Tales of vote buy­ing

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

With the on­set of the cam­paign sea­son, many if not most vot­ers are look­ing for­ward to some sort of a fi­nan­cial wind­fall in the days and weeks ahead.

It’s no brainer.

If the re­cent barangay elec­tions were enough to go by, bribe money will rain like crazy in ev­ery nook and cranny in your po­lit­i­cally-crazed neck of the woods.

But vot­ers are hereby cau­tioned: man­age your ex­pec­ta­tions.

This early, some vot­ers al­ready feel a let­down from some can­di­dates lo­cally.

One provin­cial bet, for ex­am­ple, is said to be giv­ing away mar­i­nated chick­ens, not cash, ready to be cooked and served in a jiffy. It would have been more ap­pre­ci­ated if the can­di­date gave the equiv­a­lent in cash, be­moans one mid­dle-aged house­wife.

The dis­ap­point­ment even dipped fur­ther when the house­wife found out that the chicken was not the whole stuff but just pair of legs.

So will the voter go for the can­di­date?

She will keep her op­tions open un­til a bet­ter deal comes along. Maybe a whole chicken and cash per­haps.

In the last barangay elec­tions, she re­mem­bers quite well that the win­ner gave as high as P1,000 per meet­ing. Maybe more, she spec­u­lated, had there been no ru­mors cir­cu­lat­ing around that time that the co­or­di­na­tor helped him­self with the moolah.

Lately, a may­oralty bet has been giv­ing out P500, and she won­ders why. Of course, greed, whether mod­er­ate or not, is some­what ir­ra­tional. The house­wife, un­der­stand­ably, failed to con­sider the scale of op­er­a­tions, not to men­tion the tim­ing. Big money usu­ally comes on the eve of elec­tion, as one pop­u­lar politi­cian— now in an­other life, thank­fully— had per­fected.

There was a time when a may­oralty bet lost the elec­tion, or so the word went around, be­cause some of his co­or­di­na­tors had their own for­mula in dis­tribut­ing the bribe money. Usu­ally, they thought it was on a com­mis­sion ba­sis. So the money was not given in full to the vot­ers.

Folks, that’s the way it is, has been for the long­est time, and I am afraid, will be till king­dom come. Pol­i­tics here is about money, pe­riod. You can eas­ily val­i­date that by count­ing on your five fin­gers— not ten— politi­cians who have not be­come rich or richer while in of­fice.

Vot­ers, as usual, re­main as poor as they have been be­fore.

Who did cor­rupt whom the first time is the chick­e­nand-egg ques­tion that ev­ery now then is the sub­ject of a never-end­ing de­bate.

In the mean­time, money buys scru­ples like no­body’s busi­ness.

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