Angelhouser | A Journal By Angelica Bautista Viloria

Friday, March 27, 2009

Have You Chosen Your Presidential Candidate?

May 2010 seems so far away still but I am beginning to sense a good amount of desperation in my bones. I look at the current crop of candidates who appear to be jockeying to run for president of the Philippines and I am reminded of a line in one of my favorite children's story Mitchell is Moving -- same old, same old.

People who are respectable and who may have the capability and have actually done a lot of good, even without occupying a political position, do not desire to run. Politicians who have been around for years, and who have not effected any real change in the way politics has progressed (why does that sound so wrong and inaccurate?) in this country, seem to want to convince us that they are the change that we will need. Hohum.

As early as now, I hear people talking about the "lesser evil" that I wonder when a candidate for the "greater good" will show up. I likewise hear individuals saying that "honesty is not enough to be President." I worry about the influence of wives, girlfriends, mothers and the ability to govern alongside strong name recall. Sometimes, I really think that an ideal President would be an orphaned only child, with no desire to marry, and one who hardly had any friends or relatives. If that were the case though, how would he get the most number of votes?

In a democracy, the person who gets the most number of votes wins. In my imaginary world, sometimes I dream (it's ridiculous and unacceptable but of course, it is just a dream) that the opposite is true. The person with the least number of votes wins. Why? The crowd is not always correct. There are more average people than brilliant ones.

In my imaginary world too, candidates do not need to spend millions and billions of pesos. In fact, they are not allowed to campaign the usual way. The Comelec will buy spots on TV, radio, newspapers, blogs and YouTube and will give each candidate equal airtime and space. The major dailies and magazines will ask each candidate to answer the same ten questions and will publish the answers for all to see and read. Each candidate will need to spell out the first three things that he/she will do after assuming office and each voter will have access to each candidate's complete biography covering areas like family and educational background, professional experience, and achievements.

I don't have a presidential candidate to vote for yet but I assure you that I will vote. Whether I vote for someone I totally believe in or someone who is acceptable but may not be the best will depend on the crop of candidates that will come up. I hope that there will be more acceptable candidates to choose from. Let's wait and see.