December 23, 2009 1 Comment
Twenty-three days after I filed my certificate of candidacy for my bid as Municipal Councilor/SB Member here in Cainta, Rizal, the realities of Philippine elections, campaigns, and voter behavior set in right before my very eyes.From a few days after I have formalized my candidacy until today, cries for help have never stopped coming in. Like gifts, they come in different forms and sizes; sometimes in the form of a letter handwritten by a constituent asking for your kind assistance, or a personal constituent visit to vent out their needs and sentiments. You have to be ready, not only with yourself, but with a hundred bucks or two to hand to your every visitor.
As the Holiday season sets in, candidates like me begin to create an impression of kindness; in an attempt to reach out to the voters, or to further the message that we are here to respond to constituents’ needs. For a newbie like me, whose political experience has never leaped outside the halls of my university, this practice is something that I did not prepare much for.
Idealism is the fuel that moves young politicians like me, but it never is the sure path to victory. True, rhetoric is a factor in making a good politician. But, as your feet set into the real political arena, struggling to keep the pace with other more-moneyed, more experienced politicians, you eventually see and realize that money is what truly propels a campaign. Not that I claim that money is everything. It is almost everything in a game like this.
In the most realistic sense, I find it very difficult to keep the cashflow steady because unlike other politicians in my town, I am neither rich nor have an unlimited government coffer to depend on. But I think I’m fine. Now, after completely rebooting the team’s strategy to ensure my 2010 victory, I also have to inject fundraising efforts, which was originally part of the plan but I did not pay much attention to. The campaign team’s holding a special meeting on the 29th to discuss financial and strategic matters relevant to my campaign. Now, instead of us working within ideals, we now work within realities; the true onsets of a political campaign.
If politics is basketball, we are in the first quarter, and I think I’m in the not-so-good shape right now. But there’s almost always room for betterment and improvement.
PS: To those who continue to give me hope as I go through this, thank you very much. You don’t know how much that means to me.