THOMAS OPEL: WHAT COUNTS ARE THE PEOPLE, AND NOT POLITICIANS AND PARTIES

Views on BG | July 3, 2001, Tuesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

The electorate don`t vote for platforms but for personalities, says Media Consultant to the US Democratic Party

- Mr Opel, would you take up the challenge of orchestrating the elections in Bulgaria?
- Some of the principles for conducting election campaigns are the same for all democratic societies. In the long run, people speak one and the same social language. I mean, they profess one and the same values - family, freedom, faith in God and love for your fellow-man.
- What do you count on creating the image of the politicians you work for?
- I believe that the best effect in politicians` publicity is achieved when you put an emphasis on values. People vote for personalities rather than for platforms. You shouldn`t strive to make the voter agree with your points of view, but persuade him that this candidate is the man who will uphold his interests and they should trust him. People are more important than politics. I have repeatedly said to our candidates - look at the problems through the eyes of the electorate and you`ll be successful.
- What are your impressions of the Bulgarian political life?
- In principle, the moves of the politicians are conditioned by three types of interests - national, local (in the sense of the constituency) and party ones. In this respect I`m an ardent supporter of our majority system. Because it makes the deputies follow precisely this gradation of values in their activity. They are simply forced to fulfil the pledges given before the electorate. While in Bulgaria, as well as in Europe, where the proportionate system is introduced, politicians are more concerned with themselves than with the interests of their electorate. As for Bulgaria, a leading principle in the motivation of the legislator is the party spirit and party discipline.
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