Back when I was a kid, my dream was to become an astronaut. Then the dream changed into becoming a doctor, most likely caused by watching too much TV. For a time, I also entertained thoughts of becoming an architect but then eventually settled with the dream of becoming a chemical engineer. After X number of years, none of these so-called dreams came true as I realized that my real calling was in marketing. The thrill of coming up with new offerings for a consumer-driven society offered more than my previous ambitions —plus the fact that the Philippines had no space program. While I keep my dreams firmly grounded now, I wonder why certain individuals crave the top job in Philippine government.
With the national elections in 2010 coming, I am witnessing a field of presidential candidates coming out in force, the dream of leading a country is too much of an attraction for them. I heard the salary is not that good but the other perks are just plain awesome. From what I have seen and heard, we have a convicted-then-pardoned ex-president; a son of a great Pinoy hero; a rags to riches guy-turned senator claiming he has the solution for the poor; the son of a great Pinoy hero’s cousin, a Harvard guy I have never heard of until recently when his TV ads came out; a religious leader with loyal followers; and someone from up north of Manila who just happened to think he can bring change in politics but seriously thinks he has no chance in winning. It is quite a cast of people we have running for president.
After the seemingly straight people come the weirdos and I am eagerly awaiting the weirdos from the last elections to come out. So where is the guy who threw nails or spikes onto a public road when he didn’t win? There was also the guy who claimed he can pay all the country’s debts if the people voted for him, totally off his rocker! As much as I found these people amusing, I have not kept tabs on the latest freaks of Philippine politics to come out of the woodwork but I am sure that more than a handful will show up come election time.
Sifting through the current candidates, I can see some general reasons on why these people believe they are qualified to run the country. I can list them down as follows:
- God told me to run for the top spot (aka God’s Will) – God could not be reached to verify this claim.
- It’s the people’s will – I wonder how many people are actually needed to qualify as “the people’s will.”
- The I-am-successful-in-getting-rich-therefore-I-can-make-you-rich excuse – I think I am better off knowing your business secrets rather than having you as president.
- The I-am-unknown-therefore-cannot-stink-just-yet excuse (version 1: for those with a gigantic party) – Time to oil the political party machine. Um, make sure there’s a lot of “grease.”
- The I-am-unknown-therefore-cannot-stink-just-yet excuse (version 2: for those with a…um, was that a party?) – thinking you deserve the slot just cannot guarantee a win.
Thinking way ahead, if a certain popular boxer-soon-to-turn-politician decides to run as president, he will probably just say, “If you don’t vote for me, bugbug ka sa akin.” Seriously, the guy plans to run for the house, I say he should just stay in the ring where it’s safer for him.
Now don’t get me started on reasons why senators and house reps plan to run, especially the little…imp.