The Business Venture Called Politics
Posted by M.A.D. LIGAYA
How many of the country’s incumbent local and national officials can come forward and with heads held high say that they did not buy their way to victory?
The painful truth is that elections have turned out to be a business venture. Politicians are like businessmen who if they hope to win must be willing to make an investment. And the investor in the politicians would expect a profit, not just a return on investment.
How much should a politician invest? Do a rough estimate.
According to the Commission on Elections, after the last registration period that ran from July 2 to September 29 (2018), the number of registered voters would stand at approximately 60 to 61 million.
Republic Act 7166 allows campaign expenses of P10 per voter for candidates for President and Vice-president and P3 for other candidates. But those who were not born yesterday know that candidates for national and local elections spend way much beyond what the laws allow.
There is a bill (House Bill No. 7295) pending in the House of Representatives seeking to increase the allowable campaign expenses. If approved, presidential candidates will be allowed to spend P50 (vice-presidential and senatorial bets P35 and local candidates P30) for each voter.
(Note: The bill was approved on 3rd and final reading on May 22, 2018.)
But beyond what the statutes allow, a candidate has to dig deeper into his pocket if he hopes to win. Vote-buying is no longer a secret making this writer say that election now is nothing but a business venture. It is no longer the best and most qualified candidates getting elected but the ones who have enormous financial resources.
A candidate willing to pay at least P500 for every voter is likely to win. The percentage for winning gets higher if the one seeking an elective position has the capacity of making that amount higher… like P1000 to P2000 for each vote.
Now, do the Math if you wish to know how much a candidate needs to prepare for his election bid. Include the amount needed for campaign advertisement, salaries of campaign leaders per geographical unit (province, town, city, barangay, districts or zones) depending on which position being sought, and other miscellaneous expenses. Don’t forget to add the amount a candidate is willing to pay for each voter (multiplied by the number of voters.)
For the millions of pesos those candidates extricate from their coffers what do they wish to get in return?
It’s not difficult to determine what drives people to run for election (and seek re-election). It could be A, B or C – with A a political position is a business venture for which they expect to get returns for their investments and a whole lot of profit (How? Use your imagination!!!), B an opportunity to wield power allowing the one who holds it to protect personal and family interests and to advance other personal motives and agenda, and C love for public service.
The citizens who care are hoping it’s the C. For those who sell their votes, A and B. Why? Come on, don’t tell me you don’t know.
Let me end the way I started – with the following question.
How many of the country’s incumbent local and national officials can come forward and with a head held high say that they did not buy their way to victory?
Allow me to ask one more question.
How many local and nationals officials whose assets did not exponentially increase at the end of their terms?
About M.A.D. LIGAYATeacher-Writer-Lifelong Learner M, A, and D are the initials of my two first names (Massuline and Antonio) and my mother's family name (Dupaya). Ligaya (a Filipino word which means happiness in English) is my family name. MAD is actually one of my nicknames aside from Tony and Ching. My full name is Massuline Antonio Dupaya Ligaya. Many times I was asked the question "Why do you write?" I don't write for material rewards nor adulation. When I write poems, stories, and essays, when I do research, the process of creating them gives me immense joy and seeing them completed brings me great satisfaction. I don't write for cash incentives, "likes," and "praises." I would be thankful should I get those but the happiness and sense of fulfillment I get while doing them and completing my works are my real rewards. Is teaching difficult? No! When I teach, I don't work but I play. My educational philosophy - "The classroom is my playground, the students are my playmates, and the subject is our toy." I am a lifelong learner too. My daily goal is to be better than I was yesterday. It's difficult, but it's worth the try. It's not for what I get from doing it but for what I become. Proud to be me! Proud to be a FILIPINO! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Posted on November 17, 2018, in 2018 Philippine Elections, Corrupt Politicians, Elections, Philippine Election, Vote Buying and tagged 2018 Philippine Elections, Corrupt Politicians, Vote Buying. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.