Thursday, January 08, 2004

thoughtlife: oh, what a circus

Oh, what a show.

There is a saying that politics make for strange bedfellows, but the recent unveiling of the running slates for the upcoming elections here is just too sad for words.

On the Administration's side, led by the Lady President, we find people who come from the opposite camp - not just ideologically, but ethically. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seems more than just pragmatic, she seems desperate. She came up with a motley roster that she hopes will take votes from the Opposition - her choice pick is Senator Noli de Castro, a TV newsreader whose claim to fame is his stentorian greeting to the nation "Magandang gabi, bayan!". Revilla, another actor/senatorial aspirant, says that if he wins he'll still do movies - because the senate pay is not enough to support his lifestyle (so the senate will be his sideline). Housing spokesman Michael Defensor (my high school classmate) says that it only shows that the Administration is forgiving of its former opponents.

The Opposition, led by action star Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ), has Senate Majority Floor Leader Loren Legarda. This is very peculiar because Legarda is also known as the Crying Lady, whose tears apparently meant something else to the people who participated in EDSA. She was one of the Senators who worked for ex-President Estrada's impeachment, and now is part of the party that includes Estrada's son, Jinggoy.

And the Opposition party has two presidential candidates, an anomaly that the Administration is accused of creating to halve the votes. So murderous Senator Ping Lacson goes alone. Even Bayani Fernando, the traffic czar refused him.

Waiting in the wings is the ever-colorful Mirriam Defensor-Santiago, who forswore politics after her son committed suicide, but threw her hat into the ring anyway (she says she needs the politics to get her mind off her grief). A staunch Estrada supporter, she withdrew from the Opposition slate when Legarda was chosen to be the candidate for Vice President. Now the Administration has a slot for her.

It's too absurd for words.

Philippine politics leading up to the elections makes a travesty of the entire concept.

What ever happened to platforms?

Ah, forgive me. Of course there are still platforms. They are used to stand on to deliver the latest election jingles, rendered by more celebrities (the Administration bought the rights for a whole kaboodle).

Forget ideology.

Winning's the thing. Everything can be sorted out later. After all, in the land of coup d'etats and impeachments, it's par for course.

Who's going to win?

FPJ will be the next President (and I bet one of his first acts will be to absolve Estrada).

Noli may be the VP.

What do we have to look forward to then?

A big fat nothing. But it will be vastly entertaining.

To those who need their government to be amusing.

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