A Responsible Voter’s To-Do List

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By Erika Alyanna Bobiles, BSN 2014

As I am trying to complete my overwhelming list of things to do for finals, I remember the start of my second semester.

Months ago after enrolling, I had my name registered as a voter for the upcoming elections. After spending an hour of lining up just to get my application reviewed, I finally got my picture taken and got my fingers dirty because of the ink used to mark my papers.

With the status of the country’s government in mind, I began thinking on how can I filter out which candidate will I include in my list.

Certificates of candidacy were already submitted, signaling the start of the election period. The mainstream media is now flooded with paid advertisements of candidates. Hence, we now spend our precious time watching them brag what they claim to have done during these recent disasters, or if not, the candidates in their famous pose: carrying a child during relief ops.

This article is not about the attention-seeking candidates whose faces are scattered all over the media and the nearest street post you can find, but on how to filter out which among them are fit for the positions they seek for. Here’s my to-do list for this upcoming polls:

First: Research for alternatives.

Aren’t you tired of seeing the same names in posters and print ads, but still dealing with the same problems that they said they’ll deal with during the last elections? Think.

Maybe you were a victim of a promising candidate, who only intends to give their fellowmen intangible promises, like the famous “I’ll help fight corruption” and “I will promote higher standards for education.” We all want that, but the question is how?

As I browse articles regarding the upcoming elections, I came across to what is termed nowadays as “alternative candidates.”

These are candidates who do not belong in any political dynasties and who are not celebrities, but to them, they are just Filipinos who have the same qualifications and abilities like those who belong in both aforementioned categories, but with alternative platforms.

The characteristics of an alternative candidate were further defined by an alternative candidate himself, Teddy Casino who said that an alternative candidate does not come from a political dynasty, who is not a millionaire and a showbiz personality.

Second: List down your criteria and stick to them.

All politicians have a gift of charisma. They can woo people with pure words through persuasive delivery of their platforms and promises. That is why, voters should have their list of the characteristics of politicians they want to be seated in the government.

Evaluate their credentials and performance in serving the people, as they would tell whose just setting their best foot forward and those who have their hearts in service.

It’s high time that voters have to do away with hypocrisy and get critical. There are lots of candidates, who run because of their namesakes or they are the spouses or kids of famed politicians. Some of them are showbiz personalities that I see not fit for politics or there are others who are in the election lists simply because they are rich. How about for their qualifications and their platforms?

Third: Influence other people to do the same.

It is not necessary for you to campaign for whoever candidate you see fit for the position and meets your criteria.

Remember that you campaign for responsible voting. Discuss with your family and friends about your views regarding the upcoming elections and whom to vote. This way, you encourage everyone around you to be critical in choosing for the right list of leaders to vote. And if everyone does the same, political dynasties’ and showbiz celebrities’ reign will surely come to end.

Fourth: Make sure to go to your voting station on the Election Day.

This should be the last step in your campaign for responsible voting, that is to exercise your right to suffrage.

Encourage all registered voters to set aside their other priorities and focus in making our country a better place.

Ridding of corruption and ending the regime of political dynasties are our goals. It has always been possible.

However, the first step is always in responsibly choosing the leaders who have the guts and ability to put these goals into reality.

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