THE recent news circulating in the city involves the endorsement by a particular Igorot clan of a congressional candidate, one of their own, in favor of another congressional candidate which is also one of their own, for the coming elections come May 2010 I might be wrong but isn't it a bit too early to show one's cards?

I mean if the intention and objective was for that Igorot clan to simply show support for their particular candidate to the prejudice of the political interest of the other candidate then other subtle means would have attained the same desired effect.

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By announcing to the whole community this early about their political choice and inclination the clan might have simply jeopardized the campaign strategy of their favorite candidate. If we are to read between the lines, the act of endorsement was a way of telling the other candidate, who by the way is also a member of their clan, that if the latter persists in vying for a congressional position he will not get the support of his "kailians".

But then again, as I've said it's too early in the game to be showing your cards to the face of your adversaries. It is important to remember that there are other candidates aspiring for the some position and the situation presenting itself might be seen as vulnerability by them, one that can be taken advantage of during the campaign period. It is also wise to remember that political adversaries have a way of twisting the information so that what previously appears as a logical and practical advantage for the candidate has become a crutch in his overall campaign strategy to win.

I am minded to perceive the situation as a domestic squabble which has a way of spiraling out of control especially if the candidate who has seemingly fallen out of favor decides to retaliate by also going public with his own endorsement issued by his other relatives in the clan. In a sense it might just lead to a conflict of attrition which will possibly become a drawback for both candidates to the elation of their other political opponents.

I think that there could have been other effective ways by which the message and its desired effect could have been delivered by the clan to their "kailian" whom they do not support, other than what they did by way of endorsement. It would have been better if the clan invited the two congressional candidates for a civil discussion of their dilemma and issue a private endorsement as to who they will support. By doing so other political opponents vying for the same position would be lulled into thinking and have a faulty perception that because both candidates are relatives in the same clan their votes will be divided among their fellow "kailians".

Now that the cat is out of the bag so to speak the other candidates will gain the insight that the candidate that was wholeheartedly indorsed by his clan is the more dangerous adversary since he purportedly enjoys the backing of his fellow clan members. This will of course encouraged them to focus their undivided attention on the indorsed candidate and exercise all effort to discredit him in the eyes of the voting public. I don't think they will focus too much on the other candidate who was not endorsed for how can the latter be a further threat when even his fellow "kailians" have seemingly abandoned him.

Of course apologies might be in order for my devil's advocate posture but that is my reading of the situation.

On another matter, endorsement by a particular voting bloc has a way of seemingly bolstering the winning chances of a certain candidate. Take the case of the Iglesia ni Cristo, which reportedly votes as a bloc or as a unified group. There have been instances during the past elections when their votes as a bloc counted heavily to propel a candidate into an elective office. This was the post analysis of some winning candidates, who were endorsed by the Iglesia ni Cristo, when they took stock of the votes that gave them victory. Of course this is not a sure thing. Nothing is really sure when it comes to politics.

I really think that obtaining an endorsement from a big group is simply an indication of a slight edge over an opponent and one which can easily dissipate if not augmented with a vigorous campaign to solicit the nod of other non-aligned voters. Come to think of it I believe that the majority of our voters in the City are non-aligned meaning they are not part of a particular group inclined to bloc voting.

Thus when the campaign period starts for the May elections all of our political candidates will have their hands full trying to win much needed votes to propel them to victory.

In the final analysis, apart from the standard and requisite qualifications, those that have performed well in service to the public and have not been tainted with controversies that have placed a question mark on their reputation both as a public servant and as a private citizen stand a better chance of being elected into position during the May elections.