2010 elections need the Athenian Oath!

The upcoming elections on May 10, 2010 is a make or break for the Philippines. Those who will finish their term should be held accountable: have they done more and better for their office than when they got elected into it years ago? As the ancient Athenians exhort – can you transmit the country better and greater than when you ruled it?

The Athenian Oath is the philosophic oath of all free governments and democratic states, of all visionaries, leaders, managers, planners and administrators from around the globe. In a nutshell, the Athenian Oath swears to "leave this community better than when we found it!" At the crux of this pride lies a very strong influence from the Athenian philosophers in the ancient Greeks from over 2,000 years ago.The oath inscribed:

"We will never bring disgrace on this our City, by an act of dishonesty or cowardice.We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the City's laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive increasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic duty. Thus in all these ways we will transmit this City, not only not less, but greater and more beautiful, than it was transmitted to us!"
For all the candidates running for public post on 2010, what is your oath of doing more and better for the Philippines than what it is today?

By the nature of how election campaigns are done in the country, sincere oaths are pitifully lost in grand rhetorics. There is so much noise in singing, shouting and rallying during campaigns. But we also need to pause and seriously reflect: do the candidates – both national and local – imbue and exude genuine oaths to bring real change to the country?

Moreover, a more serious sense of oath – for clean and credible elections – should also hit the hearts of the electorates. Not promises, not money, not the celebrities. Not the lies and deceits of politicians.

But bet on it, the unworthy and the unqualified will still win. This has always been the case. People just never learn. Let us dare all the candidates and the electors! 

This is our curse: Those who win by cheating will rule by cheating! Those who win by buying votes will rule by collecting debts in public office!

Jose Rizal saw it in his time, and so he cried: "Tal pueblo, tal gobierno!"  As the people are, so is their government!  We will always deserve the kind of officials we elect into office. The great philosopher Plato is hard-hitting: “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber!

Whatever the outcome of the 2010 elections, Filipinos just deserve it – for better or worse