Monday, May 13, 2013

An Opinion on Elections. (Hey, it's just an opinion; it's not a challenge to a war)

Today is (obviously) Senatorial and Local Election Day on the Philippines (2013). I have some thoughts to share while keeping myself updated with these 'cockfights' ('sabong') thru GMA News TV's website.

I think everyone should really vote.

I know what you are thinking. There are like, millions of reasons that discourages us to even vote or give a damn about the elections. Here are the most prominent ones:

  • Vote buying
  • Political dynasty
  • Lack of social activities from the candidates after elections (they'll suddenly disappear)
  • Private armies
  • Money (it is, after all, the root of all the stupid things)
  • Country not progressing well, e.g. people not feeling the 'economy rise', except maybe some private businesses
  • Major benefactors and finances come from rich business people (not generalizing though)
  • Where are the programs and bills/laws that you've promised?
  • Lack of discipline among majority of Filipinos
  • Lack of nationalism and patriotism
  • Using fame, power and influence to gain votes (showbiz, religious groups, cooperative groups, etc)
  • Tampering, cheating, hocus-focus (now upgraded to IT level, PCOS of you)
  • Some flaws on the voting system (though I know it's hard for the COMELEC staff, and no one is perfect esp. at the time of stress anyway)
  • No matter how much experience, good will and passion you have (esp. for independent candidates), you'd have to spend billions of cash just to let yourself be known if you're challenging a old-timer (which is the sad truth of politics)
  • Anything else that could ruin honest elections and smack money up for 'them'.
Now, despite these really hard circumstances, why do I still insist of voting, even if the person to vote is definitely going to lose due to any of the reasons above?

The answer is simple: to express.

There's a reason behind putting indelible ink on the index finger, so you can hold out a finger (though not necessarily a middle finger) towards people whom you think only cares about money and not public service, and instead, choose people who are more fit for the role and to make a change in the scenario.

It's like saying, "I'm voting you out! I don't care if you tamper my ballots and stuff, or pay tons of pesos to manipulate the results in your favor, I'm just saying that I have had enough of your greed for power!", but in a formal and constitutional way.

As a citizen of the Philippines, I have no regrets in voting the underdogs, the unknowns, and the oppressed. I'm not mentioning which ones though (because candidates I've opposed might actually send me delicious chocolates with grenades on them a few days later). But whichever side you are on, know that it's your right, and no family, friend, community, organization, company, circle of secret societies, and especially vote-selling candidates should dictate you on who to vote. Even in our house, me and my parents mostly have different preferences (except for the governor / vice governor / mayor / vice mayor, and other important positions), but for senators, it's just random. Mom even says that kind of thing, that we all have the right to choose who we should vote, and when we do, we should choose wisely and not just due to fame.

Sure, I could feel desperate sometimes that we'd have to go through the same political dynasties in most cities and provinces in the country today, but hey, that's reality. Let God decide whether there should really be a change, because his plans are always better than ours.

As for me, I'm already delighted enough that even though my votes would make enough difference in numbers, I was able to express (and not to impress) which people should stay and which people should be driven out of politics forever, to make even the slightest change in our community. 

So, we shall wait for tomorrow's official results. I certainly hope things would at least move a bit.

Even if not, at least, think that you did it just for fun or for the heck of it.  
In the common Filipino slang, "TRIP LANG."

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