Cong Corrales .
“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” -Napoleon Bonaparte
AS I write this, I am still thinking of running for barangay kagawad. Almost immediately, well-meaning friends gave pieces of advice while some even offered logistical support.
To even have a slight chance of being elected, a friend told me I have to be in a slate. I admit, I’m new at this but I specifically recall that barangay elections should be non-partisan. The barangay is the basic unit of government. But then I realized that since it is the basic unit of government, the big politicians would want to dip their fingers into this election if they want to be a serious contender in the next city, town, provincial elections.
So, I relented. I asked around if I could be in any of the slates in Consolacion. Guess what? All of the slates of big political parties were already organized, and the slots were taken last year! While there are still other smaller groups that fielded their own bets, they don’t want me in them, either. Apparently, they consider me too “wild” of a card. I guess, if I make up my mind, I may run as an independent candidate come May 14 which, by the way, ought to be the case for all candidates in the barangay elections.
Friends here in Consolacion told me to push through even if I wasn’t in any slate. They said that if I decide to run, they’ll campaign for me in their respective communities within the barangay. It might be an even steeper uphill climb for me but I may need to still push on through, they said.
Last week, a complete slate of candidates went house-to-house around the barangay shaking people’s hands, and introduced themselves as candidates. Now, I wouldn’t know if that is considered premature campaigning since I didn’t know if they already filed their candidacy. That is the loophole. How can one campaign prematurely if they aren’t candidates yet? Anyway, a friend joked about it saying, “So what if they’ve already started going house-to-house? You’ll just beat them by going room-to-room of their houses.”
Like I said, some of my friends offered logistical support. One offered to print my handbills or polyeto. A sort of brochure of my campaign for a seat in the barangay council. Another one offered to compose a campaign jingle and other campaign paraphernalia.
It’s offers of support like this that is so heartening even though I’m scared out of my wits. Although, I also admit that I’m pretty excited. I’m on unfamiliar grounds here. This is my first stab at local politics — as local as it gets.
If I push through, it’s going to be a learning experience, win or lose. It’s going to great.
However, should I decide to push through with my candidacy in the coming barangay elections, I will take a leave of absence from my weekly opinion writing so as not to have an undue advantage over other aspirants in Consolacion. If I decide to run, you’ll read My Wit’s End again after the barangay elections.