I intend to make full use of my one vote. I did not vote in the past two elections. It was only recently that I rediscovered the motivation to exercise that right. I even braved the serpentine lines and tiresome wait at a Comelec satellite office just so I can register again.
As the election fever begins to rage, I am beginning to see more of the usual campaigns. Some ring of empty promises that seem to get hollower as years go by. There are always familiar faces, tired lines, and scarce concrete action to match grand promises made. A part of me doubts that politics and governance will change after new and re-elected leaders take the helm in the contested positions. But, despite my misgivings, I still intend to put much thought and effort to that one vote I have.
If I were to shortlist candidates to give my vote to, I will go for those who exude integrity and have firm stance on the following:
1. Education ~ ensuring that more children get access to free education; that more children will have the opportunity to study beyond elementary school; that literacy rate in the Philippines improve especially in the poorest towns and municipalities.
2. Environment ~ because regardless of which side we stand on the climate change debate, I believe that everyone deserves a future where there is environment sustainability. In the interconnectedness of things, ignoring the potential impacts of neglect is a risk that we cannot afford to make.
3. Sports ~ because apart from promoting a healthy lifestyle, it teaches ideals and values that strengthen character and integrity. The current state of sports in the country desperately needs to be addressed.
Like most of what ails the nation, money (misuse, corruption, etc.) is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. Prudent use of funds, a clear vision, and the courage to catalyze changes define great leaders.
I do not think much will change after the 2010 elections. But even so, I believe that there will be a few who will create small ripples of change that will resonate in the coming years. That thought alone is enough to make me anticipate in casting my one vote. One vote that I will use wisely.