Good governance message not necessarily appealing to general public: analyst

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 25 2022 05:41 PM

MANILA - The message of good governance by some candidates may not always resonate to the general public as they may not have any direct experience with it, political scientist Ronnie Holmes said Monday.

Holmes, who is also president of Pulse Asia Research, said a simple message that reflects the general aspirations of the public tend to be more effective.

"The message should be short. It should be simple. And it should be continually repeated. And the simplest message is really a message that touches on the general aspirations of the public rather than the sectoral aspirations for that matter," he told ANC.

Holmes said most people think like this because their lives are not directly affected by governance, whether it is good or bad.

"So in that regard, let's say when Bongbong Marcos comes up with a message that the nation will rise again, that's more general. It tends to address a larger population than let's say some messages that would talk about good governance which may not necessarily be as appealing to a public who has seen basically governance, whether it's good or bad, has not really had an impact in terms of their lives," he explained.

"It's really a sad reflection in terms of the state of the relationship or the linkage between citizens and political leaders," he noted.

Holmes echoed the view that some Filipinos do not fully understand the concept of the national government, since they are more familiar with their respective local government units.

"It's also a fault of government for that matter. I think for the most part, government, as some social scientists have pointed out before, the central government is an abstraction for many Filipinos," he said.

"We know what our local governments are doing. But with regard to national government, even during the pandemic, who was the one implementing all the protocols? Which unit of government was providing the ayuda or the social amelioration? The one that touched base with us are actually the local government units."

Given this situation, he said it is important for people to be more informed about what the government is all about.

"Elections remain a blunt instrument of securing accountability of elected officials. Elected officials who dance, who sing, tend to generate more support than those who aspire for elected office with very clear programs," Holmes said.

"So in that regard, it would really be important for us to really make sure that the people are informed of what the government is all about," he added.

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