Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How not to vote

Art by Aaron Felizmenio.
I just came across this interesting article in Tapat, an online news publication (soon to be print tabloid). It talks about how to be a good voter by describing the bad habits of a bad voter ("bobotante").

Here's one that must be reiterated:

3. “Di ko kilala mga kandidato. Bahala na sa makikita ko sa balota.”
Napakaraming mga web pages tulad nito na nagpapakilala sa mga kandidato. Pag bibili ka ng cellphone, nag-re-research ka pa ng sandamukal at nagtatanong-tanong ka kung ano ang okey na bilhin. Naghahanap ka pa kung san ka makakamura. Andami mong oras na naka-log in sa Facebook pero yung pagbasa man lang ng profile at list ng mga kandidato online, di mo magawa. Tapos rereklamo ka ng kung sino-sino ang nananalo.

It's true that before we go vote, we have to do our homework! It sucks that it seems many are more willing to do enough (or too much) homework on a gadget that they want to buy, but think so little of the candidate they will vote. Remember, this is they guy who will represent YOU in the next few years of your life as citizen.

I like this one too:

6. “Di na ko boboto, wala rin naman magbabago.”Ok lang yan, pero huwag ka ring masyadong mag-reklamo. Dahil ang di mo pagboto, katulad na rin ‘yan ng pagsuporta mo sa taong ayaw mong manalo. Ang di mo pagboto, ay hindi direktang pagboto sa kandidatong di mo gusto.

Your non-vote is an indirect vote cast for the person you do not wish to put in office. When you vote and your candidate doesn't win, well, at least that gives you the right to say "I didn't vote for that guy" when his term turns out to be an epic fail. 

But seriously, if there is a candidate you deem worthy of the position, don't hesitate to cast your vote for him or her. More than a right, voting is a RESPONSIBILITY. It's the role you fulfill to help chart the course of the country. I use a nautical idiom purposefully: because in seafaring terms, err just one degree off course and your direction completely changes in time. Before you know it, your ship does not find port and you are lost.

So, study... and vote wisely.