31/01/2012

WANTED: Informed Citizenry

I miss college days where we enjoyed hours of exchanging ideas without fear of being branded with any political leanings and to be able to do so in front of instructor/s who appreciates lively and intelligent discussion. I miss the honest take of students, how they react to a situation presented to him/her based on their knowledge of the subject, the reaction as a Filipino and as a citizen mindful of his/her social responsibility to this country. 
I hope we can conduct discussions like this without attributing political motivation or being judged as pro or anti government, but rather as informed and involved citizens who are exercising our rights to determine our destiny in a democracy.
A man may be loyal to his government and yet oppose the particular principles and methods of administration.- Abraham Lincoln
When do we begin to start to trust our Constitution and institutions? Let us be honest with ourselves here, when will we Filipinos unanimously say we have the right leader or when will we ever get the right leader? The answer is in strengthening our institutions, allowing it to work and become more relevant than the people who are elected and chosen to run them so that governing/governance is no longer about the leader but about the office and institution that they represent. Strong institutions require transparency and meritocracy and helps ensure proper discharge of duties and responsibilities. This is what we should be doing, not simply just continually looking or hoping to elect the right leader or our political messiah. That's like trying to win the lotto instead of doing an honest day's work. 
WDC PE briefs the Filipino community in Memphis City on the Save Our Industries Act. 
Photo via WDCPE
We are so personality oriented and react within that context that is why we end up in this vicious cycle of being screwed all the time by people in authority. We are a democracy, but we don't trust our democratic institutions such as the judiciary, the law enforcement authorities, our electoral process, and government in general. What does that say about us as a country and a people? Yes, things are very intense and uncertain but if we don't begin to place a bit of trust into our institutions and allow them to work and just simply go on and continue to second-guess motives and speculate on what could be, then we deserve to be continually stuck in this vicious political paralysis that we have been in for many years now.

It will take time and there is a long, long way to go but we should be able to grow out of our tendency to worship at the altar of personality and be ruled by our emotions and begin to demand and expect more from those we elect to lead us. 


It is our responsibility to be an informed citizen...So asking about the process or raising questions doesn't mean you're against or pro-government, it is a means to achieve understanding. As they say, only a dead fish flows with the current. We have the right to ask and should not be judged for our queries, but rather on our actions. In the Philippines, we are too personality oriented and we tend to allow emotions to rule rather than logic and intellect. People take stands according to the protagonists involved, not on the merits or demerits of the issue at hand. Critical thinking and objectivity gets drowned out by partisanship. We must rise above this in order to become more responsible and informed citizens so that politics can be lifted from the muck where it currently resides.
If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools." - Plato
Being very much aware of our history, whose fault will it be in the event we allow history to repeat itself and for the failure to break this cycle of our political development? This will be a reflection of our political maturity (or lack of it) as a people and a nation if this happens.

So yes, let us be vigilant and keep a close watch so there is no abuse. 

A leap of faith and then keep the faith. ©


Regardless of how we feel about the Leader, we MUST at all times RESPECT the Institution - Office of the President