A matter of maturity
TWO complaints have so far been raised after the completion of the filing of the cer tificates of candidacy (COC) for the May 2019 elections. One is about members of political dynasties again wreaking havoc on the choices in congressional districts and local government units and the other is about old politicians filing COCs instead of going to pasture.
Indeed, a major problem in our electoral setup is that voters are placed at the mercy of the first phase of an election, the finalization of the list of candidates. This phase is crucial because it determines whether a really good leader can be had by a certain jurisdiction after these candidates are voted on.
The maneuvering by politicians actually starts here when the capacity to wage an electoral campaign trumps all other considerations, including leadership qualities. This is where members of political dynasties and political veterans, including the very old ones, get a chance to prevail. This is also the phase where good leaders lose the determination to run in an election.
In the 2019 elections, an incumbent official who was planning to run for a higher post and challenge the one at the top was wooed by the latter to be his running mate instead. The one at the top knew that the incumbent who was planning to challenge him would be a formidable opponent.
Suffice it to say that the incumbent official went on to file his COC and he and the top official are ranged against each in next year’s polls. At least the voters in the jurisdiction where the two officials are running are being given a good choice. Imagine if the top official had his way: voters wouldn’t have had any other choice but to vote for him.
How many times have we, as voters, viewed the list of candidates for a certain position and ended up choosing the lesser evil? We are forced to do that because there are instances when all the candidates are evil of sorts. This is surprising because of the millions of people living in a certain jurisdiction, there should have been hundreds of thousands more deserving of a person’s vote.
Yet even when a more deserving young candidate is able to run, voters also do not grab the chance to make him or her win. Which brings us to the main problem: voters’ lack of political maturity.