The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) is a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives that works directly with 22 partner parliaments around the world to support the development of effective, independent, and responsive legislatures. HDP is proudly implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
In December 2021, IRI brought together legislators from Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Poland to Warsaw to discuss mis- and dis-information, as well as how to engage constituents through different forms of media. While Georgia and Ukraine have been long-time HDP partners, Moldova has more recently engaged with HDP. Poland served as a natural host for the discussions, as it has a history with HDP as a member of the Frost Solomon Taskforce, HDP’s predecessor. The U.S. delegation included two former members of Congress – Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Mimi Walters (R-CA) – and Justin Wein, Chief of Staff to HDP Chairman David Price (D-NC).
In this monthly series, we profile HDP alumni to show how they are applying the lessons they’ve learned through HDP to their legislative work. This month we feature Victor Spinu, a recently elected member of parliament in Moldova.
What parliament and chamber are you a member of?
I am a member of parliament in the Republic of Moldova.
What HDP program did you participate in?
I participated in the House Democracy Partnership regional exchange for members of parliament on engaging constituents through traditional and social media and countering disinformation in Warsaw, Poland, in December 2021.
What is your favorite thing about your country?
The people of my country, our culture, food, wine, and nature.
Why did you decide to become a member of parliament?
I decided to be in politics after a conversation with a good friend. He told me that despite it being hard and cruel, the fastest way to make a change in this world or your country is via politics. Another reason is that I strongly believe that politics should be representative and have people of different ages, professions, and visions. Politics should be a mirror of our society and help it develop and prosper.
Looking back on the HDP program, what was most impactful for you?
What impacted me most from my participation in the HDP program were practical exercises and insights about political communication. It was a great pleasure to learn from our trainers but also from my colleagues, some of whom had many years of real-world experience and face similar challenges.
How are you applying your experience from the HDP mission to your role as a member of parliament?
I learned that I need to communicate more, using new media, and to better prepare before going to public debates by doing my homework – I should come ready with facts, arguments, and numbers. I also understood that as a politician you should always be prepared to answer hard questions, and sometimes it’s better to avoid answering other questions.
What advice would you give to new members of parliament?
As a new member of parliament myself, I would recommend always go the extra mile. Lack of experience is temporary, so to remove this drawback, we should strive for excellence and be very active.
What accomplishments in parliament are you most proud of?
I’m most proud that together, with a few colleagues, we voted on laws that will bring more transparency and better services to our people via the digitalization of our public services. We will continue to work in this direction and hope to have more impact in making our society better and more prosperous.Top