6 Steps Parents Can Take To Prepare For The 2010 Elections
Parents are special citizens. They are not just responsible for themselves, they are responsible for their children. We’ve outlined six steps that parents can take to prepare for the upcoming elections with only 159 days to go.
One of SP’s forum moms, maries, states this in her post on the SP Mock Elections topic: “Not sure pa din kung sino i-vote ko, isip isip pa din. Sa mga nangyayari sa Pilipinas ngayon, sana people will really take time to think kung sino ang dapat iboto. [I’m not sure on who to vote for yet. I’m still thinking about it. Given all the things that are happening to the Philippine today, I hope people will really take time to think about who to vote for.]” Her words ring true in the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy and the Maguindanao Massacre. In the face of everything that is going wrong, parents are highly aware of the implications of their choices. They are not just thinking of themselves, they are thinking of their children.
How to go about the elections? Here are six steps. Pick and choose what fits for you.
By this time, the assumption is you’ve registered to vote. If you didn’t register, no need to read on. You gave up your right to vote. If you did, then reflect on your act. You exercised your right as a citizen and you took responsibility for having a say in your future.
Know who all the candidates are. Given all the varied websites and online information floating around about the candidates, one of the repositories would be no other than Wikipedia.
Research, research, research. You can ask the following questions:
What political parties do each of the candidates belong to?
What does each of them promise?
Shortlist. According to Inquirer.net the list of presidential candidates has grown to 30. That’s a long list. You can cut down the list from three to five candidates for further assessment.
Research once again. It’s not only important to find out who the candidates are and what parties they belong to. It’s equally important to understand how each candidate in your shortlist will impact you as a citizen and as a parent.
What’s important to me and my family? What are my issues and concerns? What do I want for my children? What kind of country do I envision for them?
What does each candidate have to say about each of these issues and concerns? What do they say on their website? What do they say to the press? And more importantly, what are they doing? What actions have they taken to back up whatever they are saying?
Does each candidate have a platform* that addresses each of my issues and concerns?
Choose. Don’t just settle for whoever was left on your list that you didn’t cross out. It’s important that you exercise your right to freely choose. You can do this way ahead of May 2010 or you can really prolong your research so you can immerse yourself in what each candidate stands for and what you yourself stand for. However, when you get into that voting precinct, you exercise a sacred right of a citizen: the ability to choose freely and without coercion or impediment.
*Note: a platform or manifesto is a public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature. For those who are curious, check out U.S. President Obama’s campaign platform called “Organizing On The Issues” http://www.barackobama.com/issues/. His campaign tackled four important issues to the U.S.