Is­sues, not per­son­al­ity

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! - KARL G. OMBION

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.