#AnimatED: 130 presidential bets? LOL!
Jokes will pepper the presidential races until we reform our political parties and get out of the tunnel of personality politics.
Filipinos love jokes. In politics, we make fun of our leaders, especially when they’re on the decline. The conventional wisdom is: watch out when people start joking about the president because that’s a sure sign of his or her ebbing popularity.
In our pantheon of cultural taste, jokes rank high, too.
One current presidential candidate, Miriam Defensor Santiago, has broken Philippine publishing record with her bestselling compilation of jokes and witty one-liners, “Stupid is Forever.” A sequel, “Stupid is Forevermore,” soon followed, dishing out more of the same.
When Joseph Estrada was a heartbeat away from the presidency, his friends published “ERAPtion: How to speak English without really trial,” a book that compiled jokes about him—and was widely distributed during his campaign in 1998.
In the Senate, we have a comedian, Vicente “Tito” Sotto, who topped the race the first time he ran, in 1992. He lost in the 2007 senatorial race, when he joined the senatorial slate of the ruling coalition of then President Gloria Arroyo.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that our kind of politics attracts jokes to the national races. About 130 aspirants have filed for the presidency, apparently a record high, says the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Looking at the bright side of things, Comelec’s James Jimenez says this is a “symbol of a vibrant democracy.”
But let’s stop being polite about this electoral phenomenon and take it for what it really is: a joke.
Democracy is vibrant only when:
- Political parties stand for issues, are strong, and with disciplined members who put the interest of their platforms ahead of their ambitions.
- The election campaign is anchored on issues, not on personalities.
- Funds for candidates come from majority of the citizens instead of just a wealthy few.
- The media are fair and honest in their reportage, masking no agenda.
Until we reform the political parties, the campaign finance system, and get out of the tunnel of personality politics, we will continue to see jokes pepper the presidential races. – Rappler.com