Friday, April 26, 2013

Straight Voting? C'mon!

Some quarters have been so vocal in asking for the so-called straight votes but I believe it's a crooked idea at this very juncture. They are insisting that if we unable to do so, Occidental Mindoro will forever be doomed and will not be able to surpass our present sad condition.  According to them, progress and development cannot be achieved as long as our leaders, from congress and the provincial capitol down to municipalities, are forever political rivals and antagonists. But politicians and their campaign strategists and focal persons in no way cannot be truthful about persuading the voters further for voting straight.  

Our people, judging from the results of the elections for decades now, are casting their votes upon selection of candidates individually regardless of political affiliations or groupings. It appears that we are already used to split votes or “salisi” leadership. Many of the organizations here are benefiting in this situation for they could get assistance, benefits and perks left and right. As ever, we vote based on personalities and not on issues. On where can we get much favor. It cannot be denied that we are still in a client-patron relationship- dominated political culture. We are generally still a bunch of uninformed (or was it misinformed?) voters. This is why I am against straight voting for this may exacerbate uninformed voting. This call for straight voting, as far as I am concerned, encourages voters to cast ballots without being fully educated about the individual differences of the candidates. This stuff is only for few hard cores or hardliners. But do they, the politicians and their campaign operators, really believe that straight voting would come into reality? Ow, come on! 

Check-and-balance in governance is important but that's issue is relevant only AFTER the elections. What important are the issues BEFORE the voting, during campaign. My position is more adhered on this: The call for straight voting somewhat enable us to blindly believe that everyone in their group is better than anyone from the other group. Yes, in the so-called “wholesale” vote, even the most rotten fruit is offered to us. Straight voting encourages people to vote without being fully educated on burning issues and advocacies of the day.

What we really need are new breed of genuine alternative politicians who would wield authority based on principles hinged on contemporary socio-political issues that we are experiencing. Including an alternative political group with an ideology which is the springboard of their principle and very action. We need young bloods who would be gallantly and fearlessly inclined to combat our immediate problems, in, say for example,  protecting the environment by passing legislative actions - initiate programs and projects - together with the national government, say,-  to minimize the effects of climate change here in Occidental Mindoro. Or by fighting together common enemies like aggressive development projects such as mining which are affront to our natural resources, including other social ills like gambling and criminality in our midst like illegal drugs, illegal fishing and illegal logging including all forms of human rights violations. We need competent leader- servants who would not rake money from the public coffer nor use his/her political position as ladder in order to reach his/her selfish goals.

This challenge for straight voting is an attractive campaign statement but as empty as the tomb of Jesus. It is persuasion in futility. It’s as useless as bench-warming politicians. During their campaign sorties, politicians would surely tell us to vote straight but they will ultimately not even lift a finger to make it a reality, to push for its realization collectively or individually. There is no single breath of substance from it. If they are not serious about it, why put much weight on it? This is one of the mouthfuls that are easy said than done so, why waste our saliva?  In the end, this time-tested saying on individuality and practicality would still prevail: “Buntot mo, hila mo”. Besides, this proposal may be as fragrant as a rose garden but we are swarmed by (political) butterflies. What difference straight voting would make?

If we overly emphasize this idea at this stage, we are only straightforwardly making fools of ourselves… 

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