Would you believe me if I told you that up to now, just a few days shy of elections, I am still unsure of whom to vote for? That really is how I stand at the moment. I have certain preferences, of course, but I have long accepted that up until that very last moment when I put my pen to the ballot, I still might change my mind. That's why I haven't actively campaigned for any one candidate. Instead, I've been content to sit on the sidelines and watch. With so many choices...how to choose? how to choose?
Some choices seem clearer and more obvious than others. For instance, in the mayoral race in Davao, I'm almost certain to vote for Duterte-Duterte. At some time, I might consider another candidate: I do think it's time for a change. But because the opposing candidate is Prospero Nograles, I'll stomach another six years of Duterte. Why? Because that Boy Nograles, I don't like his face, I really don't.
If that reason sounds flimsy and whimsical, it's at least the most honest one that I can give. That anyone can give, for that matter. Do you really need a better reason? If you don't like someone, why put him into office?
Some would like to think that they've gone above such petty considerations of personality and affiliation. Issues! they cry. Look at the issues! And indeed, we've been looking at the issues for the past so many election seasons. I can rattle them off in my sleep: poverty, education, corruption, jobs, peace, da blah da blah da blah.... That we're still talking about The Issues means that they're still very much around, that they haven't been fixed.
Don't think I don't care about The Issues: I do, just like I believe most people do as well. Where we differ will be in the modes of solution, as to what's acceptable and what's not. It's beyond the ken of any one candidate to fix in one term, and so all the promises are just hot air.
If we could have elections every year, or at least, every other year, then we'd have leaders that we could be mostly happy with throughout the entirety of their term. But since our constitution mandates six-year terms for the most important posts in the land, well, really, why not just vote for people whose mugs you can actually stand? After all, they'll be the faces you'll be seeing on the news most of the time.
Thus far, I've used this strategy as a process of elimination to narrow down my choices for president. Candidate Q is out: Botox has robbed his face of the capacity to show grief or joy, and besides, I got sick of his ads early on. Candidate R is out: he's perpetually on lecture mode, and really, who wants to be lectured to all the time? Candidate S is out: because I never really liked televangelists. Candidate T is out: we tried it once before, and from past experience, I know it's not going to work out.
And so that leaves me with five more people to choose from, and I can't really say I would mind having any of them as the next president. They don't annoy me so much when I see them on TV, and that I can live with.
To be honest, I'm inclined to vote for Candidate X: it's the look of almost constant surprise and wonderment, so open and transparent, so full of laughs. Lulzy, as my younger friends would say. But hey, I'm not really sure yet, and I won't be until I'm ready to shade those stupid ovals.
In the end, it really just might boil down to eenie, meenie, miney, moe.