Festive Elections welcome FNF Country
Jules Maaten walked on confetti of sample ballots and under rows
of banderitas of campaign posters on his first activity as Country
Director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Philippine Office. Mr. Maaten was an observer of the Barangay (Village)
and Sangguniang Kabataan
(Youth Council) elections
on 25 October 2010.
Mr. Maaten first visited two of the most exclusive villages
in Metro Manila, San Lorenzo and Dasmarinas where
he was impressed with the organized set up of the voting precincts.
He then moved to Makati High School in Poblacion
and he was astonished by the crowd at the school entrance –
voters checking their names on the list, poll watchers running
back and forth, children handing out sample ballots, and those
who were simply making predictions on the election results. Going
farther in Manuel A. Roxas High School in Sta. Ana, Manila,
Mr. Maaten noted a more subdued yet exciting ambience where people
were quietly anticipating the canvassing.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the festival-like atmosphere. It
was quite unfortunate that there were still reported incidents
of vote-buying when we could have hoped that the anti-corruption
drive of the government had made its mark. However, this makes
me more curious about the election results,” said Mr. Maaten.
“There were more voters during the national elections
than now because they were thrilled to use the electronic voting
machines. But the turn-out is still considerably ok. We attribute
this to the fact that our constituents really want change,”
observed a poll watcher at the Manual A. Roxas High School. “Our
current barangay chairman, because her term has ended, is now
running as councilor, similar to how GMA chose to slide from the
presidency to the congress,” she added.