2016 Election fever is on. Everyone seems to be optimistic if not ambivalent in the list of national and local candidates. How this coming election would differs from previous 2010 election? Will there be anything new for this time? Are they (the candidates) worthy for the office for their promise of social reforms and services? What are their platforms and programs? Had have they (who won in last election) fulfill their promises?
Commision on Election (COMELEC) and other civic oriented groups are picking the button of voting wisely. Accordingly to Comelec there are about 40% of total registered voters who will vote in 2016 Election. Youth vote will be crucial for the national and local candidates. However, for some local/provincial areas for mayoral seats hoisted as winners already for they don’t have any contending challenger for the position. The dynasties like Duterte from Davao and Benhur Abalos etc is an example.
The problem lies not in the act of voting but on the consequence of this voting under the susceptible and weak electoral system is questionable. Earl Parreño of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER) pointed out that the political parties loosely not identified by its Ideology. He said, “they don’t and hardly have any defined ideology. Lacking in it poised political parties to highlight personal attributes rather than proposition of their platform which reflects the program to solve the problems”. No real choice for presidency and even vice- presidency is a manifested, severe weakness of this electoral process as part of democratic process in the country. Catch phrases of daang matuwid, puso at galing lack logical explanation and skill in resolving the social ills in the country.
Political parties as described by Parreño as saying, “Disabuse your mind from thinking that there are political parties in the Philippines. Parties are merely coalitions of dynastic families with command votes in their localities as clannish, dynastic, private patronage lead will determine what kind of political system this country reproduced. This limits what we need to expect from present set up”.
So the question for what and for whom this election and voting will be is a moral and political question that the youth should pursue.
Election for the youth calls for a moral accountability of the politicians. Moral accountability comes with a basic understanding that public office is not a private ownership. Arendt in his writing entitled, Human Condition (II. The public and the private realm, Human Condition, cit. pp. 22-78) explained the idion and koinon; the private and public which cause loneliness of men. Dynasties (has consequently) confused the the demarcation line between public and private sphere, making their office as their own private interest.
This causes a cases of different crime related to election/ politics. Elites back- up by their Goons and Guns and Gold eventually result in conflict, over contesting political control. In the absence of moral argument/ premise and accountability is a fundamental insult to the voting public. This is a huge disadvantage for the youth to inherit this private patronage system. To take this particular attention and substance for the political aspirants is a beginning of justice. This sought to be a fundamental and basic reason of why the youth should be participating in the election
Second is political justice that is to undertake with seriousness the perennial problem of access to education due to the private lead education framework that the CHED/ Government is adopting. Right to education is determined and protected by customary International Law (Beiter, Kalus. D., 2005) thus, every youth should be entitled without even further specifying domestic laws in securing it. But as Neoliberal framework determined it, this right has become as pre-text of commoditization (Harvey, David, 2012). Education is becoming expensive and has only served the proliferation of existing status quo/ market economy.
The real problems of the youth lies in the lies of those Agencies of the Government and the who supposed to be purveyor of true and genuine education- that of foster development, nationalism and progress. Not global competition, not only job generation, not only to be global alignment to the business prospect of development. The 1.2 Billion alleged corruption of CHED this January, reported and published in Inquirer as no less than a blatant abuse and deprivation of the future of the youth in the midst of appalling presence of unemployment, poverty and miseducation. If politicians supposed to be taken seriously by the youth, they should study and solve the problems strategically.
Political Philosopher Hanna Arendt (base on the observation of Greek politics) exemplified, “the last characteristic, in Greek public opinion, signified that it destroyed the public realm of the polis altogether – a polis belonging to one man is no polis – and thereby deprived the citizens of that political faculty which they felt was the very essence of freedom”. She exemplified the tyranical character characterized by one role (family rule) of the polis. In this case, Philippine politics can be compared to which identified to a dynastic rule is tantamount to depriving the Citizen as real (essential) political participation beyond the realm of election.
Election for the youth posed a greater challenge to demand moral and political justice for the public servants who supposed to be serving the public. Unless this question is not being pursued in public sphere, the cycle of political and electoral weakness will devour the potentials of the youth.
…. CONSIDERING THE WHOLE/ PRETEXT ELECTION, WHAT WILL BE AT STAKE IN THIS ELECTION?
1. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/…/bautista-to-the-filipino-you…. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
2. http://www.rappler.com/…/2…/108898-strange-ph-elections-2016Retrieved February 1, 2016
3. https://www.um.es/v…/proceedings/docs/11.Silvia-Zappulla.pdf. Retrieved January 28, 2016.