What your vote can do: Ambag ko sa Halalan 2022
A democratic country like the Philippines ought to reap the benefits of freedom, from exercising power and civic-responsibility to who they choose as leaders. An organized framework of a presidential, representative, and democratic republic is necessary for successful governance. For this reason, our roles as citizens may start with choosing our leaders.
By the completion of the registration process on September 30, 2021, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) expects 4M first-time voters. Senator Francis Pangilinan also stated that the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) demographic predictions imply that there may be 15M newly qualified voters who can be targeted in future elections.
A vote’s relevance to our democratic system
We are not only electing particular politicians, but also validating the political system of our country. Votes determine victory, and voter turnout, in a way, proves a political system’s legitimacy. We must remember that while our votes help politicians win, they also contribute to maintaining our democratic system as a whole.
Done within every six years for Presidential elections and every three years for midterm elections, it is safe to assume that participating in electoral processes has been a part of our lives, yet, it is not a tradition. Once the victors have won and the campaign jingles have stopped, it doesn’t mean returning to our own lives and letting them handle their jobs—no, we must acknowledge the importance of ongoing political participation.
We must understand that our decision must be based on social qualities that determine the behavior of all individuals in regards to our society and not only individual or party policies.
Paving the road for change
With the current government’s responses to the pandemic, we were put in a situation where we had to take actions on our own terms; pro poor campaigns, community pantries, and all the remedies we had to compensate with due to the current administration’s failure, but that is not enough. This cycle of patronage politics and dynasties must end now.
In the recent election, millions of Filipinos had confidence in the change that is coming brought upon by the person that they entrusted their votes with. Only for them to witness their own sovereignty robbed right before their eyes, or if not, passed under the table of greedy opportunists who decided to try politics after getting bored of show business.
If we vote for servant-leaders, it indicates that we desire leaders who will work with us rather than through or for us. Voting is a right, a privilege, and an obligation of Filipino citizens and is not to be taken lightly. The success of Philippine democracy relies on the participation of as many citizens as possible in the electoral process. Voting is not just about choosing a candidate, it is about getting close to vital privileges; quality education, cleaner water, affordable healthcare, and the list goes on.
The moment you say you don’t want to get politically involved is the moment you side with the oppressor. Whether we like it or not, the government has a major impact in society, from filling ink on a ballot to having benefits and privileges you should own.
A strong political engagement will significantly contribute to connecting politicians with real lives and concerns of the communities that they represent in an era where political indifference and cynicism are at an all-time high.
The mentality of ‘laying it low’ due to the belief that no matter who they vote for, nothing will ever change, is the very reason why nothing will ever change. It is a right to demand fair treatment, higher pay, job opportunities, and security.
If you want to stay where you are and withdraw yourself from all of this “political drama,” then you might as well open your doors for non-stop corruption, suppressed freedom, and the fear of you or your loved ones being the next victim of brutality and abuse. You might as well watch unqualified oligarchs be stripped down from their position only to be replaced by more unqualified moguls.
One should never miss the chance to register themselves and vote. Stagnance is not an option in a dying country whose people refuse to try. But if you’re content with poverty, fear, and injustice, then your cross to bear is heavier than those who whip the lashes.C