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Democratic politics a search for remedy, not debate

March 12, 2019

The taunting between the Otso Diretso opposition slate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio would be enlightening and constructive if it had any specific bearing on the May elections, or if the parties are prepared to unwrap their platforms or the causes they support.

Similarly, the dust-up between Vice President Leni Robredo and Mayor Carpio over the question of honesty appears to be flimsy. No election debate should be necessary just to establish the importance of a facet of moral character that has always been universally accepted as a virtue.

The debate would be relevant only if the personalities involved were really serious about debating the important issues and policy platforms in the campaign.

VP Robredo debating would be a startling and pleasant surprise to us. But let’s get serious because election day is quite near.

The Otso Diretso candidates have valid grounds to want to debate, yet so far as we know, Otso has not issued a manifesto or policy platform to guide voters in the elections. All we have heard is its attempt to lure Hugpong ng Pagbabago candidates into debating on personal matters.

Mayor Sara Carpio’s party has also yet to present a complete manifesto of its policy aims and platform.

If VP Robredo really wants to be a factor in the campaign and the election, she should take time out to think clearly about her political stakes in the balloting. What does she hope to gain from coming out of her foxhole? What is her message, other than a platitude about certain virtues?

It will be better if both camps will just strive to develop their stand on policy issues and reflect on what problems are really in need of solutions in our national life.

By spending more time thinking and writing out their positions, they can show the public who they really are, and why they are worth listening to.

Democratic politics, the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. has written, is “the search for remedy.” Its purpose is to solve problems and resolve disputes.

For any debate to be taken seriously, the proposed discussion must be turned toward a serious national problem and a matter of substance.

This is why no proposal has been made on the proposition to be debated.

This is why no group or institution is willing to moderate or organize it.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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