Vote the Independents!
What is the purpose of the political party system in the Philippines? A political party system is supposed to have a distinct stand for certain issues dealt with by the people, to say the least. It is a group composed of people who have common ideals and plans for the country. This is what we always call "plataporma".
"Plataporma". Now I wonder when I last heard this word used in election campaigns. I remember once in 1995 when I watched a debate in the main plaza of Malolos City. It was an intense exchange of words between candidates for mayor and congressman. I could recall clearly how each candidate would boast their plans to certain issues thrown to them. For every question, they have their own answers prepared. Most of them contradicting, of course, but they came prepared and their "plataporma" well furnished before facing the crowd. Their stand were clearly the stand of the political party to which they each belong. They seldom deviate from their party's ideals, thus, making them consistent and really convincing. The people went home that night with very clear choices in their minds, almost ready to vote.
Now you may be asking where these types of political parties are. Nah they're still out there, on the background, while media is busy flashing on your television screens the senseless exchange of blows between the so-called Opposition and... well, the Administration, which is basically composed of Gloria's minions.
What's unfortunate is that these two popular parties don't have a clear stand at all. It's just all about popularity and not about the "plataporma". Oftentimes, in their attempt to get a lead in the popularity game, they perform tricks that are already beginning to seem very lame. Gloria, for instance, in the attempt to bring the crowd to their campaigns, had joined actors Richard Gomez and Cesar Montano in their lineup. (In Mr. Montano's case, the last time I saw him was months ago when he went all public reaching out to old people in a shelter, claiming that nothing about it was political... to which, of course, I reacted, "Shishhh... Yeah right." The next thing I know, his picture already is flashed on TV next to Mike Defensor, who lovingly calls himself 'Tol.)
Good men like Senator Panguilinan, on the other hand, do not seem to like the idea of putting "plataporma" to the trash and going for the popularity game instead. Senator Villar, on the other hand, decided on running as an independent candidate, but still with blessings of Malacañang not because he desires it, but because the Administration side insists. It's a wise move, actually... if they want to give you support without strings attached, why not take it? Anway, these men decided to go out of their leagues amidst invitations from both sides, claiming that they will go for ideals and plans that favor the people, not a few people who have no clear stand anyway. They are kind enough not to say they are already sick of what's going on in their former groups, that they have decided to do it on their own. Somehow, this gives me comfort knowing that still, there are people out there who had principles (although sometimes vague).
Besides, if you really are a man of dignity, who knows how good professional politics is, how could you imagine working with such people who knows nothing or goes against your principles? If it was 1999, thinking about the 2007 elections with Sotto and Oreta running alongside the anti-Eraps would be absurd. Even the thought of Oreta running for office again is absurd. Well, I guess absurdity has a place in this time and age.
The independents surely have a place in my ballot, though. I hope the people would see through the flashy sitcoms these monkey political parties are showing us. It's sickening already, though it's a good thing some people from the political arena itself shares the same feeling.