Negativism in a Time of HOPE

Manila Bulletin, May 4, 2004 | Go to article overview

Negativism in a Time of HOPE


IN mature political societies campaigners for high office promote their qualifications for higher office. The emphasis is on the qualities that the candidate can offer. Candidates harp on the verity of their pledge to serve the nation and the validity of their partys ideology offered through the program of government as defined in the planks of a campaign platform. Such is the way of political campaigns in the United Kingdom, the Scandinavian countries, and in Southern and Central Europe in recent times.

A political maturity is what every country aspires for. It demonstrates the intelligence of the electors, the equanimity of the candidates for high office, and the dignity of the office for which the candidates aspire to serve. Political maturity also demonstrates to other countries in the community of nations that a country has reached a level of political sophistication where politicians are elected because they are the best qualified and not because of sophistry, casuistry or mere force of personality.

Until recently, the Philippines showed some degree of political maturity in the campaign for the May 10 elections. The candidates, except for one, were throwing and picking up the gauntlet of wooing the voters by the sheer validity of their programs of government and the planks of their campaign platforms.

Because of the common spirit of service, certain planks of the campaign platforms were unavoidably similar among President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, former Sen. Raul Roco, and Bro. Eddie Villanueva. In some cases, they differed in the approach such as in peace and order, education and national health insurance. But the goal is the same. In some instances, the opposition candidates had no alternative but to propose the same programs the administration is already carrying out. …

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