Eugene Y. Adiong

Much has been said and written about what is wrong with our country.More often than not politics has been pointed out as the main culprit.Those who maintain this view argue that the Philippines has “too much” of politics.However, they forget that while politics for them is dirty, as one pundit on TV the other day said, it is like the toilet.Politics, like the toilet, will be dirty if we the people will it remain dirty.

I am a political science graduate and I have a different take on the issue,contrary to the more popular viewpoint. And it starts with the classic definition of politics is it is the art of influencing others against the opposition of many.

Politics encompasses public governance. It is public service to the community, a vehicle for bringing about change. It serves as a venue to select people who will serve. It is running government to help run themselves. One Pope said that politics is “the greatest of all apostolates”.

Public governance must aim at a common good and welfare with the bias for the underpriveleged, reflective of the people’s aspirations and learning a sense of accountability in processes, structure and leadership.It must aim at establishing a free, democratic and peaceful society, responsible to the needs of the majority and based on gender equality.

However, as Ateneo political science professors pointed out in their book “Politics and Governance:Theory and Practice in the Philippine Context”, concluded, such an ideal Philippine political system still remains a “political dream”.

Much that I laid down in the early part of this piece are mere ideals and seem to behoove me to dare say that only saints and gods can give us the kind of government we need. Or is it a government that we deserve? Do we need somebody who is good at singing and dancing or maybe somebody who is married to a Megastar or Rated K?

Philippine elections in paticular and politics in general is not much about the people selling their votes as much as do they have a choice,an alternative to the status quo. Or just resort to the oft- repeated rationale that the since all politicians are the same and everything is dirty, we might choose the highest bidder and the lesser evil?

Or maybe we just need to change the attitude that politics is about power over others and a venue for self- interest. Unfortunately for us Filipinos, as it happened a thousand times in our nation’s history, majority if not all, politicians are adept at explaining that he is seeking power for the benefit of the people but when he is in power, he alienates himself from the general good and concentrates his efforts at promoting his private good.

( to be continued..)

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