Choosing the better of two (or more) choices

Published June 7, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal


Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal

In one of the lectures I conducted last week, one participant had an interesting question.  She started by describing the usual scenario in politics where voters have options but seem to be stuck with choosing, in her own words, “the lesser of two evils”.  She asked what can be done and what she and her friends should do when vetting for candidates to vote for on May 9, 2022.

She went on to express what others tend to do, which is, to just not vote for any candidate for that particular elective position.  They would just vote for other offices in the ballot.

I could sense the frustration in her voice.  She looked exasperated and seemingly in a quandary on what to do.

I explained to her that instead of choosing the lesser of two evils, look at it as choosing the better of the two or more candidates. If your mindset is choosing the lesser of two evils, you assume that all available choices are evil.

That’s not right.  Try to look at the choices as people who have good qualities, but might have certain flaws.

Focus on the good, instead of the bad.

I explained that the plan to skip voting for positions that have no ideal candidates is tantamount to giving up your right to choose leaders. It’s also surrendering to someone you might not like.

To illustrate: Two candidates are vying for an elective position, but you acknowledge that one is good but has flaws. Meanwhile, the other person is clearly unfit for the office. If you and your friends refuse to vote for the better candidate, there is a strong possibility that the undeserving politician may win. That victory might be due to you and your friends’ decision of skipping that specific elective position.

This leads us to the second part of her question.  As active participants in our democracy, it is also our duty to encourage fellow Filipinos to get involved in a more substantive way.

Encourage more qualified Filipinos to throw their hats in the political arena. No one can predict the outcome of an elections. A neophyte candidate’s chance of winning is uncertain, but it also provides the electorate additional choices on who they will vote for, and it strengthens our electoral process by having more selections.

IMHO (In my humble opinion), this is how you can strengthen our democracy. By making it more inclusive. By encouraging more people to participate in the process, it also allows us to act significantly as candidates.

We must find ways to make things better.  Achieving that cannot be done by a ME or I, but by WE.

ALL OF US, working collectively, to make this a better country and have a better province, city, municipality, and village. This is not just for us, but for people we love and care for.

Stay Safe.  Stay Healthy.  #Change4DBetter