This election's campaign period seems to be one of the most intense we've seen in recent years. You certainly can't escape it, thanks to social media that has motivated everyone to be more vocal about their candidates especially as we get closer to election day. On our feeds, we are seeing a lot of heated exchanges online between family members and friends (and strangers!), owing to differing opinions.
While we like this enthusiastic kind of engagement (at least we're not indifferent) from the voting public, we need to be reminded once in a while that stating who you're voting for should not be an unpleasant experience nor should it resort to bashing and name-calling. Respect should prevail.
Joseph Bonifacio, husband of celebrity mom Rica Peralejo, captured this thought perfectly in his blog post entitled "The Convictions of an Undecided": "Let’s not unfriend one another over these elections. I have good friends, respectable friends, who are voting for each of the candidates (including Binay). While I disagree with many of the reasons they’ve given, we won’t let our connection be hurt by these elections," he wrote. "Let’s not throw our relationships away for candidates who don’t even know our names."
Keep the peace within your relationships with these lines:
1 "Let's agree to disagree."
If you and your aunt or friend are already decided on your choice for president, or any other candidate for that matter, there's really little you can do to sway their vote. You can actively campaign without causing strain in your relationships by expressing your opinions respectfully and then listening to their side, too, to be fair. "You have to learn when to stop pushing your own beliefs onto other people," says Joyce Rodas, 34. "It's really up to them to make their own decision. Remember, you can't please everybody."
2 "I respect your choice."
This is what Dino Legaspi, dad to a five-year-old boy, said when he learned that a friend is hell bent on voting for a candidate he doesn't support. "Hopefully, it is an informed one and not just hearsay from social media. I tried giving him facts, but I understand that he has his own reasons," Legaspi explains. "I have mine, too, and we left it at that." Also, acknowledge that the other person may feel strongly about his choice--and that's okay. There is no need to hate him for it. If the situation was reversed, you also wouldn't want them to condemn you for your choice based on your own values.
3 "There's no need for name-calling."
Tired of negativity, Felvir Ordinario started posting a series of questions which he thinks are relevant in the decision-making process and set strict rules. "Let's give facts and figures. Please indicate your sources so all of us can double check. As a rule, I will delete any hate comments. May we remain level-headed and help each other out to think rationally, taking into consideration our standards," he wrote. He has family members who support candidates different from his choice, but they always engage in healthy discourse on important topics.
4 "I love the country and I also want what's best for it."
"Pare-pareho naman tayong makakaramdam ng effects ng bagong leader, whoever that would be," says mom-of-two April Gomez. She explains that we may throw our support to different candidates now, but after the elections, we should all be able to work together to better our country even if it means criticizing your candidate for something that contradicts your own moral values. "Nobody is perfect, but I also believe that we're voting for the whole country and not just for ourselves," says Allan Ramos, graphic designer and dad of four kids.
5 "Family is love."
TopazHorizon.com blogger Frances Amper Sales's post is a good example in how express your love for family. "My Papa Jules is voting for Marcos, and I still love him! Si Papa [ang love ko], hindi si Marcos. And I still love my Duterte friends, but please watch him--don't defend him. Ang mali, mali. The change you want (we all want) can only happen if we watch our leaders and correct them. Do not tolerate them when they are wrong," she posted on Facebook.
After the elections, family is family--nothing will ever change that. The leader of the country will change hands in May, but your family is forever.