Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Change in Government? ...Or change within?

"One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don't go into government."
--Donald Trump, on Politics

It’s hot item now that the Philippines’ government system will be changed from the current Presidential to Parliamentary/ Federal. But first, we must understand that it is not a particular political ideology that has failed, but the idea that men and women who served in our government could never define themselves in terms of greatness other than self-preservation. Be it presidential, parliamentary or socialist, the problem comes in the core of the people running it. Absolute power corrupts. I don’t have any experience or even a hand in politics. But I am wise enough to have learned that the hardest thing about any political campaign, especially in the Philippines, is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning. And boy, how our politicians pass that with flying colours. Every time I thought that there’s a single political figure in there ready to rise above all these mud and just bring progress to the country, controversy started to swamp around and all the fleas from that politician’s buried stink started to float. And it made me feel down. Every time. Maybe because I’m an optimist and it hurts when you put your trust on someone whom you think can redeem your country and they let you down with their greed. Lacson let me down. Now Arroyo let me down. And watching these entire mumbo- jumbo circus gave me the bitter truth that there are no true friends in politics. They are all sharks circling, and waiting, for traces of blood to appear in the water. Legislators switching sides in the blink of an eye, riding in the next safest bandwagon and leaving the ones sinking in deep waters. The EDSA marches proved it. Maybe the first two has its significance, used to be an institution for change. But now, it’s as low as everything else. It’s now a stage for someone with something--or anything in that matter-- to say, with a bunch of paid shouting expectators. But how can we prevent these people from attending these rallies they don’t even know the cause for, when they wanted the diminutive money they get from it. They will not listen about political theories. Clearly, an empty stomach is not a good political advisor. Everyone is saying they’re tired with the old style politicians and their flowery rhetoric. That we must have change. But can we really achieve that change? Is it enough to just hit the streets every time? Me myself had my share of taking my please to the streets in my turbulent years as a paranoid student in my college years. But nothing happened. We did see change in leadership. But it only let us down. We saw leaders from all walks of life. A celebrated military, an idolized movie star, and now a Harvard-tutored economist (and if the tide is going right, we might see a celebrity news anchor helming the country’s leadership soon). But did it satisfy our hunger for change? No. And come to think of it, probably no one will. The problem is that we rely so much on our leaders to do things for us. I have abandoned that thought long ago. If I want change then I have to start it with myself. Imagine if we can all be this way.