Sunstar Editorial May 13, 2009 Responsible Electorate

13 05 2009

05-13-2009op-edMUCH of the basic political problems that have plagued this country and which our people have accepted as traditional can be traced to a weak-willed and unassertive electorate that most, if not all, politicians manipulate through material rewards or threats of violence.

Thus, the recent call by Cebu City’s youth leaders for first-time voters to register is a move in the right direction.

First Time Voters (FTV) Network, together with the Sagguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation, renewed “their commitment to the advocacy to register, educate, and mobilize first-time voters to participate in the 2010 polls.”

Hopefully, the youth can make a decided difference in the next elections.

Note that there was an earlier proposal to separate the SK elections from the regular national elections so the nation’s youth may be protected from the corrupting influence of traditional politics as practiced by our “tradpols.”

The proposal called for the SK polls to be held after the 2010 presidential elections to ensure that the process would be free from the clutches of traditional politicians.

Support

In any event, the efforts of our youth leaders may find support from what might be called a counterpart movement from the ranks of political concerned adults.

There is the report that a group of concerned citizens “have launched a movement that aims to return political power back to the people in the 2010 elections.”

The Change Politics Movement (CPM) was formed by community-based workers and non-government organizations.

Launched simultaneously in ten cities from various parts of the country the other day, CPM was organized in Manila two months ago.

The movement “advocates transparency, honesty, respect for human rights, service to the people, working with integrity and ethics, solidarity, and protection of national patrimony and sovereignty; and recognizes the right to self-determination and the right of the poor.

Change

A CPM Cebu leader observed that in the past elections Filipinos appeared to have given up, having become accustomed “to the ‘reality’ that elections are won through power, money and political patronage…Our democratic institutions have weakened because people have acquired a cynical apathy, believing that our country is hopeless for change.”

The CPM is not a political party, but it seeks political change through intelligent voting.

The point at issue, though, is the need to generate among our electorate nationwide genuine political reforms, a change in the basic attitude of our people towards the power of their vote, and the awareness that assertion of such power could come only from them who must will the change through the responsible use of their ballots.

Source: Sustar Cebu

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