Isang araw ng pamumulitika

Posted on: June 18, 2009

I went into this website launching event this morning and I find it very amusing. Being in the business field since I started work, I haven’t been in any event that screams ‘Politics!’ and I haven’t been in a room full of politicians before. (except during that phase in my life when I find attending meeting de avance during barangay elections rather quite entertaining) Sitting there in a room full of media, scurrying like mice, eager to get their homeworks done and these politicians (and their representatives) , their hands probably numb from too much hand-shaking, their jaws hurting from too much smiling, I had this preconceive notion that I’d erupt into a one big mass of allergy. But as the event progressed and I get to talk to some… well, quite a few people, I began to enjoy myself.

What was the fuss all about?

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) partnered with web experts 88DB and JobsDB to design a website called politicalarena.com – a kind of a socio-political networking tool where all candidates for the 2010 elections could be more transparent and ‘reachable’ to the public. Like your typical facebook, multiply or friendster, the candidates have their own account and they can update it and let the people know in real time what their plans are. To date, all the candidates that are in the site are ‘perceived presidentiables’ by the public and are not confirmed yet (final line up will probably take shape the latter part of the year). And the public can support their candidates by not really becoming a fan but including themselves in the ‘I support’ field once registered. I have browsed through the site but I haven’t really explored it yet in detail. It has features like Issues, Forum, News, Videos, Photos, Calendar, Announcements, Election 101 – a rundown of how to be a ‘bibong botante’ and facts about the election (courtesy of Comelec), and of course, the information page for each of the candidates.

The site isn’t bad actually. Although it’s a bit rip off of Obama’s ingenious idea on how to be in constant contact with the Americans through the ‘Organizing for America’ site , it’s a big step and a very apparent display of progress in appreciating what dear ‘ol technology is giving us. And since it’s a common fact how Filipinos are just a click short away from being internet whores, this might actually be a good idea.

The only contention is that in the millions of Filipinos who actually troop to the precints to cast in their votes, how many has the capability to be ‘connected’? Let us not forget that majority of the voters come from the masses. How many are internet freaks like you and me? And of those numbers, how many actually gives a cow dung about social networking (or in this case socio-political networking) sites such as this? I know I do. But, think.

Anyway…

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