Sometimes, political analysis (at least the pure variety) has to have an end. A feeling of being a mere spectator creeps in–a most uncomfortable one. The itch to be a kibitzer sets in and before you know it, you just have to take a position.
Objectivity is not lost when one immerses oneself in the unfolding political events. It may even be an absolute requirement for the unsullied appreciation of these events. One’s values and character then kick in and you start thinking of scenarios: what if, what should be, and what can be done. Before you know it, a political analyst has solutions to the problems, a line of tactics towards a certain strategy, and an appreciation of what is to be done… He thus surpasses the strict limits of political analyses and straddles the boundaries towards political activism.
A recent lecture in Ateneo on this subject brought me sharply face to face with this dilemma of a student of Philippine politics. These musings therefore continue where my analysis stops. As with my other writings in this blog, this is personal, may even contain personal realizations. Here’s to more interesting blogging.
June 13, 2008
We all have a responsibility for the current state of our country. Some by commission–of the most dastardly acts of human rights violations, plunder, corruption, or slavishness to foreign or domestic carpetbaggers. Some by omission–by their silence, cynicism, cowardice, or narcissism.
Yet some are guilty by their stubborn refusal to learn reality–acknowledging the repeated failures of the past, discarding worn-out ideologies and sectarian politics, learning from current situations and practices, and carving out new and realistic pathways to the future.
We are, I think, at the nexus where the issues of the nation need to be settled, will be settled–one way or the other. Where we will be fifty or a hundred years from now will be settled in the next ten years.
July 13, 2008
This early, I had been asked more than a dozen times about the political configuration of the 2010 presidential elections. My stock answer was always this: Ask me that question next year, probably late next year.
Though there are already palpable signs of life among presidentiables in preparations for and early campaigning for 2010, these, by any means, cannot be characterized as indicative of the probable alignments in the elections. There’s many a slip betwixt cup and lip, it is said.
What is notable now, however, is that none of the presidentiables has yet dared to venture out of the box of traditional politics–both in terms of wooing the voters and stand on issues. Motherhood statements, media grandstanding, pleasing the gods of funds and votes, and treading the path of patronage and favors–these are all the tried and true tactics of electoral victories in the past.
The unfortunate consequence, of course, is the absence of true alternatives among these presidentiables. The economic and political crises cry out for new paradigms and reforms–nobody yet among them has dared to go down the road of CHANGE in either platform or political strategy.
I think all of them perceive the political vacuum created by the crises. This vacuum stretches from the Left to the Center of the political spectrum. The presidentiables, to be sure, pay lip service to reforms and are eager to woo the voters in the political vacuum. However, none has been perceived by the voting public yet as their champion of and for change, much less has spelled out a substantial platform for reform.
There is a huge electorate out there demanding change and reform. I have the feeling they may well be the decisive force in the coming 2010 presidential elections.
July 14, 2008
Often, there were those who commented, here and in other fora, if my analyses tend to be biased, not balanced, or even hostile against GMA and her administration. I don’t often answer those comments, maybe except to correct factual errors or to make clear my own position.
I do not feel defensive on the comments since my own analyses are my own, neither bought nor the products of pressure from anyone. As personal opinions, they carry their own weight. The reader (or the listener) is entitled to his or her own opinion, including the one on my blog entries.
However, for the sake of explaining how I myself see my own opinion (it’s biased definitely), I would like to think I tried hard to be objective–reflecting as much as the information that I have allows me. In this sense, I welcome any clarification on the facts of any subject matter I am opining on. Balance for me is secondary, as this in itself is a biased consideration, especially if there is nothing in the situation to merit it. Of course, I tried to achieve balance, especially in presenting the other side’s point of view. However, objectivity trumps balance for me.
Charges of hostility–or even bias–is a subjective matter and best left to one who has such an opinion. As a human being and as one involved in reform advocacy, I, of course, will always have an opinion.
Regarding GMA and her administration, her own bad record can speak for her–I don’t even have to add my own voice to the various voices as reflected in innumerable surveys and fora. However, in various blog entries, I have been careful in pointing out the various opportunities in the situation she can use to redeem herself. To no avail–she always takes the seemingly safe road of political accommodation at the expense of good governance, strengthening democracy, and the people’s long-term interests. It seems, she really had a political death wish–to contest Marcos in being the worst president the country ever had.
To those who commented on my political opinions, my only advice is: Have a blog yourself. After all, that’s what democracy is all about–freedom of expression.