January 31, 2007 : Tuesday
What the People Should Know….
The Philippine Midterm election is just months away yet both the government and
opposition camps up to this time still don’t have the people who will compose the much
speculated senatorial slate giving the opportunity for the people to suspend their choice of
candidates based on in which side of the administration-opposition dichotomy candidates
belong. But let us pause for a moment to consider what we should expect from those
politicians who will run this election.
Winning the election isn’t a rocket science but it is harder than rocket science for
the latter is much easier to communicate with like minded colleague than the former to an
audience. I can surmise that for the past elections people had voted based on personality
rather than consideration of policies. A 500 meter road with a big banner bearing the
name of the politician who ordered its construction will be deeply impressed in the mind
of typical and indifferent Filipino voter as an act of public service regardless of the fact
that it is the only road constructed during the six year term of the politician-candidate.
This is stereotype of a Filipino voter thinking that his vote is worth next meal rather than
his nation’s long term progress.
It is on this scene that we should be able to reform the consciousness of every
Filipino. For starters what should be our guidelines in choosing our candidates?
1. Political personality- personality should not be disregarded in winning the election but it should not be the be-all basis for voting. A voter should discern the character, integrity, and leadership apart from the charisma portrayed in a one hour campaign program.
2. Commitment to public service- the reason political science is included in college curriculum is for the knowledge of our duties and what should we expect from those we choose to lead us. In addition to this the operational knowledge of law making, judicial process, and basic rights will help citizen to delineate and participate in the political process. Our voice is important in public policy planning so we should choose those candidates who can listen among the various cries of every interest and pressure groups in society and who can solidify the legitimate voice into a concrete public policy.
These are the two basic guidelines in choosing whom to vote this election although not comprehensive I believe that a simple change in the hearts and minds of every Filipino can take us a half or whole step into achieving political stability. As what we used to say in Ederlyn’s class don’t be stupid! Make a difference! God bless!