NO, we should not postpone the barangay and youth elections.
The claim that a postponement will result in savings to the government is misleading.
The elections will cost money regardless of when you hold them. If we spend P2 billion for the elections now, we would still be spending the same amount, if not more, next year. And if the concern is that we don’t have enough funds to hold an election in October 2010 without adversely affecting the delivery of basic services, what assurance do we have that the government will have more money next year?
The fact of two elections taking place within five months of each other is a non-issue. The dates of these elections aren’t like mushrooms that sprouted the morning immediately following a heavy rain. The legislators knew the dates because they were the ones who chose them. If the proximity of October to May didn’t bother them then, why should it concern them now?
Political hangover? How sad that something as sacred as the sovereign right of the governed to choose those who will govern them should be placed in the same level as drinking too much alcohol than your system could handle.
The elections are the only avenue through which the people can truly express judgment on their officials. The process may be flawed but it is the only one that gives flesh to the principle of accountability of those in power. It is a strange theory, to say the kindest, that says that the people’s right to select their leaders should be carefully spaced lest they develop something akin to indigestion.
Stranger still when it comes from those whom the people put into office. The truth is that if anyone is nursing a hangover, it is not the people; that the only money that can be saved from postponing this year’s barangay elections, is not the government’s; and that if any interest will be served by a postponement, it not the public’s.
Who needs a respite after the long and hard grind that was the last election campaign?
Who spent millions of pesos to gain public office and are naturally reluctant to spend more, five months thereafter?
Who will become heroes in the eyes of barangay and SK officials if their terms of office are extended by one more year?
A week ago, I wrote about the Supreme Court decision that denounced the “subtle but self-serving proposition to lengthen governance without a mandate from the governed.” To that, let me add my fervent wish that politicians refrain from using us and from invoking our best interests in order to advance that proposition.
In short, let them at least be honest about their intentions.