You know what? I’d really like to call myself a political pundit or political analyst, but I know I am not.
I’d like to kid myself now and then just because I think it’s funny as well as harmless anyway. We all play games with ourselves and being aware that one is yanking his or her own chain is an assurance of not having fallen into some kind of delusion.
I know that I don’t know anymore than the average person who scrolls through political news on their timeline. I have no “intel”, studies, surveys, or FGDs to cite to back any of the views I may have about political developments. I don’t subscribe to a particular political philosophy or have some kind of fixed system that gives me some super special kind of political insight.
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I have no talent at all when it comes to writing the type of super baloney that would land me a mention by the President of the Republic of the Philippines in his final State of the Nation Address.
All I have is a plain kind of figuring, an internet connection, and about twenty friends on Facebook who either feel sorry for me enough to read my posts. What scares me is that I may actually have friends on Facebook who think I actually make sense and without telling me, have lived their lives according to what they think I advised them to do — that’s how religions get started!
Now that I’ve given you fair warning that I am no expert at all and shouldn’t be taken seriously, let me tell you about how I think we should go about choosing who to vote for as president in the 2016 Philippine elections.
I know Benign0 might re-issue Platform Plez and as much as I love that idea, I know that most people won’t get how important it is to scrutinize a candidate’s plans for the country.
Much as I want to believe the guys at PCIJ when they said that “the poor vote is a thinking vote”, I doubt the guys that make a living driving tricycles with asthmatic children actually understand why they are poor beyond the obvious fact that they were born poor.
The PCIJ article cites Focused Group Discussions as the basis for claiming that the poor vote is a thinking vote… Wow!
Apparently, what I know about how poor people think after more than 4 decades of actually interacting with them on a daily basis doesn’t count for diddly squat.
Then again, I have to ask… What did the guys at the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) of the Ateneo de Manila University (the ones who conducted the FGDs) mean by the term “thinking vote” when they applied it to the poor? Of course, every one thinks but there are all sorts of types of thinking. So, the question really is not whether the poor think, but rather, how do the poor think.
If you want a taste of Ateneo baloney, here’s an excerpt from the article:
“The poor ranked education, experience, platform, and track record as among the most important criteria for choosing candidates.”
What a laugh! I am not being condescending guys, please don’t take it that way. It’s just that I know the poor are also known for what is called “pakitang tao”, which refers to how people behave in order to get a reward or approval. So, I wonder, really, if the FGD accounted for that.
Barring that pakitang tao behavior was accounted for, what sort of thinking actually leads people to vote for people like Erap or Bong Revilla or Grace Poe? Did they ask these poor people to cite the platforms, experience, and what not of these politicians? What were the answers?
Here’s the crucial point and sorry if I had to take this round about route: If we want the politics of this country to change, we should put more time and effort in equipping the poor with a means that would enable them to make smarter voting decisions.
Just how that can be done is something I really can’t figure out right now…
So, how do we manage to pick a decent choice for President when the 2016 elections comes around?