“Dawata ang kwarta, pero botar segun sa imong konsensya”, so goes a street smart advice.
We asked many ward leaders of local politicians whether this really works on the ground. This is their unanimous reply:
“Ang mga botante, Sir, mobotar sa dakug ihatag nga kwarta kay makonsensya sila”.
We thought these ward leaders were joking. But we checked with many other ward leaders of various politicians and they all said the same thing; this is indeed the real situation in the barangays.
What we have here is a conflict of views with respect to the nature of conscience. The first advice “to vote according to one’s conscience” presupposes that the voters are well-educated about politics and the character and qualifications of candidates such that they base their choices on these criteria. But that is generally not the case.
The 2016 elections have proven that most voters do not study the character and qualifications of candidates. It has also proven that most voters believe what they read on Facebook. We even have friends and acquaintances who are highly educated. But until now they have not accepted the fact that they are victims of troll messaging operations.
Or, perhaps, they are not aware at all. The sad reality is, you can be a doctorate degree holder, or a lawyer, or physician, engineer, etc. and still be “tanga”. You believe what the troll farms bombard you on social media, and you have such a foolish pride that you will not admit “nga nailad ka sa propaganda sa usa ka politico niadtong 2016”. Until today.
If doctors, lawyers and engineers do fall for fake news and lies bombarded on social media, how much more the ordinary voters? That is the tragedy of our present political system.
That is the reason why the ordinary voter, who does not study the character and qualifications of candidates, will vote for the one who gave more money. That ‘’innocent” voter’s lowly uneducated conscience tells him that he owes that person more allegiance because he gave more money.
There are also those “pilosopo” fanatics who will tell you that they voted for their chosen president even without getting money. But you believed the propaganda that Davao is run like heaven. You believed that the drug war is good. You believed that there is no corruption. In fact, there are many evidences to the contrary, Pharmally being not the least of them.
Still, you hold on to your foolish pride and continue to defend a promoter of killing, human rights violations, and misogyny; one who says Communism is very bad but at the same time promotes the interest of Communist China over our own rights to the West Philippine Sea. That is your kind of “konsensya”? It is time to pray hard and seriously reflect before making another disastrous mistake in the 2022 elections.