The political front may be heating up in the other parts of the country particularly in Manila, the nation's capital, as the May national elections draw near, but in Lianga, watching the local political situation develop is becoming, more and more as the weeks and days pass, as exciting as pulling white hairs out of your grandfather's scalp.
It is an axiom in the nature and conduct of democratic governance that elections are held periodically not only for the purpose of renewing the mandate that political leaders must have in order to govern their constituents effectively and enforce public accountability but also to ensure that the political system remains revitalized and renewed by the periodic influx of new blood, new ideas and fresh perspectives.
In the case of Lianga, that is certainly not happening and, in fact, it has not been happening for many elections already. This may be a somewhat cynical and pessimistic observation but it is something that is certainly valid in many respects.
The same, old and tired faces are throwing their hats into the political cesspool, the same faces and personalities who have long dominated local politics and have contributed, in no small measure, to the poor and sorry state of the municipality today. The same faces that have encouraged in many ways the perpetration of the corruption that underlies the fragile state of our democracy because it works for them and promotes their own interests.
In the meantime, the "masa" or the ordinary common folk remain the both willing and unwilling participants in the parody of this most basic component of a supposedly breathing and living democracy. When entrenched political dynasties and established interests determine and control the rules, elections have become more of a farce, often merely a fraudulent ridden rigmarole that only serves to pay lip service to democratic ideals while really subverting and corrupting it.
And we, whether in Lianga or anywhere else in the country, who have the full knowledge and awareness of the situation, bear a large part of the responsibility for the mess we are all in. And when May does come and the elections do go on as scheduled (hopefully), our silence and inaction will make sure that the whole process of deceit and illusion will go on as it had done so in the past.
And whether we like it or not, we, with both eyes open, will have to join in the madness and then thereafter suffer with the rest of the people the bitter fruits of our cowardice and stupidity.