Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bongbong Marcos runs for VP (and might possibly win)

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is probably praying very hard right now. Instead of just running for another term as Senator, Bongbong decided to throw his hat onto the vice presidential derby. Whoever advised him to do it probably thought that the political atmosphere is ripe for another Marcos in Malacanang. Or, he was advised to end his maturing political career in a premature way.

A loss come 2016 would end the young Marcos' ambition to get the prized crown once more. Everyone knows how hard it is to campaign for the presidency without a platform. Bongbong would have to spend so much more if he wants the presidency.

What is another six years of waiting? By that time, Bongbong would be 64 years old and the political situation more favorable for him than any other candidate. By 2022, there is still no visible political heavyweight strong enough to counter Bongbong's cruise to the presidency. Who would dare a Marcos run? Escudero? No chance. Pangilinan? Are you kidding? A son of former president Estrada? Who? JV or Jinggoy? They don't have the charisma of their father. Poe? By that time, yes, she would have qualified yet probably weaker politically.

Is it wiser for Bongbong to test the waters now? In a way, yes. It is a gamble worth trying because of what had transpired in the political scene.

There is a basis for such an advice. One, the Ilokano vote. Two, the pull coming from the Visayan vote. Lastly, the possible votes coming from Mindanao, of which some communities are peopled with Ilokano families.

Yes, Bongbong registers a popularity of a consistent 7%, and a ranking which is always either fifth or sixth. In a situation such as what we have now where there is no clear winner or someone highly popular enough to pull voters away from other candidates, there is still a chance that 7% would turn double-digit anytime. And when that happens, that will give Bongbong a stronger than even chance of winning the vice presidential slot.

Remember that ratings only serve to attract financiers. What matters most is high conversion rates. In all likelihood, an Ilokano candidate with very strong Visayan links could easily pull off a surprise because voters elect those whom they can identify themselves with.

By this announcement, this will crystallize efforts at unifying the Ilokano vote and the Visayan votes once more behind one candidate. This is the same strategy employed by his father when he ran for the Senate and eventually, for the presidency.

Minority Vice President

The current field is peopled with at least six VP candidates: Trillianes, Cayetano, (possibly Honasan?), Robredo, Marcos and Escudero. Look at these names--except Marcos, all the rest do not have a visible constituency. With Robredo's entry, the Bicol vote would surely be fragmented and segmented.

Cayetano is banking on a Duterte support and if this does not happen, expect Cayetano to lose to Bongbong. Trilianes is banking on the wide support base of the Magdalo. What he does not realize is his network is fragmented along regional lines as well, and Magdalos based in Region 1 would think twice before they support him rather than Bongbong. Likewise, the Magdalo groups behave as dependent organizations instead of independent political forces in their respective locales.

Robredo is banking on the vaulted LP machinery yet this electoral behemoth is being threatened by desertions left and right, most going to the Poe-Escudero tandem, believing that this aggrupation is the winning side. Without a big party machinery, who among these political groups is strong enough to counter Bongbong's?

As I said in my previous post, the entire game is hinged on sustainability. Is the Poe-Escudero campaign sustainable? No. If Poe is disqualified, then, this partnership would surely break at the seams. Popularity is not enough to deliver votes. You may be preferred by voters but if you don't have the organisation to protect those votes, then, it is next to impossible to win.

I change my previous analysis---Bongbong Marcos is a sure winner in the vice presidential derby for five (5) reasons: one, he has the Ilokano and the Visayan voters; two, he has the machinery; three, the field does not have a deep bench. There is no contender strong enough to stand before him tit-for-tat. Fourth, the young voters do not have or show a deep antipathy or animosity for the young Marcos and fifth, the Marcos' family's political enemies are fading into oblivion, one by one. 

It seems that the universe is conspiring to give Bongbong the win.