The ‘Power of Nine’ for the 2022 elections
Are you happy with the way our country is being governed? No? But do you still believe there is hope for your country? Then you must also believe that YOU have the power to work for change.”
This came from “The Power of Nine… An Advocacy for Good Governance… A vision for a better Philippines” that was circulating in 2009, in preparation for the 2010 elections. If this resonates with you, Reader, please continue.
The piece goes on (I am substituting the 2022 elections for the 2010 elections): “In May 2022, you and I will have the chance to change our country for the better. But we must translate our hope and our faith into action. We must make sure our voices are heard.
“We must work hand in hand with leaders who embody the ideals of good governance. If you share this advocacy, join us. We call our movement the Power of Nine.”
What is the goal of this advocacy? “We need to inspire millions of purpose-driven volunteers to join our cause. We need to empower people to be pro-active participants in the 2022 elections… We need volunteers—hundreds of thousands, even millions—now.
“First, to raise the money we need to support our advocacy. Second, to protect our votes on Election Day. How can you help?”
Here’s where the Power of Nine comes in. Step 1 is to find nine people who believe as you do. Ask them if they would be willing to contribute P100 (or P50, or P1,000, etc.) a month for nine months.
Step 2 is to ask each one in your team of nine to find another nine volunteers who would be willing to contribute an agreed amount every month until elections.
Step 3 is that each one in the second set of volunteers will now find another nine people to do the same thing. This is what they call the Exponential Recruitment Strategy: 9x9x9x9… x9…
There is a reassurance: You will be dealing with only nine people at a time. So start making your list of nine volunteers from your family, friends, coworkers, colleagues, chat groups, etc. And call them to a meeting ASAP.
At this point, we all realize that we should have been doing this months ago. Fr. Tito Caluag started his prayers for the 2022 election in his daily Masses way back in May, exactly one year before the elections next year. That’s the prayer part—we pray hard, because everything depends on God. What this advocacy represents is the action part—we work as if everything depends on us. That is a very hard combination to beat. So better late than never, right?
Now come the hard questions: Who will be in charge of its contributions and disbursements? To whom will it be disbursed? What else are we to do for election day?
First things first: Who will take charge of the contributions? Do you have any suggestions, Reader? The more, the better. I myself will ask AWARE—the Alliance of Women for Action Towards Reform—to take on the task. They are supremely qualified to do so, herculean as it is. Competence and integrity: Their membership is stellarʍCheche Lazaro, Ching Escaler, Narz Lim, Phyllis Zaballero, Pinky Valdes, Mel Alonzo, to name a few. They have been in existence since 1983. (Disclosure: I am a cofounder, but not quite active.) Wish me luck.
Once the responsible group is chosen, the question of to whom the funds go will be determined by a set of criteria the group will decide on. Suggestion: Obviously, the wishes of the contributors will be taken into account, but taking off from my last two columns, I suggest it be a fund primarily for women candidates who—if they are already in politics—have a track record of competence and absence of corruption. If they are first-timers, there should be character references.
The response to the last question—what are we to do for election day?—is easy. Be sure you registerʍthere are 19 days to go—and bring at least one new registrant with you. The more, the merrier. Campaign for the candidates of your choice. And on election day, watch the votes counted in your precinct, and participate in any random manual audit.
Our work is cut out for us, Reader. But that should be no problem at all, because for women, the difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer. Forward!
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