THREE DAYS to Election Day. Are you prepared for it? Here are a few practical do’s and don’ts for voters:
1. Do NOT vote for members of political dynasties. If they do not respect our Constitution, how do you expect them to respect us and our rights?
2. Do NOT vote for candidates just because they were endorsed by President Aquino or Vice President Jejomar Binay. If these two do not obey the Constitution promulgated by President Corazon Aquino, P-Noy’s mother and the person who first appointed Binay to a government position, how can we expect them to obey lesser laws?
3. Do NOT vote for candidates because of their surname. A surname does not make a person; character and intellect do. So ask: Does the candidate have a good moral character, is intelligent, and is well-educated?
4. Do NOT sell your vote. Vote-buying and -selling are prohibited and penalized. You can go to prison if you are caught. By buying your vote, the buyer shows he/she does not respect our laws and can just as easily violate other laws, including those that pertain to your rights. If you desperately need the money, accept it, but all the more should you not vote for him/her. By buying your vote, he/she shows he does not deserve it.
5. Do NOT vote for candidates just because they shook your hand or posed for a picture with you, or they are natives of your town or province, or they are godparents of a relative. Look at their qualifications, track record, and advocacy.
6. If you are a voter in the Zamboanga peninsula, do NOT vote for any member of the Jalosjos clan. Don’t allow yourselves to be ruled by a convicted child rapist.
7. If you are in Sarangani, do NOT vote for any Pacquiao family member. This early, the family is showing utter disrespect for our Constitution. Imagine what they will do when they are in government for a longer period and has control of your province. Manny Pacquiao is, or was, a good boxer, but he has not been a good congressman, as he has shown during his first term. Congress is not a boxing ring. Pacquiao is out of his league there.
8. Do NOT vote for a candidate whose only qualification is her surname and having been a “personal assistant” of her father. What can you expect from the daughter of a father who, when asked what her qualifications for the Senate are, replied, “Because she is my daughter,” and later, “Because I’m her father”? How conceited! Imagine how much more conceited they will be if we elect them to high positions in government.
9. Do NOT vote for a candidate just because he looks like a martyred relative and tries very much to look like the latter and uses him and other dead relatives in his commercials.
10. Do NOT vote for a candidate whose only qualification is the name of her well-loved father that she uses for the purpose of the election.
11. Do NOT vote for any party-list group. Nominees of party-lists are fooling us. They do not really represent the alleged marginalized groups they claim to represent. They were not chosen by those they claim to represent; they chose themselves. And many of them do not belong to the groups they represent.
12. Do NOT vote for any party-list group claiming to represent the media. They are capitalizing on the reputation and goodwill built up by the media through the years, but they were never chosen by us, members of the media. Besides, the media are neither marginalized nor underrepresented.
13. Do NOT let the poll surveys influence your vote. Those high in the rankings do NOT need your vote. It is those who are lagging behind who do.
14. Do NOT be discouraged by the opinion polls. Those low in the rankings can still win if enough of you switch your votes from the political dynasties to them.
15. Do NOT vote for squatter-coddlers, especially in local elections. Some squatters need help but not all of them do. Many are opportunists taking advantage of the squatter-coddlers and the absence of laws against squatting. They have businesses and two- to four-story houses but they do not pay taxes or business fees, yet steal the lots of law-abiding, taxpaying citizens.
16. VOTE for the rivals of members of political dynasties, especially in the provinces. That is the fastest and surest way to get rid of the political clans, which are a bane to our political system and governance.
17. VOTE for candidates who are against political dynasties, the pork barrel, and constitutional change. The first two suck most of the taxes we pay and we cannot trust the present crop of politicians to monkey around with our Constitution.
18. VOTE for candidates you think are honest, sincere and will serve us well even if they rank low in the opinion polls. If enough of us voters switch our votes to them, they can win.
19. VOTE for candidates who have good qualifications and have good track records.
20. VOTE for candidates running against incumbents who have not done well or are suspected of graft and corruption. If only friends and allies of incumbents succeed them, nobody will check what they have done. There will be no checks and balances. If oppositionists succeed incumbents, the latter will be careful not to violate laws lest their successors discover their wrongdoing.
21. Go to the polling places early so you don’t have to wait long to vote. Be careful in shading your ballot. If your pen goes beyond the circle opposite your candidate’s name, the voting machine may not count it.
22. Go to the polling places with a list of your preferred candidates so you will not be influenced by the horde of politicians’ supporters who will hand you self-serving handbills and sample ballots.
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There will be no Kapihan sa Manila at the Diamond Hotel on Election Day. Kapihan will resume on May 20.