The overwhelming majority of Filipinos suffer chronic poverty and backwardness. The last nine years of the Arroyo administration have only seen their situation become even worse. Many are hoping that the May 2010 elections will be a fresh start and that new leadership will address their plight.
Yet the elections can only usher in the needed reforms if the people are able to choose national and local leaders who are genuinely pro-people, patriotic and democratic. The country’s problems are huge and demand committed leaders willing to challenge long-standing monopolies of economic and political power. The people have to be critical to see if such leaders are at hand.
Elections can be used to put real progressives into government but the reality for now is that they are going to be a minority at best. At the end of the day their strength will come from being part of a larger effort to build democracy based on people organizing for their democratic rights.
Whatever happens, elections must be a venue for raising the awareness of the people about their democratic rights and the kinds of leaders that they should have and deserve. This kind of awareness can be the starting point of struggling for these rights even after the May 2010 elections.
Download the entire kit here. (This product was distributed during the March 25 “The People’s Choice” forum sponsored by IBON and PAGBABAGO! People’s Movement for Change as part of both groups’ voters’ education endeavors.)