Yesterday, The Philippines had an election. On the whole the experience was pleasant.Sure you had to queue up and meander inside a room and a hall way in order to get to vote, but this was much better than elections of yore. It is not perfect: There are a number of things that needs to be improved. There are lessons learned and relearned from this election.
First, despite what seemed to be a strong opposition to candidates like Nancy Binay and other candidates in social media and the rest of cyberspace this did not led to her and the others defeat. Netizens just do not comprise the majority of the Philippines and despite a high social network penetration rate of above seventy percent (70%) the disapproval of Nancy Binay nd others did not go beyond the digital fence. This is a repeat of why Joseph Estrada was not even considered a atrong presidential contender in the last election: He ws mocked and made fun off in cyberspace yet he almost made it to the Presidency. His Vice President Jojo Binay, father of Nancy Binay did.
This reinforces the digital divide between the haves and the have-nots in the Philippines.
The divide seems more evident if one viewed the reaction to the election results on Rappler. So far a high percentage ( above 50%) are not happy with election results.
Second, Social media did have a great impact in terms of spreading news but it had its limits and negative impact. It provided a venue for candidates on Ustream, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, chat and email. It also was fast in spreading negative news about the candidates. And in terms of negative news it did have some effect but it only overcame the digital divide if it was carried after into the other media. Of course there were propaganda that broke out that seemed to be designed to alienate a particular and potential digital following of a certain candidate, and often times it worked.
Third, electoral victory was attained through palm pressing, sorties, poltical alliances, advertisements and news on all media, and mobilization of the vote – by any means possible.
First, the Senatorial win of Nancy Binay and Grace Poe maybe a foreshadowing of the Presidential Elections in 2016. For sure the Senatorial Victory is the victory for the administration but it also shows the fissures within the Admin, between the Aquinos and the Binays. Nancy Binay won because she was the surrogate of Jojo Binay in this election, while Grace Poe because she was the daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr. Perhaps somewhere just behind lay the possibility of even Francis Escudero running Vice-President or President.
Second, the Binay-Estrada-Enrile triumvirate will soon be down to two. Enrile will soon assume the role of Crassus and be in the background. In the old Roman Republic the triumvirs were Crassus, Caesar and Pompey. Crassus left to pursue a military conquest and gold only to find himself defeated, having molten gold poured down his throat and his head used as a stage prop. Enrile is to cunning to end like Crassus. He will most likely assume the role of elder and adviser to The Estradas.
Third, It will be sometime till we get beyond the political elite ruling this country. Political Families rule this country. The only new political leader in this election is Grace Poe, the rest come from established political families both old and new. At the local level family members ran against each other; political families ran against other political families; and some againts candidates who are not even known.
Of The Majority and the Minority in this Election
In the Post-Election Environment one notices in certain circles a condemnation of how the majority voted. This stems from their choice in the elections. How could they do this? Allegations of how stupid, subservient and mercenary spew forth from the minority. A number of who seem to come from the middle class and the rich. One of consequences of a divide between the haves and the have-nots is in their choice in the elections. People are going to vote persons they trust and can count on. And in many respects these are people from the Political Elite: the Political Families. And it is not actually a dumb choice but a practical one. And this will not change just by tweeting, posting or clicking a mood meter online. It easy to get angry, feel righteous outrage, and condemn the actions and electoral motivations of the majority. We can do it inside a coffee shop while tweedling with one’s gadget without breaking a sweat. But can we do something to actually change this? Empower them to be free from chains and shackles of dependency on Political Families ?