May 24, 2024

When an election approaches, candidates engage in a slew of illicit activities, one of which is vote buying. Vote buying is common these days, with politicians attempting to gain support by distributing cash. Other methods for purchasing votes is the gapangan system. Under this practice, individuals are tasked to visit the family that is identified to vote for a candidate and offer them money. After that, someone would stay in the barangay to ensure the family they spoke with will remain in their homes on the day of the elections. Another method is for pook leaders to direct people to a certain location where they would submit their identities and be briefed before voting. Before they cast their ballot, an observer will see who they voted for.
Selling one’s vote may be beneficial only to the person, but we must also consider the effects of one vote bought by untrustworthy candidates.
Elections in democratic countries suffer from significant concerns caused by vote buying. With the rise of corruption and poverty in the country, working to promote accountable and responsible voting is a difficult task. Voters should demonstrate dependability and loyalty and competition between candidates should drive the outcome toward efficiency and short and long-term platform, experiences, and educational background should influence the vote. Regrettably, this is not the case. The democratic process has weaknesses in which fairness is impaired since illegal acts obstruct the genuine result of the competition. It also infringes on a citizen’s ability to choose who will represent their interests.
Do you know any potential public official who doesn’t want to run for office because the cost is high? Vote buying discourages potential and qualified candidates but has limited financial ability from running for office because, instead of platforms and experiences, politicians with money win.
What’s unfortunate in putting bad light politicians into office is, you cannot hold those elected officials accountable.
A single genuine vote, unaffected by vote buying, can have a substantial impact and can shift the outcome of an election. For example, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were both elected presidents of the United States by a single vote in the House of Representatives in the 1800s. Minnesota voters cast 2.9 million ballots in a U.S. Senate election in 2008 that might be determined by as little as 200 votes. In the same year, the Stockton Unified School Trustee Area No. 3 seat was won by one vote in Stockton, California. Jose Morales got 2,302 votes, while Anthony Silva got 2,301 votes. These only show the power of a single vote. It would be more fulfilling if one vote is swayed by excellent standards.
Philippine democracy is still in its infancy. It is still a work in progress and will remain so in the future. For democracy to thrive, you have to be confident that your candidate would uphold your ideals for good administration. The most powerful group in a democratic society is the voter; so when a voter takes money from candidates, he gives up his voice, the opportunity to change, and the capacity to alter a crooked system. Some people may not realize the importance of voting, which is why they choose to sell their vote, while others do not have the opportunity. To make a good difference, vote intelligently since you only get one chance to do so every three years. More people voting wisely means better representation and more resources for the development of communities towards a better quality of life. (NIMROD S. DEFEO)