Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I don't vote because..

I am 26 years old now. I am a Political Science graduate from a state university known for its student activists. I was one of the activists! I took up 3 years in Law. I read and listen to both local and international news everyday. I am interested in watching shows about our candidates or interviews on candidates for May 2013 elections and I have strong opinions about each of them. But I don't vote. I never did.

I never voted for any local or national elections. The closest thing I got to voting or engaging in elections is whenever our class will have to vote for class officers and during campus elections during my elementary and High School days. I ran for President when I was in Grade six and lost to my contender for about 10 votes. That was one of the biggest heartbreaks in my younger days. During High School, I was one of the senators in our student body organization, even ranked 2nd among those who garnered the most votes from the students. Crazy, right? Winning the election elated me. But when I turned 18, I lost all interest to vote.

I am not a victim of any politicking. I don't have horrible experiences related to elections. It's just that, I have no faith in our government and that whoever I think will be voted for office will eventually  forget us and will only be focused in advancing their political and personal interests. I don't think the candidates have genuine concern about the plight of the poor, marginalized, and oppressed sectors. 

Time and time again, these political players are only concerned about how to remain relevant in the political system of the Philippines, even becoming "political prostitutes" just to ensure their spot in the office they are running for. One day, they will throw mud at each other, then the next, they will praise each other. For example, Villar and Aquino who ran against each other during the last presidential elections. Now, Pnoy is endorsing Manny Villar's wife, "Misis Hanepbuhay" Cynthia Villar who is running for Senator this 2013 Elections. Tsk..tsk..

They say that to effect change, I have to vote and choose those who I think will bring about the much needed change in our society. I have to get involved. I may be only one but it takes one to make a change. I don't believe it. 

For many years, the number of voters in the Philippines increased from 47.7 million in 2012 to more than 52 million as of last count. This is due to the increase of registered voters aged 18-25 years old. Maybe. Or maybe because our population has now ballooned to 103,775,002 from 92 million in 2012. I think the increase in registered voters is logical given our number now. But so far, are there any changes?

Crime rates remain the same or even increased. And I think the criminals become more brutal now. What with the gang rape of a 5 years old girl, the massacre of journalists, the killing of an infant by his mother, kidnapping, corruption, the list goes on. The number of jobs is limited in proportion to the number of persons needing them. Commodities cost a lot and is beyond the capacity of poor families to buy. Education now becomes a privilege rather than a right as what the constitution says. More and more Filipinos prefer to work abroad to earn enough for their families. The minimum wage set by the government is not sufficient for a family of six to survive. God, how awful.

So what can my vote do when the 50+ million votes were not able to do it?

So, does this rob me my right to opinionate on how our officials conduct themselves in their official capacities? Of course not. I have this right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Does this prevent me from complaining on how these officials run the affairs of the state? No, it doesn't. 

I think this give me more power to scrutinize because I don't side with any politicians. I side with the real issue. I side with the truth. I may not be involved in a political activity like elections but I am not keeping my mouth shut. Perhaps, one voice is not a force to be reckoned with when it comes to bringing our grievances to the radar of our government officials. But I can try..and try..

So to those who are asking for my vote, know this.. 

I do not vote. And I probably never will. 

This is my receipt when I registered as voter last 2006. I never used this. I never claimed my Voter's ID to this day.