Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Politicians and Ego

Many politicians have healthy egos. This does not necessarily have to be a bad deal. On the contrary, politicians need to be aware of their talents and gifts as well as their limitations. Only after you have a clear idea of who you are will you be able to work on and fight for something bigger than yourself. This is the reason why preparation is essential in the life of anyone aspiring to enter the political arena. Preparation in becoming acquainted with historical precedent and political lessons as well as becoming financially independent on your own in order to appreciate the daily struggle that most people have to endure. And to avoid being overawed by other politicians with more stature, great wealth as well as the ever-ephemeral trappings of power.

To illustrate this point, the Philippines has a debt service (principal and interest) of $800 billion. Every single day, the nation pays $34 million for this "service". Each Congressman receives a discretionary fund to the tune of $1.5 million, each Senator $4 million, a euphemism for pork barrel. These people are supposed to write laws. They should not have any business in contributing public funds to basketball uniforms, golf tournaments, wedding gifts, baptismal parties. Legislating needs to become a part-time job with minimal remuneration.

The temptation to remain in politics to exclusively nourish this ego is a bad deal. How can one cause become a great one if it isn't even larger than one life?

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