Clan voting & Popularity


Philippines has been known for the foundation of political dynasties, be they declared or implicitly succeeded and achieved. Though this may have been criticized by most, people have shown support for figures who are associated to their preceding folks regardless of their competencies.

Recently, I have been showing my disgust over the candidacy of the daughter of the vice president of the country. I have not known her until just recently. It’s not that I am joining the mainstream online bullying. My concern is far beyond what popular online sentiment has to drive other people. I have always betted for a more sensible leader, the likes of Risa Hontiveros. Some have criticized Hontiveros for violating some Comelec regulations as regards posting of campaign materials. But I cannot blame her given that the political landscape of the country is made up of voters who are easily drawn to the most popular.

Not veering from the issue, I just think that such candidacy, not solely that of the daughter of Mr. Binay, is understandably detrimental to the structure of the government and the future of the country. Yes, political “clanning” has become part of the system, and this has long been accepted and tolerated. Some would counter this by justifying that the service and intent matter most. Also, the notion that since such candidate is related to a leader, there must be some commonality, and therefore he or she is rather capable more than competent. It is rather a common Filipino reasoning, the idea of association and multiplicity of qualities.

How is this more of a harm? Simply, it is the persuasion by association and popularity more than the content by experience and capacity that dominates the “elective market,” the voters. This is not a simple take on popularity alone. This is rather a stand on association to a recent or past official, thereby establishing such popularity, which motivates people to vote.

Consequently, this has become one of the factors that we don’t get to choose the right candidate who will change the direction of the country. We have gone complaining and “parliamenting” in the streets to express our dismay over a political individual without seeing what we have done. It has become a cycle of cover-ups and political sway, and then protesting again. Why can’t we just introspectively think about how elections have gone through the years? I don’t go against political dynasty directly, but rather, I disgust myself over the idea of being swayed by mere association and popularity. It is not any different from voting for actors who are incompetent to serve.

My stand is simple. If we ever want to have a better Philippines, we must think. We must shy from being pushed by familial connections and relationships. I guess, we haven’t grown up yet from being the voters who just accept lollipops over ideas and principles.

I may not be able to vote this coming elections brought about by the mishap in the Comelec system, considering that I voted in the national elections, I am supporting the candidacy of Risa Hontiveros for a brighter future.

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