Barbados-registered Smartmatic International and local counterpart Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) have yet to tie down many loose ends in their winning bid to automate the 2010 elections. Chief among the concerns are security issues now being raised by computer experts, nongovernmental groups, and even members of the Commission on Elections Advisory Council (CAC) that […]
THEIR PLANNED joint venture now hangs by a thin thread, but squabbling partners Barbados-registered Smartmatic International and local counterpart Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) have also yet to tie down many loose ends in their winning bid to automate the 2010 elections.
Chief among the concerns are security issues now being raised by computer experts, nongovernmental groups, and even members of the Commission on Elections Advisory Council (CAC) that oversaw the protracted, if transparent, bidding process. These unresolved security issues have raised the specter of an automated exercise where the cheating will not just be as fast as the counting, but harder to detect as well.
FOR THE younger generation steeped in the real-time world of text messaging and Twitter, the idea of having to wait several weeks for election results is downright silly. Yet even the youth may have a hard time taking in the P7.2-billion price tag of the Commission on Elections’ new poll automation system.
Some may argue that it’s still a small price to pay in exchange for a long-awaited break from a tradition of election-related controversy. A perennially cash-strapped country, however, will never go wrong in scrutinizing every bill a supplier hands over to it.
THE COURT and not the boardroom looks like the next destination of the two proponents of the yet unborn joint venture project that was supposed to give the Philippines its first national automated elections in May 2010.
The parties call their differences “irreconcilable,” and by the letter of the existing Joint Venture Agreement (JVA), the conflict may be resolved only through tedious and costly arbitration in Singapore, under the commercial arbitration rules of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce.
IN WHAT could be a case for Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the notoriously slow count of the Commission on Elections has overtaken the once famous “quick count” of the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) more than a week after the polls closed.
MOST OF them were formed in reaction to the allegations of widespread fraud that marred the 2004 polls, but even the newest among today’s poll watchdogs are admitting they are no match to the election cheats.
Then again, way before May 14, many of the election monitors — old and new alike — were already saying it was impossible to clean up the country’s election system. They had hoped, however, that their larger numbers would minimize poll “irregularities.” One of the newcomers, Kontra Daya, also said they were aiming to expose how the cheats were going to do it.
WHEN IT comes to new consumer trends and communication technology, we Filipinos are always at the cutting edge. Our fashion mimics the latest from the West. We quickly took to texting, blogging, and Friendster. The children of our wealthy and middle-class families sport iPods and PSPs, while the rest of us use hi-tech mobile phones to vote on Philippine Idol and play SMS contests.
BARELY A week left in the run-up to the 2007 midterm polls, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. is still trying to convince people that the May 14 elections will be credible and honest. He probably hoped it would be peaceful, too, but election-related violence has claimed the lives of close to a hundred people so far, including a Cebu mayoral candidate shot dead right in front of the Comelec’s provincial office.
THE PRESENT crisis facing the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo underlines the necessity for far-ranging changes in our political and electoral systems. It also poses both a threat and opportunity as far as these reforms are concerned. As such, careful handling is needed to neutralize the threats and seize the opportunities.
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