AS PEOPLE ought to realize, our political parties are not authentic public institutions. They have no clear vision for the nation and no guiding social philosophy in the drafting of programs needed to attain the vision. They are mere private clubs formed primarily to shore up the political ambitions of their privileged members. Their unity is fickle as it comes solely from sharing the same ambition for wealth and power. Thus members change parties purely out of political expedience.
As long as we vote for members of these vision-less private clubs, we can never move in a consistent and balanced way towards long-term national development. In case you haven’t noticed individual candidates’ 10-20-point programs are mostly motherhood statements advertised solely to lure votes. These programs are meant to deceive in that they are in fact unimplementable for being too many and far beyond an individual official’s power to act on.
In office, vision-less officials prefer to implement only those programs that can be finished during their term, no matter how irrelevant, so these can be used to lure voters into re-electing them.
We are not a democracy yet, in the true sense of the term, and already developed democracies in the world are faltering because of neo-liberal trends in the global village that are creating more inequality in income, education and health. The few rich are more speedily getting richer, more educated and better able to take care of their medical needs.
Under these circumstances we have no use for individual whims and caprices. We need the counter vision of political parties to help us survive the devastating storm- surge of neo-liberal capitalism. Without a vision and a philosophy of government our democracy will just flounder in the sea of flotsam of short-term irrelevant programs of vision-less individuals.
However, for authentic parties to develop the country needs to raise up a notch the people’s level of political maturity. That higher level (the free and judicious exercise of the right of suffrage) is a function of economics and education. The poverty of the electorate must be alleviated and their education elevated higher so they do not succumb to the economic lures of vision-less candidates.
Hence, even just to start alleviating and educating our generally poor and politically illiterate electorate, authentic principled political parties are already needed. It’s a vicious cycle that we can break by campaigning and voting for candidates, if any, who demonstrate a patriotic vision (not 20-point blah blah blah programs) or who represent a party that favors a federal charter that contains a provision for the serious development of authentic political parties.