Ever since I was eligible to vote, I never bothered to register to vote.
And whenever I share this with people, I usually hear them tell me, “then you shouldn’t complain”. So they seem to run under the assumption that just because I don’t vote, I somehow forfeit the right to complain.
To be honest I don’t see the point. Maybe it’s due to me being jaded and hearing all the horror stories such as people going to vote and finding out someone else has voted for them, or even worse, dead people voting. If our system wasn’t so corrupt, and if I actually believed in the government and their desire to actually improve the country and not their own bank accounts, then yes I would vote.
But such is not the case in the Philippines.
I have to the right to vote if I choose to, and I also have the right to choose not to vote if I don’t find a candidate that is worth taking the time to go through the arduous process of registering to vote.
In a system that works, my individual vote would probably have a one in a billion chance of breaking a tie. Ask yourself, do you really believe that our system works? How many others vote stupidly? Or how many others sell their votes?
Voting is a civic duty, and a privilege. And it’s also optional. If you choose to vote, you should go the whole nine yards, study the candidates and what they stand for, and whether or not they’re clean or not. Freedom of speech means you have the right to speak, and also, to not speak.
I will vote when someone comes along that can convince me that their time in power will actually be used to address and fix all the problems our country has. And for the past 14 years, I haven’t seen one that I believe yet.