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Electing “transforming leaders” to initiate

“System change” for good governance

and nation-building.

By Jose V. Abueva*

Founding President of Kalayaan College and Director of its Institute of Federal-

Parliamentary Democracy, U.P.Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public
Administration. Member of the Citizens Movement for a Federal Philippines,
What kind of Leaders shall we elect?
• “Good Leaders” defined only as honest and
• Are the 2010 Elections simply “a struggle between
good and evil”?
→These are campaign slogans that oversimplify our
complex problems as a developing nation and an
aspiring democracy.
→They insult our intelligence.
The Big Picture: Multiple Crises
1. We are a weak and divided nation suffering from
mass poverty, underdevelopment, injustice,
homelessness, violence and rebellion, corruption,
lack of global competitiveness, environmental
decay, and our exploding population.
2. We have a weak or “Soft” State that show signs of
a “Failing State.”
3. We have not consolidated our democracy since the
EDSA Revolt in 1986- 24 years ago.
4. Our democracy is at risk because it is not
working according to our vision and ideals of a
just and humane society and good governance;
because many Filipinos are dissatisfied.
5. Our democracy is so unstable that it is still
reversible, the way that Ferdinand Marcos
destroyed our democracy and established his
dictatorship. We hear talk of revolution.

These are the challenges we face

in our 2010 Elections!
We need “Leaders for System change!”

• Who will change our system of governance and

• Who will pursue a radical paradigm of governance
and development vaguely implicit in our “people
power” revolt at EDSA in 1986, and therefore not
• Who will build and govern our country “bottom-
up,” with genuine and sustained “people power.”
(Popular Sovereignty. Subsidiarity Principle)
We must elect transforming political leaders.

• Who are transparent and truthful to our people;

• Who have the wisdom, courage and skills to bring
about the basic changes in the institutions,
policies, and processes of our governance with the
people’s enlightened support.
• Who will heed the demands of many thoughtful
leaders and citizens around the country who have
been demanding those changes.
Transforming leaders:

• the kind who challenge and inspire our citizens

and leaders to raise their aspirations and goals to
higher levels of morality, self-fulfillment, and
national progress for the common good.

• by definition they inspire a change in the values

and behavior of their co-leaders and citizens;
together they achieve reforms in policies,
structures, and institutions for good governance
and nation-building.
•The formation of transforming leaders and enlightened
citizens is a crucial aspect of nation-building and
democratization especially in our oligarchic and unjust
•Fortunately, more and more transforming leaders in
various walks of life, like the many who are involved in
the Gawad Kalinga movement.
•Like our local leaders in the Galing-Pook Movement.
Seeking what is right and good
in politics and private life.

•Our leaders and citizens would do well for our

country by practicing our religions and our secular
idealism expressed in our Constitution and laws.

•Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us His model of

humble, self-less “servant leadership” for the good
of all and especially the least and excluded.
Transforming leaders for System change and
nation-building are the candidates we should
look for in the ongoing electoral campaign.

Thus the crucial importance of our 2010