Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the May 5, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.
Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against. – W.C. Fields
I was talking about elections with Pierre.
“A run-off election works best for countries with a multi-party system. It solves the problem of a minority president,” he said.
“How so?” I asked.
“Candidates run in a general election and then the top two vote-getters go mano-a-mano in a run-off election,” he explained.
“Did you vote for Sarkozy?” I asked.
“No and yes. I did not vote for Sarkozy in the general election but I voted for him in the run-off,” he replied.
“What made you change your mind?”
“I did not change my mind. I still will not vote for Sarkozy in any general election but I voted for him in the run-off to keep the Socialist Party candidate out of the Elysee.”
“So you voted for the lesser evil.”
“That’s one way of looking at it,” he said.
“That’s sad, isn’t it?”
“Yes you can say that but look at what happened in the 2000 US presidential election. Bush won Florida by a hair, or to be more accurate, by hanging chads. Those chads would never have been an issue if only Ralph Nader’s followers had voted for Gore. They knew Nader had no chance of winning the presidency, he was not even on the ballot in many states, but they voted for him to make a statement and … ”
“But it’s different over here,” I interrupted.
“Let me finish…Gore was the second choice of many of Nader’s followers but by insisting on their lost cause, they ended up with Bush. Now that, mon ami, is sad.”
“We don’t know yet who’s going to win over here,” I pointed out.
“True, but you know who is going to lose.”
“You do not believe in surveys?” he asked.
“They’ve been wrong before,” I said.
“Do you think the surveys are wrong about JC, Jamby, and Perlas?” he asked.
“But they’re wrong about Bro. Eddie, Gordon, and Gibo?”
“All right so what’s your point?”
“Your country, like the US, does not enjoy the luxury of a run-off election. You only have one chance to vote. Now, if, by this late date, your candidate is still way behind Aquino, Villar, and Estrada then you must accept the reality that he is going to lose. Be proud that you fought the good fight but now you have to vote for one of the probable winners if you want to keep the other two out of Malacañang.”
“I’m voting for Aquino,” I said.
“Okay, but what if he was not in the picture, suppose your only choices are Gibo, Villar and Erap, what would you do?”
“I won’t vote,” I replied.
“You don’t care which one of them will hold the key to the nation’s vault for the next six years?”
“Of course I do, I don’t want another crook in Malacañang!” I exclaimed.
“Then you must vote against him.”
“I suppose so.”
“Hmmm… well, what if the only choices you have are Gordon, Villar, and Erap, what will you do?”
“Sacre bleu! I’ll emigrate to France!”
Vote Aquino for president, Roxas for vice-president, and for senators vote for Joey De Venecia and 11 Liberal Party candidates. That way you won’t have to become Pierre’s neighbor.