“Vote for me!”
When you are approached by someone you know and that someone was not that intrinsically bad, what would you say to him if he asked for your support in his candidacy? Would you turn him down flatly or give excuses to the effect that you would be unable to cast your vote?
This kind of dilemma often stared at us before any election. In a small village where I reside, people know everyone up to the details of their birth. All that happened to an individual, good or bad, could be unearthed if ever he/she decided to run for public office. In the guise of character checking, with the so-called spirit of transparency, which is actually plain and simple, muck and mock search, opponents try to unravel one another and give the voters tidbits of information that have no relation whatsoever to public service.
“Did you know my opponent is a thief and a liar?” he insinuated, trying to convince me to his side.
“I cannot comment on that,” I replied, playing safe, since I know his opponent would also give me a visit later. “I think everyone should defend themselves in the proper forum.”
“I just want to know that before you vote,” he suggested, totally discarding my opinion.
“What do you offer when you get elected?” I asked, loading my question to discover his true motive.
“Do you want a position? You’ll have it!”
I smiled, which he probably thought my acceptance of his offer. On the contrary, he did not know that right there and then, he failed my test, another corrupt politician in the making.
When his opponent came by, I expected the similar treatment, him being gossiped to be a thief and a liar, that he would personify the image as others thought of him.
“I need your support,” he said, after the casual exchange of greetings. “The village needs changes.”
“What kind?” I asked, keeping my query short. “Infrastructure?”
When we think of building something, chances are, funds would be creatively spent, meaning monetary cuts would be facilitated, meaning someone would take advantage, meaning substandard projects.
He laughed, probably thinking the same notion I had in mind.
“I am talking about livelihood programs, activities that earn money.”
Another trick to slash funds but easier to defend when auditing occurred.
“You have to be more specific.”
“You know I am a vegetable farmer. There are many idle lands around.”
“So?” I asked, though I knew where his line of thinking led to.
“If elected, I would propose a massive drive to plant those idle lands. With funds from the barangay and assistance from the Agricultural department, we could help many people get employment.”
“I suppose you are right,” I said finally, nodding.
“So, do I get your support? he waited for my positive response.
“That’s the good thing with the electoral process,” I replied, grinning. “Secret voting.”
“You’re evasive,” he laughed out loud. “Don’t tell me you’ll vote for my opponent.”
“Will you vote for him?”
He shook my hand, confirming in his mind that his visit gained one vote.