Thursday, September 18, 2008

During my last visit in HK, I was lucky enough to see how they carried out elections there, or rather barely saw it. I was so used to seeing society almost grind to a halt every time there's an election to be held in our country, I was surprised to see theirs come and go faster than a congressman during a session.

First of all, there was barely any pre-election fervor. Besides a couple of guys shaking the hands of pedestrians, a billboard or two that you could mistake for tutorial service advertisment, and prerecorded voices being played by roving trucks, there wasn't really anything much that told us campaigning going on. Their walls don't turn into elaborate paper maches like ours, there are no extravagant parties being held in the streets with artistas endorsing, not even a single candidate being victim to a drive by shooting (and we just can't have that)

Come election day, it was just like a normal Sunday. I wasn't able to see any voting precint and got the idea that maybe they just voted through some high-tech method like using the urinal flush on public restrooms or something. Flush once to go liberal, flush twice to go democratic. Urinate to support Social Democrats. Hey, it could happen.

As for the counting, I barely noticed it. As early as 3AM the following day, they were already announcing winners. Yes, in a matter of hours - the way a real computerized election system works, the way our computerized election system doesnt (seriously, 3 days?). To be fair, Hong Kong is a small island, but that's not really the point.

The following morning, various parties were already accepting defeat with candidates saying "I lost. I don't know what went wrong, I mean other than people not flushing twice to vote for me. I'll try harder next time though." or something like that.

A system that makes their candidates find out their fate a mere hours after an election sounds too cruel from the Filipino perspective, since in our country our system is different. Our proud electorate system has no losers afterall. There are the winners, and then there are those who say they should have won instead.

Viva le Philippines.

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