Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Worth the (Election) Experience

Midterm elections is coming in less than a week. This year is going to be my second time to vote for my candidates of choice. And while there are sorties, caucus and election-related activities that happen left and right, I did not really remember being active in joining such because of my schedule at work. If I do attend a particular event, I really had to plan it. In 2010, I was able to attend a blogger's gathering for a senatorial aspirant and save for receiving a phonecall from their party to ask for my permission to feature my written article, I should say that was all about it.

Over the weekend, the Candidate's Forum of PPCRV was scheduled the same day I have to leave for Calauan Laguna to participate the Habitat for Humanity Summer Build. After weighing my options, I chose to set my dream of wearing a hard hat and doing construction work aside and I went to the forum instead.

Prior to my decision of attending the event, I won't hide the apprehension including the fears of being trapped in a commotion (you know, the campaign period is also a risky time in politics) but on the lighter side of it, I admit I want to try another challenging endeavor. And challenging as it is, I realized how worthy was to have tried given that aside from I get to know my candidates, I learned three four things in choosing who your "ideal candidate" should be.

  • Your candidate should know the law -- and know it well enough to expound it. Call it an influence that I work in an industry that deals with reasoning but I tend to lose confidence and interest on a candidate who, when asked a question, will just say "there is a law about that..." but could not even state and explain how that law works when requested for further explanation.
  • He/she should know how to be diplomatic and encourage people to do their part. You cannot always say "let the authorities do it". After all, once a candidate gets elected, he/she is considered a person of authority. And what's the use of being an authority if you don't know how to encourage constituents, but of course it will help a lot if a candidate combines it with becoming a positive example as well.
  • It's not always about academic achievement. Because in the end, people will not care even if you graduated with flying colors from an elite institution if you have not done anything. If a candidate isn't  that articulate, call it a forgivable offense -- especially if that person was able to help improve the community and his efforts assisted constituents positively. What matters is how their actions eventually justify their words.
  • A good amount of sense of humor won't hurt. Just like how it is in the judiciary, the legislative division is a serious endeavor and there will always be days of argument. That's one of the reasons why humor was created as part of human existence -- to neutralize the situation and put things in equal measure.

In the end I don't have regrets having to trade a day to wear a hard hat to go to this event as it was worth the effort. Never mind the sweaty evening weather or standing for two and a half hours while I should be at home curled up in bed. At least, it gave me a better perspective of one of life's realities, I tried a new activity and to me, it's a good thing.

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