The Vote to Right

It is only about nine days to the Philippine presidential elections and I am excited. It is interesting to see how the elections will turn out although from the way that the campaign has been conducted so far, things do not look very promising.

In my lifetime, I have voted in about four presidential elections, if I have remembered and counted correctly, and never before have I seen campaign strategies go this low. The candidates talk about bringing about change and hope but this election has the traditional politician feel written all over it. It's enough to make you sigh, make you feel a little depressed, and just rely on your innate belief that whatever happens during and after election day will be for the best.

I have never been a big fan of surveys. I actually do not care about who is leading and who is trailing behind. I have never let fear of a certain candidate winning dictate my choice on election day. I do not vote for the candidate who has the best chance of winning kasi gusto ko, sa panalo ako. I only ask myself a few questions in making my choice: Who is the most capable in leading the Philippines as president? Which candidate will allow me to be at peace with my decision?

The year 2010 will mark the first time that we will be doing automated elections. Since months back, I have personally been praying for credible, peaceful, and honest elections. Any presidential candidate can take his post as president for as long as he or she is the choice of the majority and while in a democracy, majority wins, it is a fact that the majority is not always right. So I do hope that on election day, each Filipino will go to the polling place, determined to make the best choice. Best in the sense that we truly believe that six years after, the Philippines will be in a better position than in 2010 and that the country will be on its way to true and total progress.

If you are 18 years old and above and are a registered voter, please make the effort and go out and vote on May 10, 2010. It is your duty as a Filipino. As I always say, ang hindi bumoto, walang karapatan magreklamo (He who does not vote has no right to complain.). So please, exercise your right to vote. In addition, I hope that your choice (and my choice as well) will be a vote to right the way things are in our country today.

It is also my wish that the losing candidates will not talk about fraud and cheating when we have a clear picture of who has won. Surveys are not everything. It is possible for a surveyed person to change his or her mind at the last minute. It is also probable that the individuals surveyed do not represent the sentiments of the millions who were not surveyed, regardless of how scientific and acceptable the survey approach or methodology was. I find it a bit unsettling that the survey firms seem to keep updating the results so often these days. I mean there were surveys for previous elections but I do not recall being bombarded by survey numbers practically every few weeks as I am now. I have also talked to friends who tell me: "Si blank sana ang iboboto ko kaya lang hindi naman mananalo." (I was thinking of voting for this candidate but he won't win.) So it is true. Survey results condition the minds of people and sway voters into making a certain choice. Bad.

Anyway, please vote wisely. I was telling a friend of mine that if all else fails during this election, at least we have something to write about. If we end up voting the wrong person into office (again), then it is obvious that there is a lesson to learn as a nation. A lesson in understanding the process of choosing the right leaders. I do hope we learn the lesson within my lifetime.

[By Angelica Viloria | Saturday, May 1, 2010]

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