Election math


    ELECTION IS addition.

    So the maxim goes and I remember then congressional aspirant Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin being asked why he took a certain “Boy Paltik” into his core campaign staff in 1987.

    “Anjan tiradur ya mu, tanggapan taya uling makasaup ya king laban (Even a slingshot is most welcome as it can be of help in our fight).” So was his reply, proven right with his subsequent election to the House, the first of his non-stop victories at the polls, to date.

    More than addition, election is multiplication.

    The saying – reformed – is best instanced in the Iglesia ni Cristo bloc voting practice which is known to create some bandwagon effect among the electorate.

    It is also the principle behind the pyramiding-type of campaigning whereby a recruit is tasked – and paid – to recruit two others who are in turn tasked – and paid – to recruit others in a continuing process of recruitment, put in a mathematical  equation, thus: 1X2X4X8X16X32X64X128X…ad nauseam, if not infinitum.

    Preconditioned on those beliefs, I listened to an old political observer dissecting the contest for the Angeles City mayorship. He did not want to be known.

    Not so much out of trepidation his political prognostications be readily rendered false with the election results, as by the certainty that he would become a much sought-after political prophet with their certitude.

    As he revelled in anonymity, he cannot handle the least tinge of celebrity.

    So, from the deepest background, he postulates: Lazatin is “llamado” over re-electing Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

    Qualify, I say.

    He does more than that. He also quantifies.

    One. Lazatin has never been without the INC bloc. That is some 8,000 votes, he reckons. Easily translating to 12,000 with the bandwagon effect.

    Two. Lazatin has his own network of barangay workers – with family size as premium for hiring – conservatively estimated at 15,000.

    Three. Lazatin’s alliance with the Nepomucenos brings a windfall of not less than another 15,000.

    That totals to 42,000 votes already in Lazatin’s column even before the start of the campaign.

    Simple extrapolation now: Angeles City has 148,843 registered voters as of 2010. Assume that 70 percent will vote in 2013. that would total to 104,190.

    What percentage of that total is 42,000?

    A whopping 40.31 percent. All Lazatin needs is 10 percent or 11,400 votes for the win. Easily accomplished with his storied “carpet bombing” – whatever that means, however it takes. 

    So, by writing all this here, am I  – at this early – already trending?

    Not quite, says the local media’s Zaldy Ampatuan look-alike, convinced and confident of Pamintuan’s “overwhelming edge” over Lazatin, which he puts at “doblado.”

    “EdPam as sitting mayor is the reigning champion. And the champion is most likely the odds-on favourite over the challenger,” he adds.

    Using the same math, Zaldy A does his own quantification.

    One. Pamintuan has no less than 22,000 card-bearing members of his Partido ABE Kapampangan, easily increasing to 30,000 with the bandwagon effect.

    Two. Pamintuan has the youth vote – by virtue of age vis-à-vis the very senior Lazatin – with a most conservative strength of 20,000.

    That’s all of 50,000, already superseding Lazatin’s electoral stock.

    And then Zaldy A posits in turn: Election is also subtraction.

    Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting by aligning with Pamintuan over her long-time patron Lazatin takes a large chunk off their shared voters, put at a minimum of 15,000, given her winning margins in all elections she ran in.

    So concluded Zaldy A: Pamintuan need not engage Lazatin in carpet bombing runs. He has all the numbers already tabbed and tagged.

    Election is addition. Election is multiplication. Election is subtraction. Interesting equations there.

    Lest we forget though, election is division too.

    Suffice it to say that a simple quotient easily invalidates all the sum, product and difference of the other arithmetical operations.

    Isn’t it always said, and done so truly: Divide and conquer?


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