Saturday, October 27, 2012

Political Dynasties: Philippines

It's campaign season soon in the Philippines as May 13, 2013 draws near and I certainly applaud the efforts of groups and individuals to assist in creating a more competent populace who can wield the power of suffrage wisely and responsibly. Lest we remain stuck in idiocracy-land!

Although, these videos represent a criticism of US culture, the concept is practically the same from a political standpoint. Democracy is a numbers game and if we look at poverty levels and the dumbfounding penchant of the poor to find relief in a large number of progeny they "manufacture", so that these impoverished families can have more hands to help them for income generation (when kids should be sent to school, btw, instead of being encouraged to do child labor), then we are left with more uneducated people who are bestowed the right to vote for their preferred type of government (usually of the socialist type that facilitates in the expansion of subsidized social welfare programs, that IMO keeps us stuck in economic development limbo because instead of funneling money to infrastructure related and economic programs, officials are incentivized to scatter public funds to the growing number of poor and uneducated people). It does not help from a cultural angle, that although with fervent Catholic followers, the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines struggles in making its constituents understand the value of natural family planning. While, it would be hypocritical for it to turn a blind eye on the issue of contraception and sex education for children, IMO, the Roman Catholic Church is put in a compromising position wherein it has to champion the ideals and principles of life (bearing) and the values of family building, while also having to contend with the more practical concepts of economic planning and the advancement of society and the standards of living in the Philippines.

These are of course the growing pains of a maturing democracy IMO, and although as slow as the pace may seem, as long as there is a slight nudge to the right direction, then it is all for the better. The true tragedy is to have progress be stifled or reversed by people who benefit from the less than ideal circumstances. More so do I think that it does not do society good if changes are abrupt and uncompromising. I think a sluggish pace allows people (through several generations) to come to terms with the realities and circumstances of society, as they adjust to the demands and insinuations of the times, while not necessarily traumatizing the current generation with cruel and dictatorial force.

It's unfortunate really that we have social and cultural circumstances that facilitate the persistence of political dynasties. The impoverished masses remain susceptible to short term "baits" by traditional politicians, while ignoring long term institutional change and advancements. They, after all, feel that anything that isn't instantaneously beneficial would not alleviate their problems and frustrations in life. In turn, intentionally or unintentionally, retaining the flawed political culture.

It's truly a vicious cycle, but in the end, (Filipinos)...we create the type of society we want to live in...and so we live with it. Change can be attained by changing the cultural mindset in the numbers. After all, democracy is a numbers game, as we believe it to be and should be.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2012. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

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