Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thinking Out of the Box 28

Who Should Vote?
Hello readers!

I would like to share my thoughts not on why we should vote but instead who should vote.

I believe that only the taxpayers should vote. Why? Because it is the taxpayers who raise funds for the government. This may sound too discriminatory and too harsh--and I agree. But doesn't the Law discriminate, too? Why allow only 18 years old and above to vote, for example?

Excluding non-taxpayers to vote will--more or less--allow those who care to decide what is right for the future of the country. They are the thinkers, contributors, and sources of government's revenue. And, therefore, who else has the right to decide for his own country?

Does the marginalized sector pay their taxes, too? Do they know the issues at hand? I doubt it. Time and again, we see many campaign ads that capitalize on the poor. We know that they can easily be bought during the elections. We have seen the ill-effects of such practices. Our country is continuously sinking in the global market and ranking of government transparency. Is it too late to make a drastic move? Or shall we become indifferent again?

Why we should vote
By Anna Oposa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
DateFirst Posted 22:05:00 03/13/2010

Stop sitting around and waiting for the world to change; be part of the change you seek
THERE ARE OVER 50 million registered voters for the upcoming 2010 national elections—the most in Philippine history. That’s five million more than the 2007 elections.

According to the Comelec, 80 percent of first-time voters come from the youth bloc, defined as 18-30 years old by the Constitution.

Our generation still believes the next set of public servants have the power to shape the quality of life we are going to have. The candidates are just as aware of how much power we hold, that’s why many of them have been campaigning among young people and making time for university forums.

But why do we have to vote? Simply because we are Filipinos living in a democratic country. Vote because you can! Voting is the most basic way to exercise democracy. In other parts of the world, citizens pay with their lives for this sacred right.

The United Kingdom and Ireland didn’t allow Roman Catholics to vote for 65 years. Kuwait only legalized women’s suffrage five years ago, while some states in the US still require a kind of “literacy test” and proof of elementary education.


In the Philippines, the only conditions for voting are that one is 18 years old by the time of the May elections, and he or she has proof of Filipino citizenship, whether it comes in the form of a driver’s license or passport.

If we don’t love our country enough to vote, who will?

By voting, you can stop sitting around and waiting for the world to change. Voting makes you become part of the change you seek.

There is nothing more annoying to me than listening to people complain about the government, then finding out that they are not registered voters. Those who didn’t bother registering because it’s “nakakatamad” doesn’t really care how the country is run, which takes away their right to rant.

As voters, we can, at the very least, walk around with righteous indignation when those in power make decisions we don’t agree with.

Of course, the change we want to see will not happen only when we shade circles and show off the indelible ink on our thumbs come May 10. It begins now.

Our generation may be part of the 50 million registered voters, but we are more than just statistics. We are human beings capable of thinking, questioning conventions, and making informed decisions. It’s our job to learn about all the candidates and their platforms.

Important issues

Ask yourself what issues are most important to the nation, then find out what the candidates have to say about these. It’s important to vote for leaders who carry the agenda we believe in, and not just because they’re the frontrunners in the surveys.

It would be shallow to base our vote based on who has the catchiest jingle or who hails from a lineage of politicians. Looks may be genetic, but leadership and moral character are not.

The power of your one vote multiplies when you engage in intelligent, political conversation and try to convince other people to support candidates based on their strengths. There are so many ways to do this: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Plurk, blogging.

Outside the web, there are newspapers, television shows, radio programs, and live forums to keep us updated. We have the privilege of being literate and educated, so our votes should trump the uninformed—those blinded by money and glitz and hollow promises.

Just imagine: if everyone gave importance to their vote, especially us, the youth, then there’s over 50 million informed decisions


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