Art by Gian Nicdao
It’s only a few days left until the midterm elections roll around the corner, and yet some of us are still grasping for a solid reason why we should haul our butts out of bed and into our voting precincts come May 13.
After numerous elections, why is this one any different? Does our vote truly count? We list a few arguments from people who plan on sitting this year’s elections out, and try to respond to each one — because let’s face it, whoever wins gets to decide our lives for the next three years.
The Excuse: Tinatamad ako. ‘Di naman importante yan.
The Counterargument: The upcoming elections is essentially our midterm check-in: do we as a people affirm or reject this administration? Based on what’s happened for the first three years, do you believe that we need more of these policies or less of them?
This is where you come in, dear voter. In case you haven’t noticed, everything from your taxes to the prices of your food, transpo, and rent are affected by who’s in power. Sure, skipping May 13 gives you a day of rest, but it may mean years of working twice as hard if the new officials make your life a living hell.
The Excuse: The candidates I am rooting for aren’t going to win anyway.
The Counterargument: It’s better for your candidate to finish 13th than finish 62nd senator. Based on previous elections, those who finish closer to the Magic 12 have a stronger chance of winning in the next elections (that’s in 2022, by the way). It may mean more funding, more support, and more name recall for your candidates next time around. So go out there and keep trying!
At the same time, isn’t voting essentially an exercise of our democracy? If you sincerely believe that these candidates represent your values, why not take a stand and cast your vote with them? Surveys can only predict so much; after all, there have been surprise upsets in the past where survey losers in fact win on election day.
The Excuse: I don’t even know the candidates.
The Counterargument: If you don’t know where to start, go visit our lowdown on all the 62 senatorial candidates here. Or visit this crowdsourced Senatorial Candidates 2019 Google doc. Or visit this photo album by the UP Political Society.
For partylists, check this Pulse Asia file. For your local candidates, Google your city/municipal/barangay hall’s hotline and give them a call. Find their Facebook page and message them.
Honestly, there are so many resources. Google is your friend. Ask around.
The Excuse: I wasn’t able to register!
The Counterargument: You can still volunteer to ensure a fair and clean elections. Some groups accepting volunteers include: LENTE, PPCRV, and NAMFREL. You can also check your local church for any upcoming activities or tasks.
The Excuse: Wala namang kuwenta ang mga kandidato. It’s the same corrupt people running. Nothing has changed despite numerous elections.
The Counterargument: You’re tired, and that’s perfectly understandable. With every changing admin, we go out and vote yet find that our lives don’t change much. But what we have to remember is that voting is an exercise of hope. If we give up on our government now, aren’t we giving up all our fighting chances — even our chance to gain little wins?
At the end of the day, the elections isn’t really about voting for those who have a chance of winning. It’s about taking a stand and reminding this government that this nation is made up of individual citizens — we who truly should own the power. And if this government isn’t serving the people, then we have all the right to make our voices heard and take that power back.
See you at the polls, folks!