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SocSci 413

Politics and Governance with Constitution



Democracy and Public Ethics




Chua, Cudal, Evangelista, Javier, Mangaran 2


Julius Robin I. Chua
Edward Christian A. Cudal
Rei Ann G. Evangelista
Luisito C. Javier
Camille J. Mangaran
BSAR 4A
Mr. Albert G. Romero
SocSci 413
09, October, 2013

A SEARCH FOR PUBLIC ETHICS
Democracy is defined as the rule of the people wherein the power of
the government is vested upon the people. The citizens have the rights in political
concerns of their country. The citizens are the authority for they will be the one
that will apply and provide whats best for them while according to Aristotle, it is
the worst form of government and called it the rule of the poor. But how will
they know if its really the best for them? Is it based on fulfilling personal desire
or promoting general welfare?
Democracy and public ethics are in correlation with each other.
Democracy gives the citizen the right to participate in political issues, the freedom
to express their own point of views regarding government concerns making them
feel that theyre in unity and their voices are not left out by the government. This
democracy helps in dealing with the people and knowing the behavior of the
people in public during situations concerning the government.


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I. Confused Modern Societies
A. As a first overview, what we see is not very positive.
Democracy, being entitled as the rule of the people, should obviously bring
good governance and serve the people. It should strengthen and help the country in
progressing. The authority are responsible in making the countrys economy be
sufficient to provide the citizens needs. But how come that the Philippines, despite
of being a democratic country, still have families who cannot afford the wealth of
life? Lots do not have the proper place to live in, food to eat and clothes to wear.
They are deprive with their rights as a human being. Children are deprived from
their right to education. Families are deprived from their rights to achieve their
dreams. The government should help them to escalate from their status but they
should cooperate with the government by improving themselves and not to settle
with their life as that. It is powerful enough in the face of the citizen to even lift a
finger.
B. A closer look at democracy deals with the role of the elite.
The rule of the few is generally called Aristocracy. It means that that a state
is ruled by the most virtuous, intelligent, and enlightened few members of the elite
class of society. One advantage of this type of government is that the final verdict
is decided by the people with the highest intellect that makes them the most suitable
persons for the job. The rule of the elite in the Philippines is commonly associated
with political dynasties. They make sure that the throne retains around its family


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members or establish connections between other governing parties in order to
maintain power and hold to the state. In a positive note, the development of the
governed state might be good if its governing people controls the power wisely, but
if not, it may lead to ill intentions such as corruption.
C. Ethical weakness of democracy
They say that democracy is where the people are the government, they
are free to choose whom they want to preside and guide them and have also the
ability to dismiss them. The majority are the priority since they are greater in
number. Although democracy is equal to liberty of all rights, it also has its weakness
prior to its freedom. Not all individuals are capable in practicing their freedom
rights properly which make confusions between if it is for their particular interest
or for common good. We all know that the Philippines is a democratic state, but not
all of its people can make political decisions properly. Sometimes its because of
the lack of means of education or lack of public awareness as well. Particular
interest differs greatly with common good. What if one uses democracy as a means
to deteriorate a state because of his personal interest? Like for example the current
war in Zamboanga City, in order to reduce the casualties, the government deployed
military troops to stop these rebels. But still, what happens? Yet more and more
lives are lost including those of the soldiers and also the rebels as well. Fair
judgement is not always achieved if one confuses with particular interest and
common good.


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II. Ethics and Politics
In a simpler context, Ethics means the morals of a society while
politics is its governing body. Politics, when ethics is involved, can cause either
prosperity or destruction of the state, and vice versa also when Ethics is involved
with politics.
The Philippines is one of the few countries in the world that deeply
recognizes the morality of its people rather than their common good. Some factors
of this statement is the strong religious conviction of Filipinos to God and also the
existing beliefs of Filipinos injected by their ancestors and by foreign influence.
One example that illustrates this perception is the proposal of the RH Bill or the
Reproductive Health Bill. It is said in this bill that couples, (especially if not
married), when engaging in intercourse must use proper contraceptives in order to
prevent the booming population of the Philippines. In contrary, the church accused
the initiators of this bill that this violates the bible where it says that be fertile and
multiply. They said that it also violates the morality of the society that it is
inhumane to kill somebody whos not even born in this world. On the other hand,
the initiators of the said bill said that they just want the country to be a better place
for the people living in it. Poverty is one of the major problems of the country, if
you let them be born, then what do you expect their life will become? Who will
raise them? Can they sustain their everyday needs? There are so many logical


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questions that cannot be solved even right now. In this situation, Ethics rules over
Politics.
One other topic regarding morality and political interest is the issue
of euthanasia and mercy killing. Both have the same goal in mind, to free the people
with incurable diseases from their sufferings. Many countries practice these
because: 1.) they can be free from their sufferings, 2.) it reduces potential casualties,
and most importantly, 3.) it reduces the population of a state. But the big question
is, is it moral? It might be legal for some countries because their built environment
consider this as not immoral but for some, is greatly discouraged. Not only have
you intended to kill a person but also you disrespect his right to live despite his
condition. But why practice? Politically speaking, at most, generally it helps in
reducing the negatives in the society leaving only the positive ones. The reasoning
is that there is great potential in the living rather than in the dying. On the other
hand, in this situation, Politics ruled Ethics.
The bottom line is that there is no stable order in the society that
says that Ethics go positively with Politics and vice versa. If so, it only has a chance
of about 5 percentage. Differences in interest of various states also deals a great
factor for they want always the good of their nation, either for self or for the
common.




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III. Reflections on Public Ethics
Public Ethics is the relationship between our lives in common
and various rules that we can give to each other. It exists in almost every aspect of
our life. Like in our own houses, school, work, etc. Each of these have their own
set of rules and regulations for discipline among its users. Obeying these rules
doesnt mean that we are fenced by the society, obeying means we are giving
respect to those were in debt.
Democracy has to do also with Public Ethics. Although
democracy means freedom for people, it also evolves creating freedom for
individual person. It means every person is entitled with their own freedom
regardless whether it is for good or bad. Thus, creating false perceptions that
everyone is permitted for everything. Privacy is nearly a nuisance and everything
is abused. The right for freedom and its limitations must be exercised and regulated
properly for it has lots of potentials that if abused can lead to major disasters.

The Strength of Democracy
As said earlier, democracy means freedom of the people. And
when it is exercised, individual freedom also arises including one, rather,
everyones freedom for their own expressions. On a positive note, freedom of
expression is good in a way that it encourages the people in participating for the
well-being of their country. It proves the unyielding spirit of the citizens for good


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governance and development. It also connotes to the saying, the more, the
merrier. Meaning that the more you are, the powerful you get. It is shown in the
time of the Marcoss and the Aquinos. When the late Mrs Corazon Aquino stood
up to fight for freedom that result to the People Power Revolution. These explains
the supremacy of the people when united for a common goal against dictatorship.
They say that democracy is imperfect that it is like a dull blade
that needs to be sharpened, still young and needs to be carefully raised, but despite
it being young, when duty calls, it produces exceptional results.

Conditions for Public Ethics:
1. Keep the separation between economy and politics.
Economy deals with resources and is always associated with money. It is a
great liability that needs to be handled with great care for it involved the money of
the whole nation. With these great liability, also invites persons with ill intentions
so proper separation between the governing body and the economy sector must be
keep on track.
2. Beware of technocrats
Technocrats are government people whose composed of the elite and
technical experts. They are necessary for they possess skills that help improve the
society. Because of their skills, they usually occupy higher positions in the
government but in every great power comes inner desire and greed. When in


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possession of power, its hard to let it go. So they create a dynasty where the power
revolves within him even if he is not in hold of power anymore. Technocrats are
beneficial but they should be put at the line of service rather than in the position of
command.
3. Beware of the lawyers
We all know that lawyers have the ability to interpret laws and translates
them into greater good. As we see in our society, we commonly see the position of
lawyers as politicians with higher ranks in the government. We often see other
professionals or common people that participate in the governing bodies, if so, they
are very few and have only limited powers in the government. Why is it so? Because
we vision that only the lawyers are capable of governing because of their field of
background about laws and the constitution and such. This shows the absence of
democracy between other professionals and people who want to be in the position.
4. The conscienceness of being a citizen
We are the citizen, a legally recognized subject or national of a state who
inhibits in a territory, recognized by the government and practices sovereignty. It
includes us, the one who has the right to elect officers, the right for public
administration, the right for properties, etc. The decentralization of the citizens deal
tremendous effect to its society. It results to feud amongst each other and leads to
the destruction of the state. In a democratic state, the citizens are the source of
power, without them, the state cannot be called a state anymore.


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5. The place of the State
The place if the state must not be too powerful nor too weak, for they pose
both threat and destruction of the state. If the state is too weak, greedy politicians
take advantage of these and posing dictatorship to the state, leading commonly to
injustice and chaos. On the other hand, if the state is too powerful, it poses only
violence since they are tangled by their society, thus rebellion occurs. Its duty is to
balance all powers and link them together to maintain stability of the state. After
all, they serve the people providing them protection and safety.
6. Discussion and deliberation
The cooperation between the citizens and the governing bodies is the top
condition that must be met to establish a strong state, which can be a great team in
overcoming problems in the society. Self-interests must be in consideration in
decision making since it is also a great factor, but the greater good of most people
is of top priority.
Conclusion:
Democracy, when govern properly by the appropriate and just leaders of the
country will really help in providing the citizen the freedom to live right and in
harmony with the others as well as with their own land. In connection with the
public ethics, it helps the leaders and the citizens in understanding each other and
the situation resulting to cooperation with both sides in dealing with problems and


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conflicts that arises and may arise in the country. It might be the beginning of the
progress of the country and the peace in all mankind.

Works Cited
Dy, Manuel Jr. Contemporary Social Philosophy Chapter Six, Fr. Pierre De
Charentenay, S.J. pp. 47-54. 04 October. 2013.