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Friday, July 19, 2024

Disregarding surveys, silent majority will choose Leni

“They have taken note of all the lies, all the illegalities, the prevarications and the false claims made by the unworthy presidential candidates.”

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There are several ways of categorizing a country’s voting population during the electoral campaign season. The categorization can be done on the basis of regional attachment: the voters of Region A can be categorized as being the bailiwick of one candidate and the voters of Region B can be regarded as loyal to the candidate who hails from their region. In this country’s elections the Solid North is said to be the prize of an Ilocano candidate and Cebuano-speaking voters are said to comprise a Solid South.

Or, the categorization of the Philippine electorate can be done on the basis of annual income, with voters belonging to the highest-income classes, Classes A and B, treated as one voting bloc. Voters in Class C – the closest thing to a Philippine middle class – is regarded as a separate class. The voters in Classes D and E are said to make up the third income-related bloc.

Or, the categorization of this country’s electorate can be done on the basis of age, with the older element of the Philippines’ voting population – Filipinos 35 years old and above – believed to be more set in their ways and inclined to be conservative in their thinking on most matters, including politics. Voters below 35 years old – some of the millennials and members of Generation Z – are considered more flexible and less rigid in their attitudes toward life’s many important issues. How the youthful half of the 63 million-strong electorate will exercise their right of suffrage is undoubtedly one of the key determinants of the outcome of this year’s election.

There is still another way in which the categorization of the 2022 Philippine electorate can be done. It can be done on the basis of either the amount of attendant noise or its opposite the silence.

The 2022 presidential election is unlike any other presidential election since 1946 in that this year’s electoral season is so completely dominated – overwhelmed is probably the more accurate word – by voter-opinion surveys, Such surveys have always been a feature of every presidential election since the Roxas-versus-Osmeña contest, but they were always presented to Filipino voters as aids to making a reasoned choice for president. The 2022 voter-opinion surveys, on the other hand, seek to present the voters with a virtual fait accompli. The surveys have assigned to the resulting frontrunner majorities so unprecedentedly large that it has been practically Game Over for the survey’s No. 2 contestant.

This is a mind-conditioning effort of such scope and persistence this country’s political history has never seen. Filipino voters have been asked – tricked is the better word – to believe that the 30-point lead of the surveys’ front-runner can no longer be overcome and that the front-runner is as good as elected.

Throughout the current electoral season, all the noise has been made by the supporters and sympathizers of the presidential candidate who has consistently topped the voter-opinion surveys by incredibly large margins. No noise whatsoever has emanated from these voters who, at the voting machines on May 9, will effectively decide who is fit to lead this country during the next six years. Collectively, those voters are called the silent majority.

As their collective name suggests, this country’s silent majority has been silently observing all the goings-on in the political arena since October 21, when the political season began. They have taken note of all the lies, all the illegalities, the prevarications and the false claims made by the unworthy presidential candidates.

The silent majority will shortly become silent no longer. On May 9, the members of that enormous bloc of votes will disregard all voter-opinion surveys and choose the candidate they consider the most fit to be the next president of the Philippines.

That candidate is Vice President Leni Robredo.

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