Election ghosts of the past, present, and yet to come-A A +A
By Nef Luczon
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
INSPIRED by the 1843 novella by Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol," which was brought in 27 adaptations on film, television and theater since 1908, our culture of elections, especially in the local scene, can be likened to the ghost characters that were important in the development of the protagonist's transformation from a "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner," to a whole different saintly person.
Let's meet the election ghost of the past, on how our ancestors voted for the "first" president of the Republic of the Philippines, why it has to be Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo instead of Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan. Is it because of the so-called "qualifications?" In the end, Aguinaldo somehow used his newfound power to order the execution of Bonifacio. Was that even democratic?
What sparked the actual people power in EDSA 27 years ago? Was that because of some 29 computer technicians of the Commission on Elections who walked out in the midst of tallying the votes in favor of then president Ferdinand Marcos over Corazon Aquino?
What was the reason again why then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said "sorry" to the public? Was that because of the unearthed recorded phone conversation, the "Hello Garci" epic between her and then commissioner Virgilio Garcillano in the alleged rigging of 2004 national elections? And it seems it had a sequel too in 2007 in the senatorial race, which forced then Senator Miguel Zubiri to resign out of prudence, and the Ampatuan massacre in 2009 that uncovered the unimaginable wealth of the Ampatuans amassed during their stay as elected officials in Maguindanao, and their relations with Arroyo.
And the not so long ago, 2010, in Cagayan de Oro City, where the dawn of new technology changed the electoral landscapes. But then again, it wasn't resilient to possible cheating where compact flash cards were thrown in the garbage landfill in Zayas.
Taking a tour with the ghost of elections past, will our votes resonate the change we are still struggling to achieve?
The ghost of the elections of the present is short lived, as it exists in the moment of the second and beyond that it's already a history. As of now, it's the campaign period yet, and promises and musings of politicians to the public are everywhere just to persuade the voters. But what it can do, is to let you think at this very moment, and see yourself where you are standing now, to come up with a decision.
And the ghost of elections of yet to come, it can only show us not that much, but will depend on what we did in the past and right now. The future remains vague if we still continue and pamper the culture of impunity and disregard to the rule of law, let alone the maturity of politicians to discuss what's good for all, instead of what's good for them.
(Nef Luczon is a freelance journalist and a part-time communications faculty and trainer. He is also a film and art enthusiast. Read his blog at Nefoi.blogspot.com and send comments to email@example.com)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 13, 2013.