With the 2016 Philippine elections just 5 months away, we are now getting closer to choose our next leaders and legislators. But despite the fact that the campaign period starts in February, we are now being bombarded by political advertisements in TV and social media. With the current situation of our country, here are the 10 commandments on how to vote wisely.
#1 Know everything about each candidate
Whether they are running for national or local position, it’s very important that we know everything about each candidate. Instead of focusing on one particular candidate only, spend time also to know facts and history of other candidates, as well as their concrete plans for the country once they get elected. Are their promises really doable or mainly to attract votes?
#2 Scrutinize their credentials
Running for public office is like applying for job. Therefore, we must act like an employer or a staff of the HR (Human Resources) department. Don’t just read their resumes, but rather scrutinize them. Do a thorough research, and take advantage of the Internet. Google their names, and don’t just rely on what you read and watch on social media especially Facebook.
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#3 Listen with an open mind
Politicians invest money just to learn public speaking and how to deal with different kinds of voters. Just like salesmen, they possess good looks and a very sweet voice. So beware when they speak kind words, especially when they are too good to be true. Instead, listen to them with an open mind. Intelligent politicians sometimes use words that should not be taken literally.
#4 Focus on issues, not personal attacks
Every political candidate has a dark past, just like anyone of us. It’s also very common that a politician is being accused of doing something illegal or immoral. We all know how dirty politics is; anyone can easily run to media (on social media) to destroy a politician’s image. So instead of entertaining personal attacks and rumors, focus on the real issues surrounding them.
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#5 Never vote based on popularity
Unfortunately, this is a major problem for people who don’t have time (or lazy enough) to dig deeper about each candidate. In fact, this weakness of voters is being taken advantage by rich candidates. Note that politicians are also actors, but not because many of them come from show business. So please, never ever vote a candidate just because he is famous.
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#6 Analyze how they handle stress
Being a public servant (especially president) is a very stressful task, and definitely not for onion-skinned individuals. We expect politicians throwing dirt on each other, and sometimes even hitting below the belt. Many of them spend tons of money just to have a good image to the public. But in reality, some of them easily get angry (pikon) and and cannot handle stress.
#7 Don’t fall for these so-called God-fearing politicians
For the record, we are not insulting Christians especially Catholics. But the phrase “God-fearing” has been abused by traditional politicians. And if we analyze it deeper, it appears to be an isolation to non-Christians. Yes, we are a Catholic country, but serving the people is NOT about religion. In fact, there is an existing law separating the State and the Church.
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#8 Don’t just join the majority vote
Many politicians tend to ask support from big groups so they can instantly get majority votes. The problem with this is that you are taking away your right to choose. While there’s really nothing wrong in listening to suggestions, don’t vote a candidate just because you feel that many people will vote for him. In short, don’t allow anyone to dictate your personal choice.
#9 Listen to critics but avoid haters
Haters are born to be always negative. They never really like anyone and all they know is to oppose to people they don’t like personally. Don’t even try to debate with them because you will never win. On the other hand, critics are people who really understand the issues. Listening to them will help you weigh things based on facts, not just personal opinions.
#10 Vote what our country needs, not who you need
Politicians act like as if they really love the poor. In fact, many of them give away goods and money to poor families or do favors for rich businessmen. It’s fine to accept their gifts especially if you really need them, but it doesn’t mean you should vote for them. Let’s stop this ‘utang na loob’ philosophy and vote what our country really needs, once and for all.
Taho News is not affiliated with any political party and is not endorsing any political candidate. The purpose of the above article is help educate Filipino voters all over the world in the coming 2016 Philippine elections.
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