Episode 19: Dear Candidate

online-election-campaign

Dear Candidate,

Why shouldn’t I vote for you?

Before you respond, allow me to set the parameters of this question. It is a question meant to test your personal clarity. It is meant to test how well you know yourself, particularly your weaknesses, limitations, and areas of improvement. Above all else, it is meant to test how honest you are, with others and with yourself. Because the last thing we need is someone in public office who lies even to himself.

Now, just to be sure we don’t get any pa-cute replies, the following responses or anything similar are absolutely unacceptable:

  • “There is no reason not to vote me.” Translation: “I have delusions of grandeur, and you peons have no right to breathe the same air I do.”
  • “You don’t have to vote for me if you don’t like me.” What is this, Facebook? You’re not running a campaign to get a million “likes.” No one has to “like” you to elect you to public office.
  • “We have differences in politics.” Unless you’re running on a platform to change our system of government from a democratic republic to an absolute anarchy, “differences in politics” doesn’t mean squat. If you don’t know by now that Philippine politics are fickle and flip-flopping by nature, then you have no business getting into it.
  • “Don’t vote for me if you don’t like people with [insert virtue here].” Virtues are like private parts. They are meant to be shared intimately and discreetly, not shoved in people’s faces at every possible opportunity.

The list above is in no particular order, and is by no means exhaustive. The general rule is: give me a stupid/sarcastic/patronizing answer, and you lose my vote straight up.

On the other hand, the answers dealing in the following details will deserve some attention:

  • Your lack of any public service experience whatsoever
  • Your allegedly shady past, ie. links to criminal acts or activity, or to underground groups
  • Your conflicting advocacies and/or public service agenda
  • Your personal flaws which, in your own assessment, may hinder you from fulfilling your duties as a public official

Helpful hint: I tend to appreciate responses along the lines of the last bullet point, because it is the answer that most completely responds to the question. Lack of experience can be overcome, the past need not hold down one’s future, and advocacies can be supported by other candidates. But to admit to personal flaws is to be aware of one’s own personal development. To know how these can possibly hinder you in your work as a public official is to be aware of the monumental tasks ahead.

Personal clarity, clarity of purpose.

And above all, honesty.

I’ll be waiting.

Sincerely, me.

Image from http://www.digitalmoz.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/online-election-campaign.jpg.

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