After Mar Roxas’, whose press con would it be next?

It seems to have come without a trace for once rabid presidential aspirant Mar Roxas to – unexpectedly – decide to relegate himself in the political background. And transfer his investment to one Noynoy Aquino who, has not just as quickly bitten the bullet but instead consult too long. What clear and present compulsion must have prompted Mar to give up his dream to become the next president totally mindless of some P150 million already thrown away in early political ads, rising even much higher than that of equally over-fixated Manny Villar? What could have been the quid pro quo, if any, one should ask. The way it’s been put, it’s an exemplary act of nationalism on the part of this young Roxas.

As if to follow suit, Jojo Binay also allowed the possibility of him withdrawing from his own presidential bid should Erap run for president. Fact is, Binay would not even as much as contemplate vying at least as a senatorial bet. And Erap at 99%, is running for the president – this time with a vengeance. This means, that Binay is willing enough to forego personal plan and perhaps in sweet retirement from public service.

Are there other developments in the entire political horizon? Observers of trends might see some signals that more ships will be sinking. In other words, we see very little reason for Gilbert Teodoro to even contemplate in pursuing a self-evidently losing bid and the same applies to the rest whose tentative ‘grading marks’ in poll surveys are way too low than one like Mar. Thus, if Mar can afford to give up a potentially promising fight, with more reason that the rest of the pack may seriously consider withdrawing early from the race. But then again, that would automatically make Manny Villar of this contagious virus of ‘mass withrawal’ its prime beneficiary.

Philippine brand of politics has strings attached. So Binay owes it to Erap to give way at the expense of his own political plan. Maybe, Mar owes it to the party to play second fiddle. Bayani Fernando is still wishful the party nominates him as its final standard bearer as it should rightly do but even if he must fall out of grace, he still enjoys the political independence to be his own man – if he can. There is no reason to bolt out of the party once not the one accordingly endorsed. Let the electorate lay its verdict – not the party in the case of BF – come May 10, 2010.

So what about Villar? If those already boring patronizing surveys could really translate into real and actual votes, it has become almost predictable there is not even a need for a national election to be held. But it may well be that these surveys only show in the viewing screen – highly tentative, highly artificial, highly biased – statistical realities. Not remotely, these have become push-polling circuits that are within the ‘commerce of men’, as if it were.

We tend to think that these surveys, now done in uncharacteristic frequency over short intervals of time – are really gospel truths – valid as they are scientific. From where I stand, there is reason to believe that these surveys, especially as they are being commissioned by their prospective beneficiaries themselves to project a semblance of winnability – may be lacking in credibility, validity, and accuracy. And, why not?

I can contend that there is a heavy psychological bombardment of all forms of political propaganda and the social weather stations or polling circuits have been rather commercialized than democratized thereby violating one of its higher social purposes of providing historical information. Certainly, it is one thing for any polling circuit to be reputable and another to be profitable. Either way it goes, so-called ‘push-polling circuits’ would rather promote than demote every a politician’s desire to win. It in this symbiosis that much of historicism has been simply compromised as polling circuits begin to operate more like “vendo machines”.