Ways to make a difference in the 2013 Elections

“You’re probably thinking that my one single vote doesn’t matter and that there’s nothing I can do to change the situation because the masses will vote for the same old faces or the celebrities and they will always win.” 3 Things You Can Do to Change the Philippines in 2013“.   Carlo wrote,

Those times have changed. Today, social media allows us to talk to one another with just one click of the mouse. If you are reading this article, then you are probably interested in being part of the solution, to make a difference in the 2013 elections.

How can you make a difference?

1. Start voter education in your own barangay

Start in your own barangay. Ask for your candidates’ specific programs that address the problems of the barangay.

Many candidates can easily write “feel good” platitudes about a worthy concept that few of us would disagree with but without any specified plans for realization. For example “Tuwid na daan” sounds really noble but it is nothing without specific plans or a road map.

Perhaps we can make it a point to gather all materials we can about them that we can get hold of. Read the campaign leaflets distributed from door to door. Get out to meet and talk to them when they make the rounds of the neighborhood. Attend campaign meetings if possible. Consult our more politically savvy neighbors. Anything — just so we won’t be looking for coins to toss when we fill out that lower end of the ballot.

2. Spread the word that voting criteria should consider a candidate’s coherent platform, clear vision, character, competency

Does your candidate have what it takes?

Don’t be swayed by popularity surveys, by their showbiz supporters, or by their promises alone. The truth can be warped. Keep in mind that the election is not about popularity, it’s about performance and delivery.

We want the candidates to know that “he/she is being evaluated on a whole range of issues, a process based on merit” and not just based on a emotional reaction. It is never a good idea to vote because one hates the other candidate or incumbent official. It is alright to be angry but that emotion needs to be transformed into a positive resolution such as choosing your candidate wisely.

3. Know your candidate’s campaign spending

We need to make sure that our candidates are transparent as to the sources of their campaign money and the true extent of their elections spending as this would impact directly on the candidates’ governance upon assumption to office. There is a lot that the public has to learn on Campaign Finance, such as Sources of Funds, the Expenditure side, Recording and Reportorial Requirements, Use of Public Funds and Properties, and Effects of Violation of Election Finance Laws and Rules.

You want your candidate to be transparent. You want your candidate to have integrity.

Here are the expenditure limits per registered voter in the constituency a candidate is running

  • Php 3.00 – individual candidate supported by political party
  • Php 5.00 – individual candidat not supported or nominated by political party
  • Php 5.00 – political parties

4. Share information in your facebook wall, twitter , blog posts

Filipino internet users are opinion leaders and early adopters compared to traditional media consumers. If we share our views to our community, these can easily be shared to their friends and family members.

Maybe some of us have family members or friends who are non-internet users. Can you imagine if at least half of us educate a non-internet user and they in turn pass on the knowledge to another non-internet user

5. Be part of citizen power.

It is the desire of citizens to make sure the elections are fair and free. So how does one report violations of the Fair Election Act or the Campaign Finance laws in your area? [30 September 2012 Noemi Lardizabal-Dado http://thepoc.net/voters-education/17098-five-ways-to-make-a-difference-in-the-2013-elections.html]

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