I am annoyed at Nancy Binay, not because she’s the under-qualified, untested, scion of a political family of dubious origin, who will likely be the hand-puppet of vested interests. Many candidates and elected officials are even more under-qualified, from Joseph Estrada to Lito Lapid. A conspicious contingent of congressmen are from political dynasties. Aquino is a shining paragon, as are the Marcoses, the Cayetanos and the Angaras. Many more come from better connected families that go back generations. Countless more are the playthings of vested interests.
So if Nancy Binay isn’t so different from others, what is the cause of all the vitriol?
She exposes the political system for what it truly is. The democratic incarnation of the feudal system, where political families have somehow convinced most people to vote in their liege lords. Like the Earl of Grantham, Mayor of ‘What’s it’ and Congressman of ‘Who Cares’ have become hereditary titles to be passed on to the new generation, who are entirely lacking in qualifications, accomplishment and policy.
Typically we let this slide. The people push this inconvenience into the recesses of their subconsciousness. Aquino claims honour and promised to crush corruption. The Marcoses claim achievement in their home province. The Angaras flaunt the controversial Aurora Special Economic Zone. Estrada claims to be the voice of the masses.
They dance a dance. They sing a song. They claim that they’re not running on a name, or because of their father. They claim accomplishment, vision and policy. They play the game and pretend that they’re real politicians, in the western mold.
Nancy Binay’s refusal to submit herself to questioning or participate in a debate exposes the political process for what it is - she isn’t being elected. She is claiming a hereditary title, that she believes is hers, by right, by virtue of her name. In truth, Nancy Binay’s lack of experience is not the only reason why she sickens us. Her refusal to adhere to social norms and pretend to be a real politician offends us. And she does all of these with the enthusiasm of a foot rug. She has brought to life what we truly knew in our hearts: people like her don't even have to lift a finger to win.
Make no mistake, she is unqualified and she is running on nothing but her father’s name. But so did Aquino and every politician with a famous surname. What marks her out is her refusal to dance the seven veils. That doesn’t make her better or worse than the others. But hopefully, it finally exposes the political system for what it is. We hope that her imminent election will finally drag this charade screaming into the light and serve as the trigger that fires the first shot against the perpetuation of political dynasties.
So, cheers to you, Nancy. May your election be the last time we put a Lord of the Philippines into parliament.
PS. Also, Nancy, in all seriousness and as a make-up artist, please, please find the correct shade of foundation for your skin type. You look like you still use Johnson's Baby Powder or worse, espasol.
Mark and Millie
Listening to: In Time To Voices by The Blood Red Shoes