Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Some Random Thoughts Before the 2013 Elections

The election is less than a week away.  I’ve already done some evaluation on the candidates for Senate – through watching forums/debates and doing some research – to help me with my picks.  However, I won’t be analyzing the candidates here, nor list those I would vote for, as what I did last election (too many candidates).  But I have some random two cents’ worth of thoughts in regards to the election, which I would be sharing here.  Maybe you’ll find a thing or two that would be helpful when doing your own evaluations.   


You know what’s the best thing about the elections?  The entertainment!  Now, the two best kinds of election-related entertainment are: a.) the emergence of nuisance candidates during filing of candidacies, whose show of batshit craziness and confidence easily creates comical segments on TV; and b.) when the qualified candidates make fools of themselves.  

Some of the instances where candidates make fools of themselves are on debates or forums – when occasional questions from moderators, opponents in candidacy, or members of the audience during an open forum force them to give answers that expose their hypocrisy and/or incompetence.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg though.  The most likely occasion you’ll be able to witness candidates making fools of themselves are during their campaign rallies.  Here, they would often participate on some dance numbers.  And these politicians’ dances are among the most ridiculous, most hilarious things I’ve ever seen.  First-rate comedy.  Guaranteed LOL-inducing entertainment.    

Kind of tells us the magnitude politicians are willing to undertake – even the expense of their own dignity – to get into power.  

To be honest, if a performance has the charm of the right quality of hilarity, I would give a minor “plus points” for my evaluation on that candidate.   


I did find it hard completing my Twelve.  To be honest, I find faults in all the candidates and find it hard  to really trust any of them that I’ve just did some “choosing the lesser evil” evaluation when picking those I would vote for.  I considered the positives and negatives about each candidate, and if the positives outweighed the negative, then I decided to risk voting for him or her.  


Among my picks, those I’ve selected without hesitation after my evaluations – because the positives overwhelm the negatives – number less than five.  Most of my picks are just “no choice votes” – candidates that I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt, hoping they would actually do more good than harm

Some would argue that it’s better to forfeit some slots if one doesn’t have a complete 12 candidates he is most willing to vote for – that if he only has five candidates he really wants to vote for, then he should just vote for that five and forfeit the other six slots.  If this was a still a pen-and-paper election, I would have agreed.  I can just comfortably draw a line across those blank spots.  But now that elections are automated (which is, take note, generally superior), I don’t feel comfortable leaving some circles unshaded.  I am kind of paranoid that those unshaded parts would be shaded by other persons.  Of course, there are safeguards against that.  But I’m uncomfortable on risking such possibility.  Thus, I would rather make “no choice votes” – to fill all of the 12 spots for Senators – and pray that they won’t do anything that would make me regret voting for them.          


I often wondered if it’s better for the elections to have the same mechanics as how stockholders vote for members of the Board, in which the voter can distribute his votes.  Example: he can use all 12 votes on just candidate; or he can allocate his votes: give 3 votes to Candidate A, 1 vote for Candidate B, 2 votes for Candidate C, and 6 votes for Candidate D;  or vote for 12 candidates by giving one vote each… you get the idea.  At least with that system, then we avoid the “no choice votes” scenario.         


Here’s a question for you:  who will you pick over, A) the competent but “immoral” candidate or B) the “moral” but incompetent candidate?  When I say “immoral”, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone who is enriching himself by stealing public funds or worthlessly lazy in his job – because if a candidate is such, I won’t vote for him – but “immoral” in the sense that he has many vices or has committed adultery or is separated from his or her spouse.  Thus, what I mean by “moral” is in the sense of he has no vices or has no marital scandals.  So between the two choices, A and B, who’s your choice? 

For me, I’m actually more ready to vote for the candidate who has had a failed marriage and drinks and smokes BUT is greatly capable and productive when doing his job than the candidate who is in a steady marriage and doesn’t drink nor smoke BUT is completely clueless and inutile in his job.       

Remember that we are judging the candidates with regards to their capability as public officials, and not as a person.   

Nevertheless, I give exception to those who are inexperienced but are sincere, hardworking, and ready to learn.  I am willing to risk giving my votes to such candidates.        


Because I “choose the lesser evil”, I would not vote for Communist candidates.  Oh, I was tempted to vote because of their intelligence and have articulately delivered some fine thoughts.  But NO!  The negative aspect of being Communist scums greatly overwhelms any positive things they possess.  Thus, I won’t be giving votes to those candidates who have originated from party lists that have ties with the despicable New People’s Army.   


Actors turned Senators Lito Lapid and Bhong Revilla aren’t running this election (having already won last 2010, thus, their term will expire on 2016).  So what do I mean by “Lito Lapids” over “Bhong Revillas”?  

Lito Lapid is being made fun of because he seems totally out of place in the Senate.  He is seemingly always clueless and can’t speak straight English during discussions or debates in the Senate.  But you know what?  Lapid is actually one of the more productive Senators in regards to passing laws.  And a significant amount of these laws, mind you, has “human consideration” factor – meaning it is sympathetic to the masses and is socially relevant.  “How is this possible?” you ask.  Well, it just means, no matter how intellectually lacking Lapid is, he, however, has one of the best staffs in the Senate. So sometimes we also have to put into consideration each candidate’s respective staff’s competence as much as the candidate’s.   

Morever, I never found Lito Lapid pretending what he is not.  He never pretended he’s a “brainy” individual.  If there’s something he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t pretend that he does. He’s just natural and down-to-earth.  Just being the common man in the Senate gives him the “masa” appeal.         

Bhong Revilla, on the other hand, never fails to annoy me whenever he opens his mouth during Senate discussions.  He gives an air of a know-it-all, acting as if he is in par with the most intelligent of Senators.  I could be wrong in my judgment of him, but that is what I feel.      

(Also, Lito Lapid had more enjoyable movies [in terms of the standards of Philippine entertainment] and had played more memorable characters.  On the other hand, I haven’t derived any drop of entertainment from any Bhong Revilla performances.  If there are any, I can’t remember.  So if you put into consideration their work in the movies when you are evaluating actors running for office, wouldn’t it be fair to choose that one whose movies had actually given you some entertainment?)     

This election, there are also “Lito Lapid”-types and “Bhong Revilla”-types (to name some of the latter kind: everyone in the Ang Kapatiran ticket).  Consider voting for the former, but never the latter.   

(And to answer your probable question – Yes.  I did vote for Lito Lapid last 2010)  


As a Christian, I acknowledge God’s sovereignty in all things.  This includes the people of authority.  Thus,  the winners of this election are those willed by God to be in power – whether they would do good or bad for our country.  We, however, can be sure that all things would ultimately work out to bring about the good end that God has purposed with his omniscient wisdom.  We can trust that God is good and that His plan is perfect.        

Since our leaders are God-ordained, we need to submit to their authority as long as it is not sinful or contrary to God’s commands.  And as the Supreme Authority, all authorities in this world are answerable to God.  Thus, if they do wrong or be unfaithful with their governance, they will be accountable before God.  But as subjects to our government and authority, as a general rule, we must remain patiently submissive and obedient to our leaders as what God wants us to be.  In the end, rewards or punishments are going to be given to the leaders and subjects with regards to how they had been faithful or unfaithful in carrying out the roles that God has given them.     

I give attention to the elections with the same amount attention I have for sports.  I root for a preferred candidate with just the same kind of rooting I would do for a Miss Universe candidate.  I give importance to political topics with as much importance as I give to pop culture topics.     

It would look as if I’m apathetic, not treating voting as sacred, but that’s not the case.  I recognize the importance of suffrage and my responsibility as a voter, but it’s not at all part of the most vital, crucial things I have to deal with in my life.  This May 2013 Elections, politics, and everything in this world in general will pass away.  And important and significant as they might be in the present time, they are trivial in the perspective of eternal importance.

As a Christian, I know of my ultimate end and purpose.  I know that I should focus and invest on all things eternal.  But while still living in this world, I am still subject to its issues and responsibilities – like politics and voting.  And, thus, I should deal with them.  But as I deal with them, I should not devote my full focus on them.  I should not consider them as an ultimate end itself.  Rather, I should just consider them as petty tasks and matters I have to deal with while I’m still living in this world.  

Of course, I would love for our government to lead our country into economic and political supremacy.  If that happens, then great!  If it doesn’t happen, then so what?  The Philippines, its politics, and my Filipino citizenship are all temporary anyway.   But Heaven, my soul, and my citizenship in Heaven are for eternity.  And it is with these eternal things I derive my Ultimate Hope.  

I will do my part this upcoming election.  And I do always pray for this nation.  But my hope is not on this election nor is on the candidates I vote for.  My hope should not be invested on anything of this world.  My hope should be on God and on God alone.  

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