|04THEHAGUE1121||2004-05-04 11:12:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy The Hague|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001121
SECSTATE FOR ECA/PE/V/F/E- EILEEN CONNOLLY/DONNA GRIFFITH;
INFO EUR/PD-BRIAN GUSS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OEXC SCUL NL
SUBJECT: EVALUATION FOR FY-2004 VOLVIS ELECTION PROGRAM FOR
YOUNG POLITICAL LEADERS
Following is post's evaluation for the voluntary visitor
program on the elections for the four Young Political Leaders
from the Netherlands, in EVDB format.
START FIXED-FORMAT TEXT (PLEASE DO NOT EDIT):
: The following data is in a fixed format which enables
: automated processing in Washington and should not be
: edited except by means of the Post-EVDB software.
TRANSMITTING-POST: PAS The Hague
EXPORT-TYPE: PROJECT EVALUATION
PROJ-NAME: Election Program for Young Political Leaders
CPTHEME: Mutual Understanding
START MEMO IMPACT:
The group said that the program gave them a more nuanced and
positive perception of the U.S. They were surprised to
discover that Americans are not consumed by the role of the
U.S. in international affairs as are Europeans. They learned
much about the U.S. electoral system at all levels, but were
also surprised that the primaries involved only a very small
percentage of the population. The fact that campaigning in
the U.S. is more focused on persons than on issues was noted,
but at the same time they realized that the focus in the
Netherlands is changing as well to personality-driven
politics. All of them said that they feel they have a better
understanding of U.S. democracy, although one of them was
shocked by poverty. "They want it for the whole world," she
said, "but look at the reality - the poverty." The Young
Democrat representative felt that the U.S. is more
conservative in its values than Europeans, but he also had a
better understanding of these values.
Besides their professional program, the group spent most
evenings with their peers. They all agreed that meeting and
talking to young people was so important. They were
fascinated by the ability of campaigns to attracted young
people as volunteers and the professionalism of grassroots
This program advanced the MPP goal of encouraging greater
understanding of the U.S. by young Dutch leaders.
END MEMO IMPACT:
START MEMO AUDIENCE-REACHED:
Two of the four participants kept "blogs" during the visit.
The Young Socialist's blog alone had more than 4,500
visitors. All four reported back on the trip to their
respective parties and plan to draw on it in discussions
about the U.S. and campaign techniques. All four have invited
Ambassador Sobel to address their annual meetings later this
year. They also plan to meet on a regular basis despite
coming from four different parties. For example, they have
already decided to host a combined "Election Night" event on
November 2 and have asked the Ambassador to join them.
END MEMO AUDIENCE-REACHED:
START MEMO ECA-PROG-OFFICE-COMMENT:
The leaders of the youth wings of the four major political
parties in the Netherlands were unanimous in their praise for
the program that Donna Griffith of the Africa/Europe Branch
in the Office of International Visitors arranged. The program
introduced them to three levels of policy making, federal,
state and local. They felt that they had been able to explain
to their interlocutors the Dutch situation, and found people
willing to listen and to answer their questions. For future
programs with similar groups, they recommend another meeting
or two focused on foreign policy.
They managed to arrange a tour of Capitol Hill through
someone they met, adding that it was definitely worth
including this in any future program. They also recommended
including a think tank in the program. By chance they met
someone from the Cato Institute, and had a very good
discussion with him.
They mentioned that the meeting with the Young Republicans in
Austin did not work out, but they all agreed that the overall
program was very well balanced.
END MEMO ECA-PROG-OFFICE-COMMENT:
START MEMO PROG-AGENCY-COMMENT:
END MEMO PROG-AGENCY-COMMENT:
ESCORT-INTERPRETER: Alpha Berry
START MEMO COMMENT:
All four of them said that they were very happy with their
ELO. He was always there, but never pushed himself forward.
At first he only joined them for their professional program,
but they soon got along very well, and he went along in the
evenings as well. They said they had nice discussions with
him, but he never pushed an opinion.
END MEMO COMMENT: