On The Petition to Do a 100% Parallel Manual Count for the 2010 Presidential Elections

I stand firm on my decision not to support this outrageous petition.

Outrageous might be a very strong word but that is how I can see it for a few good reasons.

First, the automation of this year’s presidential elections was supposed to be an improvement over the previous system of elections that this country was using.

How is doing a 100% parallel manual count supposed to help in that improvement?

Wouldn’t that be just a waste of time?

Or, if the 100% parallel manual count was approved, then what’s the point of going through all this trouble just to realize the automation?

If it will be done, either the manual count will be the waste of time and effort or the automation will be the waste of time, money, and effort. Take your pick.

Second, the resolution that made this automation possible stated that there will be a manual count – not 100% but on a system of random sampling.

Random sampling has been a proven to be an effective way of representing data from a bigger body. That should be sufficient in this case.

Third, it has been proven, time and time again, given the past few elections, that there will always be a party which will not trust the results of the elections – the elections which made use of the manual counting system.

We have seen a few controversies, like the “Hello, Garci” scandal, that has been destructive to the trustworthiness of the old manual counting system.

Even in our town, a small one at that, there have been some people who have attested to have been tasked of creating fake ballots with the names of the people who have paid them to do the job.

Exactly, what made the proponents of this petition think that an old system which has been proven to be very vulnerable to cheaters will help make a new system become trustworthy?

And last, it is a given that people will always believe in whatever they chose to believe in.

No matter what kind of counting we do, there will always be people who will not be satisfied.

Kabataan Party-List: What’s the message?

Exactly, what are you trying to say with that kind of advertisement?

And, what made you think that making other people look bad is the way to get you some votes?

The name of your party says “Kabataan”.

Given that name, I would assume that you are supposed to be representing the youth of this country.

But, why is it that your campaign advertisement makes you looks like you represent the farming sector of our country?

Or, maybe I just didn’t look into your party and you really are not supposed to be representing us, the youth of the nation.

This post was previously titled “Kabataan Party-List: Who do you represent?”. (Hence, the URL.) I changed it because I realized that that title is very insensitive to the youth in the labor force – like the ones in the farming groups. I’m sorry.

Themes, Skins, Feathers

Ever since I found out about the source code highlighting feature in WordPress, I have become uncertain about using the Motion theme in Hack.Origin.

Yesterday, I have decided to do a theme rotation to suit the blogs better.

Lightstreams will now use the Tarski theme. I thought the theme is best suited in this blog because, seeing as how the blog is called “Lightstreams”, I thought, that the blog should have a lighter feel.

Lights, Wings, Flight, which I felt needed a change of themes, will use the Motion theme. I know WordPress has introduced a few more themes after Motion but none of them felt like I can use them for this blog.

Though, the theme poses some problems for me, they’re easier to deal with than having to deal with using a theme that I don’t love.

And, Hack.Origin, which needed the change the most, will now use the Monochrome theme which was previously used by Lightstreams.

This was due to the fact that the source code highlighter uses a white background for the source code space – which is very reasonable. Motion, which has a dark shade, does not match well with the source code highlighter.

Thus, the rotation has been set.

Voter Registration: What’s it for, anyway?

You see, this concept, “voter registration“, used to be crystal clear to me. I used to totally get what it’s for.

But given the current state of the voter’s list, I have come to question my grasp of this concept.

I wanted to vote so way before the registration period was over, I took some time to get myself registered. My mom went with me to have her registration renewed.

That time, I thought that the purpose of this registration was so that the ComElec can get to have an actual list of voters.

But then, we soon are able to find out that in a few precints, dead people are in the list. It has even been reported that someone who died in the year 2000 is in the OFFICIAL list of voters for their place.

How many elections has there been since that time?

And, one more thing, why is it that the news has told me that some minors, some even age 16, were able to register or even vote in a previous election?

And that ComElec has stated that there is nothing they can do about these ghost voters because the list has been finalized…

How untrustworthy is this system we have, exactly?

We have all heard of the very tragically decreasing trust rating of our president GMA and the increasing trust rating of some of the candidates in the national level but… Isn’t it possible for them to get a survey of how much people trust the Commission on Elections?

I’d really love to hear about that.

And, if anyone can answer any of my questions above, I’d love to hear about them.

Well, come election week, I wouldn’t be very surprised if I don’t see my name in the voter’s list.

What the ComElec Have Done Wrong, So Far

I know I am just one me here but, I believe, that it’s not just me who can very well say that the Commission on Elections of the Philippines has not been doing a very good job in running this year’s presidential elections.

First, they were not off with a very good start. It took a very long time for them to come to a decision on how the elections should be. And, when it came out, very near the end of last year, it already seemed like it was too late for the automated elections – it takes time to build machines, it takes time to code software, it takes time to teach people how to use new stuff.

Many people are saying that this year’s nationwide automated polls is but a blind ambition of the ComElec. A lot have proposed that a partial automation would be the best way to have an automated elections this year. However, the ComElec was stiff and determined to push for a nationwide automation.

Well, somehow, they have been able to meet their deadlines. We’ll see how that goes.

Second, as with the first one, they have shown how indecisive they can be. This time, with the people who should be and should not be qualified to run for any office.

The best example would be Acosta. First, they dropped him off the list. Then, they decided that he really join the presidential race and added him to the list of presidential candidates. Then, they have, once again, disqualified him. But, this time, it’s too late for the disqualification to really matter because the name “Vetallano Acosta” has already been printed in the official ballots and cannot anymore be removed, not even in the unprinted ballots, because it would confuse the machines – there would have to be different codes for different prints.

Third, there were still pending disqualification cases and motions for reconsideration laid out in front of them even after they have started printing ballots. What’s the point of these, then? Shouldn’t they have already settled and finalized the lists before they started printing out ballots?

Fourth, they did not print extra ballots – as announced. Now tell me that this is not very stupid. They say that they don’t have to print extra ballots because they are not expecting a 100% turnout.

And, that, my friends, is how you tell people that the elections is not a very important event and that votes are insignificant.

I thought… I thought, voting is very important? I thought, that some institutions have been campaigning that every single vote is significant and that we should all go to our assigned precincts on vote day and go vote.

Telling the media, and everyone, that the ComElec itself is not expecting all registered voters to actually vote is note a very good way to say, “Your vote is important.”

Fifth, and, hopefully, I didn’t miss anything else because five is already too many, the 380Php over-expensive ballot secrecy folders. I mean, 380Php for one folder? Are you kidding me?! I know it is made of the same material used for the ballot boxes but the folders doesn’t have to be made of such materials.

Thank God it was discovered and trashed before the Philippine government was able to waste hundreds of millions of pesos for something rather insignificant. If it wasn’t, someone, yes, most probably, someone will already have been a few millions richer.

Now, how can we trust our so-called “Commission on Elections” to handle this year’s presidential elections given all these?

Or is it just me who sees things this way?