Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lessons of governance from Brazil

I decided to find out more what is going on with former President Lula of Brazil. I thought he did a transformational job for Brazil, so why are they investigating him now? I found this article by the BBC especially helpful with some critical lessons for our future.

Brazil like so many places these days have become divided along socioeconomic lines. Most governments are formed to look after not so much the interest of every citizen but those who supported them and would continue to do so. In other words there are always large minorities who feel left out. Singapore has by and large successfully avoided this but vicariously it is also something we take for granted to be business as usual. It isn't nearly everywhere else.

In democracies the rich do not have the advantage of numbers. So they find all sorts of ways to influence the government in their favor. In most countries that is through bankrolling their election campaigns and many other even less praiseworthy ways between elections to skew laws and regulations toward their narrow interests.

In other words for a democracy to be stable society must not be too divided or it cannot find sufficiently large overlaps of interests to stay together. The wealth and income gaps that have developed here threaten our long term survival. The fragmentation of our society into interest groups e.g., animal rights, environmental protection, heritage preservation, LGBT issue and even non-inclusive religious lifestyles will make it difficult to be one people in future.

The drivers that make us economically successful and globally integrated will over time divide  us and threaten our unity and governance. What are we doing to make sure this will not happen?

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