Saturday, 16 April 2016

Do not hijack democracy by voting mathematically

I admit I got a little bit snarky when I said to the tune of "voting is not gambling" in a supposedly light-hearted group chat. To my friends, I apologise for my language and allow me to step back for introspection.

Remember the failed presidential campaign of Dick Gordon in the last election? The only thing worse than losing because of supposedly young age (another then presidential candidate, Gibo Teodoro, retired from politics at age 45 after his loss) is losing because of supposedly lack of numbers. Poor guy was branded a loser before he got the chance to play ball, and in the real world, there's no Sandra Bullock to save you and live happily ever after. No no, the democracy in Philippine Oligarch Emirates is of a different brand.

And I blame the middle class for the prevalence of this erroneous thought. In Democracy, every citizen is supposedly given a chance to serve in politics, including the highest political office. When someone says "he/she has no chance", then that person actively abandons the fundamental political philosophy our country was built upon. We might as well admit we are in Plutocracy, a system based on no ideology other than wealth (not only by money but by resources as well). I would concede to the elites' vote, after all this investment scheme has not failed them on the empires they have amassed, and a 180-spin would be risking a multi-generational collapse. As for the impoverished masses? Who could blame them, when the only name they recognise is that of an actor, or of a dictator, or whoever has their name plastered in "projects" and "donations"? The people in the extremes are at the mercy of numbers. The middle class though, armed with enough education and practically risk-free, confuses me.

My dilemma now is, should we allow these polls and surveys during the campaign period? I say no, it warps the minds of the electorate, and reducing the election process as jumbo clearance sales. These polls are killing the chances of the Dick Gordons of every election, and drives the Defensor-Santiagos (v. 1992) to conspiracy-crazies. Pre-campaign surveys are the worst offenders for me. How can someone already "win" before the campaign even began?

But sad to say that will remain a dream, it won't even be taken as a serious consideration. I guess the takeaway from this is going back to simplicity: do not overthink. I recall my supervisor said, "a thesis with too many numbers means the person doesn't understand the subject matter". So when you decide to vote "intelligently", step further back and ask yourself, is it really intelligent, or just pretending to be? That's introspection.

Monday, 22 February 2016

The First 2016 Presidential Debate

So I just got to watching the replay of the first 2016 Presidential Debate...

Round 1: First Impressions
  • Mike Enriquez and Jessica Soho are very good emceeing the Miss Universe... oh wait this is the presidential debate?! -My bad
  • Very soon-to-be ex-VP Binay is the very caricature of those evil rich-political villains in our telenovelas, so comically corrupt, that we are already used to their brand of logic so we just watch the show to laugh at the plot.
  • Miriam Defensor is that bombastic speaker hungry for the best debater prize: aggressive during her turn and the devil's advocate during rebuttal. Might have been brilliant in UP Diliman, and still tolerable in the Senate (though it's getting, ehem, "shrilly high voice"), but maybe not that effective for the Office of the President?
  • Mayor of BAMFao Duterte lives up to his reputation. His rebellion with the traditions of a debate was shown by his answers that sounds suggestive but otherwise made no sense, rebuttals that somehow makes their way to drop Miriam Defensor's name. I have only one question, if you outlawed smoking, what the hell were you smoking before the event?
  • WAIT WAIT Mike Enriquez don't you understand only 1 question per turn??? 
  • Oh I believe Grace Poe when she says she's a motherly teacher. She's incredibly boring, delivers a nauseatingly patronizing voice tone, and throws cringingly awkward teen pop culture. Supreme Court should check her Birth Certificate and make sure she's not born in 1948.
  • Mike Enriquez: Only two females are running for President, and the bitchiest of them all is Mar Roxas. Seriously Mar, lessen the sass!
  • Wait, where's the opening statement???
Round 2: Sayang Moments
  • Poe (vs Binay): Girl, it's not your turn to answer the question! She should've asked why CARP needs to be scrapped or continued (seriously I can't make out if he's for or against it) and what's wrong with the current irrigation fees. And for bonus she should've inquired where the palay and farms in Makati went, were they accidentally cemented in his 1-billion parking lot? hahahahaha
  • Defensor (vs Poe): nice counter from Sen. Poe. Note she didn't answer the question (where will she got the funds for her promises?), but instead taking out her "I'm young and have new ideas" defense tactic that turned the rebuttal back to the sour whining old woman in the other side. Sadly, with the power of Youtube we are able to replay the question, where will you get the money?
  • Roxas (vs Defensor): STUPID ROXAS RUINED THIS DEBATE. This is the closest in the history of the 5th republic we get to talk about class warfare. Sen. Miriam proposed appropriating most of the budget to the basic needs of the rural poor, BUT also in favour of tax cuts by abolishing Real Estate taxes and/or Property taxes - obviously leading to the "trickle-down economics". This would've been the best opportunity to ask economic conservatives how, instead of raising the tax which would directly increase government funds, they would rather wait for the private sector to expand, "trickling down revenue to the poor" by giving more jobs with less tax burdens. Mr. EPALengke spent his rebuttal advertising the current Daan Matuwid instead (the question was the rise of GDP was clearly not felt by most Filipinos, dummy), prompting the most controversial quote from the Sen. "should we tax the rich just because they are richer?"
  • Duterte (vs Roxas): Two lovebirds dancing in the same old song. This would've been the best opportunity to discuss Climate Change and what were the agreements and further actions at COP21 in Paris late last year. Shucks, even the mining industry that is supposedly supporting Mar's aerial transpo would've been a pollution and lumad-bullying trump card for Duterte here. Of course I doubt his knowledge goes in that level, so his only talking point totally destroyed the original question, where the hell are the fishes???
  • Binay (vs Duterte): These are Beavis and Butthead over here. We all know we wanted it to stop you dufus duo. Why not discuss the current foreign trade policies where we stupidly import rice while we have a plethora of our own? And how come we cannot compete with the produce from Vietname, China and Thailand? Will this worsen when we join the ASEAN integration and Trans-Pacific Partnership? And will the popular Full-Foreign Ownership really kill the oligarchs, but also the farmers? And HOW HOW HOW will you....?!?!?!?!? Or you know what, maybe they are under the protection of this businesses, so in that case, well-played, you dufus duo.
Round 3: Not-really-about-Mindanao Issues
  • A round of applause for Mayor Duterte for opening the possibility of Federalism, which is supposedly more polarizing and alarming school of thought than China and US or whatever... Don't you get it, Manila, we are trying so much to separate from you!?!? After this, it would be a call for secession, or destruction of the imperial capital like what happened in Phnom Penh. At least give us the dignity of acknowledging our grievances, which was the total opposite of what Manila-boy Mar Roxas did. Wow, that was anti-climactic, and a little condescending too. "Hey we gave you more money than before, and sure we'll get that bridge WHEREVER TOWN THAT'S IN"... Oh and by the way Mar Roxas, that Laguindingan Aiport was under construction since 10 years ago by Lord Voldemort, I mean Pres. Gloria Arroyo. So you don't get to count that in your 260 Billion Pesos.

Friday, 19 February 2016

DISAPPOINTED

DISAPPOINTED in the Filipino youth, for despite being provided with all the information and global connection at our fingertips, we still cannot treat people equally without prejudice. Remember when we are outraged that richer nations views all of us as only fit to be Domestic Helpers, or people with fairer complexions calls us monkeys? And that just came from an unfortunate uneducated Twitter or Facebook post. Imagine if you are considered less than animals the moment you are born, or the moment you form sexual preferences or identity, or the moment you stepped in another country with an unfortunate circumstance of being poor and less knowledgeable. If you have no empathy on what it's like to be the "lesser person" in your lifetime, then you don't get to be on the high horse and think you are justified in your bigotry.

DISAPPOINTED with Nike, the nation's LGBT community and anyone calling for boycott. Our country (and US's) is a democracy and freedom of speech is a facet of our national identity. Intolerance of intolerance is just that, and YOU ARE PART OF THAT INJUSTICE. Everyone has the right to their opinions and beliefs no matter how stupid or gross. Everyone has the right to make fun of you. Everyone has the right to be offended and provide a counter argument. Everyone has the right to vote whoever represents their stand on issues, and equally everyone has the right to run for office even if their platforms and foundation are opposed to yours. What you have no right is to take away their livelihood, be a sportsman or a comedian, because of what they are or what they believe in.

DISAPPOINTED in my fellow countrymen, for not understanding the importance of separation of Church and State after more than a century of theocratic colonisation. We should evolve to wise voters where our politicians make decisions using legal precedence, scientific facts and fairness to all constituents. If one invokes God or whoever idols you put in the pedestal today, any debate is basically over. Is their religion, lifestyle, hometown, and parentage still the basis for our election? And we ask why our government and society is failing?

- these are my grievances on this issue http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nike-cuts-ties-with-manny-pacquiao-after-anti-gay-comments/