Former Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Herrera expressed his point of view regarding social media: In 140 characters there is no time for reflection, the father of Uruguay's current head of state pointed out in Buenos Aires as he was being inducted into Argentina's National Academy of Business Sciences (ANCEM) as a Corresponding Member.
One day I asked [former US Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger: 'Why were you disinterested in soccer?' And he replied: 'Because it was a very tough policy'.
Lacalle Herrera used this example to highlight the existence of hidden powers he called de-facto in sporting, cultural and other circles, which mold the day to day we live in.
He said the most recent of those circles was social media. It's action-reaction. Groups of like-minded people are created and it is incredible the cowardice and violence with which they express their opinions, the Blanco Party leader said.
Trolls and influencers are the most dangerous novelty. It's a political and social phenomenon: the clash around binary concepts. It is a challenge that has no answer, he went on during his Power and Democracy acceptance speech.
Academy President Jorge Aufiero welcomed Lacalle in front of other members such as businessmen Cristiano Rattazzi, Eduardo Eurnekian, and Carlos Blaquier. In addition to an extensive curriculum and different international and national distinctions, the Academy incorporates not only a great friend of a long time, but also a great man who has kept his ideas throughout his life, and enriched his patrimony because he has been able to educate his son, the current Uruguayan president, Aufiero stressed.
Luis Lacalle Herrera was the 36th president of Uruguay, between March 1, 1990, and March 1, 1995. I come from 62 years of experience in political life and the only thing I can do is to reflect on what I have lived from the inside, he admitted.
At 17 I dictated my first words in public and to this day I have not stopped, he added.
In our region, we have gray areas, said Lacalle when asked bout Latin American democratic values. There is no doubt that from black to white we have all shades, and that is why I always emphasize the democracy of exercise, not only of origin, because they can vote for you and that's great and the next day you make a mess. It is a little bit the history of some of the governments here... [former Venezuelan ruler Hugo] Chávez started this way, with governments of legitimate origin, and we all know how they are over there now.
Lacalle insisted all three branches of government needed improvement, not replacement. Political parties have a different and separate role, he also explained.
The former Uruguayan head of state also delved into the various types of democracies the world seems to have known. The 'people's democracy' of the Soviets was something very different from our democracy; 'participatory democracy' seems tautological because if anything is participatory it is by essence democracy.
Democracy must be representative, there is no other way. It is republican because it is the structure in which it lives most comfortably, Lacalle also pointed out.
He also noted that in today's democracies the common good is rarely fulfilled when laws are passed, it is always for certain sectors; however, our system of powers, although much criticized, continues to be the best formula.
Lacalle found it inconvenient that judges be appointed by the Executive, as is the case in the United States, although the Senate's advice and consent are required. In Argentina, it is only consent. Advise is since 1994 up to the Council of the Magistracy.
In Uruguay, judges are appointed by Parliament, Lacalle said. There should be a greater link between the Legislative and the Judiciary and the Executive should be outside, he elaborated.
Lacalle also praised the role of ordinary citizens as monitors of serving officials. Power is exercised alone, not in isolation, but sometimes [politicians] have become isolated in a bubble. This is one of the great dangers for democracy.