Thursday, June 03, 2004

Elections and growing fingernails

In an e-group discussion on the last May elections here in the Philippines, a friend has recently asked a rhetorical question: why did the Filipinos approve of the constitutional provision that required Congress to canvass the votes for the top two positions (president and vice-president) in the land? "Instead of Congress, we could have hired the SGV (an accounting firm that does the counting of judges' votes during annual beauty contests and film festivals) to do a quick count during national elections," he said. Perhaps the framers of the country's constitution then had in mind the massive cheating and rigging of election results during the time of Marcos and simply wanted to install some procedural safeguards.

But then again, with the recent grandstanding and tedious debates among representatives and senators on how to go about counting the latest election results, one is really inclined to feel exasperated with the whole thing. Recent events in Congress have gone from being comical to almost pathetic: opposition representatives questioning the majority's decision to form a 22-member committee to do the initial canvassing, and later filing for a restraining order from the Supreme Court; representatives questioning another's use of the local language during the debates; recent talks of a planned walk-out among the opposition representatives and senators. I have not washed off the indelible ink placed on my fingernail after I've voted last May 11. The ink has formed this nice pattern at the base of my fingernail then. I'm now having some fun watching the pattern shift towards the tip of my fingernail as it grows each day. I bet I would have cut through most of the pattern by the time they reveal the election results and announce the country's next set of leaders.

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