WITH the start of the filing of the certificate of candidacy for all elective positions last October 1, 2021, the country, pandemic or not, is to be entertained anew by the longest ‘fiesta atmosphere’ we have every three years called ‘national elections,’ an atmosphere that would end after May 9, 2022, when the final votes have been tallied and the newly-elected proclaimed.
Be that as it may, the light atmosphere should not overlook the country’s dire situation because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated our economic landscape, scaled down everybody’s hope for a better future and killed thousands of our fellow citizens.
Since the “restoration” of our democracy in 1986, our electoral politics has gone from bad to worse— just look at the lowered “quality”—and character– of those we have elected to public offices, especially the Senate, since then.
The result of course is for everyone to see: we have generated tons and tons of “laws” but none of them has made any significant contribution to promote economic growth, job access to our burgeoning labor force or break the power of the oligarchs whose power and clout have even become more encompassing in our society after Pres. Marcos tried to break them during them thru martial law.
Our failure of course, is our failure to learn from history and the continued cavalier manner by which we regard the importance of the electoral process in a functioning democracy.
The election is there because it allowed us to “choose” the “leaders” that we want not for personal gain or out of personal gratitude but more importantly, so that our choices would benefit the entire country and our society.
Since 1987, we have had 11 national and midterm elections and one would like to think that the thinking population that we are, the Filipino electorate would have learned a lot of bitter lessons since.
In other words, we should have gained political maturity and sophistication; apparently though, we have yet to learn one bit—just look at the characters dominating our political life, both local and national. Indeed, not a few of them are fit to be in the dock for abuse of power, corruption, incompetence or all of the above.
We say that the time has come to put an end to all of these. The time has come for all of us to truly, wisely, choose the leaders that would guide our country after 2022.
We need not stress here again that our country is in deep peril that is made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thus, our votes next year can be truly a real “game changer” for all of us.
And we have only two choices next year: either we vote for progress and emancipation or, we again vote for regression and perdition.
Here is hoping that we truly make the power of the ballot an instrument for a better Philippines.