In the finance world, we always talk about deficit to mean that the positive is less than the negative. We have a budget deficit, both at home or in our country, when our earnings (the positive) is less than our expenses or expenditures (the negative). Our Balance Sheet is in a deficit position if our assets (the positive) are less than our liabilities (the negative).
Democracy Deficit defined:
In our last episode of Money Lessons with FQ Mom, I had the privilege of interviewing an esteemed economist, the former Deputy Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Diwa Guinigundo. In that interview, he said, “We are suffering from Democracy Deficit!” I called it “term of the day.” (Click link to watch the episode.)
What is Democracy Deficit which is also known as Democratic Deficit?
First, let’s define democracy.
Democracy is a government system of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is a governing system in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through elections.
Since the system is of, by, and for the people, it is supposed to benefit everyone, or at least the majority of the people. There is no hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.
For this system to always succeed, we should be a country of rational Makatwirang Maks who are able to choose the best leaders for ourselves. But as we already know, we are more Emotional Emongs than what we want to believe.
Democracy, with all its advantages (the positives) compared to other systems, still fails big time.
Democracy Deficit occurs when democratic organizations or institutions fall short of fulfilling the principles of democracy in their practices.
Just like in the previous discussion of deficits, the positives are less than the negatives, bringing us in a net negative condition.
Last Monday’s elections is an example of democratic deficit. For how can a nation of kind, family-oriented, God-fearing citizens elect someone who is the “heir to the throne” of the Marcos loot and Martial Law legacy? How can the citizens count on someone to fulfill “babangon tayo muli” promises when he, himself, does not pay his taxes, lies about his academic credentials, employs thousands of trolls to lie, re-write history, and vilify the person who beat him in the previous elections?
While his allies are the notorious politicos with their respective crime convictions, the other option, Leni Robredo, is allied and powered by citizens’ volunteerism never been seen before. She has also done so much work in community service and pandemic response.
As of writing, we have been fed with incredibly quick election returns never seen in our (or even the US) election history with a landslide victory of the least capable leader but who is most equipped with the traditional political weapons.
Will his government be of, by, and for the people? Will it make the regular Juan and Juana more financially independent? I highly doubt it because, idealistic as it may be, I still believe in the slogan of “Gobyernong tapat, angat buhay lahat.”
But suppose I’m wrong, and because he will surround himself with the best people to run the country, will I eat my words and say, “There’s no Democratic Deficit after all, when we elected a Bongbong Marcos to the highest post in the land?”
No. For no matter how much more prosperous the regular Juan and Juana will become because of his programs, there will still be a greater deficit – a MORAL DEFICIT in us as a nation, where crime does pay – where “pagnanakaw, pagsisinungaling, at pag-aabuso sa kapangyarihan” are rewarded!
While thinking of what to write today, my youngest son saw me crying and he hugged me tightly. I was thankful that my youngest is now 25 and he already understands what is happening.
I weep for the mothers and fathers who are still raising and forming their children right now. Love them, guide them, lead them to what is right, maybe more than how your parents did. They live in morally challenging times.
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This article is also published in FQMom.com
Attributions: Images from Get real post, Kapangyarihan, Official Gazette, The Kahimyan Project and Philstar.