Your Vote, Your Choice, Your Future!
One cannot over emphasize the importance of the coming elections and its would-be outcome. After EDSA 2, “EDSA 3”, the “Hello Garci” scandal, two aborted impeachments and the failed automation of the election process, it is this election that could salvage the country from ruin.
Amidst all this, the emotional stirrings, the nonstop bickering of politicians, the political carnival has begun! And one sector is left pondering in the middle – the youth. While the issue of whether ‘to vote or not to vote,’ is still there for some of us, the dilemma who to vote for in the upcoming national polls is one of the biggest challenges we are facing.
Comprising more than 40% of the total voting population, it is undeniable that we can dominate the forthcoming national elections. Our opinions, attitudes, and expectations should, therefore, be an eye-opener not only for politicians and for marketing specialists, but also for economists, social planners, political scientists and opinion makers concerned with the future of this country. Our age group, after all, will inherit this earth after the old ones were gone.
Mr. Antonio C. Abaya wrote on his essay regarding the youth’s fate relative the 2004 elections: “What do they think we are bequeathing to them, a potential paradise or a certain hellhole? I would be happy if they thought they would be taking over a nondescript, unspectacular, boringly ordinary but, at least, reasonably functioning and reasonably livable slice of the planet.”
After all the events that took place after 2004 Mr. Abaya would be displeased to know that their generation is more likely to leave the youth with a “hellhole” legacy than the nondescript, boring, ordinary place he prefers.
But then again the choice of a potential paradise or a hellhole is a decision that the older generation is not to make. Like the choice of who to vote come Election Day it is a decision entirely up to us to make if we are willing to take the responsibility.
The next question is; Are we willing to take on the responsibility? Are we ready for it? Are we committed enough?
There are mixed answers to these questions. Since 1999, there has been youth participation in the Philippine society has been growing. Youth organizations with various advocacies have sprung up like mushrooms. From civic causes to charitable endeavors, there are youth groups that address these concerns but it is sad to note that youth organizations dealing with political issues did not share the same popularity or growth.
Maybe it is because many young people see politics as dirty. Some observe that this is because the youth are passive and are unwilling to participate in a process were money and influence is the name of the game.
I see the political processes as a tool and this tool’s value depends on who is using them. Like a knife in a butcher’s hands ends life while in a surgeons hand it can extend life. I believe that the youth can maximize the political processes to take charge and be catalysts of positive societal changes if we are organize and willing to work towards a common goal.
A great sage once said, “Democracy can only work if the people are willing to take an active role in it”. Democracy is for, by, and to the people, we have to keep it in mind that public officials do not solely shoulder the responsibility of governance but it is a responsibility in every individual.
During elections in a representative democratic state the political power returns to the people and as they cast their votes they decide the fate of the nation by giving up their political power to persons they think is best capable of forwarding their interest and carrying out their goals and aspirations as a people.
Let the Filipino youth in its more than 10 Million strong electorate member uphold the political power we posses. Let us use the May 14, 2007 national elections to effect the changes we desire for our nation by electing the proper individual to positions in government. Let us judge them by their character, track record, platform of government and integrity.
We have more information and tool in our hands to push this country beyond the personality politics our patriarchal society had come to develop. We are better in seeing through the mask most politicians take on to entice voters. We are better in discerning the genuine from the fraud.
Let us go out then and carefully examine all candidates that would stand on election come May 14. And let us vote with the future, our future in mind!
Your choice, your vote, your future!
Sa panulat ni Mr. Rey De Guzman
Originally posted at www.getinvolved.wordpress.com