The Wallace Report
THE WALLACE REPORT
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has now accepted 10 nominations for the nextpresident (2 more were added last week, it’s unclear why as they are essentially nobodies) inthe coming elections, and from one of them will emerge a new president of the Philippines – assuming the elections are successful — a big and worrying assumption.To win you have to have popularity/appeal, lots of money, a professionally organisedcampaign, strong party support with grassroots supporters out there where the votes getmade. Counting is now, at least theoretically, out of local hands. An Ampatuan type can nolonger fake the votes (but can still influence/coerce the voters). Only a computer whiz kidmaybe can, or someone in control of the program. But let’s put that aside for the moment.What we’re considering is winnability in a fair election. If you don’t have all four factors youcan’t win because some candidates do, and you do need them all to a meaningful degree.Take popularity/appeal, I don’t just mean box office good looks but it can also be an ability toappeal to the discerning voter through having a sound, believable policy program. The pollstell you who is leading in this category. Sadly the discerning voter is very much in the minorityat this stage, although there are efforts by independent groups to bring more voters into thisdiscerning category. One of such groups is the amalgamation of ABS-CBN with theManagement Association of the Philippines, and Kilos Bayan, among others to conductregular
televised interviews with presidentiables and experts in various fields.Let’s hope we get more voters to vote intelligently. If we do, Dick Gordon’s chances rise, asdo Gibo Teodoro’s. Both are sound individuals with solid credentials. Gordon has done well inthe running of Subic and later the Red Cross. Teodoro has handled the defence portfolio well,but this is a relatively brief stint, he’s not yet had the long years Gordon has. But neither iseven on the popularity scale yet. Teodoro at a miniscule 5 percent, Gordon off the map at 0.5percent. Gordon doesn’t have the funds (in comparable quantities), the party support or thelocal leaders to bring him into the ring. He’d need something exceptional to happen for him tohave a chance. But we’ll leave him in for now because he deserves to be up there.Estrada has proved his complete incompetence for the job. Forget the plunder issue for amoment, he just couldn’t handle the complexity of the presidentiable task when he had it, sohow could he now.Eddie Villanueva created a born-again Christian movement which gives him great appealamongst his 3 million adherents, but almost nobody else. 3 million votes (even if he got themall) wouldn’t win an election. Last election only 60% (1.8 million) of his supporters voted forhim.