Filipino voters should be blamed for the Philippines’ problems

I don’t think there is a point in holding elections in the Philippines. It’s so expensive and the whole process just disrupts normal activities and keeps Filipinos from moving forward. What is the point in going through something that won’t even change or improve how things are being run in the country anyway?

Before every election, the candidates use literally the same song and dance routine to entertain the voters. After the election is over, the candidates go back to doing everything they can to protect their family’s interests and virtually nothing that could benefit the rest of the population. It’s just ridiculous.

jejomar_binay_erap_estrada_campaign
[Photo courtesy When in Manila.]

If the Filipino voters are going to choose and elect their public servants from candidates who come from the same families who have been ruling the country for decades, then these families ought to just take turns in having a go at those lucrative positions in government; something like a contractual term will do. That’ll save us from bearing with all the empty slogans, campaign jingles, and adolescent mudslinging in the months leading to Election Day.

It’s getting harder and harder to feel sorry for Filipinos nowadays. They keep blaming others for their miseries when the fact is they are the ones who vote for the same people who cause much of their miseries. One can be forgiven for saying that Filipino voters are simply stupid, arrogant and just a bunch of losers.

At the moment, there are 178 dynasties ruling 73 of the 80 provinces in the Philippines. Now, that’s a lot. Who voted for these people? The answer: the same people who continue to complain about their wretched lives. Even a convicted plunderer can run again and again for public office. As long as he is popular, he and the rest of his family’s chances of winning are strong. It’s so pathetic.

Every three years the voters have an opportunity to vote for someone new and yet they still choose to vote for the same bozos. If Filipinos are tired of the same families who are running the country, why can’t they demand the end of the ruling of the dynasties? It should be easy enough to do if the clamor to end it is loud enough. The clamor for better candidates should culminate on Election Day, when voters choose someone who doesn’t belong to a ruling elite and someone who holds a true vision for the country.

Some Filipinos think that blaming the candidates is the way to go. Yes, majority of the candidates are taking advantage of the voter’s ignorance. These candidates deserve the scrutiny and some of the valid criticism. However, let us not ignore the fact that the voters are responsible for choosing the candidates.

Take a candidate like Nancy Binay. She is using her father’s popularity to win the election. Some of her critics are actually too harsh on her when they should be directing their anger at the voters. Nancy Binay or Bam Aquino would not even think twice about running if they knew they didn’t have a chance to win – if they knew the voters use their heads. But they know that having a popular family name is enough for them to win. What Nancy or Bam are doing may be unethical or wrong but they are comforted by the fact that it was the people who want them to win.

campaign_texting_philippines
[Photo courtesy Showbiz Government.]

According to Bobby Tuazon who is the director for policy studies at the Centre for People Empowerment in Governance, the country’s political landscape is “getting worse”. Here’s what he had to say about the mid-term elections:

Tuazon projected that when all votes are counted, 21 of the 24 Senate seats will fall under the control of political families. That includes former President Joseph Estrada’s two sons from different mothers. In the House of Representatives, about 80 percent of the 229 seats will also be dominated by dynasties.

“The government will remain under the control of the traditional political parties,” he said.

“These are the same elites who control the economic resources of the country,” Tuazon said. What is even more alarming for him is that clans are no longer content in fielding two or three family members each election cycle.

In the province of Maguindanao, where 34 journalists covering a campaign were killed in 2009, about 80 members of the Ampatuan family, which has been implicated in the massacre, are running for office.

I can’t help but think that Tuazon is letting the Filipino voters off the hook with regard to the worsening state of Philippine politics. It’s as if the Filipino people are not free to choose. Filipinos are free to vote for the right candidate but they choose the wrong ones most of the time. President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino is proof of this. I mean, why would the voters in Maguidananao still want to put any of the Ampatuan family in power after senior members of the clan allegedly massacred 52 innocent people? It’s so inconceivable.

Shaming the members of political dynasties does not even work. They have become dense and do not seem to have any shred of decency left. Since that is the case, shaming the voters could work instead in changing the political landscape in the Philippines. If the voters still prefer giving up their right to have a decent life, then members of the dynasties should just take turns ruling them, indeed. At the end of the day, Filipino voters should be blamed for how the public servants they voted for run the country.

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8 Responses to Filipino voters should be blamed for the Philippines’ problems

  1. chico ramirez says:

    wow everythings. very true indeed how STUPUD pinoy voters are. they dont wwant to wake up. and when it comes to elction..it was even done before it got started bcus the ballot boxes were rigged already..what a money wasted on the sucker PCOS machine..its just a govt show thing and to the dynasty families..theyre all nothing but money greedy evil KAPALMUKS with no regards to human lives… can compare it to like GENOCIDES with their atrocities to the country a
    that the Pinoys dont even realized whats going on with them. They were being suck by those LEECHES. I pity your country.

  2. tiredofparrots says:

    nothing new here. what’s your solution?

  3. Lara says:

    My heart aches for the Philippines. Such a beautiful country with wonderful people stuck in a culture that prohibits progression and growth. You cannot blame and shame the population and expect a positive outcome. The problem is far more complex than “stupid voters”. It has been culturally ingrained in the Filipino subconscious that voting for popular names is the just the thing to do or the safest bet. And it is these political dynasties that have immense wealth (often at the expense of their countrymen and women), which enables them to run far-reaching and successful election campaigns. It is a vicious cycle. It has been my observation that Filipino culture encourages going with the status quo, fitting in, and following orders (especially if someone says God said so). It does not encourage critical thinking, asking questions and using one’s own, God-given mind to create change. And why would it if the long-held political power families benefit from a culture of inaction? It is these deep-seated issues which permeate the Filipino psyche that need to be addressed. There are positive changes happening in the Philippines, and there are critical and questioning voices slowly rising from the masses (just look at this website). Change is possible but it will take the loud voices of the younger generations to spread this message of change throughout their communities and to make it the “new norm” to share ideas and take action. God put us on this earth to express ourselves – so stand up and be heard.

  4. Ric Anthony A. Reyes says:

    The truth of the article is convincing. We must be the ones who will be blamed because of the fact that we are the ones just repeatedly put politicians who are known for corruption, political dynastic families among other notorious labels. Yet, let us not be hard to the message of this: we should not just lie sleepy and hopeless because everything is in “cycle”. We can do something if we ourselves are conscientious in voting and helping others know who are the bests. I am afraid that this is not an overnight transformation or a “magical affair” in a matter of minutes. The solution is large scale – it takes a personal commitment and witnessing that we do something personally. Each one of us who has a capacity to do right with ease must be the ones to step forward and do something which others will follow. God bless the Philippines!

  5. Aujencio Siojo jr. says:

    The truth really hurts, the problem is too heavy. What we can do is do something to reform voting habits. Start with you , your family and your friends.We can use the social media, speak-out your mind and how you feel about it.

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  8. Larry says:

    The problem is not that simple.

    The first problem is that the electoral process is fucked from the bottom on up. In one of the recent elections held, I was at the voting locations and representatives of EVERY candidate were purchasing votes brazenly outside the institutions like it was an open market. Moreover, the secrecy of the ballot is compromised as well – it’s not like the vote buying will work unless the buyers can check on your vote, right? There are lots of holes. Teachers are compromised. Vote guards are compromised. Comelec itself is compromised. It’s all cheating from top to bottom.

    The second problem is that powerful political oligarchs will not suffer the existence of a representative that truly enforces the desires of her constituency. There are manners and ways of compromising an elected official, starting with the paltry official salaries, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Candidates for positions as low as Barangay Captain gun each other down in broad daylight in order to secure political offices. Your very life is on the line when you run for any political office. Without the patronage of a powerful family, you must either be very powerful yourself or you will quickly be dead. Most such people bow down to the pressures and accept some compromise to see at least part of their visions come true, at which point they’ve bought into the corrupted system.

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