Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Essay: Voting for the Awkward Guy

This time, who I am voting for is simply “not cool.” He is not charismatic, and his cheap photo-ops really puts me off.

6 years ago, our nation's issues were corruption, jobs, economic stability, and the underdeveloped (if not stagnant) countryside.

Now, our problems are internet speeds, traffic, vehicle license plates, trains and airports – all effects of an explosion of growth. Some corrupt politicians are still there, but some big fishes are no longer freely roaming the streets.

Ibalik ang Pilipinas sa Disenteng Pilipino

“Non-inclusive growth,” someone may be quick to point out. But, come on! Can’t they honestly see that our children really has a much brighter future now – more than ever? Just look around your neighborhood, aren’t the businesses bustling like you have never seen before? How about the countryside? It just isn’t what it was pre-2009.

Before it was so simple, campaign taglines were "1 Million Jobs!" You want to help the poor? Create more jobs! You want more jobs? Fix the economy! At this juncture of our history, where even Steve Forbes (chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media) tells our President that he is needed in the US, following economic growth in the country; my appeal to my friends is just to help maintain this momentum – just until we really take off.

If our votes is personality based or sound-bites based, it just contributes to the free-world’s confusion between voting rights and cheapening democracy (just look at the US Republican race or Peru). We are all actually just handing over our sanity to popular media for instant gratification. Just like our issue with the MRT, media has led us to believe that it is government owned, so it is entirely their fault, when it is actually privately owned. And, look at crime. How come it just happens to be hyped-up only every six years when opposition candidates spend to create the impression that it is worse than ever, making the incumbent administration look incompetent. Which in turn, makes us all clamor for drastic change, just for change’s sake. What ever happened to patriotism and sacrifice for the nation’s interest and future generations?

To maintain our gains, it is critical more than ever, for institutions to be stronger. 

If COA says, LTO should no longer pay for those license plates, then let us all make the sacrifice for now and make our institutions go through the painful process of correcting those mistakes, so that they will think twice next time. Circumventing these processes for the sake of expediency will make the administration look good for now, but only weakens our society. Quick fixes will only affirm the shortsightedness of self-centered politicians (and citizens).

In this elections, I am voting for the guy who will continue to work for the reinforcement of these institutions, so that the strength of our government will not be dependent on media-spunned, "cool" or "cute" personas.

I am voting for the hard-working office nerd who takes all the blame, because he does all the actual boring work - never mind his dorky pictures from the company outing.

I am voting for the awkward guy who fell-off an impromptu rented motorbike in the debris-strewn road, on his way to the devastated town where the typhoon Ruby first made landfall. Because, it was still 45 kilometers away, and there were only 2 hours of daylight left...
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This essay, written by Joseph Ian Fuentez, is lifted from his Facebook post. I will be re-posting voices of fellow citizens on their thoughts on the upcoming election, in the hopes that it helps us make a better decision on the names whose circles we will choose to shade in those ballots come May 9. 

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