Voting一 a concept well known by all Filipinos, as it should, considering our many things about this country are decided by elections. President, senators, governors, and mayors, among others, are all voted upon by the general population. Considering how much of our country’s government revolves around voting and elections, wouldn’t it make sense for Filipinos to make their opinions heard through ballots?
Reality check? A significant percentage of Filipino eligible voters have removed themselves from the electoral process. To add more irony, we have the conditions and tools to enable our electoral system to work better than ever before, yet all that seems to be discussed today is its dysfunction.
The communications revolution empowers the electorate— or should. More and more information is readily available and instantly attainable than a generation ago, including tools for monitoring events and debates. Today’s plethora of opinion polls ought to be positive for the process, providing constant feedback to decision-makers about what people need and want, and channels for voters to express their opinions. Interestingly enough, this isn’t what is happening today.
Now, what seems to be the problem? I think we’ve got the answer.
In theory, a country where people are relatively well educated, should encourage an interested and alert citizenry. Education一 let’s talk more about the role it plays in the electoral and even the political system.
We’ve all been told before, the best teachers have usually been taught how to teach. The same can be said for trainers, leaders, and even volunteers一 whether you are teaching students, professionals, or even the community in general, you can’t just explain a topic to them, and then expect them to “get it.”
The same goes for those educating the electorate, those in the frontline of educating them, should also be educated. Educating will be very much more effective if those with educating roles also receive training on how to educate others. By “training the trainers”, we ensure the rest of the community have access to the information they need to make their voices heard. They can then use this voice to take action in support, or in scrutiny of a candidate.
By being informed on how to choose the right leaders, we do not only contriibute to the quality of the candidates we get to vote for, but to the quality of democracy we live in.
We are all stakeholders of our country. Our country is not just as good as the leaders that we elect. Our country is as good as each Juan and Juana, as good as what you and I contribute. With the power to educate our communities and the power to choose leaders of the country, we make the Philippines stronger.
With the commitment to advance cities, improve lives, and innovate good deeds, GooZam, a community of good samaritans, helps us realize this vision.