With the elections fast approaching, we are all, in one way or another, looking forward to substantial and tangible positive change which could be translated to social progress and economic freedom.
The question is: Whether this change can still be realized or is it just a myth?
One of the blessings of democracy is our Right to Vote which grants us the power to elect the people who we think could not only cater to our needs but especially to those who are unfortunate in life. But are we really using our right for the right things and in favor of the right people? Others believe that regardless of our motivations for voting somebody, we still must have the right to pick our leaders since it is only then that we can be part of the change. But are they really being part of the change that we all want whenever they succumb to superficial bribes from people who know they’d never win if the only criteria are competency and good will? Are they participating when they shut their eyes to the ray of hope of tomorrow to give in to a dark temptation of today? Are they exercising democracy when they sacrifice the interest of the public because of their self-vested interests? But the more important question is: can we blame them? Can we blame them for choosing to survive even for just another day by means of the gifts these traditional politicians offer them rather than the promise of a better society which may take a long time to effect? Can we blame them for succumbing to temporal necessities over principled values? Can we blame them for being vulnerable? Can we blame them for just wanting to live?
Ever since I came into being, I gained consciousness living in a society where the sole ticket to the political playing field is MONEY, nothing more. With money, you can have extensive exposures, tons of supporters and even directly buy the votes from the people. But what is so wrong with this system if seemingly, it is working? But is it really working to begin with? Well, maybe for some who have lots of it. But for the rest who may just have enough, this system is biting off their very chance to serve the country since even before the campaign has begun, the electorate had already been conditioned to vote for someone who has an undue leverage mobilized by no other than money. That’s why the crafting of the new Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Fair Elections Act proved to be substantial to strike equilibrium between candidates with money and those without much, when it only permits 120 minutes of airtime on television and 180 minutes on radio for national candidates and 60 minutes on television and 90 minutes on radio for local candidates, to air their campaign advertisements which are now aggregate and no longer per station, which was the practice in previous elections. But will this be enough to effect changes and take down leverages? Not really because Political Dynasties still exist.
Manipulation, Control and Monopoly are only some of the things you can coordinate with this cancer of our society that is infiltrating our entire system. Well, for some, they find nothing wrong with it since their justification is that the people are the ones voting for them anyway and since they’re still elected, it goes to show that the people still want them in their seats. But is this assertion really accurate? Well, for some, it could be the case, but what about in Maguindanao where a family employs force, intimidation and even violence to execute their political master plan? What about in Camarines Sur where a family is orchestrating dramatic familial feuds to limit the options to the same members of the family? At best, just like the progress that happened in Ilocos because of the Marcos Clan or the economic advancement in Makati because of the reign of the Binay Clan, these Political Dynasties can be tolerable, if, like cancer, they are benign. But what if, at worst, it’s malignant? Who suffers?
Nothing is constant except change. But are the changes temporary or sustainable? Tangible or Intangible? Substantial or Superficial? Authentic or Deceptive? If we again make the wrong choices, who will be the biggest losers in this game where we only have a minute to win it? Will it be a deal or no deal to spin once more the wheel of fortune? I strongly believe that the Pinoys are Henyo and we can come up with better choices to elect those with the X Factor. Pilipinas got talent and we must not waste it. We can still do something because we have the voice. We are all survivors and we can, together, take on the extra challenge of this amazing race called life.
We only have ONE VOTE. Let’s not waste it.
May the odds be ever in our favor. God Bless Philippines!