Our Right to Vote: A Century After

Abstract / Excerpt:

A cornerstone principle and bedrock of our 1987 Constitution is that the Philippines is a republican and democratic state. One of the hallmarks of democracy is the people's right to vote. With the rising temperature of the election fever during these cold February days, allow me to speak on this crucial topic, even though it may have lost its appeal to many who now view elections as merely a chimerical episode of democracy amidst the political realities in our country.

Full Text

A cornerstone principle and bedrock of our 1987 Constitution is that the Philippines is a republican and democratic state. One of the hallmarks of democracy is the people's right to vote. With the rising temperature of the election fever during these cold February days, allow me to speak on this crucial topic, even though it may have lost its appeal to many who now view elections as merely a chimerical episode of democracy amidst the political realities in our country.

In ancient times, the great thinkers did not easily subscribe to democracy. Dismissing it as a riotous rule by the masses, Plato disapproved of democracy. He cautioned that if all the people would rule, those of low quality would dominate the state by mere superiority in numbers. He expressed the fear that the more numerous masses would govern with meaness and usher the "tyranny of the majority." Plato predicted that democracies would be short-lived, as the mob would inevitably surrender its power to a single tyrant and put an end to popular government.

Plato's prophecy did not come to pass. Democracy meandered through the Middle Ages in Europe, which elevated the importance of the equality of all men and sparked a revival of interest in democracy. It migrated to the United States of America, whose Founding Fathers espoused its liberal ideas.

Info
Source JournalMindanao Law Journal
Journal VolumeMindanao Law Journal Vol. 1
AuthorsHon. Reynato S. Puno
Page Count4
Place of PublicationDavao City
Original Publication DateJanuary 1, 2007
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