Tuesday, May 11, 2010

National Elections

The past few months have had the Philippines in a dither with everyone getting ready for the national elections.  Efforts to switch from the manual voting and counting system were made via the introduction of an automated system which met with a LOT of criticism (from how much they cost to concerns about the system getting hacked) and many hours were spent debating its pros and cons. Then there were the usual controversies about the candidates -- in mid 2009,  former President Corazon Aquino (widow of President Marcos' enemy number one, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino) passed away and before we knew it, her son Benigno, Jr., had been chosen by the Liberal Party to run for President, a decision that was graciously accepted by then Liberal Party Presidential bet Mar Roxas (who opted to run for VP).

Issues were raised against one of the front runners, Senator and Former Speaker of the House Manny Villar - whose main business was property development before he ran for and won a seat in the Senate.  Mr. Villar's cloudy past, littered with rumors about illegal deals and midnight partnerships, served as fodder for the gossip mills and points of attack from his detractors.  His main tagline, that of having grown up in poverty in one of the most depressed areas in the country, proved to be his undoing as evidence pointing to the opposite was unearthed.

To add to the "fun", ousted President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, who was the subject of People Power Two and who was succeeded by the current President Gloria Arroyo, gave in to a senior moment and conveniently forgot that the people threw him out once and filed his candidacy for the highest post in the land.

I figured things could not get any weirder.

Today, May 10, people trooped to the polls to vote amid reports of election-related violence in the provinces, power outages in some areas and the delay in the delivery of the voting machines to some precints.

They should've packed lunch.

For many, it was a long 4-hour wait before they could finally cast their votes.  The lines were long, the process tedious and the election personnel confused and flustered.  My mother, who at 73 insisted on her right to suffrage, was fortunate to have breezed through owing to the fact that she was a senior citizen.  My sister-in-law was not as lucky.  She spent the entire morning and half the afternoon waiting for her turn in a hot, breezeless public school classroom causing her to say that she was no longer exercising her right of suffrage but her right to suffer.

I walked the streets in our neighborhood this morning, my mind occupied not with the election results but with what was going to be done about the election posters and campaign materials plastered onto every available inch of space like this

Note that many of these banners and posters were not printed on paper but on PLASTIC, the campaign people probably thinking that would be better material to protect it from rain that never came.

I am not worried about who will win -- having lived through several presidential elections, I hold very little hope for change.  I worry about the tons of plastic that will be taken down from walls, posts, and all kinds of surfaces when this is all over and done with.  I wonder where they will dump them and how many drains they will clog.  I worry that these plastic posters will be the cause of another massive flood when the rainy season finally kicks in by July.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...