This is a personal opinion. If you feel alluded to, you can make your personal comments or opt not to follow my blog.
And yes, this post is about the upcoming election. It’s that time of our life where we say, “here we go again”.
In the Philippines, every three years the circus comes to town. Full of clowns and animals, or a magic trick or someone on a flying trapeze, the crowd gathers for the upcoming midterm election.
You can’t blame my cynicism. It stems from a deep disappointment at a government that has failed me. That’s my take.
While we are a democracy, we take “crazy” to a higher level by just accepting every Tom, Dick and Harry to run for public office. The more the merrier. Almost 75% of them running for just the senatorial slot are nuisance candidates. Did you know that when you have a lot of choices to choose from, it becomes an instinct to just do name recall? Yep. That’s the way our brain works. So that you don’t have to think deep or think hard, name recall is the road to the senate. These include actors/actresses, controversial people or personalities, anyone that perturbs the norms, political clans and their namesakes. Too many choices dilutes the mind into having to use your brain on who to vote for. That’s the reason why the pollster results are the way it is. Lackeys leading the pack.
The surveys are enablers for the name recall. Every week or so, they come up with the names from a random interview. Those that topped their last survey. With media being the mouthpiece of the results, people remember only the top names on the list. After all, it’s free publicity that they’re splattered all over by the press.
Congress and the den of wolves
In my blog yesterday, I provided data on demographics of the Philippines. In 2016, there were approximately 55M voters during that election. It is estimated that for the 2019 elections, there would be almost 60M voters. That means that based on demography, every succeeding election will be the youth who will vote our future leaders. We hope they are more intelligent than we are.
There are 1.4M OFW voters separately. In 2016, there were 115 party lists that joined the fray for a congressional seat during the last national election. Of these, 46 groups were proclaimed winners. The last three seats were won by: Magdalo (270,589 votes), Manila Teachers (263,742 votes), and Agbiag! (236,441 votes). It will, therefore, not be far-fetched that the woman from PCOO who recently resigned because of the “pepe” and “dede” scandal or the spokesperson who sold his soul to the devil, or any other enabler of false prophecies and peddlers of lies are running as “party list” in the upcoming elections. You’d just need a fraction of these OFWs, the most gullible in the group of voters, to bring them to becoming lawmakers. Why the hell do you think they’ve been joining the cavalcade of the president during his official businesses?
The local government
Elections at the local level (from Governor to Mayor to Councilor to Barangay Official) is a different animal altogether. We all know that this is more personal. It’s all about the family. About the clan. And local government elections are bloodier, dirtier, and deadlier than the other national positions. These little kingdoms need to be protected. Like a business enterprise, it is difficult to win a position in these towns and provinces. Never mind having to make national laws. These tiny kingdoms will always be the bailiwick of the dynasties.
The dynasties are not fueled by the middle class. It is the informal settlers or squatters that are kept happy for a few months leading up to the election that vote these dynasties into office. Term after term after term. The lives of these informal settlers continue to be pathetic. Like vermin, they grow from sewers and provide sustenance to the local government official every three years when they come out in full force. Paid to vote for the incumbent to stay in power. And for them to stay as illegal settlers in land that is not theirs. Until one day, when their mayor decides to sleep with the devil and makes a deal with the developer to drive them out of their nest – either by force or through a man-made calamity like arson. The survivors are resilient because they are needed by the devil come election time.
I’ve always told people that we’re not a very cohesive citizen. While I get the fact that politics has always been dirty, we’ve really not learned from the mistakes of one generation. We’ve never been able to elect leaders that heal a wounded nation. It has to always be some form of retaliation. That kind of mindset is not healthy. It is destroys peoples lives. There is no sustainable growth. There is no long term planning for a nation. It will always be “weather weather lang”.
I am not siding with who you should vote for. And you may have your personal reasons – ranging from an alliance with the political party or that you’ve really enjoyed him in Ang Probinsiyano. Whoever you vote for will impact on our lives and the future direction of the nation. If there are those that are misguided when selecting who they want to lead them, help them realise that they need to see the overall picture of the country.
We need to send the take home message, that we need to be more patriotic than selfish. That people with integrity, qualification and vision should be the stewards of the nation. Vested interest will always be the harbinger of corruption.
Yes. It is hard being stupid. Not because they don’t realize they are stupid. But because stupid has no reason to exist except to perpetuate corruption and evil.