Be conscious of your conscience. (Harvey Mackay)
The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.
— American author Ellen G. White
WE’RE sure that each one of the presidential candidates for next year’s polls in May believes that he/she has the best chance of winning the 2022 elections.
Given that, we’re also sure they know that whoever candidate promises to end the pandemic and corruption the fastest has a better chance because all other topics—such as the fight against drugs, border conflicts, or terrorism—will only be of secondary importance in the voters’ decision.
The truth is that while other countries are slowly advancing, we are held back by corruption that not only serves to enrich individuals at the expense of the general public but also kills. During this pandemic, that is a shameful and inhuman act. Corruption is also a type of pandemic, except that it is not a virus.
And here, where we profess to be freedom-loving and democratic, corruption scandals have involved people who do not even have to worry about tomorrow. Yet everyone appears to want more and more, even if they already have everything and are bloated with riches. Take for example members of the same clan that ‘inherit’ elective posts—haven’t they had enough?
When corruption becomes systemic, it needs to be uprooted, just like how a surgeon excises cancer cells before they spread to other parts of the body. Thus, the more it becomes necessary to make corruption an election issue.
Hope dies last, but with us, it lives at least until May 9, 2022.
So we ask who will end up directing the fortunes of our country?
I am a lonely voice crying in the wilderness, hoping that people would hear my cries, and I love this country, so if it suffers, I suffer with it.
Still, voters need conscience when they finally queue to the poll precincts. They need to be following their consciences but in a rightful way. But unfortunately, too many people today confuse a rightly formed conscience with personal preferences dominated by selfishness.
According to Pope Francis, the contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which is always to be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of the individual” even when the individual’s decisions impact family life.
Confusing conscience with selfishness “is not harmless,” the pope added. “This is a ‘pollution’ that corrodes souls and confounds minds and hearts, producing false illusions.”
I have been a voter since I was 18—some 46 years ago. I never missed exercising my right of suffrage in any of the elections, though there were several instances that I left many elected positions blank for lack of choice of who to vote since the candidates I believe were all bad eggs in a basket. At least that was what my conscience told me.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has a hand in this—the lack of credible candidates. It’s been a policy that those only with money to fund their campaign are allowed to run officially; otherwise, you are declared a nuisance candidate if you do not have the cash to support your candidacy. This is why I blame Comelec for what kind of politicians and leaders we have to this day. (ai/mtvn)