And so, the Filipino voters have decided. There were mixed reactions and commentaries. Some were appalled by the wining of an inexperienced candidate. Others felt suspended with a few of those who made to the roster. There may be a few who were dismayed as some of their top-listed candidates didn’t make it.
Interestingly, what we can get from the recent national polls was that the general voter is not like any other. Experience an election in say the United States. The whole mood and even the manner of picking those who will be in the 12-A-lister is probably deliberate and is a matter of conscious discourse. In the Philippines, it has become less of the thinking power and act, and has progressively become more of an emotive and instinctive, collective action. The Filipino voter is sympathetic more than deliberate. And this has been better understood by those who already know how to play the game and how the electoral enterprise goes.
Aside from the voting body, one has to take into consideration the symbiosis of democracy and the social setting of the country. Imagine freedom alongside poverty. This makes it more interesting as ironically, despite the will to lead one’s life, a Filipino, living in such impoverished state, is left with a choice that is driven not by deliberate thinking but by emotional unrest. This sets the electoral culture. Most of the voters are plagued and consumed by the dilemma of poverty, and candidates play around with this, well at least those who know the game. Voting is dependent on the disposition and predisposition of the general voting body, and this makes the Philippine electoral landscape.
In realization, there are 3 things to remember when participating in the Philippine elections:
1. Bring a popular issue
An issue to bring to the plate must actually be necessary. This can be labelled as the “platform” to combine all the issues and resolutions of the candidate. But it’s not about just some issue, which can either be a concern of the general public or simply a personal one that can be imposed as an immediate one; well, lucky for the aspiring and running candidate if this will be accommodated well enough. One should survey the culture, concerns, and predispositions of the general voters. A smart candidate would opt for the 99% of the population more than the top 1%. And if this issue is clearly determined, then the blueprinting and planning can get started. Winning in the Philippines is a matter of winning the hearts of the masses, who happen to be in dire need of support, jobs, financial aid, and food.
2. “Dress up in rags”
What is distinct about the general Filipino voter is the appeal on ground level. If the candidate trudges the narrow streets of a city, walks through muddy swamps, or eat with a hand, then he or she implies being together with the masses. That sense of humility and being grounded makes him or her a good choice regardless of the experience. The voter won’t care anyway. As long as there is that sense of honesty and seeming sincerity as being backed by humility, then a candidate can definitely win.
3. Who are you?
Lastly, one should acknowledge one’s identity. Is he or she related to a past president? Are the political ties with a long-seating incumbent official? Would there be an established network of people? Or is popularity a strength to behold? It’s a matter of who the candidate is, and who or she knows. Democratic election is simply a matter of getting more people to vote for one. And there is no other way but through other people who happen to be in power, who happen to have the niche in networking, and who happen to be in the public’s view. This is the start of self-branding. That’s just how it is.
To close the election agenda for this blog for 2013, there are a few things to put in mind. First, one has to know the game. This is addressed to the voters, the future candidates, and just those conscientious enough to discuss the relevance of the many social events. By getting the pace and the workings of the action that is going on, there is no reason to lose the way.
Secondly, one should play the game. It’s not a matter of getting pertinent issues across citizens because most of them are concerned about one collective social issue and problem. It should be hardcore emotional seeping among the people. Once one determines what the core problem is, then it’s safe to get to the field.
Thirdly, and this is apparent, there should be enough preparation. Strut the marketing lines and strategies. This is selling as disguised in political terms. There should be proper funding, allies, and a good sense of appeal in general.
Lastly, one should stick to the plans. Though there may be changes in the course of the campaign, there should only be one direction, and that is to win with one’s guns and bullets.
I may be sounding cynical with this entry, but I do think that the election is a game of the well-versed. It’s like playing a computer game wherein one gets to gain and lose. It’s a given fact. But if one works so hard, and thinks as the situation demands, then it’s all fair and leading to some winning.
But personally, I still take hold of my principles, and I will continuously vote for those who make sense and who can transform the Philippines.
Photo Credit: [ rappler.com, Featured photo: newshopper.sulekha.com]