Wednesday, April 20, 2016

THINGS TO CONSIDER IN 2016 ELECTIONS

If we really desire to push this country forward several things must be considered in this upcoming elections.

1. Continuity and protection of gains of previous administrations. The next president should recognize the achievements of his/her predecessors, not curse them. He/She must be willing to build up, not tear down. We cannot reboot the country over and over again. We have become a "changeless land" in the process.

2. Politics of action must be evident and consistent. People are already fed up with cosmetic politics (papogi) and mere demagoguery. They have been clamoring for significant and tangible change, especially in the workings of the bureaucracy and public service delivery. Political will among the country's top leaders is really hard to come by. They should have the mettle to push for genuine "inclusive development" which can be appreciated by the common "tao." Economic statistics should fill their stomachs.

3. Poverty reduction, if not eradication, must be really prioritized. Again, PRIORITIZED. It has been a major cause of our endemic, attendant issues (i.e. crime and corruption). The next leaders should really be "intentional" in addressing this social evil, not with palliative solutions, but with long-term, empowering approaches. People, must also feel that their leaders really identify with their social, cultural, and economic hurts and pains.

4. Changes in the way we do politics are long overdue. We have yet to change our narratives and discourses of reformism, populism and clientelist politics. This vicious cycle emanates from institutional weaknesses (i.e. legislation, electoral rules, arty politics) which privileges the elites and dismiss the ability of the "have-nots" to contribute in nation-building.

5. Radical transformation in the collective psyche and pathos of the people. We have become a nation of "reklamador". Our political engagement is undoubtedly reactionary. We need to transition from politics of complaint to politics of moral revival. It has always been a "heart issue." A strong leader may inspire the people but it is still the individuals who need to change for the better, first and foremost.

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