Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thinking Out of the Box 7

Moshi Moshi Gal-She: Lessons from Japan

Yes, it means Hello, Garci in the Japanese language. Today, I rose from bed 2 hours later than my usual waking hour of six. It was calm, a bit chilly, and the sun softly touched the air. That was the ambiance despite the fact that a very important national elections is going on in Japan.

A fellow Filipino friend called up and told me how impressed he was to witness the conduct of elections. Peaceful. There were not so much funfares and people hardly noticed the visibility of politicians. The Japanese quietly casted their ballots, went home, and waited for reliable results at the day's end.

For nearly seven years that I had been in the Land of the Rising Sun, I wonder where they put their political ads. In the streets, political banners are seen neatly posted on bulletin boards. One ad was enough to cover a particular area. They were also removed after use. During campaigns, I frequently saw politicians on top of their vehicles holding a microphone and orating their speech. I don't think I had seen any of them dancing or singing on TV shows.

According to one source, Japanese politics has seen remarkable stability in terms of political party rule, but not so stable in terms of personalities. Most significant changes have taken place through change of leadership rather than change of government. Some politicos resign from public office or commit suicide out of shame following scandals. Needless to say, no government is free from corruption. But still, listen to my argument. What do all these things mean? For me, these things show that Filipinos can learn from the Japanese in many ways.

One. Filipinos need to be more politically-mature. We are politically-aware but are we are not very sophisticated with our choice of leaders. Name recall, kinship, popularity are still favored than one's stand on a particular issue.

Two. Public debate among political candidates will uncover their stand on national issues that beset the country. As it is, character assasination is the in thing to do during campaigns. I challenge all candidates to show the country their concrete plans to gain the people's vote.

Three. I dare all political-hopefuls to stop infomercials with or without dubious financial sources. Do what is essential and people will notice.

Four. Like what I have said in an earlier post, I call on all Filipinos not to vote those who ride on the popularity of the yellow color. Do not only vote wisely. Base your votes on merits and not on popularity. If people do the same method, the same things will result. Let us learn from the lessons of the past.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.~Albert Einstein
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