Election 2010 – Will change likewise come to the Philippines?
Republic of the Philippines –
Though the latest ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) elections were successfully automated, the computerization of the upcoming 2010 polls is still a mystery. Until now, the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) remains non-committal on the status of the historic project.
Filipinos can only marvel and wallow with envy at how quick and peaceful the recent U.S. elections were conducted. In less than 24 hours, a new president was proclaimed as compared to our manual elections which take weeks to finish. At the same time, the losing candidate was gracious in acknowledging defeat as compared to our losers err losing candidates who can only claim they were cheated and nothing else.
But the integrity of the election can never lie solely on the automation of the voting process. A change in mindset of everyone involve in the electoral exercise is the greater challenge. Will every eligible Filipino participate and actually exercise their power and duty to vote instead of abstaining and looking at the entire process as futile and hopeless? If and when they vote, will they vote “wisely” basing their choice on past performance, political and economic maturity, and moral ascendancy instead of mere popularity? Will the candidates be mature enough to lay down their platforms in public/televised debates or still stick to gimmickry to conceal their ignorance of the responsibility they are aspiring for apart from lack of vision on how to serve the people once elected? Will the election officials who are confronted with the gargantuan task of putting up an efficient system to ensure a fast, clean, and transparent election face up to the challenge or just succumb to the pressure of money and power offered by corrupt candidates?
So many questions only we can answer soon. With a little over a year left, let’s work together to bring about the needed changes to improve the system. The Filipino can. To quote a famous slogan from Adidas, impossible is nothing.