Tuesday, May 8, 2007

What issues are important to you as a voter?

Interviews by Jodel Pierre P. Ampil, Keila Marii C. Chavez, and Edgar B. Concepcion Jr.

“Platforms, because you have to know where they stand. Also, the automated voting thing, because it is there [where] you will get the credibility of your vote. Nuisance candidates [are also an issue] because they are irritating. It’s because some of them are obviously political strategies to mess the elections.” – Ma. Teresa Gromia (III BS MCT)

“I guess the platforms of the candidates and their competence and passion to serve the people.” – Cherilyn Sy (II BS ME)

“Women’s issues, children’s rights, education.” – Margarita Orendain, Ph.D., Chair, Department of English

Siguro yung political background ng candidates. Like Manny Pacquiao, wala siyang political background. Importante yun kasi nawawala yung red tape sa trabaho. So if may political background, tingin ko mas competent sila for their position.” – Phillip Andrew Ruby (II BS ME)

“[Ang] importante sa akin [ay] kung ano ba yung, kunwari re-electionist, ano ba yung performance niya nung nakaraan niyang [termino]?” – Ma. Theresa Villanueva, Head, Filipiniana Section of the Rizal Library

“For me, I believe that the two issues that should be focused on are the political killings, how each candidate actually responds to the problem of political killings today and how each candidate also responds to the problems with the environment and how they can make businesses more eco-friendly to give a better environment to the Philippines.” – John Jeremiah Rimando (III AB Eco)

“First of all, yung platform, tapos kailangan makita mo yung dedication nila to help the people, hindi lang alam mong gusto lang nilang makapasok sa politics. Personally, ayoko ng artista.” – Bianca Marie Agustin (II BS ME)

“Issues as a voter? If there’s actually someone to vote for. Because I really am not interested in voting for anybody I don’t believe in. So in these elections, I don’t think I’m going to vote… Although I can vote. I’m registered. There’s no one to vote for so that’s a big, big issue. Why vote if there’s no one to vote for?” – Conrado Nicolas Atienza (II AB Comm)

“I suppose yung economic issue and corruption in the government. We have the top position as the most corrupt country in Asia. And whatever they say about the increase in [Gross National Product (GNP)]… pwede mong doktorin yun. At education issues, which ha[ve] never been addressed since the time of Martial Law.” – Name withheld, Associate Professor, Department of Theology

Gusto ko para sa eleksyon ‘yung walang dayaan. Parehas kung sino talaga ang dapat manalo… At saka dapat piliin ang talagang mapapagkatiwalaan ng bayan.” – Ruben Yanson, security guard

Kelangan mo yung ano magagawa niya sa kabataan. Second, kung ano yung sa economy kasi tumataas na ‘yung economy. Okay na yun sa tingin ko… So paano ime-maintain at paano yun mate-take advantage ng mga businessmen and government officials. Third, yung sa culture. Sa akin kasi, mas important yung pagpapanatili ng culture ng Pilipino at ‘di ‘pag-ano sa Western thoughts.” – Al Agassiz dela Torre (III BSM AMF)

Dapat meron silang care for the taxpayers dahil [taxpayers] yung nagdudusa. Pati na rin ‘yung education and their street smartness or their common sense, how they live the real life.” – Claudia Camille Fernandez (II BS ME)

“[Sana] mapayapa ‘yung election sa Lunes tapos… mawala yung vote-buying and then maging matalino sa pagpili ng ibobotong tao para iluklok sa posisyon bilang senador.” – Rogelio Alabat, Ateneo maintenance, Office of Administrative Services (OAS)

“Well, [one of] the issues that are important to me as a voter is … especially focused on education because education tackles mostly … [how] … the children of today, not just children but adolescents and adults today, can evolve in terms of intellectual ability and the skills that can be honed in order to lift up the situation of the country.” – Mario Lorenzo Cuyegkeng (II BS HS)

WHAT ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A VOTER? Comment and share your views with the rest of the Ateneo community!

Guidelines on Voting Wisely: PART II

by Rizsa Rose S. Baer (IV AB PoS)
Head, Issue and Policy Analysis Cluster
Council of Organizations of the Ateneo (COA

1. Vote right.
Vote for the person who is right for the position, not just because they're a relative or an acquaintance. Elections may be, in part, a popularity contest, but let it not stop there. Personally, I am more weary of the flashy candidates than the quiet ones. Silent water runs deep (although we have to remember that politicians can NOT be forever silent).

2. Information is key.
Gather and study the candidates' credentials well. Be aware of the bias of the source and know how to balance the two sides. Listen to jingles and campaign ads but KNOW that it is possibly only half true. Don't take any info at face value. Corroborating evidence usually never fails.

3. Be sensitive.
Action speaks louder than words. There are always documents or statistics or studies that candidates can use to back their claims to greatness but be aware and conscious. When in power did they do something? If they did, what did they do? How did their constituents benefit? Flashy projects may be just that, flashy. What was the trade-off that happened? The most beautiful park for a lot of starving and uneducated children?
Or another simple telling factor: if they can't follow the simple rules that the Comelec has about posters and whatnots, will you risk putting them in a position where they can ensure no law touches them?

4. Discuss.
Discuss who you'll vote for with your family or your friends. Ask the opinion of the people you share the same interests and views or principles with and share your ideas with them as well. Chances are, you not only get to have an intelligent conversation with your peers but you will also gain their respect for having such well-informed opinions (you might even have a complete senatorial slate without breaking a sweat, to boot). Just don't forget that, in the end, it is YOU who will still make the final decision.

5. Don't be a cynic.
A healthy dose of cynicism is always good, but if you always look at the glass half-empty, it will be. Nobody's perfect but a good question to ask is, who will most likely try to be?

6. Pursue accountability.
The problem with citizens is that they don't hold their incumbents accountable. This apathy allows the rotten politicians to get re-elected and therefore adds more fuel to the corruption and inefficiency in the government. We have to remember that the election is the FIRST step, not the last. Keep track of the candidates that you voted. Before writing down a name, be sure that in the end you will not be ashamed to show everyone who you entrusted your future to.

7. Be an active stakeholder.
Politics affects everyone. Regardless of your main interest, whether it is in arts or science or business, you are a Filipino and whatever happens to the Philippines WILL reflect on you. I don't want to sound crude but most of the candidates are, frankly, old. They will not be the ones who will suffer the consequences of their actions, we are. The youth will be the ones who will bear the full brunt of the outcome of this election. So guard your vote. Vote wisely and report any anomalies or fraud that you see.