POLITICIANS running for public office don’t seem to be courting our votes the right way.
As we can see several months into next year’s elections, both the veterans and neophytes are insulting the electorate, treating them as dumb and stupid.
While promising to give better service than the present Malacañang occupant, presidential wannabes have been traveling across the country, but still would not say categorically that they are running for president or vice president or for re-election even if it is quite obvious that they have been salivating for the position.
We don’t know for sure if these aspirants are traveling at their personal expense or using their office budget and staff to make their presence felt in places they would not have otherwise visited if they were not eyeing a higher position, all in the guise of public consultation.
Nothing is wrong in getting the feel or the pulse of the people on certain issues, or knowing first-hand what they want or expect from government, but doing so months close to an election makes the move politically motivated and highly suspicious.
These visits also allow them to touch base with potential financiers, campaign leaders, local executives and other people necessary to build a network to carry out an effective campaign.
It is unfortunate that our political leaders would rather do the trapo way of campaigning – singing out of tune, strutting, and distributing dole outs – instead of walking the extra mile to make the public understand the issues so they can make informed and intelligent decisions.
I used to like the song “That’s What Friends are For” by Dionne Warwick until Justice Secretary Leila de Lima sang it to a huge crowd in vote-rich Cebu recently. De Lima should be thankful to the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) protesters for helping her recover her reputation after that unpleasant song number.
Whoever told her that she could sing, please remind her that you mean she could sing within the confines of her bedroom only, not in public. That is, if you do not want the public to get insulted with her singing out of tune.
If she sings again in public, it could remind people about the reported sex video tape on her that jueteng whistle blower Sandra Cam supposedly keeps. That is not farfetched if those who suggested that she could be the vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party (LP) is looking for if the INC continues to assert that she should lay her hands off the religious sect’s internal affairs or quit. She could be the next target of unsavory propaganda courtesy of her detractors and the alleged sex video tape could be a good material to destroy her.
Seeing Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte dancing, or is it strutting, the “Whip/Nae Nae” dance steps was awful. He is stiff like a rod.
I happened to be assigned to cover the House of Representatives when Duterte was elected congressman. He was an absentee. Months later he wanted to resign, saying he was bored with endless discussions in committee hearings and listening to privilege speeches in plenary sessions. Perhaps that’s why he had said that if and when elected president, he would abolish Congress. To some extent, I agree that scrapping Congress seems like a logical idea. But that deserves another column piece.
Duterte’s image as a tough-talking politician serves him good, but his indecision about running for higher office is self-destructing.
It is equally annoying to see photos of Mar Roxas and Francis Tolentino directing traffic on busy thoroughfares. Was it just a coincidence that both were criticized on social media for riding motorbikes without wearing protective helmets? Or do they share a team of publicists who advise their clients to show that they can violate the regulations that their offices should be enforcing?
Candidates for political power in this country are clearly showing that they don’t have to come up with good policies. All they need is to convince voters that they are less bad than the next viable alternative. They are showing the public that they can disobey the law.
It is indeed quite sad that every election, our choices are limited among bad alternatives. We are left to choose the lesser evil because our tradition of campaigning has become dirtier as years go by.
Candidates, or their allies and spin masters, have been throwing mud at each other, demonizing their opponents. As a line in Madonna’s song “You Must Love Me” says: “Where do we go from here? This isn’t where we intended to be.”
I long for the time when candidates would treat the electorate with decency and respect. No singing out of tune, no dancing with two left feet, no demonizing rival candidates, no jejemon or beki speak, please!
Otherwise, I would imagine people singing a line from “Do You Hear the People Sing” in the musicale Les Miserables that goes: “Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men? It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again!”
Oh well, I’d rather part with my money watching these musicales than waste time seeing politicians somersaulting on television and on social media.