I’m back

In 2010, Automation on 17 May 09 by jimenez Tagged:

I’ve been away. But I’m back.

Let’s talk automation.



Tempus Fugit

In 2010, Automation, COMELEC on 5 January 09 by jimenez Tagged: , , , ,

The supplemental budget for automation was submitted to the Department of Budget and Management even before Congress went on recess for the holidays. Unfortunately, the DBM hasn’t forwarded that budget to Congress. This obviously impacts automation timetables and nothing will be quite as screwed as voter ed.



Registration is up again

In 2010, registration on 3 January 09 by jimenez Tagged: , ,

On Monday, COMELEC offices will start accepting applications for registration again. If you’re a first time voter, go to the bagongbotante site to download application forms. Detailed instructions are on the site as well.

Otherwise, you could just go to the COMELEC office in your city or municipality and get your forms there.


The Internet

In 2010, Campaigns, Internet, oav on 3 January 09 by jimenez Tagged: , ,

Like SMS campaigning, internet campaigning will boom for 2010. Of course, I don’t know how savvy the politicians will be at using cyperspace realty, but that’s their problem.

The COMELEC – or at least my department – will be ramping up our on-line presence not just to benefit the wired here at home, but also to bring information a wee bit closer to the OFWs.

Cue complaints: “But not all OFW’s have access to the internet!” “Some don’t even know how to use computers!” And so on.

The same thing can be said of Filipinos here: not everyone has access to the ‘net, and not everyone knows how to use a computer. And people who go to internet cafe’s don’t really go to be educated about their civic duty.

So why bother?

First: information that’s put out on the ‘net stays there. Anyone can come and look and learn at any time. It’s not like a newspaper ad or primer that only one or two people get to read before it gets thrown away or forgotten in some dark corner.

Second: Having the information on the web means voter educators can download the info and use it in their activities. And surely, any voter educator’s first stop will be the internet. There are a lot of good voter ed sites – like the ACE project – but we also aim to be directly usable by Filipino voters.

Third: Candidates’ websites will not point to each other, obviously. So the voter has to have a place to go where he can jump to any candidate that catches his fancy. This eliminates the need for the voter to scour the net just to find info on a candidate, hopefully leading to a more informed electorate.

Fourth: the idea of a COMELEC run candidate portal is especially promising for OFWs who will be participating in the Overseas Absentee Voting system. While yes, not all of them will be savvy, some of them are and those who are can share the information that they get from our site. We can probably also ask the various consulates to dedicate one p.c. to our website and promote its use.

I can probably name a few more reasons why this is a worthwhile undertaking, but the bottom line is simply this: it’s the 21st century! Time to start thinking like we’re living in it.



SMS Campaigning

In 2010, Campaigns on 3 January 09 by jimenez Tagged: , , ,

No one doubts the effectivity of SMS – or text messaging – as a tool for mobilization. But what about as a way of campaigning?

Well that depends, eh?

If SMS is used as a means of building a sense of community, then it’s pretty darn powerful. The way that works is that SMS is used to excite the faithful, more than as a way to rope in undecideds. Build a strong enough sense of community and your supporters end up doing the campaigning for you. SMS then becomes just a means of linking those supporters up and fostering their sense of being part of your movement.

On the other hand, if SMS is seen as a way of convincing undecideds, it is likely to fall flat on its face. For one thing, bombarding random numbers with generic ‘vote-for-me’ messages can be very off-putting: the message lacks context and borders on the intrusive.

However it is used, I’m very confident that SMS will play a major role in the upcoming elections. Which begs the question: what will we do about it? Heck. Never mind what we’re gonna do about it – I suppose the question ought to be should SMS use for campaigning even be regulated?

smsOne of the top things to consider, of course, is the spending cap. If you don’t regulate SMS, how do you compute the costs associated with SMS campaigning so that it can be considered in determining whether a candidate has gone over the spending limit? Come to think of it, even if you do regulate, the issue remains: exactly do you compute costs?

And what about SMS spamming? As far as I know, the NTC has rules enough for that, but then again, you know how it gets at campaign time. Everyone be asking: “I got a message from this candidate? Allowed ba yan? What is the COMELEC doing about it?”

With questions like these and more,  SMS campaigning is obviously going to be a tricky issue. Better get on it right away then, eh?


Go Doggie!

In Journal on 1 January 09 by jimenez Tagged:

That didn’t sound right.

Or maybe it did.

Tonight, my dog finally got to knock boots with the neighbor’s bitch. After being a pest about it all day – scratching up the gate and making all sorts of horrendous noises – my batty mongrel hit paydirt.

Not bad for a dog so old he only has stubs where his fangs used to be.Whatta way t start the new year.



Happy New Year!

In Journal on 1 January 09 by jimenez

wo0t! Let the games begin!!!