Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Litmus Test of our Democracy


Even the most freest
and the most fairest of them all -
does not keep us free - nor our politics fair.

Entering the gate alone does not build the city.

We experience self-determination as an individual right when we exercise it as a national community during elections.  

The right of suffrage also bestows upon our shoulders the responsibility of a mature electorate. This electoral culture is the substance that enlivens and empowers the act of voting. It does not suddenly come to life only on election days. (And goes back into the crypt afterwards.)

It is a living and integral part of our National culture and one  that should be constantly renewing itself as an aspect of our freedom borne and won and gathered together - in Liberty.

Though the choices we must make in secret ballot is per individual - we do not really cast our votes as individuals - we vote as a community of individuals.

Majority rules - Vox Populi, Vox Dei.

But that does not mean the minority suffers. Remember, the majority exists also on their behalf.

The power of the vote is to affirm. 

In an elections, there is no negative vote. We have to remember this if we want to effect a positive change in our electoral culture.

We do not vote people, we vote platforms first.

Therefore, the measure of the virtues of candidacy in a popular elections is not fame or notoriety of person but proven personal sincerity and believability of political intentions.

In this, we do not look for those who only look good by making others look worse. That is the first sign of superficiality.

Of course, politics will at times present moral challenges to the personal integrity of our candidates but this should never exclusively dominate the electoral debate. Partisanship benefits us politically only in relation to the relevant matters at hand, that concern what we are really voting for - not just the who.

We seek in the questions our candidates must courageously ask, in presenting to us in the forums of the Republic, what platforms they stand upon and promise to build (upon entering the gate of the city, and into the helm of the Philippine State), what has resonance with what answers we are looking for - as a mature electorate - that is representative of the majority in our Democracy.

Therefore, there are no losers in an elections. Only those who receive our affirmation. We do not vote in the negative, remember.

There are no winners in an elections either. Only those who, according to their positions-elect, accept the mandate of the people - to serve the good of the Nation entire in the Republic government.

The mindset of winner-loser is the first thing out the window. It produces the violence that oft shock us by the bloody taint it inflicts upon the politics of the Philippine State - that scandalizes the many.

This politics of violence (along with the politics of money) in a Democracy such as ours is unacceptable.

Those who really win in an elections are those who run the race to the full, who with vigilance stay the course they have intended (to advance) for the people - at the outset of their term: Those who build - under God, what they - before Him and before the people, have said they would - according to their honest, human best - which is the reason why they became (Providentially) in the first place - it was popular. Their dedication and the merit of their works - for the people. Not just fame in and of itself.

They merit a succession of terms because they merit a succession of terms.

And will be remembered well for it.

All good things have a limit, a measure, and a time under our Republic Sky. It is clearly understood that there will always be a limited number of positions available in an election season for candidacy.

Our candidates, God bless them all, should know it. And understand that - whether they receive the affirmation of the vote or not - the vote is not a matter of losing or winning but a matter of time.

All good things in their good time. And good leaders in their due season.

Let us remember this also, we question what is questionable. We do not look for what is evil, as far as our politics go. Like the human body and its immune system identifies what does not belong to it by first knowing what does, in the organism of the Republic - we look for what is questionable, and challenge it by virtue of our knowledge of what is native to our common good.

Individual good exists nested and embraced within greater and greater realities of the good that make them all common. We can not choose between a lesser and a greater good. It is a false choice. Like saying one had to choose between breathing and eating.

So to know ourselves, is to know what belongs to ourselves. And the cycles of our elections should make us better and better able to deeply understand what is clearly what - as a mature electorate.

We, the people, do not vote to lose, we always vote to win.

How Rule of Law and the traditions of our Republic and its Democracy is kept - alive in our culture - matter a whole lot more to us now in a Republic that how our rulers are made elect.

In short, the litmus test of any democracy is how it's leaders lead and how it's followers follow (how rulers rule, and how their rule is kept) and in between them, how freedoms are kept free.

Entering the gate alone does not build the city.

The power of the vote guards the gate. The culture of our electorate determines how well the watches of the city is drilled, trained, and maintained.

Our leaders are drawn form this culture and are citizens first like we are.

They do not and will not pander to base intentions. They will not think to buy your vote nor should you think to sell your vote to them.

They will keep sanity and nobility the Republic government and virtue and compassion in the forums of the Philippine State.

They will support the good and uphold the common good and we will support them - all the way - for doing so - in all our behalf.

For they will enter the city - at the gate -
and persevere with her through her labors by day
who in recognizing the Beauty of her face in the morning,
rejoice with her at dusk, being at peace with the setting of the sun,
dwelling in goodwill among her peoples, prevailing through the night.

If we can reform our Electoral culture then the rest of the matter as regards Electoral reform shall be mostly about funding. This is a question of Law. And exists as a different matter altogether.