Monday, August 31, 2009

electoral deja vu

[Post for Bloggers Unite: New Hope on 2010 Philippine Election]

The few previous political reigns, particularly that in the presidential bowl, have been inglorious and stark, per se. To the voters who cast their hopes of national prosperity to their adored presidential candidate before, nothing much has been actually prosperous over the years. The statistics tells it all – the Philippines still underway in getting up from being a third world country, the deplorable economy, the luxurious rank of being one of the most corrupt country, the deficiency of jobs for the working population – you name it, there’s a lot more in the list.

In the coming 2010 presidential election, the chance to renew the country from its present state of affairs is on the run. Again, it’s up to the Filipino people, with their votes, to decide whether to change the country for the better or dig more depth to its current hole. But with the present electoral breeze, it seems that the time is being transported back years ago, to the realm of old politics, when the traditional politicians have been roaming the racetrack for the national posts.

In the mass media alone, I cannot help but wonder if the present time of the year is already the campaign period. It brings me disgust seeing the politicians’ advertisements and other propaganda of themselves implying their sense of charity or goodness or integrity or whatever qualifications they have come up with. First off, there are Senator Manny Villar’s ‘Galing sa mahirap, para sa mahirap’ and ‘Sipag at tiyaga’ famous punch lines in the television, and then there’s senator Mar Roxas’ version of the TV advertisement of his own. In Metro Manila, you will easily notice MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando’s smiling photo on different kinds of MMDA billboards and posters through almost every street and public places. These are only few of those politicians, and there’s a lot more. Out of nowhere, the faces of the presidentiables mysteriously come into sight to every corners of the country just, as these politician say, for no political reason at all. Really?

The world of old politics in the Philippines is the context on which the political arena functions under the way of thinking of the traditional politicians or “trapos” (dirty rags). For the “trapos”, their concept of “winnability” is to have, most importantly from the beginning, name recognition, political machinery, financial and other resources, and endorsements. This concept is very dangerous to the people for it lulls their sense of judgment from the true gauge of the viability of a candidate, which are supposed to be the qualifications, track record, good advocacy, leadership, etc. This “trapo” concept, apparently, is what the present electoral breeze has been blowing, like that of the old, old, political days.

As a citizen who had been under the reign of the same traditional politicians who have been lodging the posts for a couple of terms, I’ve already grown tired of blowing the same wishes for our country over and over. With the current electoral condition, I cannot help but worry with the outcome of the election. Obviously, the country does not want another set of “trapos” in its administrative post. The Philippines and its people have had enough, and a better change is a crucial need.

In the end, the successful product of the 2010 election eventually lies on the hands of the Filipinos themselves. If we understand and be able to see the emerging political déjà vu and be vigilant not to be deceived by its trick, that is, we put in mind that the true determinants of a viable candidate counts on her/his qualities and quality of her/his vision for the nation, not just on her/his elementary sense of “winnability” which is supposed to be only the minor enablers of the essential determinants, then the Philippines would have welcomed its glorious years.

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