Nation Before Self. That is the essence of public service. Old-timers on this blog know I have long supported Mar Roxas, and I believe he is the best candidate for President this year as well. I am just as strong in my belief that Leni Robredo is the best candidate for Vice-President as well.
However, the polls are a good indicator of the likely outcome of Monday’s vote, and it looks like the frontrunner is well ahead at this point. At a very recent dinner with friends and colleagues, I mentioned that the ONLY realistic strategic option left barring “struck by lightning events” was to have Grace Poe and Mar Roxas get together and do what they have to do to join forces to defeat the front-runner. Nation Before Self.
The bottom line? The two trailing Presidential candidates have roughly 45% of the vote according to polls. Add to that the power to mobilize the vote because of serious party machinery in nearly every single barangay, along with Filipinos propensity to gravitate to a strong potential winner, and these two candidates could potentially crush a 30-40% vote for the front-runner. Miriam would add another 5-7% according to the polls. It’s that simple. I will explain my personal position more below, but suffice it to say, if Grace Poe and Mar join forces to defeat the front-runner (and add Miriam Santiago for good measure), I and I believe millions of other people, will vote for whomever they decide to choose as the single candidate for President. And Vice-President is also another area to shore up choices. Seriously, another Marcos a heartbeat away from the Presidency? Otherwise, all of them will probably lose anyway, and again, I hope they think Nation Before Self.
Just hours ago, Mar Roxas made the first gesture and asked for a meeting with Grace Poe, and Poe was publicly coy but open to a meeting, if televised news is to be believed. I hope President Aquino gets Mar, Grace and Miriam together for a meeting later tonight or early tomorrow morning to do something that is so unexpected, but so logical, so mature, so decent, that the world and most Filipinos will view in a positive light. Failing that, I do hope the best for the nation under a Duterte presidency, if that’s what the voters choose on Monday.
How I pick the candidates I vote for, as explained in a relatively short comment in one of my posts on April 1, 2010, before the last Presidential elections, and I quote myself:
“In a perfect world, you would vote for the person you most strongly believe in, period. Irrespective of whether he or she has a snowball’s chance in Hades or not. It is an extremely idealistic view to take, and I took that road for many, many years. xxxxxx
Today, I believe in being slightly more practical, precisely because I do not think we are in a perfect world, and worse, I do not think there are ANY totally ideal Presidential candidates in the field running right now. As I have stated on this blog before, ideally, I personally would rank candidates in this short hand manner from best to worst (Character – honesty, integrity, heart, etc.) / (Capability – Track Record, Intelligence, Capability to Muster change, etc.):
1. Honest & Capable
2. Honest & Incapable
3. Dishonest & Capable
4. Dishonest & Incapable
In my personal opinion, and only that, an opinion, most of the candidates probably fall into the 1.5 – 3.5 range, though some would argue we definitely sink low to a solid 4.0 for a candidate or two. But I will not rate each one, as that is too contentious and frankly, I lack data to do that properly.
Now as for the “wasted vote” logic, which I do not think is twisted at all. The polls, as controversial as they always are, do reflect the pulse of the voters to a certain degree, and previous data confirms that. Even my own poll here taken weeks ago answered by roughly 1,000 readers, most probably in the A&B socio-economic classes, was a good reflection of the results of the SWS poll in the A segment of the population. And I didn’t spend a single centavo to obtain that “feel” from a small segment of the voting population. So, the thinking goes like this… the polls have identified at least 3 candidates with “substantial” chances of winning, barring massive cheating or vote interference, and they are: Aquino, Villar and Estrada. Everyone else at this point does not appear to be within STRIKING DISTANCE AT ALL. xxxxx
As I said earlier, I believe not voting at all is a cop-out. And I would rather that one voted for someone who was going to lose than NOT vote at all. We will HAVE to elect a President, and it’s better to be part of the process than not. But we cannot ignore that voting for a candidate with no chance of winning may take away from the chances of other candidates who may also be able to do good for the country.”