"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Look at track record and character, not Perakter, in 2010 elections

The value of political TV commercials of so-called Presidential candidates in helping Filipinos decide on who to vote for as President in 2010 were debunked in an interview Wednesday morning on Magic 89.9 by Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.).

Gordon said that the political radio and television ads may be doing a disservice by projecting a false and deceptive image of those who have declared their intention to run as President in 2010.

In the free ranging interview, Magic 89.9 DJ's Mo Twister, Mojo, and Grace Lee asked Gordon about what he thought would be a better way for people to decide on whom to vote for in the 2010 elections.

"One of the real and true measures of a leader is his or her track record. How long have they been serving the interests of the poor? It would be deceptive if they just suddenly started helping the poor a year or two before the 2010 elections," said Gordon.

The senator warned that the danger of this is that people will be swayed into voting for the person with the most money to spend on advertisements and eventually end up with a leader who cannot deliver on their promises.

Gordon, at the same time, batted for more Presidential debates where candidates aspiring for the position can undergo scrutiny and their positions on various issues can be tested.

"Debates are one of the best ways to find out a person's character, intelligence, and grasp of issues. TV commercials just show you what the candidates want you to see, in debates they reveal their real character and in seeing their character, people will find it easier to decide if they will vote for them or not," said Gordon.

Gordon also said that the present situation arose because the Comelec has looked over the provision of the laws against premature campaigning and pointed out that this has created a playing field that favors moneyed politicians.

"This goes against the very essence of the Fair Elections Act which at the heart of it, should level the playing field for all candidates by putting limits and restrictions on campaigning. What should concern our voters is that after these candidates have spent hundreds of millions on TV advertisements, how will they get it back? Remember, some of the biggest political advertisers are businessmen and they will want a return on their investments," said Gordon.

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