Friday, March 30, 2007

On Parties and Personalities

It is amazing how one can easily adapt inton the existing political culture! In the case of Philippine elections, for example, we are not surpised anymore about vote buying, personality-centered campaigns, and media hypes during election period!

Unfortunately, this electoral culture is devoid of the essential elements for a mature and meaningful electoral exercises! As you probably know by now, aside from being the venue for recruitment of new governmental leaders, elections are supposed to be a forum for programs and alternatives which the country may take. And the main vehicles for the articulaltion of these programs and visions are political parties. Blessed is the political system characterized by well-developed and mature political parties drawing their strength and unity from a well-developed program and vision for the country!

In the Philippine settings, elections are opportunities for the rich to show off and for the popular to become powerful. Riches and popularity are attributes that can get you elected to public office. Thus, qualifications and programs are not the primary considerations. Even your party affiliation wouldnt matter.

And when riches and popularity are insufficient to get you elected, you have electoral fraud and manipulation as an option. After all, the Philippine electoral system is one of the few remaining primitive and vulnerable electoral scheme in the world!

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