Saturday, May 5, 2007

Voting, Elections and Ham

YOU CAN’T NOT VOTE! Especially if you are a registered voter. You see, voting is one of the good things you can do to our country. It is every citizen’s venue to best serve his nation next to paying his taxes. Sure there is cheating. Some powerful, conniving entity will eventually resort to vote buying, ballot box ambush and switching but I cannot understand how that will stop anyone from taking a stand and fighting to put those who are more worthy than others in their respective seats of office.

Bottom line is: you cannot just watch. The elections require an active participation from people, from you. And I know we hear this a lot, but most of our ancestors, especially our women foremothers, they had to swing their bolos just to be granted the right to suffrage. We cannot put their efforts to waste because we say we are dismayed. To those who are just plain lazy, shame on you!

By not voting you are relinquishing your say in our country. You are stripping yourself off your voice, the medium in which you could have aired what you like or hate about our nation. You are gagging yourself. It is ridiculous! You are running away from your responsibility as an inhabitant of our country. And by doing so, you are no different from the people you hate because you, too, are cheating.

A week from now, you can do something to make a difference. You have from 7 A. M. to 3 P. M. to do it. You just have to bring a pen, a valid ID and your conscience to trigger an improvement no matter how minimal it may be. Those who will win will monopolize the microphones for the coming years. But on May 14, you will be the one in command of the mic. Do not waste that opportunity. Vote!

* * *

So the election in our country is a circus. It looks like it, it sounds like it, and, sadly, it is. I cannot seem to find the perfect euphemism for it other than it being a showcase of the extent of a human being’s ability to tell, construct, and modify reality just to persuade the great majority that he is their savior. But heck, it’s how it has always been. I’d like to believe that we have found our way around it to really tell whom to vote.

The campaign season was set by the COMMELEC for all political aspirants to go door to door and put their best feet forward. But we don’t write their names in our ballots because we shook their hands. There’s always their track records we should consider, track records that go way back when they started.

If we are too young to know what they had been doing in the past, we can always research. If we have forgotten our history, there’s always a way to refresh our memories. Sure it will entail a great deal of effort to open the newspapers, or browse on the net or sitdown and listen to candidates prove themselves worthy or imbeciles, but it is better than voting with eyes closed or not voting at all.

Even inside the circus, we are all required to make wise choices because, in the end, our lives depend on it.

* * *

As if it is not obvious how politics transform to entertainment during campaign season, politician wannabes have to turn to celebrities to punctuate the phenomenon. They hire actors or actresses regardless if they themselves are actors and actresses.

I am just wondering what qualifies these hired celebrities to endorse a politician. Apparently it has a lot to do with fame. Because let me think, Patrick Garcia and company, Angel Locsin and Jenalyn Mercado, Sarah Geronimo, and the likes, I doubt if they will vote at all. What with their busy schedules? They can go campaigning but I don’t think they’ll have the time to have their fingers stained by indelible ink in crowded precincts all over the country. Their managers wouldn’t slip voting in their tight schedule.

I don’t know. I hope they will prove me wrong. Otherwise they are just paid hams messing with politics.

Not good at all.

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