Monday, February 23, 2009

Lessons Learned

There exists a state of ennui in the Philippines. People are resigned to the reality that Gloria Arroyo will remain in power through 2010. We are however not certain whether elections will proceed at that time owing to the frenetic machinations of our die-hard loyalist legislators.

Many well-meaning Filipinos have declared their utter dissatisfaction with the list of aspiring candidates, all members in good standing of Traditional Politicians Incorporated. A consequence of this revulsion with all things political is the tendency to blame the electorate, the mindless mass of gullible, star-struck idiots fighting for survival every day. There are no tyrants, where there are no slaves. People deserve their leaders. Systemic corruption is a reflection of society. We have heard them all and we reliably nod in assent.

I learned an important lesson in the 2007 election. I learned that good intentions and virtue are no match to methodical preparation and effective fundraising. Both qualities included in the realm of expertise of successful traditional politicians. Our principal disadvantage was we could only campaign in between making a living. We were ranged against colossal campaigners who campaigned for a living. In Darwinian perspective, we were up against the most evolved, the fittest.

If we hope to break away from this power lock of desperation we have to begin preparing now. We need to create alliances with other groups, agree on an inclusive platform with clear and detailed proposals for a national transformation, raise money and awareness because our only chance lies in getting the people to know about us. We understand the sacrifice demanded in serving others. We pledge to serve for one term only not just because we have our private lives and professions to return to but also to give as many Filipinos a personal stake in building our nation.

The 2010 election is ours to lose. If we stubbornly consider ourselves above the tumult and unrest; if we persist in calling the cause lost; if we don’t put our lives on the line and remain amused spectators watching and cheering the next set of suckers march into the arena bristling with lions, then we only have ourselves to blame.

In a more rational time and place, all these moneyed and formidable candidates have nothing to be proud of. They are, without exception part of why our country is so screwed-up. They have all held important and powerful positions that in retrospect mainly benefited themselves, just look around the squalor and poverty surrounding you.

When I learned how to type many years ago, speed was gauged with how rapidly and correctly we could type the phrase: now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. That was another lesson learned.

1 comment:

azron said...

thank you for the update on the state of affairs in your country - our local press is devoid of any international stories so I enjoy coming here and getting a bigger perspective