ARE we really living in a democratic society?
During election season, and ideally, politicians file their candidacies, campaign on the prescribed schedules, lay out the platforms, and wait for the election day and its results.
Who gets to win will take a seat, those who did not, may go on with their lives and still follow the rules of the government.
But it is too good to be true. We already know that in a country like the Philippines, politics are more than that. Elections are turning points of history and survival, and a matter of life and death to some. It is not also about money and power, it is also about ego, and cult following.
And this is where it gets more ridiculously mysterious: why do some people, the political supporters, treat the whole political exercise like it’s a religion to them or a cult?
It is fascinating how political supporters would go out in tremendous lengths to defend, support their patron political saint. They are even willing to go to the offensive against the detractors at any cost. And we are not even talking about whether they get paid in doing so; as some, would do it voluntarily out of their trust and faith towards their politico.
Don’t get this wrong, there are lengths some politicians often possess admirable qualities that is worth of praise and respect; but they are humans who commit some mistakes, and sometimes it cost public money billions.
During the election campaign season, it is not just about politicians, it is also about their supporters who are eager to combat for their political lords, and again, as if their whole life depended on it. Needless to say, some politicians have brought that supporters’ loyalties up to their heads.
And now, politicians want to continue ruling as long as the laws are allowed them to do. Sometimes out of desperation and panic, they will do whatever it takes in order to remain in office, or in order to unseat their rivals. The footwork, obviously, will be done by the supporters, and their “handlers” - their political butlers.
It is quite funny, actually, despite modernity and the introduction of a Western government system, we never depart from our traditional Raja - Datu hierarchic system. At least, perhaps during the pre-colonial era, community leaders respect the promises they made, and there maybe least occurrences of black propaganda and treachery (who knows, we did not witness it first hand).