Vice President Leni Robredo speaks to the crowd at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 17, 2018.  (Filipino Reporter photos)

Historically, democracy, as a political system has proved itself to be the best.

That is, despite its imperfection.

Plato, the father of political science, commented early on that democracy will tend to perish by excess of its basic democratic principles.

Plato was not quite correct.

Democracy flourished.

America adopted democracy as the Founding Fathers declared Independence over 200 years ago.

Many countries, including the Philippines, followed thereafter.

Thomas Jefferson’s stirring words explaining that all men were created equal and endowed by their Creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness rang loudly in the ears of people.

In recent times, however, democracy’s stability and effectiveness are being challenged by some leaders of nations, who, according to PH Vice President Leni Robredo, erroneously think that complex social problems could be solved by quick fixes and abbreviated “populist” solutions.

One example we see of such abbreviated solutions are the globally-condemned extrajudicial killings of thousands in the Philippines as a “solution” to its drug problem.

The gruesome murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, critic of Saudi royalty, while inside a Saudi Arabian Consulate in Turkey is another example of quick fix “solution.”

In her recent speech at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Vice President Robredo cited the authors of a book titled “How Democracies Die” who wrote, “Democracies may die at the hands, not of generals, but of elected leaders-presidents or prime ministers who subvert the very process that brought them to power.”

The next elections will be a good opportunity for those who observe that democracy in the native country is being replaced by the supposed authoritarian rule of President Duterte (Mindanao has been under martial law), to be selective on Election Day and vote only good men and women, especially congressmen and senators, who will act and decide solely in defense of democracy.


Open forum after the speech of Vice President Leni Robredo.