A Transitional Democracy

Christopher Ryan Maboloc
12:05 AM May 16th, 2016

GIUSEPPE MAZZINI, considered one of the important political agitators
of the past century, in his most famous work, “The Duties of Man,”
writes: “Education is the great word that sums up our whole doctrine.
What we have to do is not to establish a new order of things by
violence.”
A transitional or imperfect democracy is characterized by the fragility
of its institutions and the dissatisfaction of the people with respect to
the prevailing sociopolitical order. In our present scheme of things, the
issues hampering the country are income inequality (or the lack of
decent jobs) and the apparent absence of national solidarity. The first
is simply a result of the noninclusive type of economic growth in the
Philippines. The second can be traced to the problem of regionalism
and the unresolved Bangsamoro issue. For instance, given the
noninclusive nature of Philippine economic growth, the platform of
continuity has not worked.
With the advent of social media, political activism is no longer limited
to the streets. People from many walks of life, most especially our
young professionals, now have greater influence in terms of amplifying
political issues. The young have become a great source of rich
philosophical commentaries and pleas for sociopolitical reform. Still,
the problem is that our political parties have remained a nonfactor in
our democracy, when from a theoretical and a practical point of view,
political parties are supposed to be the heart and soul of political
discourse.
Kristina Wesseinbach says that “political parties launch certain issues
and discourse into civil society, providing the public with the possibility
to discuss matters and form opinions.” But in the case of the
Philippines, most people still view political parties and most politicians
as untrustworthy.
Voters find great comfort and inspiration in Christian charity, but they
do not see the value of political party affiliation. They are only inclined
to glorify the personal attributes of a candidate, but not his or her
political principles.
Wesseinbach correctly notes that “a fundamental role of political
parties—in almost all democratic polities—is to motivate people to go
to elections and participate in the electoral process.” Many Filipinos are
politically active, but they have no sympathy for political parties.

Good citizenship. Without the unity of a people. Perhaps. There cannot be real empowerment in a society that is ignorant of the basic role of civil society and its important function in holding all those in positions of power accountable. Joel Villanueva and Sherwin Gatchalian. Unless the electorate realizes this vital element.Politics in the country has remained personality-based and is wanting in terms of principles that catapult nations into progressive societies. Our good senators should always remember what their mandate truly means: “Forget not. the hallmark of most modern states.” to use Victor Hugo’s word. all those social media wars will be pointless. Political reform in the country can be realized only if active citizen participation is sustained. This can be anchored only in the idea of good citizenship. Yet. nation-building will require the meaningful involvement of every citizen in the state. For as long as millions of Filipinos wallow under the gutter and live in misery. will not depend on the number of laws they will be able to pass. The presence of our democratic institutions must be felt in the margins of our society and by the most disadvantaged sectors. to be able to truly gain ground. dissent in whatever form will not be useless. in transitory democracies like the Philippines. Whether they will be successful in helping dismantle “artificial hells on earth. rooted in the pursuit of the common good. Bam Aquino. The key element is people empowerment. The success of democracy in any modern state will depend on the quality of knowledge and information possessed by its electorate. . This has translated into voting based on wrong ideologies. political parties must have a social impact. but on the collective and discursive rationality of our age. we can also point to the reality that we do not have a strong sense of nationhood. Beyond one’s right of suffrage. lasting social and political transformation will simply remain a farfetched proposition. both in theory and in practice. never forget that you have promised to use this silver to become an honest man. should be instrumental in making every Filipino politically informed. We have now seen the election to the Senate of a new breed of young leaders. given our situation.” The sustainability of democratic reforms will need a strong motivational basis. Thus. the desire for change can be used to inspire transformation in terms of mainstreaming the role of political parties.