Pilipinas Halalan 2010

July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

* Original post * May 13, 2010 @ 19:22

I know I haven’t posted anything in over a week. I’ve got boatloads of work to do and when I do get home, I get lazy. Oh and I did promise myself nothing fun during the election weekend.
Well, the Philippine elections is done and I am reserving this post especially for it. This isn’t it though haha. The results are not yet done as of posting time and I really don’t want to do a half-baked post about it. So this will have to do for now. Will definitely update this once the results (or at least the national positions) are official. Oh.. and I plan to blog in Tagalog, the Filipinos’ national language.

* July 25, 2010 *
The promised update.

It took me two months to finally write this. I was daunted and hesitant to. I remember being vocal during the campaign and election periods however after the results, I lost the drive. Originally planned to do this post in Tagalog I guess for impact but I find myself not able to. I’m not even sure what the reasons are. And I am not willing to dig deeper for them lol. I even wanted to delete this post (or maybe hide it) because it felt such a burden to finish.

Before starting, I’d like to say that these are all personal opinions. From a regular, non-elite middle-class Filipino. This is difficult so bare with me.

Philippine politics is dirty. That’s to say the least. People, mostly unqualified, run for offices. Why? Because of money and power. Yes. Storybook evils. But it’s true, sadly. Maybe not the politicians themselves, but people around them. I hate admitting this but corruption is rooted in Philippine society.

The elections held last May is probably the most popular (for lack of a better word). Even the poorest of the poor discussed it. National elections. Time to choose a new president. People wanted a new leader to miraculously end our suffering. Also, the change from manual elections to automatic was being done adding more to the voters’ anxiety.

So we mulled over presidentiables and voted. And the majority voted for the son of the famous Aquinos. Personally, I doubt his qualifications for the most important job there is in the country. But his (relatively clean) reputation and of course his parents’ political contributions, compelled people to choose him.

It’s too soon to say anything about the new president although I do have some thoughts on what he’ve done so far. Maybe I’d write about it later on, if I get inspired. What this post is really about is my disappointment of how people went about choosing their candidates and how the automatic election went.

The concept of an automated election is good but it just wasn’t thoroughly thought out. It was also not so much an automated election but an election with automated count. Voters were still manually shading on paper ballots. That’s cool but what wasn’t cool was the fact that people had to be in line and wait for at least 3 hours. I waited 5 hours amidst the heat and complaints from other voters. It would have done wonders if COMELEC had thought about the actual voting and not just the counting part. The problem was remedied but it came too late and wasn’t even implemented on many voting precincts. It was sad really.

Another big disappointment was how people voted. There were too many wasted votes.
I’d like to quote statements from people I know from work when asked why they’re voting for their candidate.

Quote #1: “I’m voting for this candidate because I don’t want this other candidate to win.”

Quote #2: “I’m voting for this candidate because he is sure to win. I’m a winner so I am choosing the apparent winner.”

Quote #3: “I’m voting for this candidate because… (blank look)… just because!”

I have no problems with people voting for someone other than the person I chose to vote. I respect that. As long as they really believe the advocacies their candidates pursue and if they really believed their candidates are the right people for the job.

But, this isn’t so. It’s frustrating to hear these kind of statements. Even so when the people I heard them from are educated ones. If these people think this way, I shudder to think how people less educated think. I remembering tweeting about it (back when only a handful irl friends followed me and I was happily ranting whenever I felt like it) and hiding the rage I felt inside. I wanted to shake these people and get some sense into them. Come to think about it, maybe I should have.

That’s another thing that disappointed me. I didn’t do anything about it. Sure. I talked about it. A lot. But it wasn’t enough. I could have convinced these people to think in another way. Not necessarily the way I want but at least something better.

But my biggest disappointed is the Filipino mentality displayed all throughout this event. People are relying too much on the new president for the change the country needs. We don’t realize that change can only happen when we ourselves change. It doesn’t take one person to turn this country around. It’s US. Not him. Not they. But US.

The country’s problems are not caused solely by politicians and other people in power. Everybody caused the problem. Maybe, just maybe, if people realized this and commit to change, then the country would indeed turn around and become a much better place to live in.


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