(Disclaimer: The opinion expressed here is the author's and does not reflect the position of ABS-CBN Corp.)
By employing a traditional politician’s bag of election gimmickry, albeit inferring that once president he might bring to all and sundry blanket prosperity, one candidate seems to have tapped on an elusive secret that guarantees CDE votes. Never mind the reality of plundered economics, or how we still bear the scars of twenty years of wholesale thievery and cronyism. Never mind non-existent programs of government, in its place political pandering and a plethora of prepackaged presidential promises of prosperity. Never mind that these bear no specificities.
For that matter, never mind the truth.
Given the optics of a voter superstructure resembling an inverted pyramid where the CDE majority determines the next president; likewise given a presumption of credibility among pollsters, the CDE seem to have made up its mind. The frontrunner appears to have a majority 53% lead over the next who’s garnered less than half.
We have not had a majority president since the dictatorship years, the last when an overstaying incumbent was challenged by an aging general drawn from the former’s bureaucracy.
To change the arithmetic, more than wooing the 8% to 10% undecided as of December, challengers would not only have to compel a drastic shift in alliances and allegiances, they would also have to tear away at parochial bailiwicks. That requires a profound understanding and connection with the multidimensional CDE. A herculean miracle given we are neither peddling soap nor shampoo in thrift packs but offering a totally revamped bureaucracy - from installing a decent and competent president to a deep systemic paradigm shift to rebuild our lost democracy.
On the campaign trail, as he panders to the CDE voter, note the packaging of promises from one presidential candidate. His voice and tones sound deeper than usual. The auditory subliminal seems deliberate. The lower baritone more commanding and authoritative. Never mind its hollowness.
Perhaps it is a function of the environment he is accustomed to, the Queen’s English spoken where he says he was educated, the people who surround him, the posh parties and dances he attends. And the air of authority he conjures when addressing a social class he hopes might be his constituencies.
Given the inverted pyramid, and should one trust the polls and Photoshopped photos, it would appear that the current poll frontrunner indeed has the CDE in his pocket. Note anecdotal evidence in most conversations with those vulnerable albeit negatively impacted by a bad presidency.
“Maganda ang platform. Sabi daw ng ama ibiyaya at ipamahagi ang kanilang kayamanan.”
“Noong panahon nila, tahimik.”
“Buo ang pamilya namin noon. Hindi kailangan mang-ibang bansa”.
“Hindi siya palaaway. Mabait. Hindi niya sinisiraan ang mga kalaban sa pulitika.”
‘’Ano’ng kasalanan niya?’’
The value systems employed are unfathomable, perhaps even complex. Dishonesty and falsified education and certificates of candidacy are brushed aside. Charges of tax evasion and the continued refusal to pay taxes do not seem to matter. Historical revisionism, a politician absent a platform and an unproductive political career do not seem important.
As electoral sentiment coagulates and choices consolidate where the undecided fade on the virtual eve of the elections, factoring in attrition, majority leads may peel away and a challenger gains enough to be within striking range of a plurality.
Do the math. Ceteris paribus, by the end of March 2022, Vice President Leonor ‘’Leni’’ Robredo would be in a dead heat alongside the current frontrunner should she successfully decipher the enigmatic CDE.
(Dean dela Paz is a former investment banker and a managing director of a New Jersey-based power company operating in the Philippines. He is the chairman of the board of a renewable energy company and is a retired Business Policy, Finance and Mathematics professor.)
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.