Friday, August 14, 2009

dysfunctional politics

These are interesting times. These are uncertain days. These are disturbing moments. Reason: Emergency Rule. Martial Law. Transition Government. Charter Change. Extension of Term. Revolution. People Power – these are some of the more often invoked possible realities that are expressly and openly mentioned not only by the common tao but also by known professionals and other experts in politics, in economics together with those in the academe.

The unsettled and unsettling socio-political situation in the Country has been recently rendered even more tense and critical by the much lamented illness, mourned death and singularly followed and distinctly watched funeral of a much celebrated former lady President of the Philippines. The once locally called and now internationally invoked “People Power” vividly came to memory on the said extraordinary event that once more brought to mind that after all is said and done, moral power and political authority fundamentally belong to and reside in the people as the real sovereign in the Country – specially so of this supposedly democratic land of the morning.

While before the said big public occasion there may have been different unconstitutional scenarios that could come to fore, the constitutionally provided May 2010 national election is considered as a very critical event for the Philippines. Among other things, it means that people will once again have the opportunity to elect their chosen public officials from the local to the national levels of government, will once more have the chance to repose political power in their elected Municipality, City and Malacanang public servants – with the expectation that thereafter everything will be for the better if not the best for their Country.

But, sad to say but true to mention, that “better” or “best” could be but wishful thinking, without premise on the realities on the ground – such as specifically in terms of a dysfunctional politics in the present Philippines society. Among other things, his pathetic factor means that there has been a long marked disparity between politics as the art of exercising good and effective governance vis-à-vis the politicians a big majority of whom are downright incapable of governing well and/or doing productive governance.

Most of them – those not only presently holding elective offices but also those aspiring for elective positions – may be wealthy, well known, good looking, may have both the desired political machinery and many influential supporters, could in fact be honest , truthful and upright. But truth to say , these are not necessarily the credentials required by rightful and dynamic governance. To know the particulars of the people and the salient features of the Country, to be disposed in collaborating with other capable politicians even in the opposition, to have the will and the courage to promote genuine integral human development, to defend the truth, uphold justice and promote peace – plus to observe the virtues of the often invoked tripod of “honesty, integrity and transparency – those individuals in tenure of these human traits and moral virtues are what make politics functional.

+OVCruz, DD
August 14, 2009