Booze and the voters-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
THE proposal to prohibit sale of liquor during the 45-day election period argues that booze would set off violence and discourage "intelligent discussion" of the issues.
The first purpose is valid; the second is baseless.
Alcohol indeed can spark a heated argument and turn it into a bruising, even bloody physical combat. Partisans are passionate about candidates they support. Emotion runs high on local issues and even higher if fueled by liquor.
But to contend that booze averts "intelligent discussion" of issues is to assume that issues are taken up in meetings during the election period. No such thing.
Candidates chat during "pulong-pulongs" for which, to gather the crowd, they also try at being singers or stand-up comics, conduct bingo, sponsor stage drama or musical show, or hold basketball exhibition games.
They don't go into "intelligent discussion" of any sort. Mere thought of that is funny, not outrageously funny but “har-har” funny. Telling it to media or writing it down in a plea to the Comelec publicizes the alienation of petitioner Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from reality on the ground.
The proposed long liquor ban (from two days to 45 days) is well-intentioned but it ignores the Filipino's propensity for seeking relief and fun. In the countryside, coconut wine or Red Horse lifts them, if briefly, from poverty and boredom. In bars and "karaoke" joints, wage earners drown ennui in beer or rum.
The extended liquor ban will drive voters to "intelligent discussion" of election issues? “Har, har.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2013.