A Platform to Stand Upon06.05.10
Aired on May 6, 2010
Narration by Baben Lumapas
A PLATFORM TO STAND UPON
“What will you do when you are elected?”
That is what voters ask their candidates before making their choice. And candidates can promise almost anything, never mind how unrealistic the promises may be.
We have heard it all. “I promise to make you happy.” “I promise to end poverty.” “I won’t steal.” Yes, every candidate has something to promise us.
So what is the value of a concrete platform for an election? We say that this is very important indeed! Platforms tell us how candidates will govern, much as a mission and vision statement reveals the agenda of an organization. It is the candidate’s clear message for a desperate country seeking hope and relief.
A platform can provide hope for a nation that is seeking responsible government, reduced poverty, and improved livelihoods for everyone.
But what do we look for in a platform? Are mere promises enough?
We believe that the Filipino people are intelligent enough to see through the ruse of empty promises. If a politician promises to make us happy, we can ask, “How?” If another says that he empathizes with our poverty, we can ask, “How will you end poverty?” If yet another promises to end corruption, we can ask what concrete steps that person will take to achieve that end. Indeed, the “how” is important—and a failure to answer the question of “how” means we are being fooled.
Earlier in the series, we said that track record is important in evaluating candidates. If they have managed to make our lives a little better and provide for the basic needs of the people, well and good. But if their track record is a long history of lying, cheating, and stealing, we should be very wary. That is why a good number of us have lost faith in our politicians. That is why 3,000 Filipinos leave our country every day to seek a better life abroad.
Like a commitment to faith, platforms are promises to stand upon. A candidate’s platform should show their commitment to a better future for all Filipinos.