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PostPortugal'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!