Cleaning up an election

  • Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    Associated Press
    Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend. …

  • Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    AFP News
    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different. "It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the …

  • Filipino killed, five wounded in Libya attack: security source

    Filipino killed, five wounded in Libya attack: security source

    AFP News
    Filipino killed, five wounded in Libya attack: security source

    A Filipino oil worker has been killed and five others wounded in a rocket attack on a coastal town west of the Libya capital, a Libyan security source said on Monday. "Our embassy in Tripoli confirmed that one Filipino died in (a) bombing in Zawiya," spokesman Charles Jose said in a text message to AFP. Libya has been wracked by conflict since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with rival militias and governments battling for its oil wealth. The …

  • The latest developments on religious objections laws

    The latest developments on religious objections laws

    Associated Press
    The latest developments on religious objections laws

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A day after Arkansas lawmakers defied criticism to pass a religious objections bill, the governor of Arkansas held off on signing the measure, saying it needed changes before he could make the proposal into law. …

  • Arkansas Senate takes up religion bill at governor's request

    Arkansas Senate takes up religion bill at governor's request

    Associated Press
    Arkansas Senate takes up religion bill at governor's request

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson backed away Wednesday from his promise to sign a controversial religious objections bill, bowing to pressure from critics of the measure, including his own son and some of the state's biggest employers, who say the legislation is anti-gay. …

Philippine workers discared election banners and posters at a depot in Manila on May 11, 2010. The Philippines …
More than a month of the national electoral campaign has passed—and the words that come to mind are: boring, pretentious, and, surprising, clean. Except for some TV ads and the usual sorties, nothing much was heard or seen of the campaigns. Unsurprisingly, what became the stuff of news were the feeble attempts at issue positioning and debates, mudslinging, the fluctuating surveys, and the intramurals within and among senatorial and party-list candidates.

Related: Clean, honest polls also voters' responsibility, Comelec says


The more surprising development is the huge decline in posters and tarpaulins in public places outside of designated areas by the Commission on Elections. Related to this is the rising consciousness of the voting public on issues of electoral reform such as political dynasties, automation of the electoral system, illegal pre-campaigning, campaign finance.
 
The “anti-epal” campaign stands out as a breakthrough, discouraging many of the candidates from putting their faces and names on billboards and project signage. It also led to adoption by some government agencies and local governments and to more public recognition for a principal campaigner, Juana Change.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued Resolution No. 9615 to strictly enforce the elections laws on allowable poster sizes, type of campaign materials and places to post campaign posters. Several senatorial candidates and party-list groups had already been cited for violations and some of them are already undergoing legal investigation by the Comelec. There is considerable public support for the election body on this.

Also read: Comelec tells youth: Make use of social media for clean polls

Of course, it remains to be seen if the Comelec, with the help of concerned agencies and civil society organizations, can maintain this stance into the local election campaigns due to start next month. These local campaigns are expected to produce the largest number of violations of the campaign poster regulations; these will tax to the limit the political will shown so far by the election body.

The changes in the national campaign behavior, both of candidates and the voting public, reflect the increasing changes in the voter behavior. That is, from one of relying on the tried and tested norms of traditional politics of money, popularity, and  political alliances to one that is more open to electoral and political reforms, issues and positions, and platforms and programs.

However, these changes are still in transition and a large part, if not still the majority, are still vulnerable to the siren song of traditional campaigning. However, change is already written on the wall.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • From Space, Typhoon Maysak's Eye Looks Like a Black Hole (Photo)
    From Space, Typhoon Maysak's Eye Looks Like a Black Hole (Photo)

    It seemed like a black hole from a Sci-Fi movie," NASA astronaut Terry Virts wrote on Twitter. Virts and his fellow astronauts have been posting pictures of the typhoon, which is expected to hit the Philippines this weekend if it doesn't change course. "Commands respect even from space," wrote Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut with the European Space Agency who launched into space with Virts in November. As of 11 a.m. EdT today (1500 GMT), the super typhoon was 223 miles (359 km) …

  • Muslim group calls for universal peace
    Muslim group calls for universal peace

    As predominantly Catholic Philippines and the rest of the Christian world observe the Holy Week, peace advocates like the Young Muslim Professionals Network (YMPN) are appealing to Filipinos of various creeds and persuasion to embrace the universal message of kindness, love and peace. The group issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident where members of the rebel group killed 44 police commandos on a …

  • Ex-WB exec pushes BBL passage
    Ex-WB exec pushes BBL passage

    A former World Bank official has warned of dire consequences for the Philippines if the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is not passed into law. Nigel Roberts, former director on conflict, security and development, said that more conflict could occur without the BBL. “It takes about 15 years to get back to pre-conflict GDP growth rates, and 20 years for trade to recover,” Roberts said in his blog at the World Bank website. The World Bank estimated that economic losses amounted to $10 …

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