The game that politicians play

Aurora Consolacion | Spice It!
Aurora Consolacion | Spice It!

Election fever is in the air as the momentum of campaign for both local and national candidates picks up. Various online and offline channels or media platforms are used by electoral candidates in order to sell themselves as would be leaders to the voting public.

The candidates also use personal and impersonal approaches in order to gain popularity, sympathy and votes. Varied marketing strategies for the candidates are employed by their respective public relation specialists and strategists in order to win.

Sometimes, it is a mixed emotion of entertainment and dismay when candidates make extreme actions just to put down the competing candidates. The “bully” versus the “underdog”.

Election is a typical game that politicians play.
Election is a typical game that politicians play.

Election is a typical game that politicians play. Great if the voting public is given the best players to choose from and it will be a game where the best player wins. But what if the choices are the evil players for the game? We end up choosing the lesser evil to lead our town, city, province and country.

Seriously, why do we always end up having many trash politicians or unfit individuals running for public offices? Election never fails to surprise me with an array of varied personalities who aspire to be the leaders of our country.

Let us see. Who are running for this upcoming election?

A police officer who believes that with the support of the President and having Robin Padilla played his life in the movie can be the foundation for a seat in the Senate. A controversial entertainer-cum-former government official who thinks her sexiness and foul mouth makes her qualified to earn a seat in Congress. Sons and daughters of former senators, congressional representatives, governors and mayors who think that the positions of their parents in government are their inheritance so they run for office. Some also run because influential persons or groups made them believe that they can win. Moreover, there are few individuals who run because they sincerely want to serve and they want to be the voice of the voiceless.

Looking at how politicians play the game of election, it is akin to our traditional game “sungka”.

Mathematical in nature, sungka is a turn-based game with two individuals playing on a solid wooden block with two rows of seven small circular holes and two large holes at both ends called the “head”. The aim of the game is to capture the shells or pebbles and put them in their head. The player with the most number of shells or pebbles in the head wins the game.

I used to play sungka when I was a kid and one thing that I remember most in playing the game was to have a good calculation skill in order to determine which group of shells or pebbles to pick first in order to gather the most number of shells or pebbles in the head.

Election, in a way, for the past many years, is like a turn-based game between two opposing candidates. The political leader have to calculate which barangay or district he or she has to choose first as his or her campaign priority area in order to gain the most possible number of votes and win.

On the other hand, the voters turn out to be the shells or pebbles in the election game. We allow the political leaders or players of the election to decide or manipulate us in a calculated manner in order to capture us like pieces of shells or pebbles. Politicians who want to win or stay in power even used dirty tricks such as vote buying, blackmailing, bullying and other cheating tactics in order to gain the most number of pieces.

What if we change the sungka scenario of the election wherein the pieces of shells or pebbles are the political candidates and the players are the voters? The voters will now get to decide which political candidate to choose and place in the head. How do we determine the winner of the game? Maybe the voters or players who placed the most number of capable and appropriate political candidates in their head.

I believe that if we allow the voters to exercise accordingly their right to vote without the dirty political tricks of the politicians, we will have more chances of achieving a truly honest election.

Keep in mind that the preamble of our current constitution provides, “We, the Sovereign Filipino people”. It means that as citizens, we have the sovereign power in our country and that includes the power to choose our leaders.

We have proven our sovereignty in our country twice when we had the People Power Revolution. Therefore, I believe that we still have it within us to be a sovereign, once again, in order to protect our country from the various political upheavals of the opposing candidates.

What we need to stop though is our habit to make a mockery of the positions in the local government by electing political leaders who “entertain” us. We already have enough of them in televisions and films.

Let us all reflect that the responsibilities and authorities that are attached to the positions of being a senator, congressional representatives, governors, mayors and other local and national positions are very crucial in order to achieve a better, safer and sustainable Philippines for us and for the next sovereign Filipino generations.

As sovereign, let us bear in mind to discern conscientiously who are the political candidates that we will put into office in this upcoming election.#

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