BY : CRISPIN DANNUG JR.
The voting is over but the full counting.
Proclamation of winners continue. That’s the 2013 national mid-term election. Our democratic showpiece, the elections have their own flavor and color, hue and cry, and parties and platforms.
Politics, basketball and artistas (PBA) play a big role in our national life. The election was “show time.” That’s why a lot of actors and actresses enter politics, and why plain folks wanted to look like them in their campaign posters, photo-shopped and Belloed. Reason also why elections are fan time and hotly contested. Not a few candidates were fouled up, foul-mouthed, lost sorely, and vowed comeback. Those who won or lost were basically amazed or astounded by the results, others behaved perceptively after the facts and figures, and all were depleted to the core, pocketbook and all.
There are lessons learned from the elections.
People voted wisely. Results show that among the traditionally powerful political families, some were shown the exit, while a few of their members were retained.
This is a case of pole vaulting towards the younger set. At least three dominant political families were voted out 100 per cent, the incipient dynasties crushed.
Call this the revenge of the inconsolable constituents?
In Luzon, a lot of political families from the governor down to the mayor, including the congressman, ran unopposed, or had only token opposition.
This turned he political subdivisions–provinces, towns or cities–petty kingdoms by default, a dynasty or a fiefdom in the making.
Voters there can’t wait to see what will happen next, and whether or not benevolence can be translated into beneficial programs for the people.
Age mattered. A lot of the candidates were veteran politicians. The supreme example is the great Senator Ernie Maceda, and the likes of Dick Gordon, Jun Magsaysay and Ed Hagedorn.
With law Professor Alcantara and former General Montano in the running, too, geriatric politics entered a new high. Of course, experience and expertise also mattered.
I met Manong Ernie during President Cory’s time. After serving as senator he wrote a column for a popular daily where his sharp pen and wit guided a huge readership. He is a political strategist, but I think age hindered his campaign, and will not win a seat in the Senate.
Perhaps the new breed of Christian ideologues that lost in the senatorial race can learn from the old guards.
They are mostly Catholics with strong, orthodox ideas on reproductive health and the environment.
Yes, they challenged the voters more than the elderly candidates. I think the voters were enamored, but the stock performances in policy-making and governance of said candidates weren’t presented nor discussed enough.
Still the losers can take a new tack. I suggest they continue to work on their policy advocacies, engage the Congress in extra-parliamentary debate, and initiate lobbies similar to the “shadow legislature ” as practiced in common law countries like England. Their NGOs can come in handy. Three years would be just enough to do the legwork and organize their ward leaders. Finances wouldn’t be a problem, if they can rally their supporters this early.
A low voter turnout is evident. Based on Comelec assessment, at least 65 per cent of the total registered voters cast their ballots. This means there was voluntary disenfranchisement, or just sheer laziness to go the precincts. In any case, much is expected from the Comelec to raise voter participation in the next elections. Manong Sixto Brillantes must initiate a voter education program soon.
This postmortem on the elections also strongly urges the Comelec to require candidates to render full and honest reporting of their election expenses, and to initiate legal action against violators of the election law.
There’s poetic justice. Senator Grace Poe is the voters’ icon in the election. It’s not sheer luck that she topped the Senatorial race, rather she received the full recompense of people who were loyal to her late father, the popular action star Fernando Poe Jr., who lost in his Presidential bid to President Gloria.
Cong. Manny Paquiao, the richest Filipino boxer, can also be the poster boy or Pacman in local politics in Mindanao.Party List or dynasty in the next round, Manny?
Leni Robredo won a congressional seat in overwhelming votes from those who loved her late husband, DILG Secretary Robredo. There are more women now in politics.
All is fair in war and in love. That’s also true in political contests.Cheers to the victors and don’t forget your promises. To the losers, take stock and learn. Keep the faith.
Re-quote: “Humility, after the first shock, is a cheerful virtue.” –C.S. Lewis