Election Recap 2013: Playing the dance of fools

I don’t want to say it, but I’ll say it as it is: as much as we are a nation of grossly-talented, hardworking, fun-loving citizens, we are also a nation where majority gets grossly judgement-impaired when election time rolls around.

We elect idiots in public office, then wonder why our country usually wallow in poverty — this in spite the fact that we have the natural resources that’s just waiting to be tapped intelligently and resourcefully. We choose to elect convicted plunderers, convicted drug addicts, the progeny of the old rich and the political giants and fading actors and actresses into public office instead of intelligent, hard-working individuals who had solid experience in public service.

It’s a cruel cycle that’s almost funny, except you realize that the high taxes deducted from your salary gets to pad the fat pockets of these idiots in office. Sadly, we are to blame for our own miseries.

I voted yesterday, glad that 40 days of execrable campaign themes (variations of latest Top 40s butchered mercilessly by the candidates, the odd KPop song (guess which one) that turned more annoying than it was before when played in full volume, it’s lyrics turned to political mumbo-jumbo and if you are lucky, TVCs that show in full glory why should NOT vote for a particular candidate. My favorites were those of an aspiring senator showing him dancing with old movie stars — I always have the urge to throw the remote control to the flat screen each time it’s on air.

Here are some political ads which aired this year — some are so bad, I was tempted to shut off the TV for the whole duration of the campaign:

Remember the TVCs where I am tempted to end my misery? This is one of them.

This particular TVC was appealing when you first play it because of the presence of kids. The commercial was also light and refreshing to the eyes. The TVC promoted the candidacy of Nancy Binay, a member of a political clan and also one of this year’s most controversial candidates.

This is a better ad for this candidate compared to her other ad where she harps on her surname, “POE”. In the Philippines, “Poe” sounds like “po,” which is our way of showing respect to elders. In the other TVC, the candidate answers all questions about her politely, ending each and every sentence with “po” (pronounces as “Poe”) — it can get pretty annoying after sometime. The reason for the TVC is I think to solidify name recall for her surname since she is the only daughter of the Philippines’ well-loved movie star and considered “King of Filipino Movies”, Fernando Poe, Jr or FPJ. FPJ passed away after a heart-breaking campaign to the presidency where he lost due to alleged widespread cheating by his competitor, ex-president Gloria Arroyo.

This TVC is simple, direct and gets the message across.

The candidate uses the power of association — after all, he is part of the storied Aquino family where three of the country’s well-loved leaders came from (former Senator and Philippine martyr Benigno Aquino Jr., former President Cory Aquino and current President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.)

I personally voted for some of the candidates featured on the TVCs above, because I believe in their capacity to serve and that they are a new breed of leaders that can bring change in my country. I endured long lines, defective PCOS (voting) machines (in the case of my sister), the heat and the risk of dehydration just to exercise my right to vote. As a tax-paying citizen, it is my own way of pushing for my choice of candidates who I believe, are worthy of being called “public servants.” I took voting seriously because in my mind, I am responsible for whatever hellhole my country would be in should a smattering of some idiot candidates make it.

While there were a lot of information dissemination campaigns provided by the media and other NGOs on the candidates’ capability and background, I can assume that many of my brilliant countrymen were tempted by a little bit of song-and-dance, of flashy rhetoric and the illusions brought about by empty promises. The results of the polls proved this. (SEE ELECTION RESULTS HERE)

At the end of the day, we take it as it is. The elections are done and over with. What’s left is the morbid residue of this fascinating dance of fools. And somehow I can’t shake the feeling that we, the rest of the country, will be paying for the stupidity of the many who chose to don the jester’s hat and make a mockery of their electoral right.