Subscriber Services

Monday, December 10, 2007


What do you think of Sunday's Univision debate of Republican presidential candidates? I'm considering writing about it this week. Any thoughts?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

åndêrš, you Hispanicks got some nerve to hold a USA political debate in Spanish.
Do Italians in your native Arhentina hold debates in the Italian language? Do ethnic Germans do similarly?

10:32 PM  
Blogger Efraín M. Martresa said...

For over 15 years I have been thinking, and convincing myself, that we have to reengineer democracy. Holding debates for the us to be able to decide who the next president will be may be nice and sounds even nicer. We can discuss hours, days and even years about this process but I finally convinced myself that we are not in the right track. We should, instead, prepare our civil leaders the way we do with the military, for instance. People didn't vote to elect the generals in charge of the Irak war or any other war before that, and just the tought of doing something like that, voting for the people in charge of carrying out the war, sounds bizarre. But voting for our civil leaders is widely accepted as the best system in place. No wonder some of them don't do a good job and can retire without any major consequence and then we just vote for somebody else as a penalty.
Why don't we train our young people -those who love and want to serve their country- say lawyers, engineers, technicians, non-professionals, etc to take charge, step by step, starting at the bottom and going up the ladder, as they progress in their careers and get more training and experience. Once they get to the top, they won't get there without the needed experience, but with a proven track and with no need to convince anybody, in a few weeks or months, that they are the best. A whole professional team that will manage cities, counties, states and the country with the best qualifications gained through periodic training and in-situ experience.
On the other hand, we pay them well, we give them good -excellent- benefits and, very important, we use the necessary means to properly control them.
And we, the people, vote for issues instead of voting for people. If our civil leaders need our opinion, or we want them to know what we think or want, we can create a whole new way to get a good picture of what we think and wish.
This, in a few words. A system like that has to be well designed and implemented by the right people and as any system, those are the most important parts if we truly want to get the right results.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Efraín M. Martresa said...

"holding debates for (the) us to be able..."
", and just the thought of doing..."
Never again, I promise!

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Efrain, problem is, what you are suggesting is not representative democracy. You are describing a meritocratic dictatorship where somehow "the people will vote on issues." This is the system China has today. The problem is the definition of "merit" and who decides this.

Like Marxism it sounds good on paper but ignores human nature: addiction to power, nepotism, elitism, and favoritism.

I'll keep my messy, loud, confusing representative democracy, thank you.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is the system China has today."

WITHOUT the people vote on issues part.


11:18 AM  
Blogger Efraín M. Martresa said...

Sir/Madam (a.k.a. "anonymous"):
"WITHOUT the people vote on issues part."
Yes, that in China. But we will do it with the proper controls and training. Do you see the military having problems with "addiction to power, nepotism, elitism, and favoritism?"
Surely enough in some cases, but for the most part I see them enjoying people's respect, unlike politicians. And that without even mentioning that the military are in charge of and control very powerful armaments.
Just think about this, please don't jump to conclusions so fast. It took me years, over 15, to accept this new concept. As any major change, we will find strong opposition from some, mainly from those who have the power to influence politicians. After all, under the present system, politicians need donations for their campaigns and that usually comes with a price.
I wish I could learn what young people think about such a change.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good topic and one that will hopefully stir a little debate and even some controversy (unfortunately it may come with some ignorant comments, but a good debate or posts may also come from it)

11:08 PM  
Blogger Efraín M. Martresa said...

Thanks, Anonymous.
Our younger generations deserve a better world, don't they?
Whatever it is, we must do something.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You missed the key: there is no "people vote on issues" part in China because the Chinese elitists in power will not dilute their power. That is the nature of power, it does not like to share.

The Chinese army IS the power in China. They are contained because they are not suicidal, just like the Soviets were not suicidal (the Soviet Army did not RUN the USSR). Suicide results in a loss of power, please refer to the first section on power for an explanation.

Sometimes we elect such boneheads my knee-jerk reaction is to think elected leaders should be trained and certified before becoming candidates. Then I come to my senses and realize "who will train a certify them"? There, we end up in a dictatorship again.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Efraín M. Martresa said...

I never disagreed on the China part with you.
And yes, power corrupts and is difficult to let it go. As you said, part of human nature. And part of nature too.
I do believe that we have enough youngster that want to serve their country. If they risk losing their good/excelent benefits and/or going to jail, I believe they will think it at least twice before embarking in something inappropriate for their position. Also, with proper technology we have much better means to control many situations. For instance: by making electronic money, we make it much harder bribing, robbing banks, etc since there will be a trail. There is a lot we can change but if our leaders must act according to the consequences those changes will have in the next election, little chance we can expect of success.
Long discussion, but in a few words, we do have honest people and we can design a good system. With both, how can we end up with something worse than what we have right now?

3:25 PM  
Blogger Efraín M. Martresa said...

I didn't say it, but it is understandable that designing and completely implementing such a system will take decades.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presidential debates and public office debates in the USA must be in English not any other language. It is the official language of this country.

Talking to people in Latin America and how they feel about their language and nationality, I doubt Hipanics in their country will be comfortable in conducting their their public duties in something other than Spanish.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Efrain, the line in your initial post that I found most interesting was where you ended a paragraph by saying "very important, we use the necessary means to properly control them." What I think you find, in China, and in other countries, is that regardless of whether you have a meritocracy, democracy, or any other institution, is that power, or people in power, do not like to be controlled, because anyone that is controlled by someone else is not at the seat of power. It is as if you are implying that a system based on merit will work in and of itself, and you add as an afterthought, that we will still "pay them well, give them excellent benefits, and very important, we use the necessary means to properly control them," to ensure that the meritocracy will work.

I am a 27 latino raised from birth in the States, and I agree with the anonymous individual who says I will stick with the representative democracy. I think that we are lucky enough to live in a country where the people, by and large, have been a good enough judge of the merits of elected officials to judge whether they will be fit to run the country. While I am not a fan of Bush at all and voted for Gore and Kerry in the last two elections, I still prefer having the option of being able to have some say in who is running the country than to have no say and let someone else decide that for me.

2:53 AM  
Blogger Efraín M. Martresa said...

Pedro Antonio:

thanks for your post and a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I believe, I hope, that we can trust in our youngsters. It seems that you, and Anonymous for this matter, compare a re-engineering of democracy -as I call it- to China and others "similar" systems. Well, no, this is not what I have in mind. I prefer to think, to see, those in the new generations that want a better world and are willing to sacrifice for their countries first, and the world in general second. I am sure that both you, as many others, respect the military, the Catholic Church and other institutions where we have no say in who get more responsibilities. And the Supreme Court, for instance. True that the Supreme Court is elected and confirmed by our elected officials but we, the people, have no direct influence. We "named", "elected", the people that have that duty, or a few of them, but after that, we return to our normal lives and we no longer have any participation.

I am not referring just to the United States but every democracy in the world. But now, here we are in a pre-election period where we are watching how debates carry on, how this candidate said this or that, if he hired illegal aliens or not, etc. Do you really think that there is no possible way to make this better? Do we have to endure this over a year before the elections? And then, how many people follow the campaigns and how many vote according to the media reccomendations? And after all of these, how many people show up on the voting booths? And how much money is to be invested in the presidency and who is behind that? And why? We all want the best return we can get on our investments, don't we?

And more important than everything we have mentioned here: when did I say what the system should be? I am saying that first, the people has to decide if we want to consider a change, and if so, we find the better way we can think of to design such a system, with input from the academic section, the political section, people in general, etc. And again, no, I am not thinking in blogs where millions of people post their thoughts. That is the beauty of re-engineering, to think out of the box most of the time.

Wikipedia: "Reengineering (or re-engineering) is the radical redesign of an organization's processes, especially its business processes."

"radical redesign" means, also, that the majority of the people will oppose changes, we all love our systems in place. But again, if we want to do something for the coming generations, let's do something and the sooner, the better.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genial post and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you seeking your information.

1:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home