May 14, 2013
Election Vote-Buying and Vote-Selling
Election in High Gear
As timing would have it, I was traveling the countryside of Mindanao during election frenzy. Vehicles with plastered posters and loudspeakers blaring pop tunes would pass by grabbing your attention. The landscape was marred by political billboards. Politicians come out of the woodwork doing a song-and-dance number to wow the crowd. They shake hands and kiss babies. It was mindless.
I talked to a few people waiting on the street hoping someone would give them money in exchange for their votes. The economic imperative tops the hierarchy of needs. How can you talk about integrity when you have mouths to feed?
A way to filter-out the trapos (traditional politicians) is to scrap-out the politicians buying votes. Why? For one thing, they obviously don't have faith in the electoral process otherwise they won't find the need to buy votes. Second, they are obviously spending more than what they'll legitimately earn should they hold that position. This only means they'll steal back from the public treasury to recoup their election expense.
For every P100 you accept from a politician, you are in effect giving him permission to steal P10,000 pesos from you in terms of lost public spending (for schools, hospitals, etc.).
: Sadly, if you keep the people poor enough (by paying them less than minimum wage, getting them indebted and delaying their wages) and ignorant enough (like inundating them with Boom-Tarat mindlessness in the media and cutting-off education budget), you can manipulate them like a marionette. As one politician put it, "abuse the Filipino for 6 years, and come election time, throw them P1000 and you'll get their vote."
May 14, 2013
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