Your Standards or Mine?

The 2010 national election prompts us to choose who to put in the government seats for the next several years. Some of them will succeed in drawing others to their cause and others are left scavenging for the remains after the hotshots are done swaying their audiences.

But what does it take to sway an audience? Why does this one candidate have so many followers who are more than willing to talk about him every chance they get – but you would rather change the topic? The bet you're backing just doesn't seem to appeal to anyone else besides you, and you're probably wondering what these people had for breakfast that made them slow to realizing the pros and pros of taking your side.

Some candidates have epically long lists of credentials. They've been governor, senator, poor, businessman, fire eater, etc It's called experience, and many people don't want to entrust their barangay (let alone their country) to a newbie who can't tell the difference between the constitution and a congressman.

If someone has performed well in the past and in the present, chances are, they'll do fine in the future. Experience and a decorated past don't guarantee that a candidate's tenure will be free of controversy, corruption and sheer stupidity. It only tells us that they've done something (not doing) and anything that would fall under the doing part will join the rest of the done come the elections and the new term anyway.

Personality is another factor people consider. Though a handful of people may like a certain trait exhibited by a candidate, that doesn't mean everyone will agree. Traits such as respect, diligence and determination can either be seen as assets or impediments to the race. There are other attitudes that many will label as “downright undesirable, why are you even running if you know you're like that?”, but I'm only saying many, not all.

One way for candidates to get our attention is to bring out their big guns – otherwise known as catchy and potentially annoying campaign jingles, advertisements that hugely advertise their faces, commercials that suddenly pop up during your quality TV time, to name a few – in the hopes that said big guns will convince us. Some people may easily be convinced by obviously staged performances on TV, but not all Filipinos are gullible and would prefer to choose candidates based on other factors... and yet, can't help but hum to those jingles while on the MRT.

In the end, it's easy to see why many voters won't agree with each other and will spark debates in restaurants, in classrooms and even in the restroom; there are different ways to pick government hopefuls. One person will claim that credentials will suffice for a candidate, while another is satisfied by an ad of a waving candidate. Nobody really writes up a detailed, comprehensive list of criteria to consider when voting, because chances are, there is at least one person who will object to it.

If you're voting this year, never mind that people are going to bash your bet. Others just have different standards and look for different aspects in a candidate. Some factors are better considered than others, but once again, it's all relativity.