FNF Alumni Network Talk About the German Elections 2021
A Virtual Toast to Freedom
In time of a pandemic, people have found creative ways to get together despite all odds.
We live in a world where everything is accessible to us at the touch of our fingertips. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom held a virtual alumni gathering last September 24, 2021 to discuss important contemporary events and issues. The event began with a few striking videos, followed by a warm welcome of the Philippine office’s new Country Director, and a discussion on German politics.
We basically lived in a whole different world back [during Merkel’s first term]
The virtual alumni gathering tackled the German Elections, and was discussed by Mr. Thomas Clausen. Thomas Clausen is a policy advisor for education and research at the Liberal Institute of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Germany. He is specialized in the area of digitization, innovation policies, and the future of learning and education.
Thomas Clausen shared that this year’s German elections are the most exciting ones in decades. Current Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the leader of the country since 2005, a rare feat that no other powerful nation has been able to replicate. Germany’s Constitution allows the Chancellor to renew their position with each election corresponding to the legislative period of the Bundestag, the national parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Mr. Clausen then gave the attendees a rundown on the current situation of German politics. By the timethe state of the COVID-19 pandemic was at the front of Germany’s priorities, and the popularity of the Liberal Party has been steadily rising during these times. The rise came due to the response of the Liberals towards the pandemic, noting that the signs were acknowledged and initiatives were taken to support the general public.
It was notable that this year’s elections were quite uncertain, unlike the previous years. With no clear winner in sight, Mr. Clausen pointed out that anything could happen, and was happy to announce that the Liberals had a good footing.
Welcoming the Philippines’ Newest Country Director
I’m excited to be back in this beautiful and great part of the world!
The alumni network welcomed the new Country Director, Rebecca Zistel. Assuming the role as lead of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in the Philippines, the local team is excited to work with her on new and fresh ideas. Rebecca described her first steps along Manila’s streets as “very colorful”. However, this is not her first time in the country after having spent almost eight years in Asia in previous roles which is why she is holding the Philippines and the Southeast Asia region “close to her heart”.
The pandemic has changed all of our lives, but that does not mean that the world stops progressing. The internet has allowed us to stay connected, even with people from across the globe. Just like Germany going through the motions of another election, the Philippines is about to see its presidential election in the coming year. A great reminder for everyone to participate and register to vote. Voter’s registration is extended from October 11-30, 2021. If you are one of those who have yet to register, remember that your vote matters just as much as the next person’s.