Thoreau for the individual Filipino voter

I’m a fan of Thoreau but I don’t subscribe to his belief that government is best which governs not at all.

Even God as professed by the Catholic Church makes Himself an example with a fool-proof internal system of check and balance: the Trinity, or Three Divine Persons in God. As recounted, Jesus, the Son, consulted His Father every time he had to make a decision, in fact, there was nothing He did that wasn’t approved by His Father first. A referencing of one’s authority to that of the other’s featured throughout His human life, showing that, in the context of good and justice, freedom whether of the individual or institution cannot be absolute.

A more practical example: the spatial growth and development of Baguio City. Houses haphazardly trawling the mountains many of which despite annual fees for such are without a coherent system of sewerage and waste disposal. Business establishments such as gravel-and-sand and vulcanizing shops are next-door neighbors to hair salons and restaurants, encroaching on prime residential neighborhoods and highways. Etc. In these, it is apparent that government has for one reason or the other withheld it’s hand in land use planning and zoning resulting to: blight, downgrade of real estate prices, traffic, and the like. In other words, daily hell for the City’s individual citizens.

However, I agree with the thinker when he said

voting is but an expression of majority sentiment and lacks the power of timely action possessed by the individual. The political process results in the election of those who hold office — available men, who accept the process but are not necessarily guided by principle. Thus, the system perpetuates itself and degenerates over time. 

Timely action for me are the effort the individual puts in in as far as his or her political responsibilities are concerned. Elections which the Nation can be proud of is the outcome of that continuing effort.

Elections in this country veer from that standard. Here, it’s a one-off event after which all hopes for a brighter future delegated to one person. As if that’s even remotely possible.

Candidates these days- long time voters wouldn’t know where they’ve sprung from. Political Parties have become just that- a reason to throw a party where there’s no real discussion of platforms, or what Thoreau refers to as principles for change. This lack manifests itself in talks and interviews in broadcast media. There’s no depth and breadth in their speech. In short, and sadly, no real knowledge of their own country or locality and worse, of their own vision.


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