While culture per se means a refinement – enlightenment, erudition, learning – and wherefore indicative of a traditional positive value system, once the said human phenomenon is invaded by errant features or imbued with antisocial factors, then it becomes a social liability. And such is precisely the cultural standing of the Country in the context of Philippine politics. The following are the key disturbing elements of our Political Culture that took the Filipinos long to imbibe and will probably take them a long time to dislodge:
1. In today’s political mentality and consequent postures, a public office designed for public welfare, has degenerated not only into self-service but also dynastic advantage.
2. Greed for power and wealth through carefully chosen political affiliation have caused the transformation of social good into the generation of many social liabilities specially in terms of economic hardships.
3. The sad political reality of “butterfly politics” in line with the saying that in politics “There are no permanent friends, only permanent interests” reveals the fact of opportunism vs. conviction, favoritism vs. integrity.
4. The now seriously obtaining cynicism about the integrity of electoral process more specifically in the matter of vote counting has promoted the thinking that election losers are but cheated by discounting machines.
5. The election period is the time when underhanded political transactions are made, when popularity not competence counts, when votes are sold, when the poor are bought, the ignorant are exploited.
6. The practical amorality of Philippine elections assures the commission of graft and corrupt practices by supposedly elected public officials to regain their capital investment at least – plus very much more in the course of time.
7. Philippine elections make popularity not competence count, make opportunism not nationalism matter, make heavenly commitments plus Cloud 9 promises – not ground realities – win votes.
8. Election in the Philippines are nonchalantly long since associated with the infamous trio of “bullets, bullies and bulldozers” – the antithesis of the famous trio of truth, justice and peace.
9. Votes are won by candidates who have much giveaways, who provide side-shows, who are loquacious in place of competence and platform, of commitment and industry.
10. So it is that many elected public officials in the Country believe and behave as individuals who live and behave over and above ethical standards and moral norms.