Do not disappoint

In 2010, Automation, COMELEC on 29 August 09 by jimenez

I was at a radio station today, fielding questions about automation, and I noticed something very interesting. Most of the callers and texters wanted to know how the process works. They were very eager to understand how automation promises to change the voting experience. In marked contrast, the questions coming from the hosts were focused almost exclusively on what could go wrong.

It was, needless to say, a schizophrenic experience.

But an important lesson too. The people, it seems, are truly ready for this change and the fear that some quarters claim is widespread, is nothing of the sort.

Unfortunately, those who are supposed to be in a better position to intelligently handle their apprehensions – which are, after all, a normal aspect of any major change – seem to be the ones proving to be quite unable to. They latch on to the vague and half-explained scenarios of doom as though they were repeating gospel truth; they scare themselves sleepless worrying about concepts they do not even completely grasp simply because this expert or that PhD., seemed to be worried even more and, well, God-forbid that we be considered bumpkins because we didn’t fear the same things these sophisticates are all a-tremble over.

And so, you have lawyers and businessmen, judges and academics, all spouting the same half-truths and misrepresentations being peddled by those who would see the country yet again prevented from discarding a flawed electoral system.

They often preface their attacks with “I’m in favor of automation, what assurance can you offer that  ….” insert doomsday scenario here. The funny thing is, when provided with explanations and assurances they cannot poke holes in, they end up waving it off and resorting to their ultimate fall-back – “we can’t trust the COMELEC.”

Even funnier, some take issue with the fact that explanations are forthcoming. Those people leave me scratching my head. I’m like, so you would prefer it if we didn’t have an answer to your concerns? But then again those are the people who convince me that theirs is not to really improve the plan through principled and constructive criticism, but rather to tear it down by endlessly repeating their shibboleths until ordinary people can no longer distinguish between what they’re saying and what the truth is.

Sadly, these people who can no longer distinguish between what is for real and what are scare-tactics include critical decision makers and influencers and shapers of opinion. These people who, because of what they represent in society, are supposed to be able to think more clearly and to see better when the need for audacity outweighs timorous quivering. Instead, they seems to be all rushing to the forefront of the retreat from the future.

Thankfully, they seem to be doing all the retreating all by themselves. Out in the streets, in the schools, in the business establishments, in the various forums, people are excited about automation. They want to see it happen. They are eager for this next step. The challenge for the COMELEC therefore, is very simple.

Do not disappoint.


2 Responses to “Do not disappoint”

  1. james,

    kia alarcon here. busy with the elections huh? thank god am not in philippines with all these craziness for the past 6 years. saw your twit with daphneOP so i checked your wordpress out. keep in touch!


  2. i have nothing against media, don’t get me wrong but those people just want something frightening to talk about. sometimes its really no sense listening to them since they just love making things/scenarios look complex. so kudos to comelec and you guys definitely did not disappoint.

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