Raining on LP’s parade-A A +A
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
AROUSE, organize, mobilize. That was the mantra that we put to heart as we sought to expand the struggle against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the early eighties. The mantra is applicable to other areas as well, like electoral campaigns. And it doesn’t get old.
What it means is simply this: It’s not enough to make the people embrace the cause you are espousing; you also have to place them in a position where they are able to translate the awareness of cause into action. The action part is meant to advance your cause, move it forward.
And arouse, organize, mobilize is not linear. It is like a coiled spring going round from lower to higher, or from few to many, from weak to strong. You arouse ten people, set up an organizational structure for them, and mobilize them for actions suited to their number, like helping raise more people’s awareness to your cause. That’s the first turn upwards of the coiled spring.
The number of the aroused may increase to 20. Again you make them fill up your expanding organizational infrastructure, and mobilize them for actions suited to their bigger number. That’s the second turn upwards of the coiled spring. Arouse again.
Organize again. Mobilize again. And so on and on until the few becomes many, the weak becomes strong, the small actions become bigger.
Yesterday rain spawned by typhoon Crising, which was moving towards far-off Mindanao, fell in Cebu. Why the weather disturbance had to also dump rain here must have been the question playing in the minds of local leaders of the Liberal Party (LP).
They scheduled the campaign sorties of their senatorial candidates (called Team PNoy, for President Noynoy Aquino) yesterday and today. It rained yesterday, prompting them to transfer the activity from an open venue in Lawaan to a covered court in Tabunok. Will it also rain today in Liloan town, the venue of the next LP activity?
Local LP leaders had announced that the rallies they would hold would be “smaller,” with only from 5,000 to 7,000 expected participants. That invited comparisons to last week’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) proclamation rally for its senatorial candidates at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City last week. Estimates of the crowd gathered ranged from as low as 25,000 to as high (exaggerated?) as 80,000.
I would have wanted the LP rally to proceed yesterday without the rain (and hope that the sun will show up today). That would have placed us in a better position to assess the effort of local LP leaders to woo Cebu’s 2.5 million voters to their “cause” (Daang Matuwid?). The kind of mobilization they could muster for their senatorial bets is a reflection of their success, or lack of it, in expanding their organization.
How did the ruling party reap the fruits of its campaign to demonize suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and ease her out of the Provincial Capitol?
Did the party place its believers in a better position to defeat the “hated” One Cebu party of the Garcias on Election Day? How capable is its local organization in mounting a major electoral undertaking, like a “huge” rally for its national candidates?
By the way, why is the LP ally in Cebu City, Rep. Tomas Osmeña and his Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), seemingly left out in preparations for the LP senatorial bets’ first campaign sortie in Cebu? BOPK is an old organization with more than a decade of experience of mounting major mobilizations. Does the LP hierarchy have a problem dealing with Osmeña? Are local LP leaders and allies united? Just asking.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2013.