Troubleshooting Philippine democracy
Call Center Agent: Product Support, how may I help you?
Customer: I would like to complain about my copy of democracy.
Agent: What's wrong with it?
Customer: It won't work
Agent: How can you tell?
Customer: It keeps turning out creeps and jerks!
Agent: And how long has this been going on?
Customer: 106 years.
Agent: Ah, yes, that could be a problem.
Customer: It sucks!
Agent: Can you be more specific?
Customer: Listen, when I bought into this democracy thing, I was led to believe it would work wonders for me
Agent: I understand your concern sir...
Customer: "You'll get empowerment" they said; "you'll get economic and social progress", they said. Pwe. The only thing I've gotten is screwed.
Agent: Sir, could you describe exactly what happens every time you use the product?
Customer: We hold elections like it says in the manual -- and I have to admit during that time, the candidates are all well behaved, they smile and dance and do really demeaning things. Some old farts even hand out money. I could swear I once heard an old reptile singing, "so young and so corrupt."
Customer: But after EVERY election, when they get voted, almost all of them ALWAYS turn into monsters.
Agent: That doesn't sound desirable
Customer: And not only that! It's ALWAYS the same old monsters and creeps. It's the same rich families who become the same richer politicians. It's like they're cloning themselves. Or handing it down to their children.
Agent: That's not how it's supposed to function...
Customer: And THEN the next thing you know, all our taxes are gone, nothing works, everyone is poor -- oh, except the politicians. They're somewhere in their newly-built mansions, laughing.
Agent: Thank you for the details, sir. Let's go over the troubleshoot checklist: how is your power supply?
Agent: What do you mean sir?
Customer: What I mean is they took all the power. I haven't had any for years.
Agent: Yes, that would be a problem. Now, what about your party system?
Customer: Parties? The only parties we have are those the politicians hold in their mansions.
Agent: Checks and balances?
Customer: They write themselves lots of checks, I can tell you that.
Agent: Accountability and rule of law?
Customer: Listen, we got this bunch of sleazy senators who seem to have stolen public funds by putting them into a fake foundation, and now they've promised that to get into the heart of the matter, they will investigate themselves. Do you hear my bitter laughter?
Agent: That does seem to indicate a malfunction.
Customer: Can you hear that in the background?
Agent: You mean that gurgling sound?
Customer: That's them flushing the investigation down the toilet. They do that a lot.
Agent: Let's go through the user maintenance checklist. How often do you monitor your democracy?
Customer: I'm working and I'm sleeping, right? Isn't this thing supposed to run by itself? Besides, I hate politics
Agent: How do you pick your candidates?
Customer: Well listen, just because he used to be a looter, drunken ex-con, dictator crony or torturer, doesn't mean he's bad, right? And if she looks good reading the news on TV, then I guess she must be intelligent, right? That's how I vote
Agent: Uh-huh. What about this year, will you vote?
Customer: I won't. Too busy. Didn't have time to register.
Agent: I see.
Customer: Listen, shouldn't these creeps be doing it all for me without my telling them anything? That's what they're paid for, right?
Agent: I'll note that down.
Customer: Besides, I hate politics.
Agent: Right, I think I have enough information now. Sir, I'm sorry about your experience with our fine product. By way of apology and to compensate you for your negative experience I'd like to make you a special offer: we can upsell you, at a generous discount, our "Parliamentary System + Constitutional Change" kit instead.
Agent: That's right. It's guaranteed to solve all your problems with democracy, you won't need to do anything at all. And, for today, only we're bundling it with a free digital blood-pressure monitor.
Customer: Wow! A free blood pressure monitor!
Agent: With nice flashing lights.