A few weeks from now, all legitimate voters will troop to the polling precincts to elect a new set of public servants or re-elect the incumbents. We expect a tight race between President Duterte’s powerful allies against the underdogs. The days of discernment of choosing the right leaders are almost over. The fate of our country lies now in our hands. Choose the right leaders, and we shall move one step towards progress. Choose the wrong guy, and we remain in our misery.
While praying hard for a clean and honest election, the importance of choosing the right leaders dawned on me on. Sad to say, many of our country’s torments are caused by our own failure to choose the right leaders to govern us. Unfortunately, until now, many Filipinos will not even bother to seriously discern on whom to vote. Many will simply vote for their favorite candidates or the candidates whose names they remembered. Our vote is not based on the qualifications and qualities of the candidates, but simply on whether or not we like or know the candidates. Some may even come to precincts undecided about whom to vote, they will simply rely on popularity, name recall, and guesswork. Thus, many candidates have utilized popular personalities like actors and actresses and good advertising schemes to win the hearts of the voters. Nowadays, few candidates will take the time to announce their programs and platforms.
Let’s pause for a while. Ask ourselves. How do you choose your candidates? Is it a result of discernment based on hard facts and data? To help us choose the right candidate, here are some points for consideration:
- BE AWARE OF OUR EMOTIONS AND BIASES. Your choice should not be influenced by your emotions and biases. Vote for the right person. Consider the candidates’ qualities, values, and achievements. A personal handshake from the candidates or personal appearances should not influence our choice.
- LOOK FOR PATTERNS. Take time to study candidates’ achievements. Are they consistent in fulfilling their promises? Learn from the past. Don’t vote candidates who are consistently involved in any form of graft and corruption. Vote for those who are consistent in good governance.
- DISCERN WELL. In some cases, we don’t have good candidates to choose from. Sometimes, all the candidates are allegedly involved in some form of graft and corruption. In this case, choose the lesser evil. Don’t be discouraged. Vote. Our failure to vote may allow the candidate we least like to win.
- THINK OF YOUR DEEPER MOTIVATION. In choosing, be aware of your innermost motivation. Are you thinking of the common good? Or are you trying to preserve some personal interest?
- PRAY. Don’t stop praying for all legitimate voters. Pray for a clean, honest, and well-discerned election. The future of our country lies in our ability to discern well and choose the right leaders.
Don’t blame our government for all the woes of our country, let’s blame ourselves for not choosing the legitimate leaders.