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PostPlatform of "Nos, Cidadaos," and a Call for Advice (Mendo Henriques, Portugal, 07/26/14 10:46 pm)
Better than keeping WAISdom in the loop as our new political party ("Nós, Cidadãos") takes shape, as John Eipper suggested on 26 July, I hope to get the advice of WAISers on matters of global interest.
Portugal continues to struggle with challenges that many thought would have been resolved 15 years ago, when we became part of European Union.
Looking around we realized that we could contribute to a new leadership in Portugal, ready to embrace solutions that would catapult it towards a better stage. Leaders in Portugal need to be challenged in order to move up or out. They certainly need the new ideas that Nós, Cidadãos in Portugal is generating. I would very much appreciate to hear from Tor Guimarães about social security funds in Brazil.
All around Europe, we lack policymakers that are independent, pragmatic, constructive, analytical, forward-looking, and who work in the interest of all of us and not just a few. We need a new category of leadership, a new form of governance. Our leadership must be content-based. Our governance must be indirect, post-politics, because we intend to convince society that we offer new long-term horizons for Portugal.
I do not believe on conspiracy theories with a global agenda, but it is a fact that many world leaders--namely in Europe--maintain a propaganda based on the contagion of fear, based on hatred, based on a discourse of intolerance and difference that should no longer hold in the twenty-first century.
As a test-case, I ask WAIS to consider the recent admission, on July 23, of Equatorial Guinea to CPLP. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_Portuguese_Language_Countries
CPLP, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, is also a Big Oil producer consortium, because it encompasses Brazil, Angola, East Timor, São Tomé and now Equatorial Guinea.
For some Portuguese it is like we are returning to the 16th century Spice Age. Yet, human rights groups have opposed the admission of Equatorial Guinea, and some opposition politicians have described it as a "shameful error." The government position is that Equatorial Guinea has the chance to become a "good student" as it abolishes the death penalty, a sine qua non condition imposed by Portugal. In the near future it would be open to democracy. I rather support the government position, but I have some qualms about it. What is your advice?
JE comments: Equatorial Guinea's authoritarian president since 1979, Teodoro Obiang, has declared Portuguese as one of the nation's official languages (after Spanish and French). Speculation is that this move was to allow the nation to benefit from membership in the CPLP. My thought: although it was a colony of Portugal through the 18th century, only a tiny minority of Equatorial Guineans presently speak the language. Is Obiang's move a mere attempt to gain international legitimacy? Admittedly, few things give "international legitimacy" more than massive deposits of petroleum.
A question for Mendo Henriques: at the CPLP Wikipedia entry above, Ukraine and Croatia are listed as "officially interested countries." What does this mean?
I hope Tor Guimaraes can give us an overview of Brazil's social security system. Given that they live and work in São Paulo, Cristiano Souza or Joe Listo might be in even better positions to comment.
Portugal's "Nos, Cidadaos"
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
08/06/14 3:56 PM)
My apologies to Mendo Henriques for responding so late to his request for comments (27 July) on what seems to be a very exciting new project he is involved in.
Unfortunately, I have no expertise or interest in "social security funds in Brazil." I am sure there are stronger models in the world. On the other hand, Mendo is obviously on the right track as indicated by some of his statements: "All around Europe, we lack policymakers that are independent, pragmatic, constructive, analytical, forward-looking, and who work in the interest of all of us and not just a few. We [in Portugal] need a new category of leadership, a new form of governance. Our leadership must be content-based. Our governance must be indirect, post-politics..."
Indeed, leaders with such characteristics are what every city, state, and country needs. Of course the only question is how do you get such gems? A few days ago I discussed the importance of "integrity" as the bedrock for any decent leader. Without integrity there is no trust. Without trust there is no leadership, and everyone is for himself. Without integrity there is corruption, no respect for rule of law, and no true democracy. Why not drop the apparent standards for choosing political leaders: good looks, smooth talking, single-issue fanatics, etc., and focus on screening/mining based on past behavior as evidence of integrity?
Integrity at the strategic level is critical, because "the fish stinks from the head." However, no leader will be knowledgeable enough, smart enough, thoughtful enough to do it all, so delegation is critical. Again, integrity based on past behavior is critical at the next levels of leadership. Once the head of the political organism is properly established, then it becomes a matter of administration and project management, enforcing policies, and the rule of law. Don't forget the power from continuously working toward democracy at all levels. We all already know this, but implementing it is extremely difficult because power corrupts.
Mendo, best wishes with your project for improving one of my favorite countries: Portugal.
JE comments: I add my best wishes to the "Nós, Cidadãos" project. A quick question for Mendo Henriques: what exactly does he mean by "post-political"? When we're talking politics, isn't such a thing oxymoronic?
I came across this link. Even if you don't read Portuguese, it shows a great picture of Mendo!