Monday, May 14, 2007

Why do Filipinos vote?

Even if the choices are so limited that most of us can't come up with 12 names to vote for Senator?

Even if we all know people are going to cheat?

Even when good people - make that good FILIPINOS - like Jesse Robredo can be disqualified without any real basis?

Even if it takes an embarrassing several weeks to really know the score?

Even if the Genuine Opposition isn't so Genuine and Team Unity isn't so United? And for that matter, despite the fact that the two aren't so different?

I think it's because it says a lot about who we are as a people - hopeful despite the signs, staunchly democratic despite our history, and game for any game (even one where the odds are stacked against us).

It's not because we really think it will make that big of a difference - although we continue to hope. It's because elections are a way for us to participate and take some measure of control (however small) over our nation's destiny.

The Inquirer today says it's in our hands. They got that right. They end the editorial by saying "It starts today, with our vote." They got that wrong.

It doesn't start (or end) with the elections. For us, this is just one more turn along the road. An important turn, to be sure. But just one of many that we've taken and will continue to take.

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