With which musician
do you most identify?
Soledad Pastorutti. She
is an Argentine folklore
singer who represents
a new generation of
young artists that
is engaged with our
country and its needs.
Whom do you
Where do you imagine
yourself in 20 years?
Working with a
of politicians for a
better country and
a more just world.
What is your
Whom do you
thousands of citizens
into Argentine political
life and began the
country’s period of
Our goal is to transform Ar-
gentina into a state capable of
inserting itself in a more global-
ized, complex and interdependent
world. This means a state that
fosters economic and human de-
velopment and guarantees that goods and public
services are available to each and every citizen. To
build a higher quality government, we must estab-
lish a state that has the capacity to prioritize, articu-
late and coordinate public policies and administer
them in an efficient and transparent fashion. Our
new generation of political leaders is seriously com-
mitted to this search.
of our country in the past years.
Yet, at the same time, Argentine society displays a worrisome ideological and civic fatigue.
Between the general elections of 1983 and 2009,
voter participation dropped from 85. 6 percent to
72. 4 percent. This is reflected in the fragmentation of national politics. More than 697 political
parties (659 of which are district based) are registered nationwide. The result: both a programmatic and ideological vagueness that hinders
pragmatic and actionable solutions to national
problems. Public office is now more likely to attract those who seek private gain than those who
want to serve Argentines.
Education is one area that can benefit from
such nonpartisan management. Argentina’s once
widely respected educational system has fallen
behind in a world where economic performance
is intimately linked to the ability to manage information.
This must change. We both agree that unless
we can improve the quality of our political structures, we will be unable to address the issues that
today, more than ever, worry our society: poverty,
unemployment, social inequality, health, violence,
Both of us also agree on one other point. Neo-liberalism and its attempt to deregulate markets
has failed in our country. To ensure that productive development is high on society’s agenda, we
must come up with a model that goes beyond the
public-private dichotomy, and instead, establishes
a relationship based on cooperation and shared
To further this goal, we have jointly submitted
proposals to the Congress and the Legislature of
Buenos Aires, both entitled “Social Teacher.” In an
effort to demonstrate a multi-pronged approach to
this problem, the bills would establish a nationwide school-lunch program to improve students’
access to nutrition, thus allowing them to focus
on their studies.
We are not alone in coming to this conclusion.
Argentina’s emerging generation of leaders understands the need to reach across political divisions to create a genuine dialogue. But we need
to go further and together develop consensus on
an agenda for change. Such an agenda must be
built around a 20-year plan of action.
That strategy has already begun with the forums
sponsored by the RAP Foundation (Net work of Political Action) or the exchange program for young
leaders, “Personalities of the Future,” sponsored by
the European Union and French Foreign Affairs
Ministry. Moreover, the t wo of us
have been working on legislative
projects to bring about political
reform at a federal and city wide
level, specifically in Buenos Aires. We must reduce party fragmentation and restore credibility
The quality of Argentine science and technology has also suffered over decades of political
instability. Some of our best scientists are now
working abroad. Again, this is unacceptable. We
must return to the time when accomplishments
in our country’s scientific community were recognized internationally. These efforts have begun with the ongoing scientific research in the
There is no reason why we
cannot return to the visions of
former Argentine leaders such as
Domingo F. Sarmiento to work
together on building a new future for our country. That will
require, most importantly, the
realization that our democratic
political system can be a force for
change rather than conflict.
Unless we can
we will be unable
to address poverty,