I’ve been a staunch follower of President Duterte and VP Leni Robredo and I have to say this because witnessing what they did during their campaigns last 2016 gave me a foundation and background to logically criticize political strategies of an aspiring politician/public servant (at least).
It surprised a lot how the Otso Diretso slate are leading the university mock elections and Twitter voting polls and surveys yet none of the eight aspiring candidates made it to the magic twelve of the official election. Cheat? Manipulated? I don’t think so.
Groundworks. I think this is a heavy one. It seems to be that the Otso Diretso became quite confident and comfortable when they started to lead the university mock elections and surveys plus the Twitter hashtags and online polls/surveys but here’s the thing, who are they following? Who are the people on their friend list sharing those surveys favoring them? They are in their echo chamber, I should say. The elections are nationwide not just on their yellow leaning or opposition leaning or whatsoever audience.
There are farmers, social workers, adults, who doesn’t have social media like Twitter or Facebook. There are illiterates who can’t read even if you show them a graphic poster of the candidate and their credentials. How will you convince them to vote you if you’ll give less effort just because you see how strong you are on social media? There is life outside the internet and I think the Otso Diretso slate lacked effort in reaching them.
Reach out to them. Touch their hearts. Let them remember you. Be the light to their hopes. Give them the reason to vote for you.
I was expecting them to reach them out as much as VP Leni Robredo did during her 2016 VP campaign but I don’t think this slate did as much as she did because I believe that if they did, they would have shared the same faith as hers during her race. I’m not saying they didn’t exert effort but what I can say is they could’ve done more.
Opposition Image. A good opposition doesn’t just oppose and criticize the flaws negatively. A good opposition knows when to oppose and when to support.
That’s the opposition that we need.
If you’ll just keep on opposing everything the administration serves then that’s travesty — you’re a whiner. An opposition opposes bad policies but one should know when to support too and trigger the people to appreciate the good policies, programs and projects of the government because that is progressive.
Can you imagine being a normal apolitical citizen and all you’ll ever hear is the bad works and flaws of the government? If you are that citizen, will you still trust the government? No. You’ll be conditioned to think that government is a total trash and there’s no more hope. We don’t want that. We don’t want our own people to loathe us, we need them to trust and believe us. We’re a team.
Moving to my point, I watched the debates and listened to the (majority not all) statements of the Otso Diretso slate and I was honestly disappointed with their responses when they were asked if they like any of the policies implemented during this administration. Some said none, some only mentioned one. Do they lack awareness or they just don’t want to recognize the good policies/programs/projects of this admin or are they trying to pull off that I am pure opposition kinda guy?
Newsflash: Appreciating the good policies doesn’t make you less of a person nor a bad opposition.
Honestly, I think this is one of the thing they went wrong. They failed to convince the non-supporters that they can be a rational opposition because they had that all oppose image. I think, I’ll generalize their supporters as the coalition of their circles, anti-Duterte, anti-Administration and some lefts. That would give quite a number but it’s not enough. I think the election results prove this argument.
All against the President. I think this might be intertwined with the previous one. The Otso Diretso slate went too far in showing how they are opposing the president — yes, I’ll say ‘just’ the president because Leni Robredo is endorsing them and she is the vice president of the current admin so I don’t think it’s accurate to say that this opposition slate is opposing the current admin. You know what I mean?
Yet then, the previous surveys about approval rating of President Duterte still favors him so this actually backfires to the Otso Diretso slate. Yes, it may be just a small group and just a survey but man, this is politics, you gotta consider that.
As I’ve said earlier, they could’ve shown a better opposition face by showing how they oppose and how they support. I’d like to mention some critics of the President and the admin who also knows how to support and appreciate: JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Grace Poe (I’m not endorsing them or what but they are just the names I remember as of the moment.) With such tactic, they could have convinced more people to vote for them, they could have made some people consider them but no, they kept that staunchly opposing image, bad idea, and what’s a more bad idea is they highlighted their opposition against Duterte. First of all, he’s not on the ballot list to be a good bullseye to target, secondly, objectively speaking, Duterte is still strong up until today, a man hard to topple and because they keep using him to strengthen their opposition face, it backfired. Yepp, that’s it.
Pakulo. Otso Diretso slate members may be packed with academic and professional achievements, public service and legal service backgrounds but then in politics, it’s not enough to be just bright, you also have to be wise (madiskarte) and one should have this so called “maraming pakulo” that will help them campaign themselves OUTSIDE their echo chamber or be viral to reach those registered who aren’t very political or aware.
Look at that budots of Bong Revilla. That budots pakulo did well, right? He made it to the top twelve so don’t argue. (P.S: not a supporter of him). Before you bully me for saying that, let me just tell you that I am not here to bash or drag the Otso Diretso slate but I am here to point out what they lacked (in my opinion), if you don’t agree then you either continue reading or get the hell out.
Unity Aura. Another one worth mentioning. Otso Diretso is a group of opposition, let me say that again, a group with an objective of being an effective voice of opposition but how can they actually convince they can be a solid group to be the voice of opposition if it seems to be a struggle for them to make all their members attend the events. I don’t want to further know the reasons why but just look at how Mar Roxas is absent on most Otso Diretso early ground campaigns. We need a united opposition if that’s what they are promising to offer us. Start small by showing us how each of them are willing to be present in every campaign event.
I personally admire most of the Otso Diretso candidates with their jam packed academic achievements and accomplishments, political, legal and professional works and I wish them luck in case they plan to run again.
What about you? What are your thoughts?