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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Elections and democracy!

In my humble opinion, there is no other system of government for a state better than democracy. Democracy in its literal sense means "run by the people". Simple and yet, each one of us has a say in how our government, our affairs, has to be run. Fair enough! And yet, there is one crux we have to contend with. Education!

Democracy, in order for it to be successful, should rest on a highly educated populace. This is important for democracy is founded on the free flow of ideas. One has to learn how to listen and discern what is right. One has to know how to analyze what he/she is being fed before making a decision.

In a democracy, one has the right to be heard as the next guy! It should not be a case of whoever shouts the loudest wins. In our case, the proverbial "whoever has the guns, gold and goons" enjoying the top slots in government leadership.

We cannot blame our leaders forever. We put them there. Unless, of course, they cheated! But that is another story. Let me get back on track. A well-informed society is needed to have the country run on its own feet. Now, what do we have? We have an electorate, more than half of which, have not had good education. Why? They are busy trying to earn food for the table. The very basest of all human necessity. We see street children helping their parents eke out a living. No make that earn scraps for the next meal. How, pray tell, do we expect them to be informed or be educated properly? They just won't care, would they? But that is not entirely wrong. In any society, we will find the poorest of the poor. It is part of life.

What gets my goat is you find some (or many to be blunt about it) lazily sitting at the neighborhood store, guffawing at another's joke or probably giving out his own, with drink in hand in the morning! Oftentimes, we hear them complain about the government and its leaders, critical of everything and yet do nothing to elevate their stature in life. These are the very people who would wish for instant wealth and so would line up to buy lotto tickets praying that that will be the ticket he/she has been waiting for. These are the very people who would elect a candidate who can give him/her cash right on his/her doorstep at the moment. These are the people who would elect someone because said candidate is a popular movie star or basketball player. They do not grasp the issues anyway. What matters is here and now. Sadly, these are the people who compose the largest chunk of the voters. The masses.

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Anonymous Emer said...

Sinong mga iboboto mo, Tito Rolls?

Ako hanggang ngayon, di pa tapos ang shortlist. May mangyayari ba kung boboto tayo or "just-for-show" lang, dahil hindi naman bibilangin ang boto natin? Puro pangako, pagkatapos ng campaign period at nasa puesto na sila, "boom-tarat-tarat" na naman ang mga gagawin nila.

Democracy has its limitations. Personally, I don't think majority of Filipinos are ready for democracy. Democracy requires a certain kind of maturity and sacrifice.

Most of the masses are tired and sick of promises and promises that never get fulfilled. Manhid na sila at hindi mo din sila masisisi. Our leaders often fail us.

9:08 AM  
Blogger the philosphical bastard said...

education is key, i should agree.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous john said...

I agree with you tito rolly, looks like it will take several more generations of well informed voters before we can see a lasting progress.

12:51 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Doc Emer Sa totoo lang, hanggang ngayon di pa rin ako sure kung sino iboboto ko e. Wala na ata akong mapili talaga. But I will vote. Dayain na nila kung gusto nila, sino ba niloloko nila e di sarili din nila. In the end, tingnan natin kung hindi sila makarma.

philosophical bastard Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, education is very important in a democracy.

12:52 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

John thanks. Yes, it seems like it will be a long time. we have a lot of things to contend with.

2:11 PM  
Blogger auee said...

Tito Rolly, nasaktan ako sa sinabi mo that the masses are to blame & that they are not ready for democracy. I know there is truth in what you're postulating. But I also know that there are uneducated Filipinos whose voice could be heard to ring true & are deserving of good governance.

Saying that though, I have long believed that it will take a real revolution to cleanse our nation. Revolution of blood? Wag naman sana.

Yes education is key. But the way we are now, even the best motivator will lose against the goons & gold.

Am I suggesting we need another "strongman"? Well I am saying, we need some big changes that cannot be had from these fraudulent elections.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said as usual. We wonder if, with this kind of attitude, me pag-asa pa kaya ang bayan natin?

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Btw , i was the last person who commented. Forgot to give my name (kaya inis akong mag comment sa blogger eh,hehe)...ajay

p.s. parehas pala tayo na me ADD (attention and appetite destructing disorder)

6:02 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

auee Hindi naman masses ang dapat lang sisihin. Tayong lahat. The problem when making generalizations like this is that we tend to forget there are exceptions to the rule. There are many who are in the poverty line who are well-informed, too. Sadly, mas marami ata yung sinasabi ko.

I have a problem with the uneducated rising up, most probably in arms, and take over. There is a strong possibility that it will be communism and this is unacceptable to me. It is in democracy that one get to experience true freedom and soar economically and socially, as one wants to.

There had been some groups who believe we need another strongman but history tells us that strongmen tend to be corrupted by wealth and power.

ajay which attitude? I hope you don't see my post as being defeatist. Kung maaayos lang natin sana ang educational system which will be available to all and sundry, everything will go with it.

Yes, me ADD ako both in its true meaning and in yours. :-)

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Len Maldita said...

Hi Rolly, got your homepage from Dean. I like your blogs. I will visit often. Do you mind if I create a link to your page on my blogsite?

3:24 AM  
Blogger Rey A said...

Tito R, the golden rule still prevails in Phil politics: "He who has the gold rules" :)
What we really need is a voting process where election results will be known in a day or two. Not months ( para ma-doctor ang resulta, Hello Garci are you still there?) or even years (Noli vs Loren et al). Filipinos today are fairly educated, compared say 15-20 years ago. Marami ng nakapaglakbay sa ibang bansa at nakita ang "wastong" pamamalakad ng pamahalaan. At naitanong sa sarili "Bakit hindi sa aking bansa?"...Election results in a day or two?...ang sarap na panaginip para sa ating mamamayan...bangungot sa mga nakaluklok na nagpapayaman.
PS Wala bang pics ng iyong Thai sojourn? :)

1:17 PM  
Blogger gilbert yap tan said...

education as to how we exercise our civil/civic rights is what we need. I wonder what is being taught to kids in Sibika/Pol Sci nowadays. I believe the quality of our democracy rises and falls based on the way we exercise our right to vote.

3:50 PM  
Blogger ipanema said...

Our harsh situation has put most of the masses in what they are now. Poverty ill-breeds.

I can't imagine some of those in the party list winning because they've some stars stamped on their names.

I'm thinking of not voting. However, it made me think that I want my vote counted. Perhaps I'll write just a couple of names and that's it.

11:59 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

mahirap kasi mag-aral bossing. kailangan ng investment ng oras at sipag para matuto. sana, magkaroon ng initiative para gawing priority ang education sa pilipinas.

pwede naman - magkaroo ng moratorium ang mga politiko: kahit mag kurakot na sila sa mga ibang bagay, huwag lang nilang pakialaman ang education, baka sakaling umandar ng kaunti ang bayang magiliw.

12:03 PM  
Blogger auee said...

tito rolly, have you seen this site by a UP student?

Check out his post... the people he encountered are those that you're referring to -- bang on the nail.


Pathetic, people expecting to receive something instead of asking what the candidate can do for their town/situation/problems.

The thing is this "giveaways", aka bribes, are so ingrained in our system. I realised it just now. Back when I was in primary school & we have student government campaigns, it's expected that you are to giveaway some sweets. I buy the cheap hard candies (like lemon, melon), I always lose because the other party gives chocolates & bookmarks! And it doesn't hurt my counterpart mum is a teacher. In the end ayaw ko na lalaban but the teachers will force me dahil wala naman daw ibang suitable candidates. Phil. politics suck.

6:10 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

len maldita Hey, welcome to my site. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Sige, exchange links tayo. I haven't gone to my template for a long time already.

rey a Matagal nang issue ang automated voting but this has been stopped by the politicians themselves. Ang dami nilang ibinibigay na dahilan pero in the long run, siguro kasi, hindi pa nila alam kung panong dayain hahahaha

gilbert I think ganon pa rin naman ang itinuturo sa sibika. The right way to vote, exercise your right, etc. The thing is we are like teen-agers, hindi nakikinig sa tamang turo.

ipanema and poverty breeds more poverty that it has become a vicious cycle that hinders our development as a nation. The more poor people there are, the more voters who will resort to selling their votes.

auee Ah si bikoy. exactly what I was talking about!

2:05 AM  
Blogger NOYPETES said...

..Ika nga ni Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!"..Dapat iwasan din ang maging utak alimango. Ang mga may pinag-aralan ay dapat na ibahagi nila sa mga mang-mang ang kanilang kaalaman at tulungan ang may gusto ng tulong para maka-ahon sa hirap. kung i-aasa natin sa pamahalaan ang ating kinabukasan ay walang mangyayari sa atin. Ang mga politiko at liderato ng Pilipinas ay abala sa ibang bagay na walang kinalaman sa pag unlad ng taong bayan tulad ng mabisang paraan para sa masaganang pag unlad ng mga paaralan. Nariyan pa rin ang ugaling "diyan kayong mga mang-mang sa ibaba at dito kaming mga piling lahi sa itaas". masyadong gahaman ang mga politiko natin sa lakas at pera. Marami sa mga nasa puwesto ngayon sa pamahalaan ay ganid at hinahadlangan ang pamamahagi ng ka-alaman at talino sa taong bayan sa takot na dumami ang maglalakas loob na labanan sila sa dalang talino ng mga mamamayan.

9:30 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

noypetes well said! Perfect. Sana maraming makabasa ng comment mo. Pati na pulitiko at baka makunsyensiya.

7:19 PM  
Blogger samantha said...

Perhaps it is irrefutable that an educated people is a prerequisite to the success of a democracy.
Although I agree that democracy is the best form of government, I think the pitfall of a democracy lies exactly in the very same characteristic that gives it its power. The strength of a democracy comes from its people, more particularly the majority. But the majority isn't always right and in our case (uneducated masses) the majority has a higher propensity to be wrong. However, that also begs the question of whether we are a democracy to begin with. In our case, it is not the majority that determine the fate of our government - it is the elite that manipulate the masses. So under the false pretense that we are a democracy, we are actually an aristocracy.

So the questions remain, How do we educate the masses? How do we create a culture where education is regarded as one's most valuable possession? Moreover, how do you do it when there is no REAL political will (because it is more advantageous for the aristocracy to retain their monopoly on education and on power and keep the masses uneducated) behind educating the masses?

Now that is a challenge.


In a probably unrelated note, whatever happened to debate in Zobel? Today as I was training some HS debaters from Southridge, I was saddened by the apparent death of debate in Zobel (according to Southridge they haven't seen Zobel in a debate tournament in years).

Many college debaters train the HS teams of their respective alma matter schools, some even train teams of schools they've never attended. Which made me think that it would be great to train a team from my alma matter but how do you train something that is inexistent?

I should have probably emailed this unrelated last bit but then I realized I didn't have your email address. So I'll just leave my email address instead so I don't have to invade your blogspace with unrelated messages such as this ever again. :D

Super thanks Sir!

2:00 AM  
Blogger Bugsybee said...

Tito Rolly, no thanks to my intermittent connection I have been unable to blog-hop all I want and each time I get connected, I spend the time updating my blog so I missed this post but I hope it's not too late to contribute my 2-cents' worth.

Just like you, I think that the number 1 - and most powerful - instrument to fight all the ills of our society is NOT just a democratic exercise as elections but EDUCATION.

Our schools should make sure that Philippine history, institutions and the Constitution should be taught well ... and as early as grade school. We cannot love our country unless we know our history, we understand our Constitution and our institutions.

Each one of us should also go out of our way to participate in an all year round campaign to educate ALL voters. It is sad that voter education here in the Philippines starts only a few months before elections. In my opinion, that is TOO late because by that time, all attention is focused not on rights and issues but on personalities (i.e. the candidates).

4:41 PM  
Blogger bayi said...

Education is definitely the key. Then the people can make educated and informed choices about who they want as their leaders and what direction they want their country to take. I believe democracy also assumes that people will generally make choices for the good of the masses. In other words, the assumption is that they will make ethical choices.

But this is not the case with the present leaders. They are better educated than most and yet they have chosen to make empty promises, capitulate to the demands of people who can keep them in power, turn a blind eye to abuses if this is convenient to them, participate in schemes that bring them untold wealth..... The list goes on and on.

I believe education is still the key but ethics should be an integral part of this education we are talking about.

10:51 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

samantha Aristocracy? hmm pwede. Pwede ring maging monarchy in the future. "Her majesty, Queen Gloria." hehe

Someone else is moderating the debate club. I know they began to be active again last year.

6:46 AM  

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Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.

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