Pacquiao for Senator 2016? A closer Analysis of the Philippines’ votingTrend

Boxing champ and Saranggani Representative, Manny Pacquiao, has expressed intentions to run in the senatorial race for the next elections under the party of VP Binay. Although he failed when he first run for congress, it is more likely that the odds are in his favor this time around. Seen as a living super hero by the masses, most Filipinos would drop everything they needed to do to watch and support the boxing legend on his matches. Considering the previous history of the country’s voting preferences, the support Pacquiao would obtain is going to be massive. Maybe the real question is not whether he would run for senator but if he is going to run for senator or president.

A closer analysis of the Philippines’ voting trend

It is not once that our country has called the attention of the international community as having one of the most corrupt governments in the world. The blame usually goes to the citizens voting preferences. Known as the country who elects actors, children of actors and political clans, we are often labeled as ignorant voters by other countries. We would quickly point fingers, telling those who sell their votes to the corrupt and those who are below the poverty line are the ones to blame. And because of this trend, those who vote wisely find it pointless so they abstained from voting. The sad truth is, the majority always wins.

[pullquote]A Good Leader, not a Miracle Cure[/pullquote]

How do Filipinos vote? Some sell their votes straight to the point. Other pose as “watchers” for the party list to make it less obvious. Honest citizens would think they are making clean money by posing as watchers but corrupt candidates would only pay half of their “wage” at the start of the elections and the other half would be given after it. If you were one of their “watchers” you would think you would not get paid(which is oftentimes true) if the party who hired you, lose. To make sure you would get paid, you and your family would vote for them. Sadly, the poorest of poor even sell their votes for a kilo of rice and canned goods.

The younger generation, on the other hand, would likely to base their votes on which candidate has the most catchy campaign jingle. Others on who their favorite celebrities have endorsed. Another superficial reason would be who is the most good looking candidate. The “well-educated” would base their choice on who went to the best university or who came from a prominent family. Sometimes, character is baseless and education is the only thing that matters.

In a much larger scale, a politician running for elections is like a product being sold to people. TV commercials, billboard ads and publicity stunts are necessities to make it to success. He should have a campaign jingle which would stick well to the voters mind. His TV ads should be all over different TV stations. His campaign tunes should be heard twenty four hours a day by all the people all over the Philippines. It doesn’t matter if he lacked experience, nor if he is well-educated. It would not matter if he was qualified. What matters is who hired the best campaign manager, public relations or publicist. Like a product, no matter how good it is, it would be ignored by buyers if not well promoted.

Philippines- a patient with Terminal Cancer

It was our national hero, Jose Rizal, first thought of our society as having “cancer”. If you look around, the corruptness, crime and poverty all over the country do seemed like a cancer spreading and killing us. Healthy cells are the citizens who are honest and do their functions well to our society while the cancer cells on the other hand are the ones doing harm to our body and infecting other healthy cells to corruptness. Ever since our liberty from Spaniards, Japanese, Americans and our own martial law government, our country still has not recovered from this illness. Like the disease itself we have the option to resolve to chemotherapy. It is like a militaristic style of government that would “purify” and “eliminate” crooked politicians. However, just like the effects of chemotherapy, it would also “kill” the healthy cells. We already know how Filipinos love democracy so a militaristic approach or a chemotherapy treatment would likely kill the whole country. What, then could be the best treatment? Some cancer patients try to go on a very strict diet to ‘starve’ the cancer cells to death and in turn making the healthy cells stronger. Although this is still an anomalous cure, we could use the same logic to treat our country’s cancer. Starve the corrupt politicians by not advocating them and in turn, encourage those who really care for the country to get into the right public offices.

The Right Concept: We are hiring, not buying!

Most Filipinos have the mindset that once we elect an official, it is for keeps. No one could really make a change so we just base our decision on who would benefit us individually, thus the selling of the votes. However, most voters are not ignorant; they are just uninformed. They should be given educated choices by laying out to them how a candidate is qualified and what are his intentions and plans for the countries. TV ads showcasing catchy tunes and celebrity endorsements should be banned. The campaign period should be all about job interviews. Unless, we would be successful in eliminating vote buyers and election cheaters, this country would never recover from its near fatal end.

A Good Leader, not a Miracle Cure

If someone promised a quick salvation, do not buy it. Our country is too deep in a hole to miraculously recover overnight. We set our expectations too high but the thing is, we need to choose wisely and then be patient. A good president would not be able to cure the whole country in six years but a he or she could be a positive leader inspiring change and encouraging honesty and accountability. The next time you walked in your precinct to vote for your next leader, keep in mind the long term advantages and not the ‘quick fixes’. It would take one vote at at time to completely change and cure this country from the corruption that has been binding our country from our progress and prosperity.