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Country > Philippines > Surigao del Sur > Cortes
Date > 2013 > May
Activity > Politics


Election Vote-Buying and Vote-Selling May 14, 2013

Election Vote-Buying and Vote-Selling

Location Google Map: Cortes, Surigao del Sur, Philippines

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.

Election Vote-Buying and Vote-Selling
vote-buying and vote-selling

I talked to a few people waiting on the street. I asked why they were just standing by the roadside. They were hoping a political candidate would give them money in exchange for their votes. They were mostly poor people. 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 don't have faith in the electoral process otherwise they won't find the need to buy votes. Second, they are 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 permitting him to steal P10,000 pesos from you in terms of lost public spending (for schools, hospitals, etc.).

Ending Thoughts
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."

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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