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[Ponderings] Of Elections and making sense

By Philip Suzara

Pondering … as I sit here at the edge of my mythical life pond.

One can see many things happening at the edge of life’s pond, as in any pond. Decisions are made there, life changing decisions, defining moments … to get in the pond, or not. The pond is encircled by its edges in different forms and kinds … straight, jagged, rough, rocks, pebbles, sand, soil, or mud. Very much like people. No matter the differences we have, we all belong there … around the life pond, inside, outside, at the edge, but there.

In a short matter of time, we will be having our national elections, an important exercise in our country - in the praxis of democracy with its institutions, the candidates and the electorate charting our future. At once, it is glorious, historic, dramatic, liberating, pathetic, outrageous, crazy and, many times, hilarious - if we weren't so tragic, we'd really be funny ... call it anything else, but, never stupid! Time magazine should have been more circumspect in declaring our country collectively stupid referring to one of our past elections in one of its issues - imagine, coming from a supposed respectable international magazine.

Elections … they are the times when some chemical imbalance and some whirring and buzzing occurs in the heads of our 'politically' active kababayans - Mabuhay ang mga naglalayon ng pagbabago sa bayan- Mabuhay ang mga bagong Bayani - (pakinggan at pagmasdan natin kung sino-sino ang mga nagsasagawa ng panawagang ito … mga huwaran daw sila - bwahahaha - mababaliw ako!) ... samantala, ang mga may tunay na marangal at may banal na mithiin at layunin ay naglalaglagan sa takilya - di sikat, alang maraming patalastas, alang abot na t-shirt - di man lang makaabot ng pang-kape at tagay-tagay. buti pa si bossing, ayos! Siya yung nangangakong madaling lapitan (wag mo lang subukang hanapin kapag kinailangan mo – bwahahaha … haaaay buhay!).

The coming elections will be a much different one. The days of the formidable and traditional political parties will be over ... political butterflies are no longer rarities, and they all have noble excuses for their metamorphoses. Newfound monies will be put to work by the administration bets and their cohorts. The ubiquitous cellular phone will be the major communications tool and Social Media, the main arena for the battle of the hearts and minds of the electorate.

We will be witnessing the hordes of trolls move into action, unleashing their wrath, peddling their lies, fake news, and all other cyber shenanigans we have yet to experience. A strong, discerning and united opposition will be the key to deliver change at the polls. The enlightened Filipino voter must be insulated and rendered unaffected by the dirty tricks that are usually employed by deceptive candidates. The cash strapped opposition should find ways to circumvent the moves and possible effects of such dirty tricks on the electorate. Mudslinging and expose’s will be regular campaign fare … it will definitely be bordering on crazy, if not!

But such is the brand of elections in our country – we admonish everyone that when the counting is over, we should respect whatever the outcome, especially when clean and honest elections have been conducted (we always hope) and the winners really are true servants of the people, the nation - that is democracy - our brand of democracy.

Vox populi non est remper vox Dei - one must believe it … it is not always the voice of God!

The people may have spoken - and that may be very true - but not God - let us not draw Him into what happened - even with what will happen because of what happened. Do not forget how mobs become and behave, and get into a bizarre frenzy. The caveat should be, that it is the people's collective psyche and action that will slowly chart our nation's future - all in our hands - all in the hands of people in the same boat in the same ocean, or, as in another paradigm, in different boats in the same ocean ... and the future is as bright or as dark as we let it.

If we believe some people are not deservedly seated in their positions, let us continuously monitor them and be forever vigilant. When some of the candidates we rooted for have come to be elected - the ones who we hope will truly espouse our very aspirations, let us throw in all our support to them so that their tasks be lightened, but let us be ever mindful of not falling into the trap of rent seeking from those we help. Sometimes, empowerment will mean not getting in the way of those whom we have voted into power. In the meantime, we can stop grumbling or gloating ... let us proceed on with our specific roles in nation building. We have but one nation to nurture and keep strong. It is ours. And it is not stupid.

However intelligent you believe you are, you are still part of the Filipino people - with a collective intelligence and psyche waaaaaaay, waaaaaaaaay below yours - but, alas, you are, very much a part of the Filipino people!

Pondering … as I sit here at the edge of life’s pond.

Philip Suzara

Creature of God. Child of the Universe. Global Citizen. Lover of Life. Freedom Fighter. Agent of Change. Lone Wolf. Occasional Consultant for Strategic Communications.

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