In Which the Answer is Simple
With the chaos of alleyways being plastered with the over exaggerated smiles of senate hopefuls and news reports constantly buzzing with political controversies left and right, it is not much of a surprise that a lot of Filipino citizens have grown discouraged and apathetic with regards to voting.
Even on a significantly smaller scale such as the university’s very own Supreme Student Council, students disregard the opportunity to cast their vote because they apparently do not feel any real significant change in the right direction and because they consider it to just be school politics.
There is no denying that to some extent they do have a point. Voting can sometimes feel useless because the vote of one single person cannot possibly affect the numbers, right? Voting is pointless because the system is corrupt anyway, right?
Wrong, because if an entire student body or an entire nation has this mindset and allows it to breed in others, then no one is going to be heading to the ballot boxes come election time. It is this self-absorbed approach to voting that screams a welcome to foul play to take place during elections because if the student body and the citizens do not care, the results might as well be tampered with by those who have the power to do so.
Then we go on to complain and criticize, on social media and to our friends and family. We rant and we get angry at all the corrupt leaders and the selfish politicians, but the thing is, we choose not to play our crucial albeit seemingly insignificant part in deciding the future of our country because we choose not to vote. The decision to take for granted the right to have a choice by not voting is in a way stomping on the justification of a democracy even existing in our school and in the Philippines.
Having a democracy means having a choice, having a choice means having an opinion, and having an opinion means criticism and complaints are allowed, welcomed even. We unlike other communities and countries are able to have some say in who gets to take the seats of power that control change. Yes, more often that not those seats are taken unfairly, but at least our opinions get to be voiced out.
There may be power in a voiced-out opinion, but an opinion is a noun; it only inspires change. To vote is a verb; it affects and leads to change. It has become quite evident in this community and in this nation that even though we are continuously voicing out our opinions, they quite rarely are actually being listened to, and that is where the problem lies. No matter how strong our opinions are or how backed-up with evidence they may be, leaders will not care to listen, consider or even pay attention to them. What they do take notice of though is action. Therefore, rather than depend heavily on a noun, we collectively need to realize the importance of a verb and the power it holds. Our opinions can only do so much, it is our vote that can turn opinions into actual action and in turn, it is action that can lead our country to change.
The state of our school and the state of the country can be blamed on its leaders. The state of our leaders — that is all on us.
This article is part of our features in the April 2019 magazine, with articles written in March 2019. The said magazine will be distributed to the Carolinian body and made available online before the month ends.