(Photo taken at Welbart Exhibit in the Philippines, 2008). These men are like the politicians during the campaign period, trying to market themselves to the public.
I’ve registered for the absentee voting last August and now that the election is near, I still don’t have my final list. Although it’s only one vote that’s coming from me, I reserve my right to be choosy about the candidates. The possibility of cheating in the canvassing of votes is beyond my control. I think that one of the better things that came up now is the availability of several means to get oriented with the salesmen (aka political candidates).
The survey results are tricky to the undecided and to those who are investing on candidates. Here’s from one of my current reads, Freakonomics:
In order to figure out the relationship between money and elections, it helps to consider the incentives at play in campaign finance. Let’s say you are the kind of person whom might contribute $1,000 to a candidate. Chances are you’ll give the money in one of two situations: a close race, in which you think the money will influence the outcome; or a campaign in which one candidate is a sure winner and you would like to bask in reflected glory or receive some future in-kind consideration. The one candidate you won’t contribute to is a sure loser. So front-runners and incumbents raise a lot of money than long shots. And what about spending that money? Incumbent and front-runners obviously have more cash, but they only spend a lot of it when they stand a legitimate chance of losing; otherwise, why dip into a war chest that might be more useful later on, when a more formidable opponent appears?
Now picture two candidates, one intrinsically appealing and the other not so. The appealing candidate raises much more money and wins easily. But was it the money that won him the votes, or was it his appeal that won the votes and the money?
That’s a crucial question but a very hard one to answer. Voter appeal, after all, isn’t very easy to quantify. How can it be measured?
It can’t, really – except in one special case. The key is to measure a candidate against… himself. That is, Candidate A today is likely to be similar to Candidate A two or four years hence. The same could be said for Candidate B. If only Candidate A ran against Candidate B in two consecutive elections but in each case spent different amounts of money. Then, with the candidates’ appeal more or less constant, we could measure the money’s impact.
Here’s the surprise: the amount of money spent by the candidates hardly matters at all. A winning candidate can cut his spending in half and lose only 1 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, a losing candidate who doubles his spending can expect to shift the vote in his favor by only that same 1 percent. What really matters to a political candidate is not how much you spend; what matters is who you are (The same could be said about parents). Some politicians are inherently attractive to voters and others simply aren’t, and no amount of money can do much about it.
What’s your basis of selection of candidates?
a.) The results of sales of 711 presidentiables’ cups?
c.) Campaign ads
d.) Things that help you make an informed choice
e.) None of the above/ Others
0 thoughts on “When there’s a close race between two candidates”
That maybe true, Ms.Jo, but you leave out one more factor from the equation that may tilt the balance however unpopular the candidate is; cheating. It happened before, it may happen again.
I have some apprehension about this coming OAV. Why is the voting here in the Middle East not computerized like what they’re going to do in Singapore? Our 3 million strong Middle East votes are a deciding factor if some unscrupulous persons manipulate it to favor one candidate. Remember GMA only edge FPJ by 1M courtesy of “Garci”.
You have a right to be choosy. After all, we’re talking about our future and the future of our country =)
lots of stuff to consider. i am actually going to say “none of the above” because even if i made the decision, of course considering all the factors i need to think about, what guarantee do i have that this or that salesman will not become kurakot after winning the office?
yes, in this particular case it’s OK (and smart) to be choosy. with barely 2 months before the elections, i know a lot of people who are still in the same dilemma, some who keep changing their votes, some waiting for more useful info (d). i hope to make a decision this week!
Rach (Heart of Rachel)
You have every right to be choosy. We really have to weigh all options before choosing a candidate.
i still do not have a definite choice but i am inclining to vote for this particular candidate (who is 4th or 5th in most surveys). i just know whom i don’t like and they are the two most popular ones.
d and e
at least it’s nice to know that people are thinking hard of who they are going to vote for. someone might think that one’s choice is “wrong,” at least nag-isip at namili. hindi yung nag mini-mini-maynimo lang.
ako din, hanggang ngayon di ko pa alam sino iboboto ko.
sadly, in Pinas, elections are solely about personalities. I would love for the country to trun into party politics, where party platforms and agendas become the basis of selecting a ruling government and not popularity of the candidates.
yes we really need to be choosy. 6 years din ito ha.
E. For the longest time, I don’t let others influence my vote. I don’t look at the their finances, nor the number of laws they authored and passed, nor their campaign spendings nor political ties.
In previous elections, isa lang lagi ang tanong ko: Is he the most morally upright to run the government?
Sadly, none of those I elected ever won. (Roco during the last election).
Nakakalungkot. Mas certain ako ngayong 2010 sa kung sino ang hindi ko iboboto kesa sa kung sino ang iboboto ko. Honestly, I’m torn between Noynoy and Gordon.
(And you know what? I think my losing streak will continue).