Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Working Democracy


This past May 10, 2010 about 40 million (out of an estimated 90 million) Filipinos went to polling precincts and cast their votes for the person who would lead the country for the next 6 years.

It was the first election where I, and most people really felt the need for change. We are all tired of the present government. Even the media has taken steps to encourage people to vote.

It was also the first time I can remember that there actually were candidates who were worth voting for and not just the usual ones who appealed so popular sentiment but had no brains for the job. This time there were candidates who actually had concrete plans for the country.

Another thing that made this day important was that it would be the first ever automated elections. The automation process which started months ago has been criticized several times and I still think that those in charge were either very stupid or very cunning. This election would test that.


We got up early and walked through streets filled with propaganda material to get to the precinct early and be able to vote. It turned out that the automated elections were somehow causing the rather technologically challenged public school teachers to be over vigilant and were rather rigid in the voting process. Lines of people stretched out. It took us 4 hours to vote!


Here is the controversial PCOS machine which would read the ballots and transmit the results to a central server for tallying.

We made a choice and I think the results show whom the people really voted for (a 7 million lead). Unfortunately, it turns out that we are sore losers. Facebook and Twitter are starting to fill up with with negative and even uncalled for comments for the next President even if he hasn’t even taken his post yet.

How easy it is to forget that we are the ones who chose and yet we are already washing our hands of the mistakes he hasn’t even made yet. We still have a lot of growing to do. But I believe that the future is a bit brighter already.

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