Welcome to Ask Poppy! I’m Poppy, your go-to girl for all of life’s woes. And when I say ALL, I MEAN IT. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe for being me, which makes me totally qualified to do this.
I read your column last week about the girl who was having trouble choosing who to vote for, and you mentioned something about exercising one’s right to vote in this year’s elections and not minding what other people will say about your choice.
However, I have two questions: 1) What if my family is pressuring me to vote for someone I dislike? and 2) What if that someone’s my father?
He’s running for congressman in our city, you see, and obviously my whole clan is in full support of him. But, I find his platforms not that feasible. I don’t know if it’s because I’m skeptical of my father’s ability to work in the government, or I’m just being a jerk by not giving him a chance. I hope you can help.
Here’s something that you should know: no one would know who you vote for. That’s of course, if there’s no dayaan (cheating) this time around. You wanna know why nobody would know? COMELEC’s general instructions for the 2016 elections, something you’d know if you’ve read Resolution No. 10088.
This is how it should go: you fill out your ballot, you feed it to the VCM slot, you look at the screen to see the candidates you voted for. You, check it: the machine will now tell you that your vote has been cast. Sweet volt tackle of Pikachu, Ash! You’ve made your vote. The machine will now print out the receipt. Note that when all of this is happening, a staff member will be at the side of the machine, totes not seeing the candidates that you vote for. The staff will hand you the receipt, nicely folded and completely untainted by anyone else’s eyes, and you will then check it before you wreck it. I mean, you’re totally going to wreck it because you can’t bring it anywhere else.
That receipt isn’t going to Mars, honey. It won’t see the light of day shining down on the Pewter City Gym, Ash. You can view it for a bit, but then you’d be instructed to throw it at the Voter’s Receipt Receptacle.
You know how people are complaining that the receipts show the wrong candidates magically appearing on their receipts? You can’t even take a photo of the receipts, MADAM! Nope. That’s not possible. Bringing any of the voting materials outside of the voting area? Not possible, man! You will be punishable under Section 261 (z) (12) of the Omnibus Election Code, man.
So what do you do when the receipts show the wrong thing? You can object and the staff will then work out a way to make your vote right. They will then note your objection and attach it to your receipt. If you make a fake claim, again, bro, that’s not cool. You may be punished under the Election Code, yet again. We want an honest country, so let’s be honest about, um, PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING. (Although, yes, a little white lie doesn’t hurt that much naman.)
I don’t think these machines are all effed up. I’m hopeful that this could lead the way to a cleaner elections. I am pretty sure that from the sheer number of Terminator movies that we have out there, everyone is convinced that the machines will rule the world in the not-so-distant future. Don’t underestimate the machines, and I’m pretty sure that COMELEC has learned from one of the biggest blunders in the entire world.
Ash, believe me, nobody will know who you vote for. The only proof that you voted is that indelible ink on your finger.
Now, that thing about your father.
Earlier, I was watching Return of the Jedi and I’ve got this huge smile plastered on my face. Yeah, May the 4th passed by, but this cable channel was still giddily showing the Original Saga. We don’t always agree even with the people we love. We find ways to reach a compromise, or we can live in a world that’s totally oblivious of everything else (Read: me). I’m not saying that you should shun your father completely, but if you don’t at all agree with his political aspirations, then you are free to object. Although in a couple of days, I don’t know if objecting will even be legal. Tough times we’re living these days.
Like what I said last week, you should really think about the candidates that you’re rooting for. If you think that your Vader belongs to the Dark Side, then stand by what you believe in and find another candidate who fits with what you want to happen in your local government. Don’t think that you’re being a jerk just because you’re against the will of your father. I know Luke Skywalker was pretty much a whiny little b*tch, but he still believed in the power of The Force and stood by his ideals of sticking the lightsaber up the Dark Side’s ass.
Do you think your father has a chance to win? If so, then you gotta wing it, Ash. Family may be the smallest unit of our society, but if your family can enact change, then why the hell not, right? Instead of opposing your father’s ideals, I would work closely with him and share with him your thoughts. Engage in polemics. Dispute his ideals and learn why he thinks that way. Aim to change his beliefs, or at least make a small dent in his decision-making. You are his child and I believe that if there’s someone who can find the chink in his armor, it’s you, my friend.
It’s not always easy to believe in someone especially if you know that someone so well. We’ve all been f*cked over and over again by incompetent, thieving, and often, delusional officials. It’s that if you want change you gotta start with yourself bullshit, but it’s true. If you want to change your local government―or the country, rather―vote based on what your heart and mind desires. If you want to change your father, don’t be afraid to give him a piece of your mind. You won’t get anything by shutting him out of your life. If you want change, start small and woah, dream big.
Got a question for Poppy? From love and relationships to weird questions you dare not ask even your psychologist, Poppy is ready to answer them all. Send in your questions to [email protected] or post your question over Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AskPoppy, and you just might get the answer you are looking for.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Dorothy Guya