Why the most qualified often lose in elections?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 17, 2018 - 12:00am

The problem with us in the city is that we define ''qualification'' as educational attainment, college diploma, or masters' degree. That is not how the voters in the barangays, especially the villages in the hinterlands define ''qualifications.'' To the barangay folks, the most qualified are the most available, those they can run to when there is a problem, those who attend their baptisms, weddings, wakes and funerals. The people in the villages do not care about diplomas, not impressed with academic credentials, which do not have impact to them.

That is why those ivory-tower candidates - who just appear in town or barangay to run for office, and then disappear until the next polls - never win. Elections are the peoples' day of revenge against those who left the barrio and made good in the city, but never helped the people in times of needs. Election time is payback time to the ninongs who help build the chapel, and always remember them during Christmas season, fiesta and other celebrations. The barangay folks are not impressed with corporate types aspiring for local posts. They are just on an ego trip, to gather more credentials for additional ''pogipoints''  to their curriculum vitae, and to make themselves feel good of having ''served'' the people.

The most qualified often lose in elections because they do not have strong rapport with the voting public. Their opponents who are less qualified are the more accessible, approachable, and always immerse themselves with the people. Rapport is stronger than academic credentials; accessibility more impact than qualifications. The voters do not need nerds who they cannot approach, corporate types who have no human touch and do not understand the realities on the ground. The voters are looking for people like Manny Pacquiao who banters with the masses, moves and decides like just the guy-next-door.

Thus, expect that in the next elections, candidates like Lito Lapid, Freddie Aguilar and even the provinciano Coco Martin may run and win as senators. Well, intellectuals like Winnie Monsod of UP were always rejected by the masses in the past. They are seen as ivory-tower elites who do not know how the masses feel. Even if you ask the most brilliant scientist from Ateneo or La Salle to run against Willie Revillame or Vice Ganda, the nerds will bite the dust, and the comedians dominate the polls. This means that the intellectual elite have failed to impact on the peoples' lives, but the jesters - who know human behavior and discover the secrets - passes into the human hearts.

Electors always vote with their hearts. Those who vote with their minds are the endangered species. They always lose in the polls, and even in life itself.


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