The Royal Academy of Language defines truth as the "conformity of things with the concept that the mind forms of them."
The scope and meaning of this concept is still debated, which has not prevented "telling the truth" from being the first point of the ethical code drawn up by a group of 19 students between the ages of 15 and 18 from the Larraona Claret School in Pamplona to make in the face of this doubly electoral year.
The document includes 10 commitments both for people who are in politics and for citizens, including renouncing insults, disqualification and personal attacks or destructive criticism, and being informed with rigor and plurality.
The code, elaborated during a workshop on politics and society, has been signed by numerous political representatives and citizens, including 6 of the 7 candidates for mayor of Pamplona.
The Navarrese students have prepared the document with the aim of having a "naive, but practical tool" that allows correcting the embarrassing situations that are experienced in the local, regional and national parliamentary chambers.
At the beginning of March, they presented it in the Congress of Deputies.
"Insults and personal attacks are the most bloody, what generates the most disaffection", details the teacher in charge, Eduardo Ortiz.
“It is heartbreaking.
People are fed up, very fed up” with the show.
Both Ortiz and two of the participating students, Alba Jiménez and Lucía Nuñez, use the first person plural because they defend that we all have a share of responsibility that goes beyond exercising the right to vote every four years.
”I have people around me who either don't want to vote or don't vote for whatever reason.
I think that this can be combated with proposals like these”, adds Jiménez.
She calls on the youngest to participate in political life: “We have an important role in this change.
We cannot think that we are irrelevant because it is that lack of interest that makes everything worse later.
The first step to exercise citizenship, they point out, is to obtain information through different media, another of the commitments included in the code of ethics.
Alba Jiménez and Lucía Núñez, at a moment of the interview. PABLO LASAOSA
The authors of this ethical code consider that the media are partly responsible for the image that is transferred to the political class.
Ortiz points out that "noise is a small part of reality", but if it is the only thing that is shown in the press, radio or television, the public ends up believing that it is all there is and "distances itself".
What most caught Jiménez's attention at the beginning of the work was "how politicians address each other": "It is an aggressiveness that we do not have when we talk to other people."
When they discussed it with the president of the Congress of Deputies, Meritxell Batet, she reminded them that, beyond that, "many laws have been approved, with which there have also been many people who have agreed."
They went to Madrid with one image, Jiménez acknowledges, but they returned with another:
“You see that they are people like us, who have different points of view, but the majority seek the common good.
I have learned to put myself in their place.”
The students have seen that "they are us, they are a reflection of us, they are our weaknesses", says Professor Ortiz.
"To the extent that we comply by being in our place, taking citizenship seriously, the distance will shorten."
Among the main problems are easy and destructive criticism.
“There is aggressiveness, polarization, and that generates mistrust: Five years ago in the Parliament of Navarra they argued, but then you could find them talking in the bar during the recess.
Now, that is less because the aggressiveness is also permeating between them ”.
Núñez maintains that the only way to avoid destructive criticism is to get informed: “We see in our parents or in people who are already tired of politics that they tend to generalize.
'Everyone is corrupt, everyone steals...
' But you're not doing anything to try to change it.
And you say, what am I going to do?
Well, what we are trying to do is put our grain of sand.
Constructive criticism is not congratulations, obviously, but it always has to be to go towards something better.
Surveillance and self-criticism
Going towards something better through the conviction that the political class and citizens are “close”, Ortiz insists.
"The future is values or nothing because, either you and I trust those who govern us again or there is no path because the path is then populism, extremism, violence."
Hence, the ethical code also includes the commitment to combat polarization.
For Jiménez, the way is to "respect one's own and different ideas", but, above all, it is vital "to put the person first and not those ideas".
It is the only way to better understand reality, details Núñez, who recalls that in Congress the deputy for Ciudadanos Miguel Gutiérrez (C's) explained to them what life is like for those who work there, what a parliamentarian does.
“You don't see that because he doesn't appear on television and I hadn't considered it either.
We are doing this work and I had not considered what they do, how they work, how long the plenary sessions last.
She left me thinking, ”adds the student.
The ethical code designed by a group of students from Navarra. PABLO LASAOSA
For now, almost no student in the workshop considers dedicating himself to politics.
What they are clear about is that they have to be trained to “be consistent with their principles and values”.
At this point in their life, their main concerns are violence and mental health, although they have another fear: not being taken into account.
"I feel heard, but it makes me insecure that they don't take this code of ethics seriously," says Jiménez.
"I think it can be easily forgotten or considered something naive, beautiful, when we have really done it thinking about what we can contribute to change something in this society."
These students from Navarra will now focus on ensuring that the signatories of the code comply with their promises.
They will demand self-criticism, one of the fundamental shortcomings that they have detected.
“The big problem with the code for people who are in politics is that they think they already comply with it.
An honest self-criticism is needed because we all have faults”, says Ortiz.
And when one is wrong, the schoolchildren add, "you have to rectify it publicly."
This public self-criticism is what, they say, will determine if those who have signed have done so because they believe in the proposal or just for a matter of image.
Ethical code prepared by schoolchildren in Pamplona
-For people who are in politics:
1. I promise to always tell the truth and not promise what I cannot fulfill.
2. I pledge to combat the growing polarization in our society.
3. I will try to find meeting points and consensus with other political parties.
4. I renounce corruption in all its forms.
5. I renounce the insult, the disqualification and the personal attack towards the other.
-For people who want to exercise citizenship:
1. I promise to exercise my right to vote with the seriousness it deserves.
2. I promise to inform myself with more rigor and plurality.
3. I renounce destructive criticism of politicians and institutions.
4. I renounce any form of violence as a way of protest.
5. I renounce corruption in all its forms.
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