Monday, September 01, 2014

Intelligent Voters vs Bobotantes?

Just a Thought About the Election System

Yesterday at about 3 PM, I happened to tune in to Radyo Inquirer 990 KHz and caught the interview of Ambassador Henrietta de Villa of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).  There were many topics discussed in the interview including the request of the PPCRV to help the COMELEC in the revalidation of the voters list including the updating of records of voters to integrate the biometrics.  The host inevitably veered towards the efforts of PPCRV on voters education pointing out that the election is almost always a popularity contest .  I cannot replicate the exact words of de Villa but in essence, she pointed out that the PPCRV is emphasizing the 3Ks to its flock:  Karakter, Kakayahan, at Katapatan.  De Villa also emphasized their efforts to make the voters think and choose wisely during elections.

I have no quarrel with the goals and aspirations of the PPCRV.  Election is the time that the people make their will and voices heard.  It is the time that the voice of the people reigns supreme.  It is the time that the people determine their destiny though the ballot.  But is election really the time of the people?  Or more specifically, who are these people?

According to the NSO, 70% of the registered voters all over the country as of the 2013 elections are just high school graduates of which, more than half are just elementary graduates.

To win the presidency and vice presidency, it is thought that only 35% to 40% votes is needed.  To be a senator, one must be voted by at least about the same percentage to land in the Magic 12.

Examining the data above, if we assume that educational level can be equated with the economic status in life (which is generally true with some exceptions) it is obvious that the supposed “masa” and derisively called the “bobotantes,” by the “thinking intelligent voters” in many online forums, determine the outcome of the elections through their sheer numbers.  The degree holders (supposedly the rich or at the very minimum, the middle class), even if they vote as a block, can never match the number of the masa sector.  And rightly so.  The Philippines is not called a poor country for nothing.  In short, these are among the people who determine the fate of this country through their votes:

So does Henrietta de Villa seriously believe that her 3Ks apply to these people?  Does she really believe that these people have the correct information to make an intelligent choice?  Does she really believe that these people even care to whom their votes go?

How can we expect them to be responsible in safeguarding their votes when they cannot even be responsible for the number of children that they bear?  How can we expect them to respect such complex laws such as the election laws when they cannot respect even the most basic laws such as the criminal law and the property laws?

Just look at the 2013 senatorial election results and ask yourselves.  Is this really the result of intelligent choice?

Next:  Part 2:  Intelligent Voters vs Bobotantes or Rich vs Poor?


  1. Good points raised. I believe that these benighted people should be stripped off their right to vote unless they start paying taxes. I am fully aware that they are entitled to that's a long shot.

    1. actually what i am thinking about is not totally strip them of their rights because whether we like it or not, they are still citizens just like you and me. what i am thinking is an overhaul of the election system so that the winners are not purely determined by popularity but by other factors as well.

      maybe a hybrid of the american system using the electoral college?


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