Election Fraud, a Country’s Sickness

December 7, 2006 : Thursday 

Election Fraud, a Country’s Sickness

 Clarisse C. San Felipe

In the Philippines, elections are held every six years for President and Vice-President, and every three years for the bicameral Congress. Senators in the 24-seat upper house have six-year terms, staggered to fill 12 seats every three years. The President, Vice-President, and Senators are all elected by the nation as a whole.

 

Nowadays, fraud in Philippines‘ elections is not uncommon, as all Filipino citizens know. This is one of the reason why our country is still in need of progress.

 

If we call illnesses dirty electoral practices, such as vote buying, intimidation, double voting, or registration fraud, and treatment clean election reforms such as the secret ballot, new forms of identification, tighter registration rules, and improved voting technologies, then treatment induced illnesses are various forms of damage to democracy. These most notably take the form of voter alienation, demobilization, and disfranchisement.

 

 Is the damage done to democracy by these mechanisms intentional, or is it an unplanned consequence of well-intentioned reform? The short answer is both. Because clean election reforms are often complex and difficult to implement, and because candidates, operatives, and voters often respond to reforms in unanticipated ways, well-intentioned measures often produce harm—especially when the new measures are inherently restrictive. But not all harm is an unintended by-product of benign reform (in spite of how the reforms may be presented in public). Because reform is often partisan, measures have be crafted, implemented, or responded to in ways that intentionally disfranchise or demobilize select groups of voters.  Fraud and manipulation can also alienate voters and thereby depress voter turnout.

 

 It would thus be a mistake to frame the issue too narrowly as a choice between elections that are “clean but exclusionary” on the one hand or “dirty but inclusive” on the other. Both disfranchisement and manipulation depreciate the quality of democracy. The real goal should be to make elections both clean and inclusive as possible. For this reason, it is important to understand how and why clean election reforms sometimes go bad. Such information will hopefully aid legislators and election officials, or the activists in civil society who watch over them, find ways to achieve both goals simultaneously.

 

Election watchdog groups, public-minded corporations, government election bodies, reformist political parties, and other civic educators sometimes try to clean up dirty electoral practices by teaching ordinary voters to change their behavior. The goal of this education, typically, is to convince people to obey existing election laws, whether it be to vote secretly, to refrain from selling their votes, or to resist the temptation of voting more than once. To the extent that civic educators wish to train voters to act “correctly,” their efforts have a disciplinary component. This reality suggests a need to understand how people who are the target of educational reform experience and react to these disciplinary efforts. Whether voters spurn, absorb, ignore, or misunderstand specific educational messages will have significant implications not only for the effectiveness of the education campaign, but also for the quality of the resulting democracy.

 

Any attempt to thwart the free exercise of the right of suffrage, like a “No Election” (NO-EL) plan would negate efforts to rebuild the country’s economy and to unite the masses for the success of development programs intended to improve their lives.

 

The global community is closely watching election developments in the Philippines such that election results not reflecting the true will of the electorate would discourage investors from doing business in the Philippines. Most likely, instability would ensure, thus enhacing poverty and cancer of political corruption.

 

Democracy, I believe, will only work in a country that is confident of its own political system.  Unfortunately for the Philippines, people are not confident enough of its own.  I can’t blame the populace.  They are witnesses to the corruption that is inherent in even the lowest ranks of the system.  And, if the population are being bribed to keep silent about it, then it is a welcome gesture.  Get the money, eat, and keep silent.  It’s a matter of survival for my poor and relegated countrymen.

 But thank goodness, a lot of Filipinos still have the courage to correct what is wrong. Lections is not uncommon, as all Filipino citizens know. 

10 Comments »

  1. hay naku… almost all naman ng mga officials nandaya sa eleksiyon eh. i don’ believe na walang nandaya. that’s given
    pero kung nailuklok ka na nga tapos 6 years kang walang ginawa sa puwesto at patuloy na nanloloko ng tao, aba! dun na tayo ma-alarmed.

  2. Vanessa Karen Fajardo Said:

    Most of the politicians think that we are all numbers in every election. And people naman believed to those politicians who gave their undying promises but lagi namang napapako ang mga pangako. Wala akong masisi sa mga nangyayari, politician abuses the power, people naman ignores kung sino ang karapat-dapat maupo sa position bcoz they just voted to the one who gives them lagay o padulas (money, food etc.) un nga dahil lagi silang gutom kaya nasilaw sa panandaliang ginhawa.

  3. Khem visca Said:

    nice article…well,tanggapin nalang nten ang katotohanan na lahat ng politiko mandaraya..mlakihan man o hindi considered pandaraya parin,,hindi naman nakapagtataka yan eh…

  4. Nasa kultura na yan ng mga kandidato sa election dahil siyempre kapag nanalo ka may kapangyarihan kana may pera ka pa…
    Pero kahit papaano makakatulong din tayong mga mamamayan para mabawasan yan katulad na lang ng wag mong ipagbili ang karapatan mo sa pagboto.

  5. Gerald Valhet Mesina Said:

    burn in the flame of judgement !!!!

    this is what is happenin g in our country a blazing judgement that covers the real result by athe flames of hell from those imbecile politicians

    di ba nga kapag hindi pa sunog ang isang bagay eh iba – iba pa ito ang papel ay papel ang tinapay ay tinpay at ang PS3 ay Ps3 subalit kapag ito ay nasunog na nakakasilaw na apoy lahat ito ay nagiging abo at imposible mo ng malaman kung alin ang papel, tinapay o PS3 lahat ito ay kinokonsidera na bilang isang abo.

    Katulad din sa eleksyon kung saan ang lahat ay nasasapalan na nakakasilaw at nakakasunog na pera ( well pera nga naman eh Kung 50,000 php na yan eh solve na PS3 na ) anyway

    sabi nga nila itabi mo ang isang sexy magandang babae na mala Angel Locsin eh hindi pala mala Nikki Case ng hubot hubad eh sa loob ng isang kwarto 4 one nyt eh kahit na anong tindi nyan eh siguradong kakanain nya yan kaya nga ang pandaraya ay katulad din nyan kasma na sa paglaki ng pinoy.

  6. kristine tyrol Said:

    fraud? bgo un ah..tsung! but then guys sa isng competition there is no such loser, dlw lng kc yn eh.. my isng nnlo at my isng ndy.. sino ppyg n isa syang tlunn db?

  7. whoa…. for me not all those politicians are fraud.. well okey, i admit they are all fraud but not that much… hindi naman sila lahat mandaraya.. nahahaluan lang sila ng bulok na kamatis..

    bakit? for example.. ikaw, namimili ka sa market… anung binibili mo? kamatis…(example lang to) yun nga may isang bulok na kamatis ang humawa sa magagandang kamatis.. yung mga…. teka magulo …

    basta… nahawaan lang yung mga mabubuting kamatis ng bulok na kamatis kaya sila nagkakaganon…

    pero in fairness.. maganda ang iyong article cool…

    (help… mahina talaga ako…)

  8. PS3 Said:

    Awesome website that tells you how to get a PS3.

    100% Legit – concept featured on CNN and MSNBC!

  9. PS3 Said:

    Awesome website that tells you how to get a PS3.

    100% Legit – concept featured on CNN and MSNBC!

  10. Paula Said:

    It seems that you’ve been quoting Frederic Charles Schaffer from his paper, Clean Elections and the Great Unwashed
    Vote Buying and Voter Education in the Philippines,
    APRIL 2005. Please give proper credit. Thanks.


{ RSS feed for comments on this post} · { TrackBack URI }

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: