"Let’s hope the pandemic has made Filipino voters wiser about the consequences of their decisions come election day."
As elections draw nearer, it is clear there is no stopping our politicians from making their moves toward their political goals. This despite the fact that the vaccination rollout of the government has been inadequate and that yet newer variants threaten to cause a surge in new cases once again.
For instance, the ruling party is marred with strife and intrigue, with each major personality hurling accusations at the other. We wonder, if they were so appalled with what is going on, why did they not say a word when everything was going in their favor?
We are also seeing realignments and regroupings in a bid to form new or renewed alliances. We wonder: How much of this is driven by a genuine meeting of the minds with regard to important issues, and how much is brought about by political expediency? We know the answer but feel we must ask anew, again and again, as a way of refusing to normalize such a practice even when they have come to define Philippine politics.
Meanwhile, the opposition is still hard-pressed for a unifying presence that would allow it to put up a credible challenge to the administration. The search continues amid signs of rift among certain personalities.
Alas, these consign Philippine elections into the circus that they have always been, and prevent the electorate from voting intelligently just because they are always distracted by the personality show.
Voters must look beyond sensational exchanges of words or vicious trolling on the Internet, and get to the bottom of issues that prevent our country from taking off. But how can they realize this immense power when they cannot look beyond their very immediate economic needs? These colorful characters seem to know and exploit that.
A way to truly discern what must be done during elections is to freeze the current moment and examine the snapshot: Is the status quo desirable, at the very least acceptable? “Yes” and “no” would yield wildly divergent courses of action.
In either case, let’s hope the pandemic has made Filipino voters wiser about the consequences of their decisions come election day. It’s a shame to fall back into the same patterns that have gotten us into this mess in the first place.