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Posts Tagged ‘2010 elections’

“”Beyond the Spectacle?”: Debunking Popular Notions About Elections

In Elections, History, Philippine Issues, Politics on March 12, 2010 at 9:57 am

by Hansley A. Juliano

With the campaign period for the 2010 Philippine elections kicking into high gear, one might be prone to the pessimistic notions which Jessica Zafra has outlined so succinctly in her Pinoy Elections: A Guide for the Dismayado. To paraphrase: “we are governed by actors and entertained by politicians.” In a sense, I doubt much of our desensitised population would be dissuaded of their notion that politics and artists are of different breeds: one only needs to visit any forum that would host opinions on the upcoming polls to see gems of cynicism such as the following:
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Between Enlightened Oligarchs and Oligarchies of the Enlightened

In Political Theory, Politics on October 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm

by Rene Raymond R. Rañeses, Jr.

Filipino voters will have to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea when they confront their ballots in the coming presidential elections on May 2010. It’s a tough choice, really. On the one hand is the maintenance of a century-old system of elite rule and domination, while on the other, the reproduction of the increasingly dominant global paradigm of transforming all aspects of political and social life into the model of the market. Both miss out the central problems of contemporary politics: the narrowing of avenues for democratic political engagement, the tendency to defuse political struggles and the insulation of political questions from public debates and deliberation. Unless these are addressed in a properly political manner, Philippine politics will see no significant changes in the next six years.

The first will simply reinforce patterns of state weakness and capture by dominant vested interests or endorse a statist discourse that nonetheless protects the transnational interests of dominant elites. The leading candidate, following results of recent opinion polls Benigno “Noy-Noy” Aquino III is avowedly a member of the country’s ruling class who is not exactly an avid supporter of progressive efforts to alter the class structure of Philippine society (i.e. comprehensive land reform). His political machinery – the Liberal Party – is as elitist and non-programmatic as other parties in the country and possesses no historical or institutional engagement with grassroots politics outside of the electoral cycle. Patronage and not ideology (despite being a problematic organizing principle for political life as well) remains its primary political strategy. And despite being called “inconsistent liberals” (and therefore perhaps, occasional socialists?) by a leading critical commentator, the party has not offered any clear strategies of developing an autonomous state apparatus that can withstand pressures from strong social forces.

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THE ASSEMBLY’S OFFICIAL STAND ON 2010 POLL AUTOMATION

In Philippine Issues, Politics on July 23, 2009 at 12:02 am

A History of Failure
Poll automation has been in the agenda of most presidents in recent memory. After the chaos of the 1992 elections, administrations hence have since pushed for the automation and modernization of the electoral process. Initial advances, however, since 1995 have been overshadowed by the numerous controversies that have hounded the process since. Automation has succeeded in the ARMM, once in 1997, when results were delivered within three days of elections, however, automation did not occur in 1998, despite the existence of law which mandated it, and was henceforth shelved after the DOST found the machines used in the ARMM elections inadequate. Between the years 2000 and 2004, three bidding attempts have failed, hence both the 2001 and 2004 elections were conducted manually. The last bid in particular, that of Mega Pacific Consortium attracted the most controversy after the Supreme court invalidated the awarding of the contract, citing “clear violation of law and jurisprudence” and “reckless disregard of [Comelec’s] own bidding rules and procedure”. Even the recent automation of the 2008 ARMM elections, which was handled by Smartmatic-Sahi failed to deliver on all fronts – although the voting process was automated, transmission of results from far-flung areas ultimately delayed the proclamation of winning candidates and hence underscored the possibly latent dysfunction of automation in the Philippines. The ASSEMBLY believes that such failures have underscored the fact that the plan to automate the next elections must be scrutinized at the basic level of technical intricacies and in the broader sense – with respect to the consolidation of an overall reform in political systems.
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