Most of the time, the cause of political misunderstanding is simply the difference in personality types among citizens or voters in an election.
This means that different voters privilege or give premium to some values and information more than others which in turn shape their personalities. And when people with opposing and unchecked personality types clash or participate in a dialogue, trouble can ensue.
This is the reason why it is essential for voters in a democracy to know their “personality types” in order to examine their own biases as well as those of others.
The following are just some of the personality types of Filipino voters during a Presidential election.
These archetypes are merely informative (and to some extent for entertainment purpose only), non-empirical and non-diagnostic.
But it is our hope that this list can help prompt Filipino voters to start exploring and interrogating their own personalities during election.
We also developed a non-empirical and non-diagnostic PERSONALITY QUIZ for our readers to find their voter personality types.
1. The Political Bettor or Intuitive Voter
The Political Bettor or Intuitive Voter sees the election as a political game of chance or a bet. They do not vote based on values, emotions, platforms or party-lines but based on their political intuition and cunning political calculation. They usually take pride in their perfect record of supporting the winning candidates in every election. They are the first ones to see emerging patterns in an election and can easily read how the winds of political fortune will blow from afar. They are the master readers of political zeitgeists. For this reason, they can easily change their political affiliations, thus, some considered them as “political butterflies.”
Key characteristics: Highly intuitive, risk taker and politically astute
2. The Bandwagoner
The “Bandwagoner” are easily swayed by survey results, thus, they will choose whoever is the perceived frontrunner in election. They are similar to the “Political Bettor” who sees the election as a kind of betting game but they are less intuitive but more motivated by the need to pick or support the perceived winning candidates in an election. The “Bandwagoner” also enjoys the frenzy of an election fiesta. For this reason, they are more likely to participate as volunteer in various campaign activities and engage in online bardagulan.
Key characteristics: Low intuition, risk-averse, but highly energetic, outgoing and participative in election activities or online discussions
3. The Underdog Lover
The “Underdog Lover” will likely support underperforming candidates or those who rank low in pre-election surveys. Unlike the Bandwagonger, they are not swayed by the perceived popularity of the candidate but it endears them when a candidate confronts and surmounts extraordinary hardships and challenges in their campaigns. They are somewhat similar to Emotional Voters but are more motivated by the desire to see their underdog candidate mounts a good challenge or fight in an election even if the odds are not in their favor. They have a high sense of misplaced optimism and prone to have “Second Lead Syndrome” when watching a Korean drama.
Key characteristics: Misplaced optimism, stern and determine in their choice of candidate but emotional
4. The Rational Voter
The Rational Voter is highly analytical and will vote based on issues, platforms or policies of the candidate. They will research the platforms of the candidates and watch their interviews and debates. They have the tendency to be idealistic, partisan and imposing on their choice of the candidate. Some are intimidated by them especially when they engage in debates and online discussions. For this reason, they find it hard to persuade or convert voters to their cause.
Key characteristics: Highly engaged but stubborn and not effective campaigners
5. The Anti-Establishment Voter
The Anti-Establishment Voter will either vote for the most progressive candidate even though they rank last in pre-election surveys or will not vote at all as a sign of protest against State’s institutions that perpetuate societal inequality and oppress the weak and the marginalized. For them, the entire election process is a mockery or machinery that aims to preserve the status quo in favor of the elites that benefit from it while giving people false hope for an imaginary political messiah. Although highly principled, the Anti-establishment voters have the tendency to coalesce with politicians. They can become players of the system while simultaneously disavowing it.
Key characteristics: Politically cunning, artistic and creative/hipster
6. The Oedipal Voter
The “Oedipal Voter” longs for a strong father figure who will discipline them and uplift the nation from poverty. They believe that the number one problem of the nation is law and order due to lack of discipline among Filipinos. They think that through the leader’s strong political will, the Philippines has the potential to become the new “Singapore.” They have strong fascination with authoritarian leaders like Lee Kuan Yew and Vladimir Putin to name a few. They are also more likely to laugh when a candidate blurts out sexist, homophobic or misogynistic jokes. Similar to a quintessential Filipino father, the Oedipal Voters will stick with their “Tatay” through thick and thin even though the “Tatay” abuses them in some occasions.
Key characteristics: Troubled by father issues, conservative, dependent to authorities and borderline sexist/misogynist
7. The Pragmatist or Utilitarian Voter
The Pragmatist or Utilitarian voter puts premium to the perceived benefits they will receive from voting or supporting a candidate. For them, the election is also a pathway to their own personal success. Usually, these are the voters who will vote based on party-lines or whoever their current principals will support. They are likely to work in campaigns and have tendency to accept appointments in the future if the candidate they support or work for wins. They are also politically intuitive and principled but highly pragmatic and motivated by self-gains or interests. They are likely to become politicians or employees in politics and government.
Key characteristics: Politically cunning and intuitive, talented, and ambitious
8. The Emotional Voter
The Emotional Voters are looking for a leader who will inspire or touch them. They are highly sympathetic towards a candidate which is likely due to the latter’s life story or certain facets of their characters. These life stories may include death of a spouse or loved ones (ie. Leni Robredo, Cory Aquino and Noynoy Aquino), triumphant rise from poverty (ie. Manny Pacquiao) or political persecution (ie. Bongbong Marcos). The Emotional Voters are similar to the Avengers but unlike the latter they are not motivated by anger, anxiety, hatred or resentment towards a candidate or the politics they represent. These voters will likely watch the life stories of politicians featured in Maalala Mo Kaya or Magpakailanman. They also have tendencies to engage in necropolitics and consume more primetime teledramas.
Key characteristics: Sensitive, sympathetic and easily persuaded by political propagandas
9. The Associative Voter
The Associative Voters put premium to their shared identity or other commonalities with a candidate. These common identities usually refer to geographic ties (kaprobinsya/kabayan), familial ties (kadugo or kapamilya), organizational, fraternal and professional ties (kasama), religious ties (kapananampalataya), educational ties (kaklase), political/ideological ties or party affiliations (kapartido), among others. These voters are similar to the Pragmatist or Utilitarian Voters but are more motivated by common association with a candidate. They will also likely engage in block voting just like the Sheep. They are network-oriented, highly-engaged and valuable assets to a political candidate.
Key characteristics: Enthusiastic, proud, and volunteer-driven
10. The Sheep
The Sheep are voters who adopt the electoral choice of another as their own. They will vote based on how their friends, family members or any influential persons or organizations in their life will vote. They go with the flow. For this reason, they are also likely to engage in block voting as decreed by their religious leaders. They share similar traits with the Apathetic and Pragmatic-Utilitarian voters but they are more motivated by following the order of their religious leaders or adopting the choice of another person for convenience or other reasons.
Key characteristics: Obedient, transactional and have tendency to be apathetic
11. The Avenger
The Avengers are voters motivated by deep resentment, anger and anxiety towards a previous or present political regime, figures or symbols. For them, politics is personal. Hence, they treat their votes as their own personal protest against political figures or the symbols that a candidate represents. They are a subset of the Emotional Voters but more motivated by strong negative affect. They are highly engaged in political discussions and activities. They are always biased against certain political figures or narratives. They have high tendency to be easily swayed by propaganda or become propagandists or influencers themselves for their chosen political candidate or belief.
Key characteristics: Outspoken, highly-engaged and imposing
12. The Loyal Voter or Loyalista
The Loyal Voter or Loyalista votes based on a deep connection, past or present, imagined or otherwise, with a candidate. The Loyalista strongly identifies with the candidate based on either nostalgia of a lost future (ie. Martial Law), personal loyalty to a candidate or utang na loob, close degree of friendship and family relationship. They are similar to the Associative voters but they are more motivated by deeper personal connection with a candidate rather than mere association. They are the core voters or the staunchest supporters of political candidates who will stick to them through thick or thin.
Key characteristics: Reliable, highly-engaged and biased
13. The Continuity Voter
The Continuity Voters show some similarity with the Rational voters but they put greater premium to their desire to see the continuity of policies, programs and achievements of the previous government that they support. For this reason, they will choose the candidate who will continue the gains of the incumbent government. In most cases, this candidate is the one who will be endorsed by the incumbent government.
Key characteristics: Pragmatic, politically agnostic to certain extent and supporters of the status quo
14. The Black and White Voter or The Moralist
The Black and White voters see the election as a battle between good and evil. For them, some candidates represent the Good while others represent the Bad. They are highly moralistic so to speak. For this reason, they may appear to be self-righteous and imposing on their choice of candidates. They have tendency to exclude those who do not share their political aka moral sentiments. They see themselves as advocates with a mission to promote good governance in the country.
Key characteristics: Highly principled and engaged but lacks political nuance
15. The Disinformed Voter
The Disinformed Voters are victims of fake news and political propaganda in the highest form. They are likely to believe on Tallano and Yamashita gold that they expect will be distributed to the Filipino people if Bongbong Marcos will become President. They are also likely to accept bribes or engage in vote buying. They are similar to Oedipal Voters who are looking for a savior to uplift them or the nation from poverty. They love conspiracy theories that they watch in Youtube, Facebook and Tiktok. They can easily make connections out of random and totally unrelated facts, events and figures.
Key characteristics: Overthinker, quirky and desperate
16. The Apathetic
The Apathetic are citizens who have not voted in an election. They avoid politics in order to maintain “good vibes” or prevent negativities. Most often, they are members of a religious denomination with relatively comfortable lives. For this reason, they will likely base their political attitudes and behaviors on some written scriptures or metaphysical beliefs that take away their political agency as citizens. They believe that whoever is elected must be ordained by the Higher Power. They have the tendency to practice toxic positivity.
Key characteristics: Optimistic, detached and contented with status quo
Find out which archetype of Filipino voters you belong. Take our PERSONALITY QUIZ!