I hesitate to discuss the following, because I may be accused of thinking not with my brain. However, people tend to see Ara Mina only for her two wonderful assets (her acting and singing skills), and I feel it is my duty to make the public aware that she is more than just a talented entertainer.
She got a lot of flak for her interview with that John Stewart want-to-be Mo Twistah (Represent!), and it seemed like she did not know what the hell she was talking about. Well, IMO (you got it, brotha!), she was just nervous, and was misled by Mo to think that she was playing a true-or-false guessing game.
Ara may have lacked eloquence, but surely you do not need eloquence to be an effective councilor. What is important is that you understand different issues (more the local than the national), and based on the interview I conducted with Ara before her infamous ANC interview, she is a brilliant young woman.
Here is an excerpt from my interview with her, where she elaborated on why she was for private armies (a stance which many found to be incredibly stupid in light of the Maguindanao massacre late last year):
What you had in Maguindanao was not a private army, in the true sense of the word. What the Ampatuans and other political clans have are security cartels, the privilege of which is not made available to ordinary folk. Cartels only exist due to government prohibitions, which in other sectors have resulted in, among other things, higher power rates, inefficient and dangerous transportation services, and overall lack of innovation.If unlimited security services were accorded to private individuals, Andal Ampatuan would have been less daring in initiating force against the hapless mediamen. It is not private security services that should be condemned, but rather the excluding of such services from the non-political class, which makes the initiation of violence upon them more likely. Such exclusion is the source of strength of the mob.
And then she went on and on about how liberty was often talked about, but also often opposed, by those well-intentioned advocates of employment, education, health and whatnot. By the end of the meeting where she displayed such verve and sharpness of mind, she had touched me in more ways than one. And then I woke up.
I was told early on in life not to judge a book by its cover. This is most definitely true with regards to Ara Mina, whose understanding of how the political system works complements the intellectual rigor found in her songs.
I think her main problem is getting her point across. She has yet to become as slick as the best of the politicians. As lame as it seems, she has to start talking in cliches and come up with her own slogans. This is because only a tiny percentage of voters actually votes with a clear understanding of the issues involved. Oftentimes, even those who decry 'personality-based' politics are easily deceived by candidates (e.g., here and here) who can name various issues and their schemes to solve specific problems, without regard for whether such solutions are actually beneficial.
But really, who gives a shit about issues, or a clear understanding of them?! It's win, win, win for us, baby! So Ara, you have to look at your more successful peers, and their taglines, like "Country above self" from the Noynoy-Liberal Party camp. I think the late president Manuel Roxas said it first, but it still rings with sex appeal over sixty years later. You could use a little more sex appeal, Ara.
Wait a second. If this 'self' considers his or her interests to be in conflict with the country, and thus has to overpower his self for the sake of the country, doesn't that make for a very crummy 'self'? Wouldn't we want to vote for someone whose 'self' would not oppose their community's development? Why would we want this motherfucker Noynoy to be president then? But don't worry, Ara; those stupid fucks called voters won't even bother to consider the matter with such perspicacious logic. You can make up your own tagline in the same vein, such as "FUCK ME! FOR THE COUNTRY!"
In general, nationalistic slogans are great turn-ons for the electorate. There's just something tantalizing about believing your culture or country to be superior, as opposed to simply recognizing your personal preference for the place you were born or for the ways of life you've led all your life. I know such nationalism is pretty much tantamount to racism, but who's keeping track? A little bigotry never hurt anyone.
Good luck Ara! Keep raising the bar for brains in politics! I'm voting for you (that is, if I lived in your district).