by the Weekly Sillimanian | October 16, 2021
With the 2022 presidential and general elections coming up, the youth population of our country’s registered voters has significantly increased to an astonishing 52%, according to COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez. Based on this fact alone, one can concur that we, the youth, have the upper hand in our nation’s future. However, due to our access to so much information, young voters may feel overwhelmed and confused trying to select their candidates wisely. Fortunately, it is not as hard as one may think. All it requires is a couple of steps so you can learn how to use this information to come to a solid decision.
Before anything else, practice recognizing fake news. You may remember tackling this subject in classes related to media and information literacy for senior high school and college students. When doing your research, confirming the credibility of your sources ensures that the data you are absorbing is factual and objective, which will aid in giving you an unbiased perspective on the candidates.
Next, to know what to look for in a candidate, you must first understand your rights as a member of this democratic society. The Bill of Rights, which can be easily found through a Google search, comprehensively defines the relationship between the Filipino people and the state as well as its power’s limits. Then, look up the candidates’ credentials and programs and determine if they would be able to fulfill and defend your rights when seated in office.
Most importantly, ensure that a candidate does not just have the bare essentials but also the healthy balance of idealism and tradition and capability to innovate and handle criticism. A good public servant can prevent and solve the country’s issues, but a great one can initiate long-term improvements that would last even after their term ends.
Being a first-time voter can be confusing, especially with the hotpot of information consisting of facts and opinions available, but the solution is simple. You do not need to have an excellent academic background to be a wise voter. Just know your power, know your rights, and know who you are voting for.