some thoughts on the eve of election 2007

Posted: May 13, 2007 in All and Sundry, Musings

because i took the comelec rule stipulating that government employees including public school teachers should not explicitly campaign for or against an election candidate to the hilt, i have since avoided to blog about election matters particularly about my preferences. this is my interpretation of the law and i have exercised so much self-control to follow it.

yes my friends, as a teacher in a state university, it is my duty to be aware of this law, and still keep in mind that while adhering to this law, i am not also undermining my right as a voting citizen of this republic.

yet, it is the eve of the elections and i am itching to blog about so many things. to avoid breaking the rule, (it’s not just any rule, it’s a law) i shall not mention specific personalities but will be more general in my comments.

“your choices make who you are. and whatever choice we make, we always have to choose what is right,” spidey once said. while this is a cliche, it is still a perfect catchphrase for the elections and sums up everything i want to say about choosing rightly as an integral aspect of voting.

in a political science 101 several years ago, i learned that voting is both a right and a privilege. once in that class, i argued that it is also a responsibility. i took this dictum to heart so that when i finally turned 18, i was so excited to finally be registered and be able to vote.  whatever my choices during that fateful election back then, i have already suffered for later in the coming years.  i reaped what i have sown. even if i had only one vote to cast, my vote mattered.

we make choices everyday. but such choices we also ponder on, just like how we should ponder on who we should put to office. and if we find ourselves really not able to vote because of circumstances we can’t control, i believe it is also our responsibility to open our eyes and be aware of what’s happening around us. there are so many ways to protect other people’s votes. it is just a matter of really pushing ourselves beyond our complacency.

early this morning at kiday’s house in digos, we talked about the elections. suddenly, kiday said, “i wish that the next generation would be smarter than us… and have a more enlightened vision of the future… stronger political will.”

such wishful thinking made us also wax poetic about the state of our nation. i surmised that the next generation will have their chance to be better than the generations before them.  however, i also think that there’s also big chance that things will turn out the same. such a cynical view i know. the young need models to follow. and what models do they still have?

i told kiday that i even know of so many people my age or way older who haven’t registered or voted in their entire lives. while i don’t want to judge them, i also feel frustrated at the fact that some of these people have in fact given up. the reason why they don’t want to vote, much less register, is that “nothing’s going to change anyway.” it doesn’t really matter whoever you put in office. everything will still remain the same.

a part of this statement is true. yes, nothing has changed. in fact, nino said that pcij’s book “the rulmakers” shows how corruption is deeply entrenched in our government citing that our country has been ran by certain families since the commonwealth era. same names. same interests. the country’s elites are the families that own businesses and interests worth protecting at all costs. simply put, they OWN this country, not us.

and we don’t need a book to tell us that. we just need to be reminded of that.

but aren’t we drowning with all the slew of reminders thrown at us? sometimes, we complain at how even those whose jobs are to complain about these injustices and remind us of these realities have been like broken records. “they’re talking like it is still martial law. they’re talking like we are caught it this time warp. can’t they just talk about NOW?”

then, come to think of it, they are talking about the NOW. because what is now is actually a reflection of what is then. nothing has changed.

yet is this enough reason to be cynical? to be complacent? to be a fencesitter?

kiday said that “it is resignation and complacency that is a sign of the death of a civilization.”

if there is one thing that our country doesn’t deserve, it is a fence sitter. because a fence sitter doesn’t question, or problematize. and such capability to question or problematize is a manifestation of critical thinking. without thinkers, a civilization, a country, a community is as good as dead.

if this is so, then are we headed towards that wasteland? i hope not.

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