The Golden Rule and the Buyer’s Market

No limits for a free people.

No limits to a free people.

In Cocoy’s recent blog, Up n Grad and I had an interesting discussion (interesting to me anyways). This blog takes off from these exchanges between UP n Grad and I, to wit:

The Philippines apparently still is very much in the early stages of democracy. Pinas is in the chaos stage, which is both bad and good.

The good part is that Filipinos have woken up to the fact that they do have brains, that they can read and be informed as best they can and that they can form opinions all-by-their-lonesome as opposed to swallowing the pablum and electioneering-propaganda and outright lies from their major or the governor …. from Malacanang … from pundits and peryodistas. Even the class-D and class-E know that they can vote according to their priorities, not to the priorities of internet twitter’ers or Beer Manufacturing tycoons.

The bad part is “talangka” and Bush’s “you are either with me or against me”. A few pinoys (or maybe a lot of Pinoys!!!!) practice this “Me! Me! Me! I am the Light and The Way!!” complex, the only “my point of view is correct”. This translates into the policy of “my way or the highway” and the simple plain lack of ability to tolerate uncomfortable discussions whether the dissent is vicious or humorous or even whether the disagreement comes from a likely ally.

Rallying around a strong cause like “GMA-talsik diyan!!!” is not good enough anymore. Evidence is the vicious adhominems as one group interprets Primer’s romantic endorsement of Bayani Fernando as being a fifth-columnist (spreading lies) or being a paid hack.

And if Pinoys can’t rally and coalesce from the “GMA talsik diyan!!” platform, then how can they coalesce around “My Philippines, my country!” ideal?

Then add to the picture above that 25% or more of Pinas voters remain in the “GMA is a good president!” and Pinas today is Pinas today. It becomes no surprise (to me..) that a portion of the population do not care about governance. This segment of the population manages their daily lives with mantra either of “Leave me alone, I have a family to feed” … “Leave me alone, I have to study… ‘cuz once I’m done, then I’m outa here!!!”

It is time to wake up and smell the coffee – that’s a very small number of Filipinos.

Call a spade a spade. At the end of the day, the choices made by the DE ignoramuses will swallow the ABC combined – three times over.

That’s what the majority (the DE who outnumbers the ABC exponentially) want – to remain poor; to remain dumb; to vote for thieves and crooks – their robin hoods; to blame government and remain personally irresponsible for choices they make – it is totally disgusting, sickening, and makes me barf.

Up n grad reminded me about Jon LimJap’s blog-comment

Yup, bongV… I thought Limjap had a blog-comment along that theme — that the current lousy state of Pinas governance is from THAT -D/E voting patterns

If the Philippines is to have any real shot at making democracy work, the ABC groups need to figure out how to develop norms conducive to democracy within the D/E group. The crux of the matter is that there are factions of the ABC group that benefit from the dumbed-down mobs of DE groups.

Any trapo, or the descendants of trapos (mainly from the ABC group) will justify and become apologists for such a system – because vote farms work for their clans and preserves their lifestyle na sikat. It reduces the equation to a have versus the have-nots. in such a system, He who has the gold, RULES.

He who has the gold to buy votes, RULES.
He who has the gold to buy congressmen, RULES.
He who has the gold to buy Senators, RULES.
He who has the gold to buy judges, RULES.
He who has the gold to buy cops, RULES.
He who has the gold to buy prosecutors, RULES.
He who has the gold to buy government employees, RULES.

That, my countrymen, is transactional politics.

The Philippines has a democratic form of government but the practices are anything but democratic. Philippine political norms are anything but conducive to democracy.

Amidst all this posturing, all this rhetoric, no worthy candidate can even get to a position of authority if the D/E groups choose a bamboozling womanizing crook and gangster who gambles in a casino with floozies and his posse while the nation burns down. Or if the DE group buys what a faction of the ABC group is selling – a diabolical mimicry of good government which is anything but good, and totally rotten and evil to the core.

It becomes more glaring in the light of Senator Ping Lacson’s withdrawal from the race. I have no interest lost for Ping due to his association with Erap, but I admired his candor in pointing out that

Sadly, what we have today is a feudal set-up foolishly labeled as democracy, where transactional politics is entrenched both in the bureaucracy and local government units; and where the poor are deluded into believing that throwing candies or giving instant noodles or occasional help in distress is the be-all and end-all of public service.In the grind for survival, the poor forget all too often that the occasional goodies they get are mere scraps from the tables of the immoderately greedy powerful who plunder public coffers, or abuse power for self-profit.I have always maintained that if we doggedly and purposively set government right, the rest will follow. When people respect government, they pay the correct taxes and follow even the simplest of traffic rules. Equal opportunity. Level playing field. To each a fair, fighting chance. Patas na laban, para sa lahat.

But reaching out to the voters, particularly those in the D and E income levels, which altogether comprise some four-fifths of the population, does not come easy. It is most expensive in a political system which has neither strong institutions nor correct procedures.

Minsan ay sumagi na rin sa aking isipan na tanggapin na ang 200 milyong pisong pork barrel bawat taon para sa isang senador upang magamit at makasabay man lang sa isang magastos na pangangampanya. Nguni’t, at mabuti na lamang, nanaig pa rin sa aking isipan na ipagpatuloy ang isang adhikain at paniniwala na higit sa ano pa mang bagay, mas mahalaga ang integridad sa isang tulad kong inihalal ng bayan upang maglingkod nang tapat at walang halong pag-iimbot.

The great Charles de Gaulle of France, who put order back in a land wracked by anarchy, once remarked that “in order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant”. Like his forebear Nostradamus, he might have foreseen the Philippine political scene of this generation.

But I refuse to lie. And I refuse to purvey make-believe storyboards and saturate the airwaves with fairy tales.

Even if I tried to communicate the truth to our people given the extremely limited resources that I could raise from well-meaning friends who have kept the faith, and believe as I do in my central advocacy of good governance and national discipline, the time has come to face the reality that the intent to lead in this land in order to do good, has become an enterprise only for those who have access to unlimited funds.

I am listening to Ping’s swan song, and I can relate to it. If a Senator who has the means higher than a layman, is throwing in the towel, what chances do average Joes have? Zilch. Nada. Bokya. Nothing. Wala. ZERO.

Without any fundamental change in political norms, mores, and culture within the DE groups, the only options facing Juan de le Cruz are more stagnation/stagflation, violent conflict, or migration.

It is a buyers market – clearance sale on voters, congressmen, Senators, judges, cops, prosecutors, and government employees.

Go to the DE group first – cheaper by the dozen, brandish sardinas, alak, wowowee, bring the entire circus. Don’t worry about the long-term, the DE group has short memories, it only thinks about its stomach. Feed it today – and it will sell its soul to you.

Welcome to Philippine Political Cultures, Norms, and Mores – PAY TO PLAY.

Once you are “in”, all those judges, senators, congressmen will go against you, UNLESS, you “spread the sunshine”. So, spread it like peanut butter, bend ’em like Beckham, fuck ’em like Paris, Pamela, and Katrina, let ’em eat cake, give ’em play time with Rasputin and his variants.

And in case you didn’t read the sign at the entrance, it reads “ABANDON HOPE ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE”.

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