The 2022 elections isn’t just to vote for a new president. It will also be the day to usher in a new batch of public servants on your ballot.
When it comes to elections, most of the attention goes towards who is running for the national positions, especially the hotly contested presidency. But if the past years has taught us anything, it’s that our attention shouldn’t only be centered on who’s at the top. Instead of just thinking about who you want to vote for as your next president, the question should also be, who will I vote for all the way down the ballot? When you get your ballot, you’re not just going to vote for the president and vice president, you will also vote for 12 senators, your next congressman, governor, vice governor, mayor, vice-mayor, councilors, and party list.
Your participation in the elections will actually be of big consequence because you get to help determine who is elected into all levels of government. As the final days of the election season approach, here’s why you should take the time to really discern who you want to vote for up and down the ballot.
THE VICE PRESIDENT IS MORE THAN A SPARE TIRE
Some people have described being the vice president as someone who’s just waiting in the wings if or when the president is incapable of doing constitutional duties. But as we have seen in the past six years, the vice president can do and be so much more than that. So, when you decide on your VP, think of it as if you’re voting for a second president. There’s a reason why most candidates for president have a running mate because their VP is meant to be their partner in the upcoming administration. You can make your choice based on who’s the running mate of your chosen presidential candidate. Or you could see which VP candidate is the one can do a lot in the position.
YOU VOTE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE LAWS
Aside from president and vice president, you’ll also vote for 12 senators and your local congress representative. It goes without saying that these people are the ones who make, debate, and pass laws. Don’t like how your congressman votes for bills you don’t agree with? Confused on the kind of bills being passed in Congress? Then maybe it’s time to vote for someone else. If you want to see bills and laws passed on issues that you care about, then your vote should go to people who you believe are the best to handle being a lawmaker.
YOUR CONGRESSMAN IS MEANT TO REPRESENT YOUR ISSUES
Electorally, the country is divided into different districts depending on population. Those districts then elect a representative to serve them in Congress. So, aside from the fact that congressmen are the ones who make the laws, they are also there to represent you, that’s why it called the House Of Representatives. Your needs and that of the overall congressional district should be addressed by your duly elected representative.
YOU ELECT PEOPLE WHO SHAPE YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY
Even if the president has the most power, the most immediate change you can see is in your community, barangay, and city. Those changes will be determined by the councilors, vice mayor, and mayor. These people literally have the power to change your day-to-day life. Local ordinances, fixing roads, water supply, electricity, construction projects, and neighborhood goings-on are just some of the many local issues that these people have sway over. If you’re voting in the province, you can expand that thinking to governor, vice governor, and sangguniang bayan.
If you want to see change at the local level, this part of your ballot should have your attention. To help you with this decision, think of it as a president and his cabinet. The vice mayor presides over the councilors where they discuss and debate the issues and topics at hand. Now, tell yourself, what kind of people do you want to run your local community?
DON’T IGNORE THE PARTY LIST
Among all the positions to vote for on the ballot, the party list is usually one of the most forgotten. In case you didn’t know, the party list system in the Philippines was created so that underrepresented and marginal sectors and groups can have a say in Congress. Farmers, frontline workers, the urban poor, OFWs, drivers, the youth, women, and more sectors have their own party lists. The way it works is that you need to vote for just one party list and if a party list surpasses a certain threshold nationwide, they are elected into Congress. Depending on how high their vote share is, a party list can get between one to three representatives per election.
This 2022, there are 178 party lists vying for a spot which honestly is an overwhelming amount. To make things easier for you, look to the issues you advocate for whether it be education, the environment, or what have you and see which party list stands up for that too. It is important to note that the party lists are found at the BACK of the ballot. Remember to check the back of your ballot to vote for your chosen party list.
So, when you get to your polling place on May 9, don’t just think that you are voting for one person, because you are voting for every position on the ballot. Your choice does have real-world consequences. You may feel that you are just one vote, but realize that your vote matters and can be the difference between someone winning and losing. Remember, our future, which at this point is a matter of life and death, is at stake here. So, vote wisely.
Continue Reading: More Than Just Voting: 5 Things You Can Do Before Election Day 2022