There are perhaps those who believe that the May 2010 elections offer a path of changes in our country. They are unlikely to be very many. Probably much more common is a well-founded sense of despair that the elections are a momentary spectacle that in the end won’t mean any real change in governance much less in the country.
The problem with the politics is that it remains fundamentally elite-dominated and so overwhelmingly about governance for and by elites. This is a problem that dates from the birth of the Philippine Republic at the turn of the century, continued through the American colonial period, and has alarmingly persisted under post-war neocolonialism until today. On the face of it the last hundred years appears to have seen democracy unevenly but surely taking root with, despite the Martial Law interregnum, inexorable forward progress. However the Philippines regrettably has yet to make the truly qualitative democratic breakthrough.
When I was still in diapers, I often heard candidates are running because they want change the recent political climate in government,it seems to me that they were just vetting on the fish to drain the water on the lake.In most elections the relationship between candidates and voters rarely goes beyond promises.Elections will not be determined by words alone. What will determine their outcome……….
The campaign period turns scene into a mad circus, a vast entertainment plaza. Candidates will, during this period, do whatever their audience bids them to do—in sharp contrast to their deafness to the same people cries for attention once they are in office. They will dance, sing, sing, use gutter language—anything to sell themselves and heighten “name recall.” In short, they do everything except educate the electorate on issues.
People take advantage of the campaign period to ask donations for every conceivable “project” from the candidates who arc pressured to give under pain of losing valuable votes. This in turn forces candidates to solicit or accept contributions from vested interests who expect a return after the elections. The same goes with the party in power: it misuses government funds and other resources for electioneering purposes. When later those guilty become vulnerable to prosecution, they whitewash investigations with the help of proteges previously deployed in strategic agencies, even go to the extent of legislating amendments to “decriminalize” their violations. “Dirty tricks, black propaganda, mudslinging”—anything to weaken or destroy the opposition—these are liberally resorted to. In short, the laws of ordinary morality are suspended during the campaign period in favor of office seekers and their supporters.
Politics is—or ought to be—the art of government and public service. But sadly, it has degenerated into an arena where the interests of the powerful and rich few arc pitted against those of the weak and poor many. It interferes with the administration of justice and the equal application of the law, heavily weighed as it most patently is on the side of the politically connected. Political debts are paid with appointments to high offices of those to whom elected officials are indebted, blind loyalty counting as the most important criterion in the selection of public officials. The bureaucracy is packed with political proteges, many of whom do nothing except to collect their salaries on the middle and end of each month. Thus the well-intentioned among career officials and employees in government become demoralized early or withdraw into silence or resign altogether. And those who opt to continue despite disillusionment are only too often harassed or eventually co-opted into the system.
People have become so cynical, that often they lose sight of the relevance of their vote to their life or future and sell it for momentary financial gain. Many an undeserving man or woman still, just as regularly, gets voted into office.
Of course! Having presented a platform also important to a candidates to know what the other candidates were proposing. Some of their ideas converge with others. On the other hand, some would propel us backwards into the past, while others fail to comprehend the nature of current situations, Yet others simply confine themselves to criticism without proposing solutions, or if solutions are offered they are unrealistic and impossible to implement.
Any electoral platform must be founded upon a vision that the public can subscribe to. It must address the problems of the average citizen and it must set up realistic programs for solving them. By realistic I mean that the proposed programs must be carefully studied down to projected costs, and they must be broken down into specific targets that can be accomplished within set time frames. It is also important to identify the sources of finance for these projects. Such details are what make up a serious electoral platform. In addition, the candidates must have the drive and leadership skills needed to put their pledges into effect.
Our people must exercise their right to have their say and casting their vote is the way forward at this phase. I have this to say to the people: go to the polls and vote for the candidate of your choice. Vote for the person whose platform you believe in and who you feel will fulfill the pledges he made to you in his electoral campaign amidst difficult circumstances. Vote for the candidate who has the ability to lead, who will not hesitate to defend the interests of the nation, who will never relax his vigilance over our country’s stability, who will not be drawn into adventures that will place our people and their future at risk, who will place the interests the people above all other considerations. This is your responsibility; do not neglect it. This is your right; do not squander it. Participate in building your future, the future of your country and the future of your children and grandchildren.Election it is your turn to do your part?
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