Philippine Standard time

Fostering Democratic Citizens: Proposals for a Spectacle of Democratic Life in the Philippines

There is a sheer lack of participation among ordinary citizens in political decision-making outside of elections. Citizens do not deem themselves as capable of effectively participating in politics and for this reason, their participation is more or less exclusive to voting. If democracy is to be construed as a system that is based upon and directed at fostering an active citizenry, then such a condition must be reversed. To break the cycle of disempowerment between elections, civil society organizations (CSOs) and democratically oriented local government leaders must generate demand for political inclusion in the policy process among those who remain outside such activities. This can be achieved through both the expansion of inclusive and effective spaces for participation in the policy process and also through developments in political marketing that can create a spectacle of democratic civic life for those who remain outside it. This should be tied to a network of democratic sister cities/municipalities meant to facilitate the sharing of resources and expertise on participatory-democratic governance. Both can then be subsumed under a general and long overdue program for civic education - untethered from voters' education - that can shift focus from institutional reform towards citizenship. 


This publication has been cited time(s).