An Englishman In Isabela Blog #133 – Election Fever

Friday, April 09, 2010

Category: Travel and Places

With the local and national elections here only one month away the streets ring every day with louds blasts of political messages and music from amplifier farms mounted on the back of trucks. Sometimes music consists of specially composed songs for a candidate, other times modified lyrics to well known songs.
The battle of the loud speakers constantly tours the subdivisions and barangay roads around the city, occasionally causing traffic gridlock. The sound as each truck passes is quite deafening.
Everyone is up for election or re-election: local councillors, the mayor, congressmen, the president, you name it, all the positions are up for grabs. Every wall and street post seems to bear a poster of some kind promoting a candidate, and groups of canvassers are always searching out new places to advertise. Boards appear on abandoned sites, posters for a candidated are pasted up, and the following day they seem to disappear mysteriously to be replaced by the posters of opponents.
And come May 10 the Philippines will use an automated electronic voting system for the first time. Voters will complete a lengthy form listing all the different candidates which will then be scanned into the new system. Fears abound that the new and seemingly untried system will break down in some way but clearly the main objective is to reduce the possibility of any cheating in the vote count.