Horse trading

With the filing of certificates of candidacy in a week or two, political aspirants are now afrenzy trying to form the best slate or getting the right guys into their lineups.
Every politician is “a courting” other politicians. The main consideration of course is “winnability” and this is determined mainly by a person’s loyal voters or charisma or popularity, but most important of them all is his war chest or his budget for the election. If one has the money to splurge, or with which to buy votes, he has a high “winnability.”
If he is popular because he is usually a star in the movies or in TV programs, he also has a high “winnability.” It does not really matter if he has a two digit IQ. Only in the Philippines.
If one has deep political roots, meaning his forebears have been in politicks for a long time that they had been dispensing political favors for decades or centuries which can now be called on, then he is sure to land an elective position even if he is hardly qualified for the job.
These are our misfortune. That is why we are what we are as a country.
For the things that matter in a candidate most often don’t count.
People or voters don’t consider if a candidate has the competence to run an office. They go to the polls not with a rational attitude which means putting paramount the interest of the common good, but with all the emotions that does not result in good judgment. If the candidate at one time gave a favor to a family, all its members are obliged to vote for him even if he is grossly incompetent.
Or even if he is a gambler and surely would engage in corrupt practices to finance his expensive vice. Or even if he has several families he has to support from public funds.
And political parties supposedly being led by intelligent guys have to bend with these realities. So it does not matter if their candidates are rotten to the core as long as they have high “winnability.” This is the Filipino way to build a powerful political party.
No political party around has set definite characteristics their candidates must have which will surely result in good governance. They don’t look for proven honesty, morality or competence when elected. Even if these are the requirements for a political party to endure through decades and decades, if not centuries.
They just care about “winnability.” Poor we. Rather, poor us.**

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