La Mesa de la Lib­er­tad: Pro­file of a voter

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

THE cof­fee “afi­ciona­dos” at La Mesa de la Lib­er­tad are con­sid­ered to be ‘doc­tor­ates’ in street pol­i­tics. Their po­lit­i­cal spec­u­la­tion can make or un­make the can­di­dates. They al­ways be­lieve that in the long run, only the vot­ers can make of­fi­cials for the coun­try or for the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units.

Their cof­fee shop ex­pe­ri­ence made them sur­geons of vot­ers who will vote for can­di­dates. We have vot­ers be­long­ing to the “in­teligen­cia.” They can­not be bought and can­not be dic­tated by ap­peal to rea­son or emo­tion. They are the ‘lit­er­ate’ who can­not be per­suaded by po­lit­i­cal prom­ises.

There is also the “sniper group of vot­ers.” They snipe the can­di­dates with their snoop­er­scope to iden­tify the can­di­dates’ ca­pac­ity to spend. If they are cer­tain of their pro­file, they will present their ghost bat­tal­ion as bait for the can­di­dates. If the can­di­dates fall un­der the trap, that could sim­ply mean series of ex­pense un­til elec­tion time.

The “prom­ise hook­ers” are like gay but­ter­flies. They cap­i­tal­ize on their com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion to any can­di­date who can make the best of­fer. If the can­di­date wins this but­ter­fly will be­come an ad­viser, a con­sul­tant, an ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant, or will be pro­vided a co-ter­mi­nus po­si­tion.

There are vot­ers who are not just vot­ers. They are ‘po­lit­i­cal in­vestors’ who are will­ing to spend their money as a po­lit­i­cal in­vest­ment for a can­di­date. There is al­ways a catch. If the can­di­date for mayor or gover­nor wins, they will have a share in the “pol­i­tics of econ­omy.” They could be send­ing their own fa­vored con­trac­tors or they may want to par­take in the in­tel­li­gence fund, or spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Fund, or may ask a fa­vor for the ap­proval of an in­vest­ment.

An­other group be­longs to the “wheel of for­tune.” For them, a can­di­date should be a Sta. Claus. They want their vote to be ex­changed with crisp cash. They don’t call it vote buy­ing. They call it the “gen­eros­ity” of the can­di­date. That gen­eros­ity could cost a can­di­date more than five hun­dred pe­sos per head. No­body wants to be se­ri­ous but it could only hap­pen.

There is this group known as “ca­nine devo­tees.”

They still be­long to the semi-feu­dal world. They don’t care for the can­di­dates. They only care for the wish of the landown­ers who have their own can­di­dates… friends or rel­a­tives. On Elec­tion Day the work­ers who go out and vote are pro­vided a reg­u­lar daily wage. The “ha­cen­dero” gen­eros­ity still works.

The “hunter vot­ers” are dan­ger­ous. Their names are in the list of all can­di­dates. For them, the elec­tion is for one day only. It could be an op­por­tu­nity for them to make money. Who­ever wins to­mor­row, they don’t care. The can­di­dates would not re­mem­ber them.

Elec­tion is fun. Vot­ing is funny. Jok­ers are just around. Many of us still be­lieve that the right of suf­frage is sa­cred. Let us not waste our vote. There are al­ways can­di­dates who are com­mit­ted to serve us. Let us in­clude them in our list. We pray for them.*

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