“The one sure way of participating in the process of nation-building is to vote on the election day.” –Mohit Chauhan
Philippine elections are comparable to both chess and a marathon. At least a week before voters submit their ballots, certain candidates may already be aware of their chances. Some indicators come via endorsements, such as those from religious groups that vote in blocs; a sudden cash shortfall following a full-blown media blitzkrieg; cold responses from barangay officials; a shift in public support; credible survey results; among other developments.
If a chess player is down a piece (a knight, bishop, rook, or pawn), their remaining pieces are exposed to a dizzying array of variations. They are then left to either resign or wait for their opponent to declare checkmate. Meanwhile, a middle-of-the-pack marathoner is aware those in front have likely already crossed the finish line. Such as with elections as there are no “lucky punches,” “hail marys,” or three-pointers.
The choice of candidates is a reflection of voter values. With the senatorial race of the utmost importance, those candidates maintain a myopic mindset, insisting voters elect them because, once they become senators, they plan to “continue” providing food and medical assistance to the poor. Some claim to be “very sincere to serve the poor.”
A senator’s job is legislation, not the distribution of relief assistance. The Department of Social Welfare and Development, an office under the executive branch, is already performing the obligation.
A senator crafts and introduces bills to become law after being approved by the president.
The country needs quality legislators that bring quality and competency; there is no need for a carpenter to extract a tooth or a truck driver to perform surgery.
Alex P. Vidal, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ