Friday, November 7, 2008

Why Electoral Reforms Won't Advance in the Philippines

Automated elections and all the promises made by the government to modernize the Philippine electoral process won't push through in the next few years. Here are ten reasons why:

  1. Computerization wouldn't change what politicians think. It's either they win or they get cheated.
  2. Filipinos have a "never say die" attitude. For the candidates, even the last ballot could spell the difference between getting the post and being cheated.
  3. A computerized count could still be hindered by two great forces--the NAPOCOR and Meralco, both capable of mysteriously providing service interruptions during the count.
  4. If electoral reforms would push through, there would be no room for "dagdag-bawas."
  5. Politicians would argue that there are a lot of computer-illiterate people from our country.
  6. Reforms in the electoral system wouldn't change the number of parties in the country. It's either you're supported by the ruling party, or you create your own and add up to the 80 or more parties who run for government posts every three or six years.
  7. The computerized counting machines could have already been tampered with even before the precincts open.
  8. There is no race to 270. It's a race to the end for even the smallest of posts.
  9. Computerization wouldn't change the fact that every winner will be richer in three or six years time, or his statement of assets and liabilities has been edited very well.
  10. Politics in the Philippines will be the same even if the winner of the Presidential elections were declared in a day's time--dirty.

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