In a nutshell, this is what happened in India and how it can apply in the Philippines...
Here is what they did in India:
One day, without other announcements, the Times of India (India's leading English newspaper) had a full frontpage ad on their own newspaper about Lead India wherein they ask readers a lot of questions affecting their country. Later, there were other full front age ads on the same paper extolling the need for new breed of leaders and asking people to join the search for leaders. Still later, there were TV and internet ads echoing the same call.
It was said that thousands of people heed the call to do something and applied to be considered as future leader. The organizers then screened the candidates, poured over their resumes, assessed their backgrounds, etc. like job applicants until fewer applicants are left. Then they expose all remaining candidates in public and asked them all sorts of questions until there are still fewer candidates left in the finals.
Then, the finalist are brought everywhere, much like real candidates conducting town-hall meetings, answering the people's questions etc. They also debated on issues and tackled all of India's concerns, presenting solutions and their ideas on each of the issues. In the end, the people sent in their choice through SMS or text messaging, until the final winner is chosen. Today, everyone in India agrees that the winners, and even all the finalists are worthy future leaders. Some even suggest that the winner could be the next Indian Prime Minister!
How leaders are selected in the Philippines:
Meanwhile, back in our country, we hold regular elections for President and senators, etc. However, everyone thinks that everybody cheats and questions everyone that won the elections. Indeed, we believe that all politicians cheat the elections. Meanwhile, those who do not cheat will surely lose:
1. At the start, politicians cheat in the campaign.
Even before the campaign period, we see posters and advertisements by politicians, clearly violating the prohibition of early campaigning. Also, mass media, both radio and TV conduct questionable interviews on those winnable candidates while completely ignoring those capable and honest yet unknown leaders. Also, good candidates do not figure in surveys. Surveys are easily manipulated by not including the names of the worthy candidates. Of course, surveys are released for the benefit only of those who commissioned them.
2. In the end, politicians cheat in the counting of the votes.
Upon elections, there are many ways politicians cheat. We hear stories of vote shaving (dagdag-bawas), as well as more votes than voters. The huge turnout of voters in the counting is often questionable. If you are cheated in the counting, you can protest which is useless because often, the results of the protest will finish after the next election!
Here is what could happen if we copy the Lead India concept here in RP:
With this concept, anybody can join the contest and given free publicity. But those who are incapable will be exposed because they have to answer real interviews and engage in real debates. All fakes will be exposed while those with great ideas will be given national recognition.
In the end, the people (millions of us) will have the chance to choose directly the best from the best (the finalists). All the Pinoys, armed with a cellphone, can easily text in their choice. The winner will then be conceived as a real winner which mass media cannot ignore. No amount of manipulated surveys can disregard the selected leaders.
Expectedly, the winners will join the elections. If they are cheated in the elections, then the people would be stirred to act. Cheaters will therefore have a harder time to cheat.
I feel so excited.
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