Monday, April 19, 2010

How will you choose your next President?

I am reposting this blog post in preparation for the coming Elections. I am hoping you all have internalized how you will choose your next President.

How to choose the next President...

Different people would have different basis for choosing a President.  Some base it on a candidate's opinions on issues relevant to them, some base it on character, personality or even religion. Some base it on popularity, plain name recall or even looks. Some are in denial about that last one. :p Haha. Then again, c'mon really - who wants an ugly President?

Kidding aside, since I am voting for the very first time in the last decade that I have been qualified to vote, I really want to put a lot of thought in this process of choosing who to vote for. I refuse to vote for a Presidential candidate with nothing but empty promises and motherhood statements. I want at least a hint of a detailed plan - a strategy if you may - of handling this huge undertaking. 

Being President is a tough job no doubt: you have millions of stakeholders who need assistance and support, you are accountable for their lives, their security, their access to health benefits, you are accountable for the economy, and you need to find the money to fund all of your plans. Aside from that you also need to be a shining symbol of hope and prosperity for a country constantly battling poverty.

In an ideal world, the following are my criteria in choosing who should be my next President...

Some issues high on my mind are Economic stability, Education, Poverty, Corruption and the Environment - not particularly in that order.  I will choose my President based on 2 major areas: Capacity and Character.  The former because I think a President should have certain qualifications to run a country, the latter because I think a President should be a Leader that his constituents trust and respect.

I will choose a President who has a good grasp of global economics

I will choose a President who is intelligent about Philippine Economics, someone with a global understanding of the market, and who knows how to steer the Philippine Economy out of the economic crisis. 2010 is still expected to be a bad economic year, but within the 6-year term of the new President, the global economy will begin to pick up again.

I want a President who recognizes this potential economic boom and has a plan to take advantage of growth opportunities in this rapid re-energizing of the global economy. I want someone with a long term sustainable plan, not one who is out to make a quick gain and then will leave the economic burdens to his/her successor.

I will choose a President who values Educators

I will choose a President who values Educators - someone who understands that while the students need more than chairs or pencils or chalks - they ALSO need good teachers.

I remember when I was in Europe and the USA, they had a lot of TV and print ads encouraging people to become nurses. At the time nurses were a work force with a high demand and a low supply.  Being a nurse is a thankless job you see, and not many want to take on that role. The government reacted by putting out these ads. I can imagine doing something similar for teachers in the Philippines - teachers are a crucial part of a students's development. Who here doesn't remember at least one favorite grade school teacher? :p

I will choose a President who has a concrete plan to address Poverty

The poor people are all over the metro, thousands upon thousands of people come to Manila from the provinces looking for jobs. They arrive hopeful and end up hopeless, living in the slums.

I think creating more good paying jobs in many different parts of the country can remedy both poverty and the overpopulated metro. But that is just one idea (and hardly the solution to all our problems) - I want my next President to have more and better ones.

I want the President to have long term goals - not just short and medium term goals - for poverty. I would love it if the program to reduce poverty is so effective that the succeeding Presidents continue to support and champion them - a continuity of good programs would do amazing things for our economy too.

I will choose a President who will DO SOMETHING about the population issue

I think this is an issue that has been long debated, but nothing has really been done to directly address it. I am not advocating for a 1 child policy - heck no. What I want my next President to do is to bring it to the forefront of our consciousness rather than accept it as an immovable fact of life.

It is a huge issue with the church - something that I think should be discussed in detail with them. It is a big problem and the current solutions, if there are any, are not working.  Time to try a better way.

I will choose a President who will systematically eradicate corruption

Corruption is so deeply ingrained in our government systems that it is difficult to even begin - difficult but not impossible.

I will choose a President who has the guts to go after every corrupt department Chairman, Senator, Congressman, Secretary, Judge, Mayor, Governor, Baranggay Captain, Military and Policeman.

I want a President with a ZERO TOLERANCE for corruption and encourages people at the frontline to report it, not for money, but for the sake of the country. 

Shooting blindly will not help either. It should be systematic - with audits on their books, and legal documents. An independent and impenetrable body who will perform the investigations, and make a recommendation to the government.

I will choose a President who likes trees

Because I like trees too. Haha. :p And because it will probably save us from more flooding and will help clean the dirty air we are (gasp!) breathing.

Besides, who doesn't like trees? You like trees too right?

I will choose a President who recognizes the Philippines as a tourism gold mine

Because it really REALLY is a gold mine - and a synergistic approach to Tourism can only be done on a national level by a government body.  I have seen our TV ads on cable channels about the Philippines but I think we still need to make our Tourist destinations more Tourist friendly. For one, we are still largely a "cash" country when a large number of international tourists now prefer to pay credit.

We have a wealth of internationally known tourist destinations and huge festivals which I believe we can bank on. Why not make a week-long packaged tour that goes to Cebu-Bohol-Boracay? Or CDO-Camiguin then diving off the coast of Mindanao? Why not develop Pagudpud as a Surfer's Paradise? Help locals build more hotels or inns for tourists.

In parallel with this of course, make our transportation systems more convenient - better roads, better airports. Make our communication systems more robust - cellphones and internet available everywhere in the Philippines.

I will choose a President who is charismatic, a good public speaker in both English and Filipino, and is telegenic

Nowadays, if you're a politician, the best way to get your message across is through the television. 

I will choose a President who is easy to understand when he/she speaks, and makes me believe that what he/she is saying is the truth.

I want him/her to be able to bring reassurance to a disaster stricken province, motivation to a new graduating batch of students, hope for the poorest of the poor, and confidence to the middle class.

I want a President who has very good judgment of what he/she relays to the public. No, I do not expect my next President to be completely transparent - there are information the public is better off not knowing. But I want the President to know what information is sufficient to sate the public curiosity.

I also want to be able to take pride in a President when he/she makes privilege speeches in global forums.

I will choose a President who commands respect

Especially for the media people - I will choose a President that they will respect, so that arguments become about issues and not personalities, logic and not emotion.  I want a President that columnists will think twice about before they badmouth unnecessarily.

How will you choose your next President?

These are my criteria, not meant to be exhaustive, but I believe captures the essence of what I want my next President to be.

I am in no way forcing these ideas upon anybody else. Let's agree to disagree. In any case, I believe that choosing a President should be a personal one.

I realize also that my criteria may be too high that none of the current Presidentiables can even dream to achieve it. Well, I know I don't always get what I want. Haha.

Your turn now - how will YOU choose your next President? I would like to encourage you to write about it too, your criteria in choosing the next President. Let's take a look again at the list below. Who among these people are worthy of your precious vote?

List of 2010 Philippine Presidential Candidates
  • Vetellano Acosta, KBL
  • Noynoy Aquino, Liberal Party
  • John Carlos de los Reyes, Ang Kapatiran
  • Joseph Estrada, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
  • Richard Gordon, Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines
  • Jamby Madrigal, Independent
  • Nicanor Perlas, Independent
  • Gilberto Teodoro, Lakas-Kampi-CMD
  • Eddie Villanueva, Bangon Pilipinas
  • Manny Villar, Nacionalista Party

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  1. Well Rey, I have to disagree with you on that. Politics is not dirty... It
    is the POLITICIANS :P

  2. A president who likes trees. Bingo. Same here, Rey... I will choose a president who can inspire Filipinos to support his programs and vision for the future. You're right about eloquence. He needs that to energize his supporters and win over his detractors.

  3. i think the author will vote for Richard Gordon. :)

  4. Haha, I can imagine now in a big Presidential forum someone asking, "Sir, do you like trees?" lol!

  5. I'll choose my next president by using the 48 Laws of Power as a guide. Whoever I think has observed the most number of laws shall have my vote.

  6. Your candidate is Dick Gordon.

  7. He he he Rey, based on your criteria, nobody qualifies...I was smiling at the portion "...and is telegenic." hmmmm. I think I'll vote on that aspect alone...he he he...

    But your points are valid ones and I'll vote for whoever has those qualifications. On the other hand, I have only two: honesty and dedication. Because if he's dedicate, he'll have to learn all of those to be able to serve well, and if he's honest, he'll do all of those and more.

  8. that should be, "Because if he's DEDICATED..."

  9. This is really informative post! Presidents, from what I really know, should be the one to lead the country towards national development. But then, how would a President lead the country if he/she is the one making the country down? Let's face the reality. Almost all of the presidents have made a lot of changes/improvements in the country, but have they made difference in terms of "corruption" thing? :)

    P.S.: I have linked you, hope you can link my blog too. :)

  10. Hi Mommy Blogger, Honestly, it's not.

    I don't think Gordon has a monopoly on being "tourism oriented" eh, just because he used to be Tourism Secretary.

    Not saying he's not Presidentiable enough for me - just saying that when I listed these, I had no particular person in my head. :)

  11. Hi, ReyJr. Your criteria hits the bullseye. You're right. Gordon doesn't have the monopoly on tourism. But have you heard any other candidate talk or more importantly, DO SOMETHING about tourism as extensively? Blogs like these really help in rounding out peoples' decisions, so please share with us all!

    On Education and Global Economics, am hard pressed to connect anyone as champions of these issues, but Dick again. Everyone talks about education as a priority but where are the plans? And where would they find the funds?

    Bottomline, sadly, NONE are perfect, but in terms of breadth and quality of performance over several decades, I think Dick is my pick for now. He actually has the shock and awe factor which may be the wake up call we all need.

  12. Or perhaps this: Sir, when was the last time you felt like cavorting in the
    river - without care, without fear that the bracky water will get you some
    strange disease? When was the last time, my good sir, you felt like
    bursting into a song at the sight of a mountain standing majestic with its
    panoply of trees? Sumagot ka, sir. Sagot! Ahahaha

  13. With all the criteria you presented which I think none of the presidentiables qualifies I will just summarize mine into ONE-INTEGRITY-THAT'S THE BOTTOMLINE OF ALL!!!You may be dynamic,intelligent,telegenic,persuasive talker and all the blah blah it boils into one if you have the INTEGRITY-LEAD BY EXAMPLE and I think everything will be in place.

    What I mean is after ELECTION,the ELECTED PRESIDENT will not all be deciding by himself/herself but will have CONSULTANTS that will be giving him/her the pros and cons and INTEGRITY would again come in here in his/her decision.

    Political pressures here and abroad would come in and if one does not have the INTEGRITY to resist, problems would sip in.

    Actually,I am also into the process of elimination and having had the experience with past presidents I am now leaning into a TANDEM with INTEGRITY!!!

  14. Hello po - it's sad that none of the candidate fit my criteria. That actually makes choosing a President more complicated that it should be.

    I think my criteria are not really difficult. I would rather of course have several candidates fulfill ALL my criteria and them some. That way I'd have a really difficult time deciding which one to choose instead of settling for someone because he's, well, just the best of the bunch.

  15. seems like your criteria excluded everyone running for president hehe... I would really, really like to vote for Gibo... BUT he's running under the arroyo government *sigh*

  16. I will still vote for that candidate whom i voted for last election. i read his platform and programs. he's not doing well in the surveys, but i wont mind it at all.

  17. i really wish it wasn't even a consideration. But it's the biggest consideration for me :( I don't know why people would risk it no matter how qualified the candidate it... Just goes to show that I don't trust the present government.

  18. Good for you. You should vote for who you think should win, not because of one thing or another. :) If everyone did the same, then the next President would be really a President that represents what people want. I think then it would be easier for him/her to lead. :)

  19. i don't think i can say i trust any of them... remember the US elections? even if i wasn't a US citizen I could feel that Obama brought hope for many. I could even feel it myself. When he won, I could also feel the pride of the people because they were the one who decided for themselves.

    It's frustrating because NONE of the candidates gives me hope. NONE of them appears to be able to make a good difference. Maybe I'm cynical but most of them give empty promises while those that appear sincere to do good, don't seem to have any plan on how to accomplish their promises. *SIGH*

  20. Hearing how Gibo talked on National TV, he impresses me. But he has my two thumbs down because of that little girl *PGMA*

  21. Ha ha ha.. You got me there Rey. I do go for the looks [of my taste, of course]. That's why I am for Chiz, Remulla, and Tamano, LOL!

    So, who is your favorite grade school teacher? Probably, teacher's pet ka? :P

    *creating more good paying jobs in many different parts of the country* - If there were high paying jobs back in Bulacan, I'd rather stay there than commute more than an hour daily.

    Yeah, I like trees, because I love green, LOL! - Let's vote for Al Gore!

    *a good public speaker* - Hmmm, I'd rather vote for the not so good public speaker but is better of in actions. Parang sa nanliligaw lang 'yan eh, mabulaklak magsalita, pero wala naman sa gawa, :P

    Honestly, I cannot choose from the list. And I think, wala na akong gana sa politics. I know, politics is not evil - the politicians are.

  22. me too :(
    and the saying "tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are" means a lot in his case

  23. But you know, I am really believing that Gibo will win the Presidential Race
    - for Arroyo will do EVERYTHING. *sigh*

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  25. You've done a great job on this article, Kudos!!! ;)

    As for myself, I would go for someone who would earn the respect of the majority. Someone who could uplift the morale of the FILIPINOS toward believing that there is still a BRIGHT FUTURE ahead of us..that someday we could also be like other progressive countries, free from poverty and free from corruption. For me character weighs much more than competency..

  26. I'm just 17. I want to vote now but it's fine I'll just wait for the next election.

  27. Nice, we almost have the same criterias, too bad I'm still not allowed to vote. BTW Kuya Rey, I like trees too! Haha.

  28. I would keep all these things in mind while choosing new president