Issues, not personality
IS THE distinguishing mark of candidates a platform for change?
Voters struggle for real social change.
By raising the interlocking social issues - from genuine land reform, rural industrialization, employment and job security, social protection and services, to good governance, human rights protection, food security and national sovereignty – these candidates bring the specter of a social change in the corridor of power.
They deserve to win now for they could prevent this nation from being swayed into the road of perdition.
The time, however, seems not on their side. Among the less a hundred senatorial bets, we can only count them in our fingers, and the handful with real chances to land in the Senate are threatened by those in power and their wide web of demagogues, apologists, liars, pitbulls and machof asci st s.
That’s the threat for the likes of Neri Colmenares and Erin Tañada. That’s the challenge for them who stand on issues, not personalities.
Among the thousands vying for local posts, we probably have few dozens. But the pressure of money, patronage, and machinery are overwhelming.
The real threats to the power will face an even bigger challenge as they could end up biting the bullets of the hired assassins or the fanatics of the administration.
Like their senatorial counterpart, they must use all winning combinations possible, without resorting to d em agogu er y.
For the voters reciprocating the social issues raised by the likes of Colmenares and Tañada in their respective sectors and communities, they also help raise the other voters’social consciousness and strengthen the winning chances of the issue-oriented candidates.
In fact, they are more credible to bring up and discuss social issues because they are the ones directly affected on a day to day basis. They don’t need logic or other analytics, but simple experiential testimonies.
In doing so, they complement on the ground and even in social media what the issue-based candidates lack in logistics and machinery.
On the other hand, the bigger picture tells us that the majority of the voters still fall easily into the prey of traditional politicians (trapos).
Some accept money. Others ask for favors. Most ignore the wrongdoings of the “trapos,” which I think is the worst than the others.
Still, I don’t blame these voters. I don’t think they are opportunists, or as bad the “trapos.” I believe they don’t have the capacity to resist the money, machinery and influence of the “trapos” because they are not organized into some sort of neighborhood associations or part of sectoral movements.
Individually, they are powerless. As an organized force, they have the capacity and guts to speak up their hearts and minds, and can even put up counter movements.
What I am saying here is that the issuebased candidates must have connected with the grassroots movements, and through them, multiply their voices and actions.
There is no other time than now, the issues of the national and local interests must ring into the hearts and souls of the voters and they must translate them into votes that make a change.
The challenge is on the shoulder of those who are awakened.