HOMELESS. A beggar puts up his shanty home in a corner along Anda street, Davao City which is covered with huge campaign materials.(Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com file photo)

HOMELESS. A beggar puts up his shanty home in a corner along Anda street, Davao City which is covered with huge campaign materials.(Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com file photo)

The elections are almost over and we expect a symbolic turnaround in power hours from now.

But as the public is so enthralled by the euphoria of instant-ness and brand new-ness brought about by the relatively “efficient”, yet at some point shady casting of votes, we must reconsider the fundamental, and perhaps ideological concerns raised during elections.

Having said this, allow me to enumerate some of my general observations during post-elections.

One, on media analysis of the elections.

The media, notably, the corporate dominant media outfits become the primary source of information and stream of public discourse during elections. The way it chooses its commentators and analysts must be representative of no less than the electorate primarily composed of the marginalized masses the candidates sworn to protect once elected. Their comments alongside those of the immersed experts in the fields of history, political communication, sociology, development studies, psychology, and investigative journalism form part of the diverse viewpoints needed in such political activity. In short, we do not merely need to accessorize the meeting de avance and ‘town hall debates’ with the agonies of the marginalized because their narratives (read my previous article Narratives of the marginalized) are decisive in the formation of public discourse.

Also, we must remember that elections are always about the contextualization of behavior and rage of the marginalized. If we fail to recognize their voice in the analysis of post-elections results then we are equally doomed to disregard the very essence of elections.

Two, on the general profile of the national electorate especially the youth or the so-called ‘millenials’.

The legal definition of youth in the Philippines is 15 to 30 years old. Quite recently, the ‘millenials’ phenomenon referring to those born from 1980 to 2000 are an addition to the bulk of voters who are determinants of popular choices through popular media like the platforms of social media.

Almost half (45.49%) of the 54,363,844 registered voters this 2016 belong to the age groups of 18 to 34 years old and various media reports revealed that the same age groups are considered “active” in terms of electoral participation this year. If the final elections results will support such, it could attest to the crucial role of the youth in reshaping the political landscape of the country. At the same time, such groups are answerable if they indeed tolerated the historical abominations of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, among others alongside bogus partylists in Congress.

Three, on the impact of the pre-election surveys to the voting preferences of the national electorate.

True, surveys provide a snapshot of the voting penchant of the public on one hand, and popularize the political space of the candidates on the other. The former intends to merely introduce the generalvoting preferences of the public while the latter dubbed as popularization deals with the production of arena of contention between and among the candidates and political parties.

What is evident in the final surveys, at least those conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia, was the rise in the number of respondents. Let us recall that the initial pre-election surveys on presidential and vice-presidential used 1,200 to 1,500 respondents but with reference to the final pre-election surveys, SWS interviewed 4,500 respondents (May 1-3) while the ABS-CBN commissioned survey conducted by Pulse Asia had 4,000 respondents (April 26-29). The point being, the survey yielded the same ranking in the presidential and vice-presidential race regardless of the sample size primarily because of the earlier results released (and popularized) by various survey firms. And yes, the said results hold true as shown by the partial and unofficial counting of votes (as of May 11 at 12:45 am) where Duterte put an incontrovertible lead over Roxas, Poe, Binay, Santiago, and Seňeres whereas Robredo and Marcos while head-to-head have considerable lead over Cayetano, Escudero, Trillanes, and Honasan.

Fourth, on the documented election violence and technical glitches.

The supposed ‘democratic’ practice of constitutional right to suffrage is ever plagued with violence ranging from verbal harassment and death threats to killings. Various media outlets reported that at least 10 were killed on the day of the elections. Kontra Daya, a group of professionals and volunteers against election fraud, documented incidents of technical and administrative problems during elections including the malfunctioning of vote counting machines (181 incidents), delayed voting (25), disenfranchisement of voter (24), inconsistent vote receipt (24), rejected ballot (18), militarization (16), among others.

The irony in us, as a people, is that we are fond of exercising our ‘democratic’ rights, especially during elections, but we fail to recognize the historical fact that beyond the records of electoral violence and a series of attempts to curtail the sanctity of votes is the need to put forward the collective struggle of the masses. These struggles are entrenched in the political and cultural life of our nation. We often force ourselves to have faith in the ‘change’ trumpeted by the candidates instead of denouncing their wickedness in forms of private armies, corporate cronies and ill-gotten resources.

And lastly, on moving forward, struggling forward.

After elections, what now?

What now if we are hounded by the same political clans in the grassroots politics? What now if we envisage the architects and cronies of Martial Law gradually stepping up into power? What now if we allow the hacienderos and other bureaucrat-capitalists of Malacañang to once again rule over the peasants and other agricultural workers of our land? What now if we have failed to learn the lessons of history? Are we indeed domed to suffer the same wrath of our people?

If there is something to celebrate in the recently concluded 2016 elections, that is putting an end to the obnoxious Aquino-Roxas regime that is marked by the bloods of the tormented masses as victims of the Typhoon Yolanda, day-to-day commuters of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT), farm workers of Hacienda Luisita and Kidapawan, families of the Ampatuan-Maguindanao massacre, and families of the desaparecidos, extrajudicial killings and other forms of human rights violations.

As we near the tail end, we must reaffirm that the ever titillating aspect of every ‘democratic’ elections is the formation of resistance against the dominant political system that is capitalist and subversive to the United States (US) hegemony. That the people we intend to position in power during elections are conceivably the ones susceptible to be overpowered by the system. Hence, we must stay wary of the ‘changes’ touted by the powers-that-be. Let us keep in mind that since we have been duped into the US kind of capitalist-democracy, our economic, political and cultural system of well-being has materially crumbled.

We all dare to ask, what is there to expect?

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