Rise of an empire

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By Atty. Taipan Millan

One Small Voice

Friday, March 14, 2014


PRESIDENTIAL elections have always been regarded as an individual sport and never a group competition.

To start with, we vote for a person and not a team. To end with, the campaigns are focused on personality and not on principles, on propaganda and not on platforms, and on publicity and not on policies.

Of course, there are several factors, reasons or causes why we choose the person whom we choose. It can be one, or two, or more. It can also be none.

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But due to our peculiar culture of the ties, bonds and links brought about by the relationships by consanguinity, the relationships by affinity, the concept of the extended family and all, the quality of a leader in our country can be judged by the company one keeps.

It may therefore be useful, for the common good, if and when we begin to consider presidential elections as a group competition and no longer an individual sport.

Is this possible? Maybe not. Or perhaps not yet.

But is it impossible? Not really if we truly care about our country and ourselves.

One way to accomplish this paradigm shift is to demand the presentation of a proposed cabinet from all the presidential candidates.

There is no need to complete all the members of the cabinet. The presidential candidate can decide to only identify their nominees to the key departments that would have the most impact on the life of the people like education, health, agriculture, tourism, public works and the like.

The positions that these presidential candidates will cover will also show the priorities of their administration. Like one candidate may decide to include defense or foreign affairs and another candidate may decide to include social welfare or agrarian reform and another candidate may decide to include transportation and communication or interior and local government. It is really up to the candidate on which cabinet position he, or she, would like to include in the list.

Truth be told, there is likewise no requirement for the same nominees to actually be appointed to the posts once the concerned presidential candidate eventually wins. He, or she, will just have to later on defend the change of mind, change of heart, or whatever excuses he, or she, can come up with in the future. It is really up to the winning candidate on which nominee he, or she, will eventually appoint.

The nominees that the winning candidate will ultimately appoint are entirely up to him, or her. It is a choice that he, or she, alone makes. There is no law that requires, or that will require, mere nominees to be permanent occupants of the positions they were floated to head.

The point is that the voters will now have additional reasons, factors or causes to vote for, or not vote for, a particular presidential candidate based, not only on the company one keeps, but also on the basis of his, or her, nominees to join him, or her, in running the country.

Moreover, a debate on principles, platforms and policies will necessarily be engaged, as, to be sure, the nominees will unavoidably have differences in ideas, opinions and sentiments.

Furthermore, a deliberation about programs, projects and recommendations will automatically be employed, as, without a doubt, the nominees will inevitably have variances, discrepancies and inconsistencies in proposals.

The long and short of this is, while the presidential candidates may be able to avoid serious discussions and just concentrate on personality, propaganda and publicity, the nominees cannot escape scrutiny. They cannot hide, and even if they will, they will still be found sooner or later. Besides, to hide would have a negative impact, effect and bearing on their candidate.

At least, or at last, even when guns, goons and gold cannot as of yet be stopped, the presidential elections can likewise be about problems, solutions and the welfare of the people.

Indeed, what our country needs is not a super hero but the super friends. One man, or one woman, cannot lift us all up. What we need, and what we must want, is one team.

If and when this is made to happen, after the presidential elections, we will see, not just the coronation of a king, or a queen, but also the rise of an empire.

*****

Comments are most welcome. Please send them to onesmallvoice2014@gmail.com.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 14, 2014.

Opinion

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