Lighter side of things?

Amidst reports of the fall-out of the TIM-Smartmatic consortium, bomb attacks, coup rumors on the local scene and the celebrity deaths of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya via a coup in the international scene, there ought to be what escapes many – the lighter side of things.

GMA runs for Congress. Isn’t that good news? It serves early notice that there will be elections come 2010.

At least, there is only a Prof. Randy David worrying how indeed he can surmount the problem of a patronizing constituency in Pampanga who might still vote for GMA as their next district representative. It also opens wide the door for the more rabid presidential wannabes to focus on their political campaigns with – GMA out of the field. That should in fact automatically remove Erap from the mad race as well.

If GMA runs for yet another elective position lower than the presidency, normally she is expected to resign or deemed resigned upon filing of her candidacy but then again, her term of office is constitutionally prescribed. It is only natural that for every act of the president, legal issues are always raised. It is not as if there is really a resulting power vacuum.

Going manual thereby freezes P11.3 billion in ready budget. The frozen amount may well be appropriated for – more classrooms, more hospital beds, more small boats for the Navy or Coast Guard. Never mind those noodles, those health insurance cards, those packs of rice. Perhaps, poll automation will be realized in the next election cycle and possibly at a much cheaper cost.

There is a good less than a year left for Congress to convene as Con-Ass and amend or revise the Constitution. It must be foolhardy for the House of Representatives to do so now when the political currents are against it. If the House does insist, again, it can only be in conformity with the requirement that the Senate participates and that it votes upon any amendment or revision – separately.

A simple scenario can be drawn. The House of Representatives can vote upon an amendment or revision with the requisite ¾ votes of its own chamber Members. Signs indicate it can muster the number required. On the other hand, Senate is traditionally not predisposed to vote upon any amendment or revision of the Constitution at any point in time. Therefore, Senate will defeat any move for a Charter-Change. Thus, under the ‘mode of voting separately’, the move for cha-cha is deemed defeated.

There is a whole May 2010 to look forward to. Using the power of technology, even a supposed-to-be manual voting may be fast-tracked. Emerging new features of social networking media and the internet can significantly play a role so votes can be counted and reported in real time. In the end, a lot of safety mechanisms can demonstrate how our votes have been safeguarded because there is a – universal viewing screen. The internet will play central role with all the help of other electronic gadgets such as high-end cellphones, podcasts, et cetera.

The whole vote count configuration shall come handy. There will evolve a system of check and balance never before tried. If people ought to mobilize, there will be ‘digital armies’ to serve as ‘gatekeepers’ to insure that election is clean, honest, and fair. There will be even more zealous young or mature voters alike who can safeguard the votes as they are being counted.

But let not history repeat itself in 2010.

Let not those entrusted to canvass the votes behave as though indicatively bound by instruction than by conscience. In short, let us ‘kill’ the puppeteers who pull the strings.