In the News: Conrado de Quiros on "the wasted vote" c. Feb 2004

Like a stubborn rash, two key concepts continue to infect the vacuous halls of the Philippine National “Debate”.

It is a “Good vs Evil” election – The Top Media Emo couldn’t have said it better: “The choice is between life and death. The choice is between the vista of hell and the glimpse of heaven. The choice is between Aquino and Villaroyo. […] The choice is between Good and Evil.” (Conrado de Quiros, Inquirer, 09 Feb 2010)

It is about winnability and the lowest common denominator is the “lesser evil”; therefore vote for Noynoy Aquino, the “stupid [but] honest” choice, presumably. That’s Filipino Logic 101, and no one exploits it better than whoever happens to be the “Opposition” in any Philippine-style election. As I observed in A Buffet of Evils;

It seems that the options presented by the Philppine “Opposition” election in and election out is a buffet of evils from which the Filipino is forever selecting the least from. It is quite telling how a nation of almost 100 million cannot seem to produce even just a handful of excellent candidate leaders of the sort that will turn our elections into ones where the voter selects the best of breed. Thus we are, in fact, a society that has doomed itself to selecting among lesser evils rather than from the best of breed. But this is not even the laughable point in all this. It turns out that this buffet of evils from which we select the least evil is, guess what, up against an even bigger evil!

It’s interesting, though, how the way one’s mind works depends so much on which side of the fence one finds himself situated in at a given time. Courtesy of commentor “boombox” in a recent comment and denizens, I found this Conrado de Quiros gem vintage 2004:

I don’t buy the concept of the “wasted vote.” The only wasted vote as far as I can see is the one you give to a candidate you do not believe in simply because you think he or she has a chance to win. That is boundless waste, not least because it stands to waste the country. To this day, I do not regret not having voted for Erap in 1998. To this day, I do not see that I wasted my vote voting for somebody else. If there was any “wasted vote,” it was the one that went to Erap. That is so not just because he never got to finish his term but because people voted for him simply because “he was going to win anyway” whatever they did. People who do not want to appear like fools by voting for a “weak candidate” are on a straight path to it.

Indeed, just as de Quiros back when he was using his head stated categorically that his vote against popular presidential candidate Joseph Estrada in 1998 (despite the odds of his candidate at the time winning) was not a wasted vote, a vote against Noynoy Aquino today is not a wasted one as well. Noynoy Aquino, as I recall writing, is the modern-day Erap — immensely popular, possessing of a cultural mystique, yet utterly visionless as far as a regard for the future goes. And as with most societies that have strong track records of progress, the future is what selecting a leader is all about. Unfortunately for a backward society such as the Philippines, retrospection is a far more comfy space to live within.

So I suppose a scenario such as this may probably ring hollow in the vacuous mind of the Filipino:

Sometime in the future when your children ask you why you voted for Noynoy Aquino in 2010, what are you gonna tell them?


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44 Responses to In the News: Conrado de Quiros on "the wasted vote" c. Feb 2004

  1. bp says:

    Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice.

    Now repeat after me.

    Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice. Noynoy is the stupid choice.

  2. J.B. says:

    de Quiros spent the entire la Gloria stay in power criticizing her to the point of forgetting he picked up the wrong guy to support.

  3. NC says:

    Wow! Great site! Keep the posts coming.

  4. ben says:

    Oh the travesty of the Filipino mind! ^^

  5. ChinoF says:

    It’s sad to see someone who had a straight mind go flipflop like this. It’s as if he’s lost all hope and thrown in his lot with the idiotic but optimistic (or “positive”) just to recover that sense of hope. Sadly, it’s a badly placed bid. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” must have played in his mind.

    • brianitus says:

      I think Mr. de Quiros is tired of what he is doing kaya sumasabay na lang sa agos.

      From a business point of view:
      Being Anti-GMA guarantees him readership and sales for the paper. If he flipped positions, he becomes less controversial, less fun to read for people.

      • ChinoF says:

        Inquirer memo:
        “We are biased for Noynoy. You must be pro-Noynoy in your opinion column, or you shall be terminated. Or else, you may continue working in our company, but for one-fourth the salary as before, since you refused to comply with our policy. Signed, the management.”

        I wouldn’t be surprised if something like this happened in pro-Noynoy offices. 😛

      • Jejemonster says:

        Your actually right in this point. Belinda Olivares Cunanan has been asked by inq. prez isagani yambot to take leave of inquirer because of her pro=gibo and pro-gma articles. So you hit the nail on the head

      • ChinoF says:

        So it’s true? Damn… sorry, I can’t help myself now…

        GAGO SILA!

        Implementing media bias as policy has just invalidated their institution as a bastion of truth. They are now propagators of bias and lies.

      • ben says:

        lol… U sound surprised Chino 😀

      • ChinoF says:

        I assumed there was bias, but more surprising is that someone was given a forced leave because of their views. Now that’s tyranny.

  6. Keyser says:

    “I am not paying my taxes…not since 2005, when the “Hello, Garci” tape came to light.”

    -Conrado de Quiros
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    June 17, 2009

    What a noble, admirable, heroic stance against the government. If all Filipinos would think and ‘act’ like him…aye, there’s the rub!

  7. ben says:

    Just reposting something I posted on a different article, which seems a little relevant here.

    I know that there are a lot of Gibo supporters here so yeh:

    Well, apparently Gordon had an experience which he shared on an interview with Karen on Headstart regarding Gibo with this attitude. It was his main reason why he does not support him.

    If you weren’t able to watch it, please watch it here:
    The short story is at the end of the clip and continues onto the beginning of the next (part 4)

    I guess that superiority complex runs in the family?

    I do encourage Gibo supporters to watch that and listen to what Gordon says. Also, I’ve been having quite similar encounters with some Gibo supporters as I do with Noynoy supporters. It’s as if they are choosing the “SECOND BEST” and not THE BEST! They acknowledge that Gordon is capable but make excuses like Gibo has big plans and such. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Gibo have a record of failures? Not only that, but he quits after failing. I even remember him saying in an interview a few months ago that if he loses these elections, that he will quit Philippine Politics altogether. Now is that what we want for a leader? A quitter?

    • ChinoF says:

      At least they like Gibo because they like him, not because they hate another candidate. It’s really the Noynoy and Erap fanatics that we should work on.

      • ben says:

        I really think we should work on everyone, not just a certain demographic. Don’t you think?

      • ChinoF says:

        Why of course. That is true. Keep everyone from voting because of hate and fear, and have them vote because they believe in the person.

    • J.B. says:

      My reason for supporting Gibo is plain and simple. His solution to me is more workable in fighting the garapals — to feed them while encouraging to be good.

      • ben says:

        Hi JB,

        How do you know it is more workable? It’s never really been testing.
        Gordon is testing and proven. Why not Gordon?

      • ben says:

        lol… my grammar fail… I meant, “never really been tested.”

      • ben says:

        lol again… wtf.. “Gordon is TESTED and proven.” man…

      • J.B. says:

        Ben, both Dick and Gibo are unproven. They’re not elected yet. We can’t just say totally 100% sure that if one is successful in one or two positions, he can be a good president though its fair to say he’s more likely capable as well.

        My only minor worry for Dick is he might be bulldozing a cliff with his approach. The president of the country is a minority…he has to deal with congress/senate (which is equally powerful) and hordes of others just to make himself effective. Remeber FVR with his rainbow coalition? He could only be a lameduck if he didn’t make some compromise with the greedy majority which Eddie Garcia once called – ‘tong-gressman’.

        Gibo who never rise from the ranks of military became an effective defense secretary (military is one of the ugliest dept where it is alleged many higher ups officers hobby is selling firearms to either sayafs or NPA) and that speaks of his leadership.

        No, I’m just excited about him dealing with the garapals in government agencies DPWH, COA, Custom… by instituting a rewarding system….I have a gut feeling it could work.

        Gordon is my close second candidate. The fact that they’re not front runners is really sickening had we’re an egalitarian society, only Gordon and Gibo would be major contenders, the rest kulelat.

        Btw, don’t worry about the grammar thing. Its one of those sickness of sensitivities we Pinoys should get rid of. Check

      • ben says:

        Good points altho arguable. But that’s what I expect from more Gibo supporters. All I get is abrasiveness and hostility, which sadly resembles the Noynoy supporters. Well, I admit, sometimes my frustrations get ahead of me when I hear the same excuses over and over again, which in turn does not reflect well of me and other Gordon supporters. We all have our faults.

        I need not go further. I planted my seed, it’s still your choice. But if only these nuisance candidates would just drop out or get disqualified already(!) these elections would become a lot more objective.

      • ChinoF says:

        Ben, both Dick and Gibo are unproven.

        I thought Noynoy was the one who was unproven? 😉

        Erap is proven… a proven failure.

      • J.B. says:


        The unproven is about the absence of proof of effectiveness in dealing with lords of fiefdoms in our oligarchic society….with proven results. FVR had so far the only one demonstrated it with good results to some degree.

      • ben says:

        How do you quote Chino?

        Anyway, JB, you said: “The unproven is about the absence of proof of effectiveness in dealing with lords of fiefdoms in our oligarchic society….with proven results.”

        But didn’t the Gordons deal with the Magsaysays in Olongapo (or Zambales, whatever) who were trying to retake power from him, simply for the sake of getting POWER? Until now, that clan is out to get destroy Gordon so they may take over. Isn’t that proof of somehow overcoming this local oligarchic society? Wait up… Isn’t Gibo part of this Oligarchic society?

      • J.B. says:

        Ben, you have very valid points there. But a part is not a whole and a whole is not a part so says my Philo professor.

        The Philippines is one big headache where many oligarchs exercise their controls each part of the archipelago.

        For example, Gordon proposes transparent procurement and 24/7 check including the people’s participation. How he gonna do that based on the scope of work? His intentions are good but he may not have the righteous numbers who’ll be at his side all the time.

        We’ll that’s my opinion. I’m in no way distant to Gordon. In asking my relatives back home who’s they’re supporting, I wont mind their answer whether it’s Gordon or Gibo.

      • ChinoF says:

        here’s the quote code

        Just link the characters.
        I view the page in source form using Firefox to see what code is used.

        Yeah, handling the oligarchs is a tough challenge, especially when these oligarchs are the true powers behind all politics in our country.

      • ChinoF says:

        Oops, the quote code doesn’t come out. I’ll just say it in words:
        less than sign-blockquote-greater than sign-the quote-less than sign-slash-blockquote-greater than sign
        Hope you understood, haha. What an exercise.

      • J.B. says:

        Chino, I agree about the foothold of the oligarchs which is really one tough nut to crack.

        But Gordon audacity is well known. Good luck to him.

        One thing I would like him to address though in talks is how he could effectively disseminate vital information when the Robertson Boys (read NPA, now an official oligarch) love to bomb cell sites in remote areas. Pay their dues?

        NPA is no longer fighting for a cause. They discovered also the principle behind Google — moneytizing their ideas.

      • ben says:

        lol Chino. I got a headache trying to decode what you just said above. Thankfully the Source Code shows how to do it 🙂 Thanks for trying.

      • waitwat says:

        sample text

      • BongV says:

        Hi Jb:

        I think gibo has not yet matured as a politician who is ready for the presidency because of his choice of vice-president.

        I’ve got nothing against Edu Manzano personally, he seems to be a nice guy.
        But I am not yet ready to consider Edu as vice-president and possible President of the Philippines.

        Gibo choosing Edu as Vice is like Mccain choosing Sarah Palin – to me that is an indicator of judgment. Gibo made a less than the best call for the sake of political expediency. He could have choosen Bayani Fernando. of course, that presupposes he commands the respect of Fernando.

        I don’t have a problem with Gibo continuing the policies of GMA that have sound basis and proof of results. while there are apprehensions about teodoro becoming an arroyo stooge, I don’t buy those apprehensions. It was once said that arroyo was going to be FVR’s stooge. Guess what, Arroyo is her own president. Madam Arroyo understands that when Teodoro becomes President of the Philippines, Teodoro will do to Arroyo what Arroyo did to Ramos and Estrada – keep them in line. That simply is the nature of the position.

      • J.B. says:

        I agree the choice of Edu was the worst step Gibo has made or agreed so far.

        He might have thought about star power but he forget to think it over that Edu is one of the most hated actors by the poor….especially those looking to buy their next pirated DVD.

  8. usi says:

    It’s from 2007 and it was a nice article. I wonder what happened to him.

    • J.B. says:

      de Quiros I think didn’t like Gordon before because of his pro-US bases stance. Old “hatred” never dies in him I guess.

      • ChinoF says:

        Gordon was just like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, who didn’t like the British bases to leave. But when the bases left, they did something – develop their land into a foreign investment hub. We can easily the results.

        De Quiros is another one of those anti-foreign nutcases. Anti-foreignism has always been our country’s undoing and is a product of stupidity.

    • benign0 says:

      Thanks for finding the link to the original article and clarifying the date, usi. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Philippine opinion shapers: Are they too pro-Noynoy Aquino? | Anti-Pinoy :)

  10. Rennan says:

    A Gordon-Gibo face-off or something in that caliber will certainly be moments we can be proud of. Both are not perfect so there will always be imperfection on both sides. But it is going to be definitely a huge improvement in Philippine politics. I am still swayed in favor of Gibo simply because he is more of ideas and less of emotion when compared to Gordon and Gordon takes a shot at everyone else including Gibo rather than just stick to issues. That is I think basically anti diplomatic and suicidal in politics. But what I would really like is face-off debates between and or among men of their stature

    • Jay says:

      I think when people take a shot at Gordon’s ’emotion’, its his zeal and enthusiasm coming out. Rather hard to discern, considering with it he always has a logical and rational answer. The way you perceive Gordon taking ‘shots’ is just him putting the truth out there, plain and simple. He’s not adding anymore hot air to make himself look big. When it comes down to comparing what is most important to him to another candidate, he’ll state the obvious that the people don’t already know.

      I don’t think anything can be more suicidal at this point than what Noynoy is doing with politics, or lack of it. At least both men know how to be statesmen when needed and know their flaws. However both are capable of quickly learning from said flaws and progress to the real goals.

      • ben says:

        Another concern I had after going to Zambales over the weekend is the issue of Gibo’s Political Allies… A lot of them seem to be opportunistic, all the same as Erap’s, Noynoy’s and Villar’s. Hell, Erap and Jinggoy are even considered as Gibo’s allies themselves. In Zambales, the Magsaysays, who are the Gordon’s political rivals, who continually make up rumours of corruption within the Gordon country of Subic-Olongapo, were under Gibo. I saw posters everywhere with Gibo and the Magsaysays. But one just has to compare the two neighbouring areas: Subic-Olongapo and Zambales. Go out there and see for yourselves.

        If Gordon takes a shot at the people as Rennan said, it is because they are relevant to the subject at hand. He took a shot at Gibo because he was asked as to why he ran. Gordon believed that there was no one on the list of candidates that he could entrust the nation to. Voting for someone is exactly that, entrusting them the nation. If you want to deny his observations against Gibo, then that’s up to you not to accept it, but it still does not take away the fact that it happened.

        Nothing that Gordon ever said during the pre-elections should be taken lightly. He pointed out all the problems in our country and presented his plans to fix it, which started in each and everyone of us. He didn’t make promises and neither did he campaign in a way that he would be able to save the nation. He presented what he had done, what he is still doing and what he would do if he was elected.

        Gibonians need to research a bit more I think. A lot of you guys have been hypnotized by his eloquence, good looks and hot wife (yes, he’s very foxy 🙂 ). Look back at what he has accomplished, and u will see that it was not that many. No significant change was achieved by Gibo in all his yrs in politics and considering he had all the connections to take advantage of for the good. The guy wasn’t even sure if he wanted to run in the first place.

      • ben says:

        i meant SHE’s very foxy 😆

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