Election season

Citizen complaint: Last year, I paid P15 for my cedula. This year, the Quezon City government is charging P55! (In Gapan, it’s P78, thanks to the ‘show me your cedula’ campaign of the military). Now I know how QC is earning its high income.

 

There are new blogs and websites in the Mongster Link section. There are new pictures in my photoblog.

 

 

Election campaigning will officially commence next month but it’s already election season since last year.  

 

Not a few politicians who believed the Palace rhetoric that charter change will supersede the 2007 regular elections are now scrambling to build their electoral machineries. The five G’s (guns, goons, gold, girls and god) will be unleashed once more to boost the electoral chances of discredited leaders.

 

Local government units have been giving away holiday gifts to poor constituents; greeting streamers from politicians have sprouted everywhere; Sen. Ralph Recto sponsored a TV campaign ad disguised as a Christmas message; Pres. Joseph Estrada celebrated the New Year with aspiring senators which included actor Richard Gomez.

 

There are valid fears that the next elections, especially at the local level, will be violent. From Abra to Capiz, politicians have been targeted by unknown assassins. Activists continue to be the main victims of extrajudicial murders. Private armies by local kingpins have begun spreading terror in the countryside.

 

Aside from violence, fraud may probably taint the elections again. The decision by the Commission on Elections not to push through with the automation of polls has revived past anxieties over the possible use of dagdag-bawas (vote padding and shaving) to manipulate election results. News that the total number of voters will reach 49 million led to speculations that the voters’ list has been padded.

 

What is most worrisome is that reports about the 2007 elections continue to be focused on personalities. The public is denied of any meaningful chance to probe the platform of possible election candidates. The upcoming polls are in danger of being reduced again into a popularity contest.

 

That politicians can easily broach the idea of a ‘unity ticket’ between members of the Administration and Opposition underscores the failure of major political forces to present an alternative program that will challenge the policies of the current regime.

 

In the US, the midterm elections last year was used as a referendum for the ‘Iraq war’ policies of the Bush administration. After the defeat in the polls, Pres. Bush started talking of an ‘Iraq exit strategy’. The local Opposition should start defining a program or issue that will rally the people against the Arroyo government. Perhaps buoyed by positive survey results showing a major victory over Administration candidates, the Opposition has forgotten to draft a sensible, doable, creative and pro-people election agenda.

 

The unity in the Opposition should be more than a shared hatred against the sitting President. There must be specific answers to specific problems faced by the Filipino people.

 

I have a proposal. Maximize the 2007 elections to find sustainable solution to hunger. Surveys have been consistently revealing that more and more of our people have nothing to eat. If we want to end poverty, let’s begin by eliminating hunger. How could hunger prevail in a land blessed with abundant resources? How could there be disparity of wealth in the only Christian nation of Asia?  Despite the Christian lesson of “love thy neighbor,” we have wealthy households surrounded by urban poor enclaves.

 

The campaign against hunger can be an opportunity to make the electoral campaign more relevant in addressing the real needs of the people. We can cite the inadequacies of the anti-poverty measures of the government and at the same time rate the performances of incumbent leaders. Instead of parading showbiz stars and sexy beauties in mass assemblies, politicians can be compelled to provide a concrete program on how to feed 90 million Filipinos.

 

We can ask the major political blocs, organized religion, big business, mainstream media, civil society and other kingmakers of the Republic to build a consensus and forge a ‘win-win’ solution against hunger. This is a paramount national concern requiring political will.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted January 4, 2007 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    mon, i hope i am not in a surrendering stance mode right now. you are right. unless the opposition have a clear picture on how to improve our lives, with the injustice secretary sitting like Emperor Nero, the elections will be just be the same as the way garci disgraced it 3 years ago.

    by the way, i would like to do a link exchange with you. thanks!

  2. anonymous
    Posted January 4, 2007 at 5:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Mong you’re such a brilliant writer, a great political analyst and rated A and standout political seer. What more can I ask for? Keep it up….

    gerry albert

  3. Posted January 7, 2007 at 6:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have a proposal. Maximize the 2007 elections to find sustainable solution to hunger. Surveys have been consistently revealing that more and more of our people have nothing to eat. If we want to end poverty, let’s begin by eliminating hunger. How could hunger prevail in a land blessed with abundant resources? How could there be disparity of wealth in the>promising a zero unemployment rate in our country. It was her Economic Planning secretary Romulo Neri’s idea to use deceptive statistics to window dress the unemployment numbers and poverty level numbers.

    In short: We need more jobs inside our country para hindi mawatak watak ang pamilyang pilipino.

    The second issue that the Opposition needs to be focusing>have a decisive advantage in pork funding over their challengers, and in turn use that money (along with the PHILHEALTH, road users tax, bolante funds) during election time to thoroughly defeat their poorly funded challengers and retain their seats. It’s a nasty cycle, I tell you.

    Abolish pork barrel politics to level the playing field. it ties in with the second the opposition goal of changing the culture of corruption inside Congress and instituting reforms.

    Para sa akin, i’d rather scrap the pork barrel altogether, and give all the pork money instead to the perennially underfunded local government units, sa mga mayors and the governors etc– the people who are actually running and maintaining the cities and provinces– instead of the tongressman who spends most of his time in Manila.

    More here:

    http://services.inq7.net/express/06/12/08/html_output/xmlhtml/20061208-37027-xml.html

    and

    http://www.ellentordesillas.com/?p=787#comment-66577

  4. Posted January 7, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    my last post was messed up. reposting…

    Mong, I know the surveys indicate that hunger is a problem in our country, and it should be an issue.

    But my instincts tell me that the issue that will resonate most with voters the most is Jobs.

    I believe this is what the House opposition challengers need to emphasize>promising a zero unemployment rate in our country. It was her Economic Planning secretary Romulo Neri’s idea to use deceptive statistics to window dress the unemployment numbers and poverty level numbers.

    In short: We need more jobs inside our country para hindi mawatak watak ang pamilyang pilipino.

    The second issue that the Opposition needs to be focusing>have a decisive advantage in pork funding over their challengers, and in turn use that money (along with the PHILHEALTH, road users tax, bolante funds) during election time to thoroughly defeat their poorly funded challengers and retain their seats. It’s a nasty cycle, I tell you.

    Abolish pork barrel politics to level the playing field. it ties in with the second the opposition goal of changing the culture of corruption inside Congress and instituting reforms.

    Para sa akin, i’d rather scrap the pork barrel altogether, and give all the pork money instead to the perennially underfunded local government units, sa mga mayors and the governors etc– the people who are actually running and maintaining the cities and provinces– instead of the tongressman who spends most of his time in Manila.

    More here:

    http://services.inq7.net/express/06/12/08/html_output/xmlhtml/20061208-37027-xml.html

    and

    http://www.ellentordesillas.com/?p=787#comment-66577

  5. Posted January 7, 2007 at 7:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    i give up…

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