I am running for President
Listen to what Volters have to say
I am presenting myself as a candidate for the position of the male Co-President of Volt Belgium. To change the way politics is done, was for a long time just a dream of mine, but with Volt we can make this dream, our dream come true.
Why am I running for Co-President?
I am immensely grateful for the growth and the stability that Volt Belgium has seen over the past two years. But now we must look forward, beyond our past challenges. My vision and mission is to get Volt elected in 2024: I have the ambition to be a driving force in this endeavour and a passion to inspire thousands of Europeans. As Co-President I want to lead and manage a team of ambitious leaders that are not afraid of any challenges, as small or big as they might come, and together successfully get our candidates elected into the national and local assemblies.
What are my 5 priorities as Co-President?
Electable for 2024
My first priority will be to make Volt electable also in Belgium, on the national, regional and local level. Together with my board I want to set up a list of potential candidates by the end of 2022, have them trained by the best that Volt has to offer and get them approved by the party in 2023 for the electoral lists. Coordination and supporting the Belgian and local policy teams will also be a priority. The goal will be to be the first party in Belgium that publishes their program by the Spring of 2023 and begins to campaign, with the aim to get at least two Volters elected in Belgium.
A party without members is not a party, that’s a one-man organisation called The Dutch Freedom Party by Geert Wilders. Volt sources its novel approach to politics and its energetic campaigns from its big and diverse member base. Together with the community leads and our local teams I want to set up a pyramid scheme to recruit, onboard and activate members and supporters by the end of 2023. The first step is to have 300 members with a minimum of 25% members identifying as female or diverse (up from 18% currently) by the end of 2022. The second step is to have 500 members by the end of 2023 with a minimum of 25% members identifying as female or diverse. Being ethnic, sexual and other backgrounds will also play an important role and will be accordingly monitored. By the time of the first elections in 2024, Volt Belgium should have come close to or above a thousand members.
To be relevant in the Belgian context, Volt Belgium needs to seek media attention proactively. This means that the leadership of Volt Belgium has to publish opinion pieces, appear on radio and television, and participate in online discourse - this effort needs to be led by the Co-Presidents, as they are the face of the party for the next two years. Paid advertisements will be of crucial importance to amplify Volt’s voice in the new, online and traditional media. Belgian parties spent € 4.8 million on online advertisements in 2020 and slightly lower in 2021, years without elections! Getting the pages of the Belgian chapters promoted, continuously, and increasingly, will be a deal-maker or breaker.
Volt Belgium also has to professionalise in its workings by employing staff. Priorities will be given to Co-Presidents and Secretary Generals to represent and operate the party. In order to pay one full time or two half-time staff by the end 2022, we would need about 45.000€. To have two full time, or alternatively one full time and two half-time staff by autumn 2023 we would need 90.000€. The staff will partly be funded through membership fees, but will for the soon future mostly rely on donations. Together with the board and especially with the Treasurer I want to set up a dedicated crowdfunding strategy to get that funding. With 500€ as a yearly legal limit for an individual to pay, we would have to get 50-100 donors (25.000-50.000€) and crowdfund the other 50.000€ through other funding actions such as dinners, tickets and events.
Volt is unique thanks to its paneuropean aspect. What some see as a challenge, I see as the best opportunity to succeed in our national and local context. I want to practically and legally allow multiple national memberships, to empower our members that are active in two or more national parties. Furthermore, I want to work closely with the other chapters, especially with the German and the Dutch party, to learn together from the best practices on getting their candidates elected, growing the membership and getting media coverage. I will be advised by a team of Volters that have professional and personal experience on European cooperation.
Why should you trust me with your vote?
My time and my engagement with Volt has given me unique insights into the party that will be essential for leading the party. I have been following Volt since 2018 and officially became a member in 2019. I have seen and facilitated Volt going through numerous phases, from a small community of a handful of dreamers to a professional party with thousands of members across the continent and with dozens of elected representatives.
Over the years I have volunteered for Volt in numerous ways, such as organising events for the Brussels team and interning as a Communications assistant for the Belgian team. I took up the mandate of the Community lead from Summer 2020 until Winter 2021, building up an amazing team with my friend and co-lead Diana, doubling Volt Belgium membership and organising the renowned Volt Diversity Call Series. In January 2021 I stepped up to become the Co-Secretary General and to instill new life into the Secretary Generals office together with Manon Michon.
During my different mandates I had the big pleasure of working closely with the Secretary General's Office, the Executive Board and my fellow functional leads as well as being part of a paneuropean movement that spans across all four corners of the continent.