Democracy is so much more than elections

Democracy is so much more than elections

Venstre, the Liberal Party of Denmark is contributing to the youth component of the DIPD multi-party democracy project in Myanmar. In April 2018 two resource persons from Venstre went to Myanmar.

By Ulrikka Brændgaard Nissen, resource person from the Liberal Party of Denmark (Venstre)

Democracy is the base on which Denmark is built. We practice democracy from we enter school and most families have an everyday life where democracy is alive. We see it in sport clubs, school boards, work places and around the dining table.

When we left Denmark for Myanmar I knew we would meet questions which you cannot prepare for. But I don’t think you can actually imagine how fundamental different a society is when there is no democratic history. So we spent five days giving examples on everything from how the Danish parliament have a calendar so the members know when to be there to how you talk to people about a cause. How you can debate about your dreams. What you do in a party. How you can engage people. Usage of social media etc.

Ulrikka Brændgaard Nissen from the Danish Liberal Party (Venstre) and Katrine Isabella Lund from the Liberal Youth (VU) share a meal with some of the Burmese participants

We spent five days with engaged young people who want to have an impact on the future of Myanmar and talked to them about being pioneers. Which I think is what they need to think of them self not to lose faith in the possibilities to make a change in a country where the under 30s are the majority of the population. The average age in parliament is 62 and the elder politicians don’t see any point what so ever to include the youth in politics or the very important peace process.

For the next three years DIPD will hopefully make a small but important difference empowering the youth in politics so the established elderly can’t keep ignoring them.

More information

For more information about DIPD’s work in Myanmar, please visit the Myanmar page

Contact Myanmar Country Representative Khin Thazin Myint: ktzm@dipd.dk

For more information about this particular visit, you may also want to read this article.