In today’s world, when political legitimacy is in transition, when the borderline between the ideological foundations of the left and the right in Europe is becoming increasingly thinner and when parties seek to redefine the position of the centre, we need to reinvent our political platform in order to retain legitimacy in times of postmodern global challenges. There are no static systems and unequivocal answers. The global social system is in transition, which is either influenced by economic misgivings or the expression of the need for further democratisation of societies. It is only through constant innovation of our political platform, while preserving our core principles, that we can build an efficient and effective executive branch, capable of facing all aspects of globalisation.
Party of independence, Montenegrin party
DPS is a state-building party. This is our greatest responsibility, as it brings stability to our system and competitiveness to our society. This responsibility should give birth to modern politics and a modern image, with elements of traditional national identity. We have written history, together with our coalition partners – and we, therefore, have historic responsibility. This is why DPS is a party of independence. The traditional identity of the Montenegrin society can be based on a definition of “the Montenegrin minimum” – a set of principles that embrace the international recognition of our political community, our centuries-old statehood and independence, our symbols, language and history. Montenegro is a society united in diversity of traditions, cultural identities and religious beliefs, where everyone respects each other and nobody is excluded from the community. We define DPS as a strong and clear Montenegrin party – our identity is inclusive, rather than exclusive. That is why DPS has a vision of the Montenegrin society as a highly harmonious community of Montenegrins, Serbs, Bosniaks-Muslims, Croatians, Albanians, Roma and others. Being part of the modern-day Montenegro means experiencing the diversity and tolerance of all ethnic groups, religious, linguistic and cultural communities. European integration and NATO accession provide the best long-term safeguard for Montenegro’s statehood and independence, as well as a framework for preserving Montenegro’s cultural and spiritual identity.
21st century, the age of democracy in Montenegro
DPS should be the driving force behind a change in the way policy is made in Montenegro. This means that citizens should be more involved in politics, and not only those who abstain from voting, but also those who feel that going to the polls is their only responsibility. Every person has their own views – and we should not be afraid of listening to what they have to say! DPS and our organisations should launch a general debate on Montenegro’s future and a dialogue on the future development of local communities. We are a party that is responsible for the development of democracy in our society. Now is the time to live our lives. We should not fear what the future holds for us, we should create our own future.
Political credibility for the new age
DPS will always remain the Democratic Party of Socialists, but we know that, in the dawn of the 21st century, the meaning of the word ‘democratic’ has become broader than ever before, while the attribute ‘socialist’ must be redefined in line with the ongoing changes at the global and local level. In the new age, we need to clarify our ideological principles. Our ‘Montenegrin way’ will leave an imprint on our journey to a stronger society, offering equal opportunity for women and all minority groups and rejecting any form of discrimination. Environmental awareness is vital for preserving our country’s unparalleled beauty and natural assets. Our vision is an energetic, competitive economy based on sustainable development, responsible use of national resources, modern infrastructures and the talents, intelligence and knowhow of our people who are building this society as individuals, in which the state serves its citizens, instead of offering answers to all their questions. Our vision needs to be materialised in a policy that responds to the extremely challenging second decade of this century.
New way of communication and image enhancement
In an attempt to address the most serious political issues, in Montenegro, just like elsewhere in the world, a special way of communication is being created among politicians. This type of communication is only suitable for debates on national, economic and legal affairs. It is, however, completely inadequate for conversation on key political issues with the voters – simply because they do not understand this kind of language. This is the reason why people are losing faith in politicians all over Europe – they feel that politicians no longer care about them. This often gives rise to social discontent. DPS needs to improve its communication with the voters. We need to put our hearts and souls into our conversation with people and leave the bureaucratic language behind. This is a way to introduce a fundamental change in our thinking patterns and politics. DPS as the strongest and most popular party in Montenegro needs to rely much more on the Internet and social networks in its internal and external communication.
Focusing on young people
DPS has always steered the government’s policy towards young people, because they are progressive and future-oriented. DPS should retain its appeal for young people, boost its image, refresh its messages and focus on creating new opportunities for the youth (including better education and faster creation of new jobs). Young DPS members should be prepared to assume increasingly responsible roles. The dynamics of the time we live in demands this. Clear political messages and visual communication are critical for our success, particularly in communication with young people, because retaining legitimacy in that part of the population is the most difficult task.
Party that stands for middle class and entrepreneurship
The economic policy goal of DPS is to break down business barriers and encourage economic growth and entrepreneurship in Montenegro, as we seek to empower the middle class, or rather create a new one capable of benefiting from the common European market. We believe that the state needs to avoid any market interference, while focusing on fiscal stability and provision of first-rate public services through continued structural reform and investment in infrastructure. Many of our assets can only be valorised in market economy. Market economy and a service-oriented state will bring about new jobs, equal opportunity and social inclusion. Our economic system needs to be as diversified as possible, but also flexible. The socialist system of non-commercial employment has failed and the focus of the DPS policy is on empowering small and medium-sized enterprises and family business. Montenegro’s attractiveness as an investment destination will create more and more interest from reputable investors.
Reaching out to disheartened voters!
Many Montenegrin citizens never vote. There are 80,000 passive voters in Montenegro. Every passive voter is a huge loss for democracy. DPS needs to work hard to convince the voters who believe that their voice is not heard that they are wrong. Being Montenegro’s biggest political party, we need to be their first and real choice.
DPS opens up to new form of conversation with people
DPS needs to position itself as the driving force behind Montenegro’s democratic transition at the turn of the century. DPS needs to use its assets to empower the broader community, not only the parliament or municipalities. One of the ways to achieve this is to launch charity initiatives, or even aspire to set up a foundation for the promotion of some important social issues. Global challenges are manifested locally.
New focus on internal debate and organisation
Party members are much more than mere voting machines. Internal debates are important, as they enable our members to see both our strengths and weaknesses. One of our new organisational efforts could take the form of a political academy (where our members could improve, for example, their debating skills or experience the way politics works abroad), we could develop partnership programmes with kindred parties, or set up an internship program in Western Europe. Only in this way can we implement our future policies.