At 5:00PM yesterday afternoon, Election 2010 came to a close. The turnout? About 700 voters. So few? Perhaps, yes, especially considering that the estimated number of Pinoys in Thailand runs up to more than 10,000. But considering there were only around 500 voters who turned out the previous election, an increase of 200 more is already good news.
Siam Pinoy visited the Philippine Embassy this afternoon to get a few words from voters, as well as ask Embassy officials for comments regarding this year’s election. To some who have been here in Thailand for many years, the lack of information about the candidates is a major challenge. One voter said she relies heavily on what others say about the candidates, particularly for the presidency. Asking young people about who they think deserves to win, she says, is all she can do so her one vote is not wasted.
Another voter mentioned that election is such a hot topic that even her Yahoo! Group members have succumbed to heated discussions about the presidentiables, which she thinks has gone too far, considering that is not the purpose of the group in the first place.
Back home in Cebu, as one Election Watcher told us at the Embassy, her friends, whom she lead during Election times years back, were lucky to have this new automated way to vote this year. She reminisced about the times in the past, when she would read the ballots out one by one, until the early morning hours the day after elections. Back then, she says, Election Watchers were very watchful. The chairman of a precinct had to read out ballots while Watchers are behind her/him, with flashlights to make sure she/he does not call out a name different from the one that’s actually written on the ballot. She couldn’t even look into her handbag, without a Watcher scrutinizing what it is she looks into her handbag for!
For one who has never exercised her vote in the Philippines, it is comforting to know that there are still places back home, where election proceedings are taken very seriously. It is medicine to one’s disillusionment about Philippine politics, to hear that election stories back home are not just all about fraud, vote-buying, or rigging of the election process.
Tags: Elektion 2010 Philippines
, Filipino OFW Thailand