjajiva, Abhisit Former Prime Minister of Thailand Leader, Democrat Party of Thailand
Zamora, Paolo Senior Program Officer Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
CALD Executive Mission to Taiwan Arlegue, Celito Executve Director, Council of Asian Liberal and Democrats
Verhofstadt, Guy Member of the European Parliament (Belgium) Leader of the ALDE Group
Bagro, Herminio III Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Francis Pangilinan Repiublic of the Philippines
Wintraecken, Robert Political Advisor Liberal International
Bag-ao, Arlene Kaka Representative, Philippine House of Representatives Vice President for Women, Liberal Party of the Philippines
Wynn, San Shway Member of Parliament Chairperson, Health and Sports Development Committee House of Representatives, Myanmar
Balaguru, Jayanthi Devi Vice Chairperson, CALD Women’s Caucus Central Committee Member, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
IFLRY-CALD Youth Climate Change Workshop
Dechgitvigrom, Warong Former Member of Parliament Democrat Party of Thailand
Bayasgalant, Bulgan Chair, CALD Youth Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia
Dhnadirek, Ratchada Former Member of Parliament Executive Committee Member, Democrat Party of Thailand
Gerst, Sven Vice President, International Federation of Liberal Youth
Yong, Soo Heong Former Chief Executive Bernama, Malaysia
Gutierrez, Natashya Bureau Chief Rapper Indonesia Herzog, Siegfried Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Kastermans, Pauline President, International Federation of Liberal Youth Kleine-Brockhoff, Moritz Project Director, Indonesia and Malaysia Office Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Prugsamatz, Raphaella Regional Communications Officer, Southeast Asia Office Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Saloh, Yani Former Presidential Assistant Special Staff for Climate Change Issues Republic of Indonesia
Abad, Florencio Butch Former Secretary (Minister) for Budget and Management, Republic of the Philippines Former President, Liberal Party of the Philippines Former Chairperson, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Arlegue, Celito Executve Director, Council of Asian Liberal and Democrats Balaguru, Jayanthi Devi Vice Chairperson, CALD Women’s Caucus Central Committee Member, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
Burgess, Andrew Political Adviser, ALDE Party
Sirivunnabood, Punchada Lecturer, Mahidol University of Thailand
Chou, Ya-wei Associate Researcher, Department of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan
Sittheamorn, Kiat Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Deputy Leader, Foreign Affairs and Economics Democrat Party of Thailand
Dhnadirek, Ratchada Former Member of Parliament Executive Committee Member, Democrat Party of Thailand
Sochua, Mu Chairperson, CALD Women’s Caucus Cambodia National Rescue Party
Dusadeeisariyakul, Pimrapaat Mary Program Manager for Thailand Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom
Sophonpanich, Khunying Kalaya Deputy Leader, Democrat Party of Thailand Former Minister of Science and Technology, Thailand
Herzog, Siegfried Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Hui, Chi-fung Ted Legislative Councilor, Hong Kong Democratic Party of Hong Kong Keeratiparadorn, Pakapol Analyst, Democrat Party of Thailand Minoves-Triquell, Juli President, Liberal International Liberal Party of Andorra Piromya, Kasit Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Thailand Democrat Party of Thailand
11th CALD General Assembly
Bayasgalant, Bulgan Chair, CALD Youth Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia
Chee, Soon Juan Secretary General, Singapore Democratic Party
Sriratana-Tabucanon, Monthip Member, CALD Climate Change Committee Former Member of Parliament, Thailand Democrat Party of Thailand Suthornvut, Isra Secretary General ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Vejjajiva, Abhisit Incoming Chairperson, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Former Prime Minister of Thailand Leader, Democrat Party of Thailand
Sanjaasuren , Oyun Outgoing Chairperson, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Chairperson, Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia Sato, Josephine Member, Philippine House of Representatives Secretary General, Liberal Party of the Philippines Seng, Mardi Senator, Cambodia Cambodia National Rescue Party Setiawan, Hanjaya Secretary of Government Affairs Department Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Sin, Chung-kai Former Legislative Councilor, Hong Kong Deputy Chairperson, Democratic Party of Hong Kong CALD Individual Member
MEMBER PARTIES Democrat Party of Thailand
Contact Kiat Sittheamorn Deputy Leader, Foreign Affairs & Economics Chala Anusuriya International Liaison to CALD 67 Setsiri Road, Samsannai Phayathai, Bangkok 100400, Thailand T: +66 0 2270 0036 F: +66 02279 6086 email@example.com www.democrat.or.th
The Democrat Party, founded in 1946, is the oldest political party in Thailand, and is one of the oldest in Southeast Asia as well. Since its inception over 60 years ago, the Democrat Party has held ideologies that oppose all forms of dictatorship, and is committed to the promotion of democracy for the people, and most importantly by the people. The survival and existence of the DP has not come easily. The Party had to go through political struggles throughout its history that has four periods: 1st Period (1946-1967) Party Building, Pro-Democracy and Anti-Dictatorship 2nd Period (1968-1979) Party Rehabilitation and Democracy Promotion 3rd Period (1979-1990) Policy Improvement and Participation in National Administration
4th Period (1991-Present) Leading Party of Opposition and Coalition Government Introducing the People’s Agenda Throughout its history, the DP has always stood firm on the principles of democracy, freedom, transparency, accountability and public participation. These principles, stipulated in the Party Guidelines have guided the Party in the last six decades, and will continue to guide it for many years and generations to come.
to steer national development toward a new direction. It uses the idea of “policy for the people, and by the people”, which highlights the point that “People must come first”. The Party has assured the inclusiveness of its socio-economic policy and measures. Programs such as 15 years of free education, income-guarantee initiative for farming population, debt relief and access to micro-credits, and social and health security scheme had been launched when they were in government. Leaders
Under the leadership and guidance of Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Executive Committee, DP aims to provide the Thai public with a viable responsible political alternative to the populist political environment that has been permeating the Thai atmosphere since 2001. Through various schemes and measures implemented since 2008, especially the People’s Agenda, the Party has been able
Abhisit Vejjajiva Leader Chalermchai Sri-on Secretary General
Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan The Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan (DPP) was founded on 28 September 1986 by political, social, and human-rights activists, along with defence lawyers of political prisoners. It was then Martial Law, and Taiwan was under the authoritarian regime of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which had fled to the island in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War.
Contact Lo, Chih-Cheng, Director of Department of International Affairs Joy Chen International Liaison to CALD 10F, No 30, Beiping, East Road, Taipei, Taiwan T: +866 2 23929989 F: +866 2 23930342
Through social, political movements, and participation in elections, the founders of DPP risked their freedom and their lives to champion for a democratic Taiwan. Indeed, DPP would play an imperative and crucial role in Taiwan’s liberalization and the consolidation of Taiwan’s democracy. In 2000, DPP captured the presidency, and Taiwan experienced its first transition of political power. From 2000 to 2008, DPP continued to push for freedom of expression, gender equality, social and transitional justice, judicial impartiality, farmers’ and workers’ rights, and the further realization of Taiwan’s democracy. At the same time, DPP gained valuable experience and
lessons as a young party during its eight years of governance. In 2014, DPP won Taiwan’s ninein-one elections – – the largest local polls in Taiwan’s democratic political history – – by a landslide. DPP took 13 out of the 22 cities and counties, including four out of six special municipalities. The election was DPP’s best election showing yet since its founding. Currently, more than 70 percent of Taiwan’s population reside under a DPP governing city or county. In January 2016, under the leadership of its Chairperson Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, the party won a majority in the Legislative Yuan, clinching 68 of the 113 seats. This was the first time in Taiwan’s political history that the legislature experienced a political transition. Dr. Tsai, DPP’s standard bearer in the elections, and her running mate Dr. Chen Chien-jen meanwhile garnered 6.89 million votes or 56.1 percent of the total. This meant Dr. Tsai would become Taiwan’s first female president. The year 2016 actually marks the 30th anniversary of the party’s founding. DPP plans
to further deepen Taiwan’s democracy and safeguard Taiwan’s democratic institutions for the Taiwanese people. Internationally, DPP continues to promote and strengthen the principles of democracy, advocate for human rights and good governance through close alliances with democratic countries around the world. DPP is a founding member of CALD and member of Liberal International. Leaders Tsai Ing-wen Chairperson Joseph Wu Secretary General
Liberal Party of the Philippines
Contact Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte Secretary General Josephine Ramirez - Sato Treasurer Hermino Bagro III International Liaison to CALD Argee Gallardo Deputy Director for Admin & Finance Liberal Party of the Philippines T: +63 2 709 3826 T: +63 2 709 3817 M: +63 917 533 8452 M: +63 999 888 9482 F: +63 2 709 3829 www.liberalparty.org.ph
The Liberal Party (LP) was founded on January 19 1946 by Manuel Roxas from what was once the “Liberal Wing” of the old Nacionalista Party. Two previous Presidents of the Philippines elected into office came from the LP: former President Elpidio Quirino and former President Diosdado Macapagal. Two other Presidents came from the ranks of the LP, being former members of the Party that chose to follow a different path and joined the Nacionalistas: Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos. During the days leading to Martial rule, Marcos would find his old Party as a potent roadblock to his quest for one-man rule. Led by Ninoy Aquino, Gerry Roxas, and Jovito Salonga, the LP, continued to fight the dictatorship at all cost. Many of its leaders and members were prosecuted and even killed during this time.
of the Estrada Administration, actively supporting the ResignImpeach-Oust initiatives that led to People Power II. In 2004, it again stood its ground as the Party withdrew its support from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo following controversies of her election into office. In 2009, the Party mounted a historic campaign for the 2010 elections with Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas as frontrunners following the death of former President Corazon Aquino and widespread calls for genuine change in the country.
Leaders Leni Robredo Chairperson Franklin Drilon Vice Chairperson Feliciano Belmonte Jr. Vice Chairperson Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan President
The LP has successfully reclaimed the national ruling party status with the momentous victory of President Noynoy Aquino in the last May 2010 national elections, together with majority of its allies in the House of Representatives and local government units.
In recent times, the LP was instrumental in ending more than half-a-century US military in the Philippines with its campaign in the Senate during 1991 to reject a new RP-US Bases Treaty. This ironically cost the Party dearly, losing the elections of 1992. In 2000, it showed its mettle by standing against the corruption
Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
Contact Jayanthi Balaguru International Liaison to CALD Carrie Choong Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia firstname.lastname@example.org Level 5, PGRM, No. 8 Jalan Pudu, Cheras, 56100, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia T: +60 3 9287 6868 F: +60 3 9287 8866 www.gerakan.org.my
Since it was founded in 1968, the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) has experienced growth and strength despite external challenges and internal problems. Through sincere leadership, pragmatic strategies, and noncommunal approaches, PGRM obtained mass support to strive for an egalitarian united Malaysia, characterized by racial harmony, social justice, economic equity, political democracy, and cultural liberalism. PGRM’s receptivity to people’s criticisms and advices, and its sensitivity to their needs and aspirations are two major factors that contribute in making it a dynamic and resilient political force in Malaysia.
partnership with the people based on the principle that: MALAYSIAN NATIONALISM is the most effective weapon to combat the root causes of communalism, extremism, religious fanaticism, and cultural chauvinism.
The International Relations and Affairs Bureau under the leadership of Mr. Liang Teck Meng is to reflect the party’s commitment to playing a greater and more meaningful role in the international and regional political arena. Besides council meetings, members of the Bureau and members of Gerakan regularly participate in CALD conferences, workshops and other programs.
Liang Teck Meng Secretary General
Mah Siew Keong National President Cheah Soon Hai Deputy President
As Gerakan expands its organisational base, it will strive to harness greater influence at both the grassroots and governmental levels. The Party will seek the
Singapore Democratic Party
Contact Jaslyn Go International Liaison to CALD 12A Jalan Gelanggang Singapore 578192 T: +65 6456 4532 F: +65 6463 4532 email@example.com www.yoursdp.org
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was constituted in 1980. It believes in, and is working toward restoring human, civil, and political rights in Singapore; fostering a vibrant and dynamic society based on pluralism and diversity; cultivating a transparent and accountable political system; establishing an economic system based free competition and equal opportunity for all; removing all policies and practices that discriminate against the less fortunate, women, and minorities, and cooperating with democratic parties and organizations in Asia to achieve peace and sustainable development in the region. It is the first opposition in Singapore to have a youth wing (Young Democrats) and to deploy Internet as an alternative media. It uses blogging, political videos,
and online forum to reach out to the people. The Central Executive Committee (CEC) governs the party with Wong Souk Yee as chairman and Chee Soon Juan its secretary-general Party leaders and members have had to endure a series of government-orchestrated court cases, and even imprisonment, for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly in the recent past.
Leaders Wong Souk Yee Chairman Chee Soon Juan Secretary General John Tan Vice Chairman
During the 2011 general elections, the party garnered 36.8% of the valid votes in the constituencies it contested. The SDP was touted to be the most “improved” opposition party, making the largest gain in the share of votes.
Liberal Party of Sri Lanka The Liberal Party began as a think tank called the ‘Council for Liberal Democracy’ the first institution to criticize the all-embracing statism of the colonial and immediate postcolonial periods. In espousing free economic policies together with wide-ranging political freedoms, the Council, and then the Liberal Party, opposed to both the authoritarian crony capitalism of the United National Party and the socialism of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Both major parties are now, in theory, in favor of wide freedoms, but to ensure that these are understood and entrenched, there is still need of coherent liberal activism.
Contact Leader Newton A Peiris firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President Dunston de Silva email@example.com 5A, Kirimandala Mawatha, Colombo 05, Sri Lanka M: +94777412145 O:+94372225884 F:+94372224281 liberalparty-srilanka.org
2010 is a year of major elections for Sri Lanka, with the Presidential elections held in January. This made an effect that all parties rallied around either of the two main contenders. The Liberal Party continued to support then incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse. After the victory at the parliamentary elections that followed in April, the party won a slot in the national list of the winning United Peoples Freedom Alliance Coalition and Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha was nominated as an MP from the national list after the election.
International, the Italian Alliance of Democrats and the Liberal Democrat Conference in Britain. In Sri Lanka the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats continued discussion with all the parties on reconciliation, and in 2011 Professor Rajiva was appointed Advisor on Reconcillation to the President, who also put him on the government team to negotiate with the Tamil National Alliance. Liberal volunteers contribute to the Reconciliation website: www.peaceinsrilanka.org and the Youth Forum blog: www. reconcillationyouth forum.com. The United Kingdom membership tweets as UKLPSL and has a remarkable number of followers including the Australian Prime Minister. It helps to maintain Professor Wijesinha’s personal log, www. rajivawijesinha.word press.com. The party contested a few local elections on its own in 2011, and was able to return two members to the Ridigama Pradeshiya Sabha in Kurunagala District. Liberal Party of Sri Lanka held its annual congress on the 17th of December 2015 and following members were elected as office bearers in the national committee.
The Party has chaired the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats in 2010, and the party has led delegations to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, as well as to meetings of the Liberal
Leaders Newton A Peiris Leader Swarna Amaratunga President Dustan De Silva Roshan Amararachchi Vice Presidents
Cambodia National Rescue Party
Contact Mardi Seng International Liaison to CALD House #576, National Road N2, Sangkat Chakangres Leu, Khan Mean Chey, Phnom Penh, Cambodia T: +855 012 90 5775 T: +855 012 92 5171 firstname.lastname@example.org nationalrescueparty.org
The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is a Cambodian electoral alliance between the two main democratic opposition parties, the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party. It was founded in mid-2012 for the purpose of running together in the 2013 Cambodian general election. The Cambodia Democratic Movement of National Rescue, the transitional body ahead of the union, has established working groups to unite the two and is in the process of creating a joint national platform and common party policies. It is currently the second largest political party in Cambodia, after its rival the Cambodian People’s Party. The CNRP won 44.46% of the total votes in the 2013 elections, accounting to 55 seats out of the 123 seats in Parliament.
The party principles and values: are the rule of law and democracy, with social merit and harmonization, as well as mutual respect of interest in international affairs and neutrality of Cambodia. The party believes in the strengthening of freedom and human rights, institution of free and fair elections, and defending Cambodia’s “national integrity”. Its official motto is “rescue, serve, protect.”
Leaders Kem Sokha Acting President Teng Deux Director, Department of International Relations Nuch Ramo Head Office, International Politics and Security Pok Marina Deputy Chief, Cabinet to the First Vice President of Cambodia National Assembly, Foreign Affairs
Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle
Contact Hanjaya Setiawan Secretary of Government Affairs Department & International Liaison to CALD Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan Jl. Raya Lenteng Agung No. 99, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia T: +62 21 7806028 T: +62 21 7806032 F: +62 21 7814472 www.pdiperjuagan.or.id
The ideology of PDI Perjuangan (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle) is based on Pancasila (Five principles) derived from the old indigenous Indonesian philosophy and way of life. Pancasila reflects Indonesian nationalism, humanity and internationalism, democracy, social justice and belief in one God. PDI Perjuangan faces a constant challenge to become the uniting power of Indonesia and is always in the forefront of supporting social diversity in Indonesia. Equality among citizens is the basic foundation of its unity in diversity. In the current Indonesian democracy, PDI Perjuangan plays its role to fulfill people and state sovereignty by strengthening democratic institutions, mechanisms, and political practices. It also aims for a self sufficient economy in the globalized era to bring prosperity and social welfare to the people. A nationalist party, PDI Perjuangan maintains a political strand for pluralism, social welfare, and the sovereignty of the people.
Bali, in which Hon. Megawati Soekarnoputri was re-elected as party chair-woman. The congress also solidified the party’s decision to become a major opposition to the government. In addition, the party restructured the organization in 33 provinces, over 500 districts, and more than 6,000 sub districts, down to the village level.
Leaders Megawati Soekarnoputri General Chairperson Hasto Kristiyanto Secretary General
PDI Perjuangan marked another glorious step towards the 2014 general elections when its candidate Joko Widodo, defeated the incumbent governor in the Jakarta gubernational election last 2012. He then ran and won the president elections in July 2014 with more than 53 percent of the votes garnered nationally, over rival Prabowo Subianto who garnered just less than 47 percent. PDIP won 19% of legislative votes in the parliamentary elections in April of the same year.
In April 2010, PDI Perjuangan held its third party congress in
Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia
Contact Bulgan Bayasgalant CWGP Youth President & International Liaison to CALD Freedom Square Orange Plaza – 606 Chingeltei, District 15141, P.O Box – 90 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia T: +97611319006 F: +97611319006 email@example.com www.civilgreen.mn
The Civil Will Party (CWP) the precursor of the current Civil Will Green Party (CWGP) was established on March 9, 2000 when Oyun Sanjaasuren was elected as the Chairman and Z. Narmandakh as the Secretary General. The party won their first seat in the parliamentary election that same year. In 2005, the CWP strengthened its activities by establishing the Civil Will Youth Wing and soon after this the CWP also structured the party to have their own senior, women youth and student organizations. In January 2006, the special session of the Fourth National Convention was held and the CWP officially announced that it would work as the opposition in the Parliament. In 2009, the party formed a coalition with the Democratic Party for the presidential election which resulted in victory. Elbegdorj Tsakhia was elected and became the first democratic president of Mongolia. The CWP consists of the following
organizations: the National Convention which is gathered once in every four years; the National Committee which consists of 200 members gathered annually; the Political Council with 36 members gathered on monthly; and the Monitoring Council consisting of 5 members. The main executive organization of the party is the Secretariat under the direct management of the Secretary General. The municipal branches of the party operate at the grassroots level. There are 6 policy committees within the party that operate in the field of Budget and Finance, Education, Science and Culture, Legal Activities, Foreign Relations and Security. After the 2012 election, the party obtained two seats in parliament and is now one of the junior partners in the government. In Grand National Coalition Government, established to address economic slowdown
and to introduce major policy and legal reform, CWGP’s deputy chair M.Khurelsukh serves as Deputy Minister of Ministry of Environment and Green Development to continue policies and actions initiated by long time standing leader and party chairwoman Oyun Sanjaasuren, who is president of United Nations Environment Assembly, representing the Mongolian Government. In addition, the party obtained its first ever seat in Capital City Representative’s Council. Leaders Oyun Sanjaasuren Co-chair Khuder-Yan Byambasuren Secretary General Enkhtuya Chuluunbaatar Acting Head of Secretariat
Indonesia´s Nation Awakening Party Indonesia´s Nation Awakening Party or Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) was founded in July 1998 in Jakarta at the residence of KH. Abdurrahman Wahid (“Gus Dur”). He became Indonesia’s first democratically elected president in 1999. Gus Dur was also Head of the Council of Scholars, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest, moderate Muslim organization. NU-members are the base of PKB. The visions of the party are: 1) to realize the desired ideals of independence of the Republic of Indonesia as stated in the Preamble of the 1945 Constitution; 2) to realize a just and prosperous society; and 3) to establish democratic, clean and honorable national politics. The mission of PKB includes: Contact Hesbul Bahar International Liaison to CALD Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) Jl. Raden Saleh No. 9, Central Jakarta 10430, Jakarta, Indonesia T: +62 21 3145328 F: +62 21 3145329 firstname.lastname@example.org www.pkb.or.id
1. To increase people’s faith in the Almighty God in society, nation and state. 2. Political Affairs: To maintain the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia; To uphold the sovereignty of the people; To realize a clean, reliable, democratic government; To implement national development for the prosperity of the people; To carry out an independent and active foreign policy of the Indonesian state and develop foreign cooperation to create
a world of lasting peace, which is equitable and prosperous; 3. Economic Sector: To uphold and to develop the economic life of people fairly and democratically; 4. Legal Affairs: To seek to establish and develop a civilized state law, which is able to protect all its citizens; To affirm human rights and social justice; 5. Social and Cultural Affairs: To build advanced culture and modernity while maintaining the nation's identity for the sake of elevating the dignity of the nation; 6. Educational Sector: To improve the quality of human resources of noble character, independent, skilled, professional, and critical towards the surrounding social environment; To seek the establishment of a national education system that is welfare-oriented, affordable, and sustainable; 7. Affairs of Defense: To build awareness of the obligation of every citizen to participate in the national defense effort; To encourage the establishment of community of self defense against treatment which creates a feeling of insecurity, both of which came from individuals or certain institutions in society.
Since the latest election in 2014, PKB is part of the Government Coalition Indonesia Superb (KIH), a coalition of political parties in Indonesia that supported the successful Joko Widodo - Jusuf Kalla campaign in 2014. The coalition is comprised of the PDI-P, PKB, NasDem, Hanura, and PKP Indonesia. KIH has 208 seats in the Parliament composed of 109 seats from the PDI- P, 36 seats from NasDem Party, 47 seats from PKB and 16 seats from Hanura. Four PKB politicians currently are ministers in the Jokowi government. Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri is Minister of Manpower, H. Imam Nahrawi is Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs, Prof. H. Muhammad Nasir is Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Eko Putro Sandjojo is Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration. In 2015, PKB won 86 of the 264 positions during local elections. Leaders H.A. Muhaimin Iskandar General Chairman H. Abdul Kadir Karding Secretary General
OBSERVER PARTIES National League for Democracy
Contact 97B West Shwegondaing Road, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar T: +95 1 555 156 email@example.com
National League for Democracy (NLD) is a Burmese political party founded on 27 September 1988. Its Chairperson is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Member of Parliament, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and daughter of Aung San, a pivotal figure in the Burmese independence movement of the 1940s. The NLD was formed in the aftermath of the 8888 Uprising, a series of protests in favour of democracy which took place in In August 8, 1998 and was ended when the military took control of the country through a coup. The party won a substantial parliamentary majority in the 1990 Burmese general election. However, the ruling military junta refused to recognize the
result. On May 2010, the party was declared illegal by the junta after refusing to register for the elections in November 2010. The following year, NLD announced its intention to be a political party in order to contend future elections and on December 2011, Burma’s Union Election Commission approved their application for registration. In the 2012 byelections, NLD won 43 seats out of the 44 seats it contested. The party won a landslide victory in 2015, and is now the ruling party.
(including broad-based freedom of speech), the rule of law, and national reconciliation. The party flag has a peacock in it which is a prominent symbol of Burma; the Peacock was numerously featured a number of times in Burmese monarchic flags as well as other nationalist symbols in the country. It is also associated with decades-long democratic struggle against military dictatorship. The NLD party symbol is adopted from the Myanmar (Burmese) Student Union flag.
The party advocates a non-violent movement towards multi-party democracy in Burma, which had been under military rule from 1962 to 2011. Furthermore, the party supports human rights
Democratic Party of Japan The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was created in 1998, when reform-minded politicians fromvt a number of opposition parties came together with the aim of establishing a genuine opposition force capable of taking power from the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Former Prime Ministers Tsutomu Hata and former party presidents Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan, who both later served as Prime Minister, were among those
instrumental in establishing the new party. The DPJ has since grown in size at successive elections. It was further strengthened by a merger with the Liberal Party, led by Ichiro Ozawa, in 2003. In 2009, the party won a landslide election victory, bringing about an historic change of government. At present, the DPJ serves as an opposition party in the LDP-led government of Shinzo Abe.
H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid served as the fourth president of the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia, from 19992001. He was an important figure among religious groups and political movements during the restoration of freedom and democratic rights after 32 years of the Sochato dictatorship.
commitment to public service and the promotion of liberal democracy and staunchly defended human rights, ethnic minorities, and Indonesia’s secular tradition. Wahid headed the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation.
fall of President Soeharto. He became the Chairman of its Advisory Council and its official presidential candidate in 1999. Though dominated by NU members, Wahid promoted PKB as a party that is non-sectarian and open to all members of society. Wahid passed away in 2009.
DPJ International Department 1-11-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014 Japan T: +81 3 3595 9988 F: +81 3 3595 7318 www.dpj.or.jp
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS H.E Abdurraham Wahid
More popularly known as “Gus Dur,” he showed fellow Indonesians his lifetime
His position as a moral leader was transformed, however, when he and his supporters formed the National Awakening Party (PKB) following the dramatic
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS Martin C. M. Lee
Martin C.M. Lee (Lee Chu Ming) is the founding chairman (1994 – 2002) of the Democratic Party, which is one of the largest and most popular political parties in Hong Kong. Prior to the founding of the Democratic Party in October 1994, Lee was chairman of the United Democrats of Hong Kong — Hong Kong’s first political party that won the first-ever democratic elections to the territory’s Legislative Council in 1991.
Since its establishment, the Democratic Party has committed efforts to advancing democracy and safeguarding human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong. In 2008, the Democratic Party merged with another pandemocratic party The Frontier, and further strengthened its political influence in Hong Kong. Lee was also a popular elected Legislative Councillor from 1985 to 2008.
Chung-Kai Sin was an elected Legislative Councillor of Hong Kong serving a term of 4 years from Oct 2012 to Sep 2016. Sin is the Deputy Chairman of Democratic Party since 2006, and has served as a member of the Central Committee of Democratic Party of Hong Kong since the party was founded in 1994.
a board of director Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited from 1999 to 2009. He served as an elected representative at all three tiers of the Government – Legislative Council, Regional Council (abolished by the HKSAR Government in 1999) from 1988 to 1994 and the Kwai Tsing District Council from 1985 to 2003.
Chung-Kai Sin is married to Yvonne Ying Yee Chan. They have two sons Clement and Ryan who are studying in the US.
Sin served as a Member of Legislative Council from 1995 – 1997 representing New Territories South and 1998 to 2008 representing the Information Technology Sector. Sin has a long public service record. Sin served as a member of the Housing Authority from 2001 to 2009 and
Born and educated in Hong Kong, Sin obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hong Kong in 1982 and his Master in Business Administration degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1997. Chung Kai is a life and fellow member of the Hong Kong Computer Society.
T: +852 2397 7033 F: +852 2397 8998 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sinchungkai.org.hk
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Laureate, Burma’s leader of the opposition, and one of Asia’s most revered icons of democracy. She is also the founding General Secretary of the National League of Democracy.
“The Lady” has spent most of her life committed to the people of Burma’s struggle for justice, freedom, and democracy. Much of the last two decades has seen her locked up, but in 2010, she was released from house arrest. In 2012, she contested a by-election and won a seat in parliament.
704A, Admiralty Centre, Tower I, 18 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong T: +852 2529 0864 F: +852 2864 2829 email@example.com www.martinlee.org.hk
Contact 4/F, Hanley House, 778 Nathan Road, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
HONORARY MEMBER Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Following her party's landslide victory in 2015, she now serves as the State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
PARTNERS Friedrich Naumann Foundation business associations, and community organizations. Its key tasks are civic education, policy dialogue, and consultancy to help find liberal solutions for the problems facing our societies.
FNF has worked in partnership with CALD since 1993. They have collaborated to organize conferences, meetings, networking opportunities, and publications designed to further policy dialogue and cooperation among likeminded Asian political parties.
T: +662 365 0570 T: +662 365 0567 F: +662 714 8384 firstname.lastname@example.org www.fnfasia.org
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament brings together MEPs from liberal and democratic parties across the European Union. The members share share the common values and promote an open-minded and forward-looking approach to European Union politics. ALDE stands for individual liberty, a free
and dynamic business culture, economic and social solidarity, sustainability in taking actions, protection of the environment and respect and tolerance for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
Liberal International is the world federation of liberal political parties. Founded in 1947, it has become the pre-eminent network for promoting liberalism, strengthening liberal parties, and promoting liberal democracy around the world. There are a number of common principles that unite all liberal parties from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe: human rights, free and fair elections, multiparty democracy,
social justice, tolerance, social market economy, free trade, environmental sustainability, and a strong sense of international solidarity. Although there is diversity among liberal parties owing to the application of these principles in different national circumstances, all LI members adhere to the organization’s manifesto.
The Friedrich-NaumannStiftung für die Freiheit (FNF) is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental foundation committed to promoting the value of freedom worldwide. FNF seeks to promote this core liberal value by working to strengthen: human rights and the rule of law, liberal participatory democracy, and a free market economy. Funded by the German parliament, the Foundation supports a wide range of activities in 65 different countries. Its partners include parliaments, political parties, universities, think tanks, research institutions, NGOs, the media,
29 BBC Tower, 25th Floor, Sukhumvit 63 Road, Bangkok 10110 Thailand
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, B – 1047 Brussels, Belgium T: +32 2 284 2111 F: +32 2 230 2485 email@example.com www.alde.eu
Liberal International Contact 1 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HD T: +44 20 7839 5905 F: +44 20 7925 2685 firstname.lastname@example.org www.liberal-international.org
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices, and institutions. NDI works with
democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness, and accountability in government.
Contact 455 Massachusetts Ave., NW, 8th Floor Washington, DC 20001 T: +1 202 728 5500 F: +1 202 728 5520 www.ndi.org
Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Taiwan’s peaceful transition to democracy is not only a historical accomplishment for its 23 million people, but a landmark in the worldwide spread of democracy. Only after years of struggle and effort could this transformation take place. We must never forget this history, for it shapes the cornerstone of our continued commitment to the principles of democracy and human rights. The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) was established with an inter-related, two-tracked mission in mind. Domestically, the TFD strives to play a positive role in consolidating Taiwan’s democracy and fortifying its commitment to human rights; internationally, the Foundation hopes to become a strong link in the global democratic network, joining forces with related organizations around the world. Through the years, Taiwan has received valuable long-term assistance and stalwart support from the international community, and it is now time to repay that community for all of its efforts.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy project in 2002. After much research and careful evaluation, the Ministry integrated the required resources from many sectors of society. In January 2003, the Ministry obtained the support of all political parties to pass the budget for the Foundation in the legislature. The TFD formally came into being on 17 June 2003, with its first meeting of the Board of Trustees and Supervisory Board. At that meeting, Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng was elected its first chairman. According to its by-laws, the TFD is governed by a total of 15 trustees and five supervisors, representing political parties, the government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and the business sector.
Contact No.4, Alley 17, Lane 147, Section 3, Sinyi Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan T: +886 2 2708 0100 F: +886 2 2708 1148 www.tfd.org.tw
Liberal Network for Latin America RELIAL (Red Liberal de América Latina), the Liberal Network of Latin America, is a Latin Americawide network of currently 52 civil society organizations, political parties, think tanks, and researchinstitutes. RELIAL is forming the institutional frame for leaders and opinion makers, academics, intellectuals, business people, and personalities from the region who share and profess the ideas of individual freedom, limited
government, the market economy, the rule of law, and a free democratic system in the continent
Contact Cerrada de la Cerca Nº 82 Col. San Angel Inn México DF 01060 T: +5255 5550 1039 F: +5255 5550 6223 email@example.com www.relial.org
Alliance of Democrats In an interdependent world faced by challenges, global responses are vital. This is the reason why the Alliance of Democrats, an international network of liberal democratic, centrist, and progressive political parties from all five continents, was initiated by various leaders from the European Democratic Party and the U.S. Democratic Party in 2005. From 2005 to 2008 the Alliance of Democrats, which now includes over 60 political parties, organized several meetings and international conferences for strengthening the political dialogue between like-minded democratic political parties with the ambition to build a common “Global Agenda.” The founding event was the meeting with the theme “Rebuilding Transatlantic Relations: a dialogue between US and EU Democrats” held in Rome on 24-25 February 2005 with the attendance of the Chair of the New Democrat Coalition of the U.S. Democratic Party at the U.S. Congress, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, François Bayrou, Francesco Rutelli, Bronislaw Geremek, and Graham Watson. Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and EDP Honorary President, delivered the closing remarks. The conference participants agreed on the need for a stronger and more structured relationship between the EU democratic parties and the U.S. Democratic Party, in order to strengthen the transatlantic political and economic relations. With this, the Chairperson of the New Democrat Coalition, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, and the Co-Presidents of the European Democratic Party, Francesco Rutelli and François Bayrou, a Manifesto on EU-US Relations calling for closer links between democratic parties on the two sides of the Atlantic, and agreed to establish the Alliance of Democrats.
around the world, and especially to establish sound links with Asian democrats, the Alliance of Democrats promoted a conference with the theme “A New Europe/ Asia Strategic Partnership: The Future is Now: A Dialogue between Asian and European Democrats” on 1-2 December 2005.
Contact Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, 16 Rome Italy 00187 T: +39 06 6953 2367 F: +39 06 6953 2206 firstname.lastname@example.org www.allianceofdemocrats.org
The Conference took place in Rome, with the participation of many Asian political leaders representing major political parties such as the Indian Congress Party and members and observer-parties from CALD. In a closed-door seminar, politicians and experts focused on issues such as economic integration between the two continents, international security, energy, multilateral cooperation, and global democracy. The seminar helped set up a common political agenda and a permanent network between Asia and European Democrats. Promoting sustainable development, increasing international security while fighting terrorism, and promoting human rights and democracy were the core issues of the discussions. Participants committed themselves to strengthening political dialogue, increasing cooperation and integration between Europe and Asia, and acting in favor of a closer partnership and integration between the European and Asian economies. The Board of Directors consists of Francois Bayrou, Francesco Rutelli, and Ellen Tauscher as Co-Chairs. Gianni Vernetti, Italian MP and former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was appointed Coordinator of the Alliance of Democrats.
Following its engagement to continue building closer relationships with other likeminded parties and organizations
The Council for Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Koreaâ€™s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia. CALD was formed out of the recognition of leaders of like-minded political parties in Asia of the need for a dynamic forum promoting discussion and exchange of ideas regarding trends and challenges affecting democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the region. The chair parties of CALD since its inception to the present have been the Democrat Party of Thailand or DP (1993 â€“ 1995; 2002-2004), the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan or DPP (1995-1997, 2004-2005), the Liberal Party of the Philippines or LP (1997-1999, 2005-2007), the Singapore Democratic Party or SDP (2007-2010), the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka or LPSL (1999-2000, 2010-2012), the Sam Rainsy Party/ Cambodia National Rescue Party (2000-2002, 2012-2014), and the Civil Green Party of Mongolia (2014-2016). The other members of CALD are the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM), Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and Nation Awakening Party (PKB). Hong Kong legislators Martin Lee and Sin Chung-kai are individual members. In 2010, CALD bestowed honorary individual membership to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The National League for Democracy (NLD) of Burma, and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) are observer parties. Through CALD, political parties, groups, and individuals have a continuing discussion on the developments occurring in the various countries of the region. The aim is to assess the possibilities for liberal solutions to problems facing Asian democracies. Accordingly, CALD organizes network meetings including those with its partners (Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Liberal International, Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Alliance of Democrats, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs), international conferences on vital issues affecting the region, and regular workshops on communication, political management, and women in politics. It also sends missions for various advocacies, sponsors internship programs in its secretariat and in the European Parliament, as well as maintains a website, a social network group account and a weekly electronic newsletter.
Abhisit Vejjajiva CALD Chair Kiat Sittheeamorn CALD Secretary General Unit 410, La Fuerza Plaza 2, 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue corner Sabio St., 1231 Makati City, Philippines Telephone +63 2 819 6071 Mobile +63 998 576 0877 Facsimile +63 2 819 6055 email@example.com www.cald.org facebook.com/asianliberals @asianliberals @asianliberals
CALD SECRETARIAT Celito Arlegue Executive Director Paolo Antonio Zamora Senior Program Officer Jorgia Antoinette Salonga Program and Administrative Officer, Youth and Women Francis Rafael Banico Program Officer Francis Miguel Panday Project Officer
LIBERALISM? CALD Annual Report 2016
EDITOR C.C. Balgos LAY-OUT & ART DIRECTION Michael A. Gadi