2016 Elections: Thoughts from a Youth Voter


The May 9 elections are coming. There is tension among us on addressing the question of whom to vote as the date comes nearer. As terrible issues unfold prior the ‘day of judgment’, the question remains: “For whom should my vote be counted?”

 

Most politicians put as their priority the demand for adequate basic needs, in hopes of gaining the people’s support. Shelter, food, education, livelihood and infrastructure are the regulars of proposed platforms. Clueless voters, lured by flowery talks, are most likely to become the victims of these ‘promises’.

 

As a personal observation, a significant group of people doesn’t care about knowing the truth at all. They just depend on the radio, television ads and posters, indebtedness and gratitude towards a certain candidate, and –though the truth hurts—one’s financial capabilities. Everything depends on how much a candidate can give them. Don’t be a hypocrite; we all know what I am referring to. It is all about money; honor comes after food is at the table.

 

My fellow citizens, sometimes it is our fault why we have these so-called “corrupt” politicians in our government. We have the right – a privilege – to choose whether we want to have a better Philippines or not, and yet because of money, we choose to let the country fall into the hands of corrupt leaders. We compromise our children’s future – and the generations after – for an amount that won’t last. We put our care only to the present moment – we are focused on instant gratification. Needless to say, on election time, we are selfish! We don’t really care at all. We do not let ourselves get involved in collective decision-making; we just go with the flow.

 

I once asked a friend on whom she will choose to vote for a certain position and I was so surprised with her answer I wanted to laugh out loud in utter dismay. She answered, “depende sa lagay!” She was laughing afterwards. Is this how we should put our trust and confidence in a running candidate?

 

Though many of us find this practice during election period as becoming a tradition, it is also necessary to consider the welfare and future of our next generation. Parents may react on this article but boldly speaking, we should not rely on politicians especially in issues concerning our children – education, health and other needs. We should give honor to government leaders that we elect because we believe in them, in their abilities and capabilities to lead.

 

Exercising the right to vote is not a mechanism to gain instant benefits. It is not for sale – for doing this means one doesn’t care about a candidate’s character and reputation. Engaging with this means all that matters is the answer to the question of ‘how much?’ For me, your vote signifies who you are. The candidate you chose equals yourself.

 

On May 9, we have the power to decide, to make a change, to be ourselves. Let your power prevail.

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