I may consider that the best way to change the political system in our country is to first transform ourselves – the voters.
We know that our country is no stranger to political turmoil; corruption in politics is so widespread that often the person elected to office is not the most qualified. The root of all-evil in dirty politics is – “Vote Buying” which is rampant during elections. Therefore, as a mature citizens of a democratic country, we need to educate our voters “how sacred our votes are”.
Vote buying takes place in the rural areas. Thus – it is extremely hard to cast a watchful eye over the democratic process. Not surprisingly, the country is governed by the same individuals, whose primary role is to buy votes. It is almost impossible for a qualified person/leader to enter politics under this particular scenario. Even a mere candidate for councilor in a small barangay needs half a million pesos to spend in election time.
But I still believed that every Filipinos deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Perhaps we should adapt new ways of thinking. Therefore, we should not look back to the negative side of politics instead we look for an answer to correct the wrong side of politics.
The spirit of change can only be achieved if the people participate in an honest to goodness election. It is for us to choose the future we are creating today.
We should educate ourselves/others and must take serious actions against the ineffective democracy and vote-buying that is taking place in our politics. We should fight for the introduction of new faces and the purging of old, corrupted politicians. In addition, we should form organizations which aim to control vote-buying, and sponsor programs to educate the impoverished half of the Philippine population. If reform is not taken soon, the country’s political system will spiral deep downward, with the economy and our country’s international status following closely behind.
It may not be too difficult to mobilize voters to come to vote but it is hard to prevent people to receive money or sell their votes. Vote buying is a big problem not only in our country but also to other poor neighboring countries in South East Asia. Voter education should be focused on educating voters in principle of how to select the good candidates. We must educate them that unwise votes could ruin our country and democracy. Voter education is critical and can be done in many different ways. Our challenge is to educate people about issues, processes and candidates and to also encourage good candidates to put themselves forward to run for office. We all have to work to make elections meaningful. There will never be perfect voter education in any nation but education is an on going and never ending process that begins in the schools through civics education and should continue throughout our voting lives.
For me, we don’t need charter change to move our beloved country forward, we only need laws against vote buying to begin to solve the problem. Then they need to be enforced.
What is the key information to convince people to make a better choice? We will all have different opinions about which is the “better choice“. Our goal is to give voters the opportunity to educate themselves about issues and candidates so that they can make their own informed choice. Just because voters are educated doesn’t mean they will also make the same choice that you or I might.
It cant be denied that others refused to participate. But we need to find out why they are “not interested”. Until we understand the reasons, it’s difficult to motivate people. And, there will always be people who simply will never participate, no matter what you do. Education is the key. Let us work together and help others understand why it is important to vote and how and why they are directly affected by who is elected to an office.
In democracy assumes that things will never be perfect. And it allows for a structure that helps people deal with those weaknesses to secure freedom.
Democracy is about more than just candidates and elections. It means being an active participant in the society surrounding us. Including listening to music and watching plays etc, etc. It means that we try to build a series of communities that function as they work together. A part of that will be politics but more of it will be working to stay informed about how issues relate to each other.
The important is there are a lot of avenues that we can do and many ways is the fulcrum of change.
Furthermore, we should let our youths participate the process and motivate them to become leaders. Today, our youths are the next foundation towards a new beginning. Lets educate them that voting is symbolic, It symbolizes our voice in a larger conversation. And it is important for young people to be heard because they offer a fresh and honest perspective on issues. After all, the youths are our future leaders for a better Philippines.
Note: Above entry is my reply-contribution posted at FWPPi-FBP e-group (Filipinos Worldwide for Progressive Philippines, Inc. – Filipinos For Better Philippines) on topic relevant to our right to vote.