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It's Monday.  Beautiful Day.  A trip to the city for a few errands.   Took Philppine Community Herald Newspaper copies to Manila Trading for distribution.   And then  lunch with Nita. Rundle mall was bustling.  Interesting scenarios.  Amusing. Fascinating sights.

On  the bus to the city earlier on, my mobile phone buzzed.  A message from Bill about the 10th IDBF Club Crew World Championships.  A team from the Philippines arrived  for the competition and their first race was tomorrow- Tuesday, April 5, 2016.  There were 24 members, he said on the phone.   "Pass the news on please. T'would be nice to have people bearing flaglets and cheering them on.  They're competing for gold."

Back onto my desk top hours later, a  flyer was uploaded and posted on social media  for circulation.


The downside of democracy 

    It is perhaps in the nature of democracy that people’s freedom is both its strength and its weakness. When passage of time is factored in, democracy becomes less an ideology than a system of customary practice. In practice, democracy revolves around changing variants of life and society. Sociologically relevant elements which are in the form of political governance, traditions and cultural mind-sets are streamlined and conditioned by a wide array of dynamic factors such as population, economics, travel, social and geo-political relationships, socio-political ideologies, and other factors including external pressures and cultural influences.

   Regarding its effectiveness as model for governance, democracy tends to be more practicable and sociologically nurturing in a society with lesser population. As the number of members within a group increases, the system is weighted with the resulting peoples’ psyche-changing factors that challenge its existing status quo. Competition for survival heightens, various stressors emerge and culminate in a glut that causes peoples’ values to deteriorate, thereby affecting the effectivity of democracy.

   Democracy, as a guiding principle for governance works on a high social conscience where people’s collective sense of self, sense of discipline, decency, respect for life and humanity are high. Peoples’ aspirations and actions towards collective growth and progress are anchored on fairness, social justice and consideration of others. Democracy is an ideal that relies on the highest selves of its individual constituents. Peaceful and harmonious freedom is dependent on the exercise of the highest moral principles that constantly challenge individual components of the society that it governs. But people change. That’s why, democracy is imperfect. It does not take farther scrutiny to prove that point.

One look at elections – a pinnacle of democracy and nowhere is the character change of people more evident than amongst the candidates before and after elections. The right to elect and be elected is a basic constitutional right which has far-reaching implications on other basic human rights.

But many a democratic election has been perverted and sought to be a vehicle for thievery, plunder, self-aggrandizement and power abuse. Voters have been bribed, corrupted and bought by equally corrupt and ambitious seekers of wealth and power. Electorates have been used to perpetuate political dynasties by giving a veneer of democratic legitimacy to monopoly and transference of authority to within family.

Democracy has been used as cover to hide obscure interests from individual or from organized groups, in order to legally avoid own responsibilities such as allowing socio-economic illegalities, inequalities, or even crimes. In other words, corruption becomes a by-product of democracy. Yet, with all its imperfections, democracy does not divest people of their faith and hope. Democracy as a preferred system of governance has been assessed by previous leaders in history as a better system against others.

"Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." Churchill

The popularized exalted regard which history has accorded to democracy as ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’ , was interestingly, a quote meant for the bible. On November 19, 1863 at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Abraham Lincoln announced his hope in a 2-minute speech when he said “that this nation (USA), under God, shall have a new birth of freedom- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

The line became a quote that got repeatedly used to define the principles for democracy. Interestingly, the line was in fact borrowed from a prologue for the Bible, by John Wycliffe in 1384: “This Bible is for the government of the people, for the people and by the people.”