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Saturday, February 9, 2013
COMPUTERIZATION'S main benefits are speed and accuracy. It does not prevent cheating because with computers it is “garbage in garbage out.” Since the root-source of cheating resides at the fundamental level of flaws in our political system, it follows that it is really garbage that PCOS machines process speedily and accurately.
The refusal of those in power to enact a law implementing the constitutional ban on political dynasties is fundamental cheating.
Until such a law is enacted, political power will remain within an elite circle of ruling dynasties. Until such a law is enacted, the poor are effectively cheated out of their just and fair share of access to power. Instead, they are simply patronized into giving it up, in exchange for some favor, to the traditional political dynasty of their choice.
Government’s failure to implement laws limiting campaign expenses is another fundamental cheating. As long as the Comelec is powerless or has no political and moral will to curb election spending of candidates and keep it within the limits of the law, elections will continue to be won by those who can compete not on programs but on campaign expenses for promotions and most especially for food, transportation and the purchase of votes on election day.
The Aguinaldo doctrine is a third form of fundamental cheating. This doctrine allows erring officials to get exonerated of administrative charges by simply getting re-elected.
It, therefore, allows them to buy their way into re-election, with government money no less, so they will be freed of the charges.
The doctrine not only keeps bad eggs in office it also promotes a level of cheating high enough to re-elect the charged official and free him of guilt.
These are just some of the flaws in the system that promotes cheating. Democracy is about equal access to participation in government for all citizens, rich or poor, good or bad. As long as these flaws effectively exclude any sector from the chance to have power, there is no democracy.
When the political system contrives to restrict power within a small circle, there is no democracy but an aristocracy (of money or plutocracy) that stacks, shuffles, cuts and deals the economic cards in favor of, whom else but, plutocrats.
Because of a fatally flawed system political dynasties are guaranteed a monopoly of power. Election results, therefore, do not tell us which program of government people prefer. Election results merely tell us whose money the people have accepted and/or who spent and cheated for their votes the most.
As long as this situation persists, elections in this country will remain a game only plutocrats can play to win. God, not PCOS machines, deliver us from this mockery.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2013.