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I wrote this piece way back June of 2011 when joining the election commission was still an impossible dream for me. But the message is still the same – the bottom line of which is that elections are actually intended to empower the masa. Allow me to share this piece againin this first working day of 2015. Happy New Year!

My Extra Rice

It has oftentimes been said that the most important reform that must happen to  Philippine elections is to have more educated voters. It is argued that no matter how efficient and accurate our registration,voting and counting processes can become, no substantial improvement in our political system can ever be realized if the “quality of the votes” continue to be “low.” We cannot have an effective, responsive, and accountable government if Filipinos continue to make “bad” choices during elections.

But what has made the “quality of the votes” low?  Has it been because many Filipinos do not know how to distinguish between decent and obnoxious politicians, or between honest and mendacious candidates, when they go to their polling stations to vote? Has it been because many Filipino voters would rather sell their votes for a few hundred pesos to corrupt politicians rather than vote for those who can offer “good governance”? Has it…

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