Politics can be challenging. Starting your own political party or entering into politics can be both rewarding and daunting. Politics is stressful, competitive and requires mind games, such as diplomacy. You will also need to understand government policies, rules, and regulations. We recommend that you first enter into politics by volunteering into the field and getting involved in the process, and then create your own political party.
Today we are going to talk about how you can enter into politics and we would give away tips to create a political party. Remember that the process and steps may vary based on your country and state. So, consider this a general factsheet and not a strict guideline.
Steps to Enter into Politics
Earn Your Degree in Politics
Most of the top-notch politicians do not hold a degree. But, the scenario is changing now, and although you can run an office without an educational background, a graduation will be a kind of proof or certification that shows that you have pursued the career wholeheartedly and you know the basics of current affairs, government, and political history. Although there is no special degree course meant solely for politics, Economics, Law, and Business are common choices that candidates pursue. Make sure you choose a degree that you show some kind of interest, regardless of entering politics. This is because you will have to take classes on a variety of subjects and not restrain to your degree alone.
If you are interested in social issues, public welfare, current events, and economics, politics should be the right option for you. Whatever your choices are, start early.
While you are completing your education, you have to make yourself actively involved in various school and college level groups. Participate in events and hone your communication and leadership skill, both of which are extremely important to become a politician.
You can also take advanced degrees in public administration, social welfare, law, and business administration.
Volunteer into Politics
Volunteering at political parties could be a great opening. It would act as an internship. Although in politics, most interns are not paid, the experience that you get upfront will not match any book or logic. You will get the right exposure, and know people and the inside stuff more closely.
You can work as an intern in the following regions: Elected Official, Non-profit organizations partaking in political issues, any government agency, or political action committee.
You should also take part in campaigns for a national and local candidate in your circle. This will give you the right exposure to campaign workings and management.
Join a Political Party for a Paid Position
This could be your next step into politics. Once you get a first-hand exposure and treatment in political affairs, you should look for solid political work. Do not directly jump into powerful political groups in your area; chances of getting lost there is more. So, start by applying for entry-level positions as a legislative aid, field representative or a campaign manager. If you start small, you will likely get more responsibilities and a better position.
You would need to get experience in both public policy and elections. You have to ultimately switch to the policy-making side. So, work as a candidate or an elected official in the beginning, for a few years probably, and then shift your focus to the important work. You have to network with a large group of people and get as much experience as you can.
Involve Yourself and Make Yourself Visible
People should recognize you, talk about you, and appreciate your leadership qualities. For this, you have to wholeheartedly involve in the community, work for them, work with them, and stand up for them. Whether you start your own office or work for other political parties, community involvement should be your first priority.
You could be in the limelight by taking part in churches and groups, serve on boards belonging to the community, volunteer for schools and NGOs, and attend local events.
To stay visible, you need to practice your networking skills and partake in public speaking. Communication skills, public speaking and leadership skills are the three most essential traits you need to refine and hone. Improve yourself, give speeches, learn to be diplomatic and join civic organizations.
Build Relationships and Maintain Rapport
Politics is all about talking and building good relationships. The more contacts you have, the better will be your stance. You should interact with as many people as you can and bring them on your side. There are so many constituencies; you have to get to know each one of them closely and talk to people from different background.
Fundraising, campaigning, rallies, social awareness events, and community outreach are a few of the major purposes of politics. And, you need support for these causes – from media, from fellow politicians, from sponsors and from other parties. If you have more contacts, you will have a stronger career.
Live and Breathe Politics
You have to be on alert all the time, pay attention to current events, scrutinize current affairs, and gain knowledge about what is going around locally, nationally and across the world. The best way to stay well-informed is by checking and reading newspapers through and through. Sign up for e-newsletters on politics, buy political organization based journals, and check current affair websites, such as The Huffington Post and Politico.
Watch news on television. They give visual information. Also, you can start your own political webinar where you can ask experts to speak about a particular topic. Experience and exposure are what will mature your conscience.
Politics is not a cakewalk. You need the power to enter into fully-fledged politics. So, you will have to patiently wait and mature like wine. You should be smart, witty, fearless, tactful, empathetic, and practical to be in politics. You will also have to be courageous to speak your mind and diplomatic to balance relationships.
We have outlined the basic requirements of pursuing a career in politics. In the next segment, you will learn a few tips on starting your own political party.
11 Tips on How to Create a Political Party
Starting a political party will need a lot of support, both financially and legally. You will have to figure your plan of action at a very early stage – plan your party platform, get the message out to the right people and set up an organizational structure. You need to prefix how, when, where and why to the above steps to determine your action plan.
We have written down a few tips that will help you develop your own political party.
- In order to bring in enthusiastic supporters, you need to generate interest among people. you can do that by:
- Holding meetings with people you already know and asking them to spread the word.
- Officially announce and broadcast your meetings in order to file your party and attract more candidates.
- Start a crowdfunding campaign or do things to solicit donations. Set up a financial team for a formal donation process.
- Look for potential candidates. If you already know few, invite them to attend your meetings. You could ask them to give speeches, take photos with them as a promotional strategy, and ask them to create a buzz around about your party formation.
- Generate a list of principles and draw them up. Emphasize these principles in your meeting discussions so that people realize the goal and purpose of your party. Circulate these principles among your group and ask them to cast their votes to officially adopt the platform. Your basic principles should address things like:
- What and how can you improve current economic, social, and political aspects?
- If elected, what would be the goal of your party?
- Why is your party different from other ruling parties?
- Why should voters support your party’s candidates?
- As political parties grow massively over time, you will need to establish solid rules to keep things manageable, under control and ethical from the very beginning itself. You will have to create a committee to write the bylaws of the party rules and regulations. Share the bylaws with everyone before you approve them. The approval should be mutual. Some of the rules that need to be established include:
- Selection of party leadership
- Election procedure
- Committees to be formed
- Procedure of voting on important issues
- Process of selection of candidates
- Meetings, events, and campaigns rules
- Process of sorting our disagreements and disputes
- Write down your financial obligations before filing a party officially. This will also give your candidates and you a better clarity of work. Your financial statement scheme should comprise the following topics:
- Generation of Donations
- Rules and procedure for financial transparency
- Financial crisis management rules and procedures
- Bank account(s)
- Financial committee
- Accounting service provider
- Financial strategy on election campaigns
- Select a distinctive and memorable name. Your name should be unique and should not be similar to another party. You do not want people to vote for a wrong party, do you? Select a name that defines the party’s core values. Keep your name short and easily pronounceable.
- Create a logo to develop a brand identity. 99% of the times, you will be identified by your party logo and not by your party name. Consider a logo that does justice to the party’s name. Go with traditional colors and colors that represent the country.
- You will need a certain number of signatures of votes to qualify as a political party. You can collect signatures from your party members if you have enough numbers or randomly ask for support from passers-by on the streets.
- Meet all eligibility requirements to be on the safer grounds. The eligibility requirement will vary from country to country and state to state. For instance, some states may ask proofs for contributions received.
- Check with your local electoral commission about when to register your party. There are rules in here. For example, you cannot file just before the election starts. Make sure you know about this to save your money and effort.
- Create a website and go on social media to increase support. This is very important for you to grow and thrive in today’s digitally dominating world. You need to promote your party as much as you can, in as many as ways as possible. Utilize television, newspaper, print media, social media, and other digital tools to market and promote your party name. Make sure your party’s unique selling points are written in bold letters all over the media.
Hope this article helped you to understand whatyou need for a political career and what should be done to start aparty. Visit our website and check other career-building opportunities. Share the knowledge and be a support.