Monday, September 25, 2006

Hoping Against Hope

Just less than a year before the scheduled local and national elections, the news on national TV, radio and the print media has, for the past weeks, expectedly been dominated by reportage on the developments in political arena. A quick review of these reports indicate two major aspects of the coming elections which, predictably, will define the nature and texture of Philippine politics in the future as it had in the recent past.

Firstly, the political dynasties that have dominate the political landscape will remain the forces to contend with in the coming elections and they will be very difficult if not impossible to defeat and overthrow. Not with the wealth and political influence they control both on the local and national level.

Secondly, show business personalities will again be gunning for both local and national positions and this time with a vengeance. I was flabbergasted when I saw the long list of this new breed of politicians. Ever since Joseph Estrada swaggered his way to the presidency and after Fernando Poe, Jr. gave Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a scare in the last presidential elections, every one else in the entertainment industry seems to be salivating at the prospect of banking on their popularity and launching a new career in politics.

In Lianga, the situation is very much less dramatic or colorful. It is in fact boring as hell. But then political contests in this town have always been, to a larger extent in recent years, cut and dried affairs where elections are decided more on other mundane things such as blood and clan relationships, money and logistics or the lack of it and political patronage rather than the candidate's actual character, track record and party or political ideology.

Like in most things, the town seems to be caught in some time warp. The same faces and names are going to be in the ballots, the same tired slogans and empty political promises will again be made and the charade will be played out to its inevitable and pointless end.


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