A critical review of dominant leadership styles, including representative democracy when based on adversarial approaches to elections. An alternative, non-adversarial electoral method is proposed, learned, practiced and debriefed.
MUTUALISTIC, NON–ADVERSARIALELECTIONSPeter C. Newton-EvansNovember 2012PUCE-Quito
Functions of a Group1. To accomplish the tasks and objectives for which it was created2. To create and strengthen unity among its members3. To develop the potentialities of its members
Roles of Good Leaders Establish the purpose for the consultation. Emphasize the benefits of solutions that benefit all. Assume the role of group coordinator. Periodically summarize opinions, possibilities for consensus and move group toward an agreement. Give credit to group members for decisions and achievements. Involve everyone in the work to be done.
Traditional Leadership Style: Effects: Authoritarian Passive resistance Paternalistic Dependency on leader Know-it-all Inferiority, fear of errors Manipulative Mistrust, cynicism (incredulity)
The New Leadership Servant Leadership: an attitude of service towards others. Goal-oriented Leadership: transcends problem-oriented activity by following a vision. People-Centered Leadership: developing abilities is at least as important as getting the job done. Empowering Leadership: believes in and promotes the development of man’s inherent nobility. Transformational Leadership: seeks psycho-cultural and socio-structural change. Principle-centered Leadership: seeks to discover and apply the truth in all situations. Moral Leadership: morality defined not only as not doing harm, but especially seeking the wellbeing of others.
Three Types of Democracy A commitment to an electoral process (representative democracy) The emphasis on consensus building (consent-based democracy) Participation in implementing decisions (participatory democracy)
Is democracythe solution? Divisive Party Politics Promoting Vested Interests Participationafter decision is made Elections not truly free Illogicof government versus opposition
Problems with Democracy Electioneering leads to a lack of suitable candidates. Narrowly focused on representative democracy and elections, ignoring the participatory dimension. Pseudo-participation: leaders invite opinions, but continue to impose their ideas. Decision-making based on partisan struggles, which does not lead to the common good. Little emphasis on other capabilities needed for effective leadership.
Against Partisan Elections “The ideology of partisanship that has everywhere boldly assumed democracy’s name… today finds itself mired in the cynicism, apathy, and corruption to which it has given rise. In selecting those who are to take collective decisions on its behalf, society does not need and is not well served by the political theater of nominations, candidature, electioneering, and solicitation.” (Bahá’í International Community, “The Prosperity of Humankind”)
Competitive ElectionsWhat type of person do they favor? Committed to those who financed their campaign. Based on short-term convenience, not on universal principles Ambitious, power-hungry Proud of themselves, critical of othersIs this the type of person we wantas our leaders?
Let’s Discuss What is the purpose of holding elections? When people seek leadership roles, what strategies do they use to get elected? As a result of this, what kinds of people tend to get elected? Are these the most desirable characteristics in a leader? Why or why not? If an election produces these results, has it fulfilled its purpose?
Conclusions The adversarial electoral system produces a “social dilemma”: when everyone acts according to the logic of the system, it fails to fulfill its purpose, or collapses. We need to change the rules of the game to replace it with a mutualistic or cooperative electoral system. One such system is called “Candidate-Free Elections.” Let’s give it a try!
Electoral Method Decide how many members to elect (#N) Discuss their duties and the qualities they should have, without mentioning names No candidates nominated: all are eligible Secret election: no names mentioned before, during or after voting Each voter writes N names on the ballot slip Those with simple majority are the members If there is a tie, vote again among those tied
Qualities we Seek Solidarity with the common good An open, inquisitive mind Justice and integrity A spirit of service Recognized ability Mature experience
Non-considerations Gender Religion Social class National origin Racial or ethnic group Other secondary matters
De-BriefingHaving tried a “Candidate-free Election,” What advantages does it have over the usual method? How can we promote this approach in other groups we belong to? Could that provide an opportunity to talk about what we have learned in this course?