Compassion as an issue in coming elections         

Published September 26, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

e-cartoon-sep-26-2018With about  two weeks before the filing of candidacy by those running for senator in the coming May, 1019,  elections, we will be seeing a succession of survey results on the  nationwide voting. All the other elections this May are by local constituencies  — for congressmen, elected by districts; governors,  vice  governors, and provincial boards, elected by provinces; and mayors, vice mayors, and councils, elected by   town or city voters.

The latest nationwide survey by Pulse Asia on leading senatorial candidates saw the continuing dominance of five women led by Sen. Grace Poe, with an overwhelming 70.1 percent of the survey respondents saying they  would vote for her.

Next in line were Sen. Cynthia Villar, with 57.7 percent; former senator now Rep. Pia Cayetano,  54.4 percent; Sen.  Nancy Binay,  50.6 percent; and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, 39.5 percent. Sixth in the list is the first male candidate – Sen. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Jr.,  37.1 percent; followed by former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, 34.6 percent.

Next are Gov. Imee Marcos, 32.6 percent; Sen. Aquilino ”Koko” Pimentel III, 32.4 percent; former senator Manuel ”Lito” Lapid, 32.2 percent; and former senator Sergio Osmena. 29.8 percent.

Senator Poe  said it was “uplifting that women were being recognized as effective, decisive, and compassionate leaders.” There have been effective and decisive leaders,  but compassionate is probably  what distinguishes these women  from their male counterparts.

In the last few years, we have seen so many effective and decisive actions by high officials, led by the all-out campaign on drugs in which thousands have been killed. New tariffs have been imposed and taxes increased, raising much-needed government revenue but contributing to the tremendous rise in prices all over the country, that have made life so difficult for many households.

In choosing five women as their top senatorial candidates, the nation may be expressing a desire to see more compassion in the running of government, to go with the decisiveness  and  effectivity  of government actions in these last two years.

There will be eight more months before the elections are held on May 13,     2019. Local issues will dominate the  voting for congressmen, governors, and mayors. But national issues will determine the outcome of the voting for senators. Party membership is not expected to play a substantial role, as shown in the top leading women candidates who all belong to different parties. Rather we expect voters to support leaders like Senator Poe who has shown  compassion, a concern for common people’s problems and concerns.