The 3 M’s

In – The Filipino Global Community, Babe Romualdez examines the new requirements for a succesful campaign:

Up till the 1986 presidential elections, a candidate needed guns, goons, and gold to become president. The 3 Gs were the tried-and-tested formula. Now, it takes money, machinery, and media to win. The 3 Ms form the new elixir of victory. To make the simplest analogy, money is the fuel and the machinery is the engine that will bear the winner past the finish line. Candidates and strategists who think they can win through money and machinery alone might be deluding themselves. They only have to look at the respective debacles of Mitra and de Venecia in 1992 and 1998. The unreliability of congressional party allies to court, deliver, and protect votes have rendered political parties irrelevant. Further, a party is now a liability because it only increases the costs of a campaign. Media is now king. Political operators and strategists know that TV has replaced radio as THE mass medium. In the 1970s, the nation’s TV penetration was below 30 percent. Now, 90 percent of Filipino households have television sets.

The youth, who are most influenced by TV, comprise most of the market vote, the voters who cannot be commanded by political voters to vote as they are told. The market vote is estimated to be 80 percent of the whole electorate. Strategists keep in mind that media expenses take up a third of total campaign expenses. A candidate can spend P1-B on media alone on advertising and positive tri-media coverage. Before the Age of Media, half of the campaign budget was poured on election day expenses.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

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