DLSU-D Student Council Elections: Why is there no abstain vote?

Q: Why is there no “abstain” or abstention vote in DLSU-D Student Council Elections?

A: The phrase “abstention votes” is an oxymoron, an abstention being a refusal to vote. To abstain means to refrain from voting, and, as a consequence, there can be no such thing as an “abstention vote.” – Roberts’ Rules of Order

And so in the Student Council elections, if a student wishes to abstain from voting because the current candidates are not to his/her liking, the student simply does not vote.

The idea of putting the option of “abstain” in the ballot to indicate an abstention vote was never considered during the Student Election Code Convention of 2008 because all of us delegates at that time were of the mindset that since to abstain is to simply not vote, there’s no point in putting it as an option in the ballot. It would just be a waste of space on the ballot and unnecessary cost.

Besides, if a student doesn’t want to vote because the candidates to choose from did not suit their preferences or win their support, asking them to put it in writing or expressing it through the ballot would just be an added burden to the student and to those managing the elections.

Not voting on election day is the most powerful way of saying, “I abstain.”

Philippine Lasallian Family Statement on the Maguindanao Massacre

I’m reproducing here the statement of the Philippine Lasallian Family on the Maguindanao Massacre.

————-
Brutal, barbaric, and heinous. These were words used to describe the
Maguindanao massacre that has claimed the lives of more than 50 people-the majority of them being political supporters, lawyers and media practitioners in the company of scions of a political clan.

Eyewitness reports from survivors have pointed to the perpetrators responsible for this gruesome mass execution, and while verification of these accounts has yet to be done, there is little doubt that at the core of this barbarism is a politics bereft of principle, a politics that has lost touch with the very foundations of human decency. What happened in Maguindanao was an animal act. The savage atrocities wreaked upon the victims and horrifyingly evident on their mutilated corpses beggars the imagination. This incident is a warning about the depths to which human beings can descend when they allow the lust for power, possessions and prestige to take over their lives.

“God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, so shall he reap”(Gal 6:7). Let us not fool ourselves. The Maguindanao Massacre is not a mere election-related feud. It is a symptom of the moral bankruptcy, lack of accountability, and wanton disregard for human rights that has characterized the culture of the Arroyo administration since consolidating its power in the contested elections of 2004. Such trends, well-documented by various local and international human rights agencies and by no less than the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 2007, have been tolerated for too long.

The Arroyo administration took a double tack, on the one hand, expressing indignation at “a most heinous crime” that constitutes a “supreme act of inhumanity that is a blight on our nation,´ while on the other hand, dragging its heels in pursuing the capture and detention of a political ally whose fortunes flourished under this administration´s patronage. We note that the administration´s invocation of the rule of law and call for the respect of due process, while appropriate in normal circumstances, sounds mightily suspect coming from an administration that is beholden to the political clan said to be behind this atrocity, an administration that has failed to successfully prosecute any of its allies and supporters for corruption, human rights violations, and other
high crimes. Actions speak louder than words.. Why treat with kid gloves those who use their influence to silence their political opponents and disenfranchise citizens in elections? Why weren’t the alleged murderers at least immediately called in for questioning, if only to answer the charges of survivors or clarify the presence of the local government´s backhoe in the area of the mass grave?

An additional source of discomfort is the clear dereliction of duty of the police and military in the province and region who were informed earlier about the prospect of a violent incident and decided to steer clear of deploying forces to prevent the lawless armed thugs of the political warlord from carrying out their sinister plan. While the military was quickly mobilized to avoid any possible retaliation of the aggrieved clan, the leadership of the Armed Forces at present (with a Defense Secretary that headed an Inter-agency Legal Action Group that prioritized cases of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by “enemies of the state,”) leaves much doubt as to its capacity to effectively defang armed political warlords.

We condemn the Maguindanao Massacre not only because of the brutal and barbaric murder of those who sought only to exercise their political rights, but more importantly because it unravels in a most telling way, the age-old problem of a feeble state that has allowed private armed groups to lord it over territories in exchange for propping up the national leadership and its cohorts at the local and national levels. Whatever blight we now face does not fall simply on the hands of the alleged perpetrators of the Maguindanao Massacre. The blood that flowed in Maguindanao stains the hands of the President who ultimately commands the forces of political control and coercion in this country. We demand that justice be done with all transparency and in the quickest possible time.

We call on Lasallians and all Filipinos to express our indignation at the
moral bankruptcy that has led to this paroxysm of violence. If we are not
to be complicit in this abomination against humanity, we must act now
and demand that this administration be held accountable for the quality
of its stewardship and for its continuing debasement of the political
system.

(Sgd)

Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC
Brother Visitor

Br. Victor Franco
Auxilliary Visitor

Br. Felipe Belleza FSC
District Council Member

Br. Narciso Erguiza Jr. FSC
District Council Member

Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC
District Council Member

Br. Armin Luistro FSC
District Council Member

Br. Ray Suplido FSC
District Council Member

Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC
District Council Member

Register to vote via Friendster, Multiply, DOTA, ROK etc at your local internet shop

Okay, okay don’t get too excited. The title of the post is just an idea I got from this story from PC Magazine on how XBOX 360’s are being used in the United States to get first-time voters, especially the youth to register as voters. All this in preparation for the upcoming November Presidential elections this year.

the youth-centric political advocacy group will enable Xbox 360 owners to have their voices heard on an exclusive forum, participate in election-predicting polls, and, yes, register to vote through their 360. Rock the Vote’s public service announcement videos will also be made available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Could the same idea also work here in the Philippines? Like tapping Friendster, Multiply.com and popular MMORPG or even LAN games to get the Pinoy youth the register as voters.

With the next Presidential elections less than two years away, this is a very attractive idea because one, the Philippine population is quite young, second, the youth make up a significant portion of the population, third, the youth are stigmatized as apathetic to such issues like elections, politics and being active in community and national life, fourth, as a consequence, they are spending much more of their time on other endeavors like social networking, online gaming, going to malls and basically living a care-free life.

Plus, from my own personal experience, getting the youth to register as voters is no easy feat. They’d rather do something else than to drag their arses to the local COMELEC, queue in line for almost the whole day just to get registered. So if ever this idea would become reality, the local COMELEC could select a well-known internet shop as an accredited voter registration center. I’m sure the tech-savvy and DOTA-addicted Pinoy youths wouldn’t mind spending a few minutes to register as voters before getting their game on or stalking their crushes via social-networking sites.

Reality check though, this idea will, probably remain an idea because at present, Philippine elections are still in a state of chaos, there is persistent talk that Filipinos are starting to loose faith in the ballot as a means of achieving some good for the country.

We can’t even properly modernize our election systems like computerized elections or automated polls, how could we expect to conduct online voter’s registration?

However, I remain hopefull that someday this would become reality.

Do your part: Register to Vote!

There’s a very good reason why classes have been suspended today, it’s to encourage everyone who is not yet a registered voter to march in to your local barangay or precints and register as voters.

THE SYNCHRONIZED BARANGAY AND SK ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD ON OCTOBER 29, 2007 (Monday)

WHO MAY REGISTER?

SK Elections:

  • At least 15 but below 18 years old on or before October 29, 2007
  • Actually residing in the Barangay for at least 6 months on the day of the elections
  • Not otherwise disqualified by law

Barangay Elections:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Resided in the Philippines for at least 1 year, and 6 months in the place wherein he proposes to vote
  • Not otherwise disqualified by law

WHERE

At your city or municipality’s Office of the Election Officer, usually at the City Hall

WHEN

July 15, 2007 to July 22, 2007
8AM to 5PM

WHAT YOU NEED

For those registering for the SK Elections, please present any of the following:

  • Certificate of Live Birth;
  • Baptismal Certificate;
  • School records; or
  • Any other document that will establish his identity and other qualifications.

For those registering for the Barangay Elections, please present any of the following:

Current employee’s identification card (ID), with the signature of the employer or authorized representative;

  • Postal ID;
  • Student’s ID or library card, signed by the school authority;
  • Senior Citizen’s ID;
  • Driver’s license;
  • NBI/PNP clearance;
  • Passport;
  • SSS/GSIS ID;
  • Licenses issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC); or
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) ID.

So when you go out and do anything else like malling, watching The Simpsons, LAN paryting etc. get the your paperworks ready and please register as voters.

Let’s do our share.

Maikaalam, magparehistro, bumoto.

Some facts about Philippine Elections

Tomorrow is the do-or-die day for all the idiots, morons, thieves, scoundrels, opportunists, washed-up TV personalities, drunkards and basically scum of society who have decided to run for posts in the Philippine government. The situation is not all bad though, are there are a few handfuls among the thousands of candidates who are the real and genuine deal. Too bad we will see very very few of them once the current administration’s “machinery” kicks in to secure their victory in this God forsaken farce called Philippine elections.

This reality is best reflected in this wonderfully crafted mock interview about the Philippine elections that I received as a forwarded e-mail. ExpectoRants received it as well and has beaten me to posting it first. Still, here it is in verbatim:

What is a Philippine election? It all begins when the country’s brightest, most highly qualified inhabitants, the young dynamic professionals, citizens who have the potential to make good leaders, get together and examine the country’s problems, the state of politics and the long-term national prospects.

What happens next? They decide to emigrate.

And after that? Another group of bright people get together.

What do they do? They also emigrate.

And then? And so on and so forth.

What does any of this have to do with a Philippine election? When talented, smart and highly qualified potential leaders leave the country all the time, who are you left with? Retired basketball players? Toilet comedians? Bad actors and actresses? Spoiled vicious rich kids? Ageing and debauched hermaphrodites? You’re now ready to hold a Philippine election.

How important are elected officials to the Philippines? Nobody’s been able to figure out an answer to that one.

What’s at stake in a Philippine election? Prizes and surprises! Millions in cash! Dream houses! The vacations of your choice! Fun for the entire family! That’s from the politician’s point of view. (That’s why they kill each other.-B.H.)

How many positions are waiting to be filled in the coming elections? About 17,000 public offices and a still undetermined number of graves.

So it’s like a lotto? Sort of, except that when you lose you could lose your life.

Who are qualified to run? Anyone at all! Generally, any person of any citizenship who’s alive, of a certain age, good character and able to summon a mob huge enough to intimidate the Supreme Court.

What kind of candidates have the most chances of winning? ARTISTS who have the CONFIDENCE of the people.

You mean a con artist, don’t you? You said it, we didn’t.

Who are qualified to vote? Those willing to be bussed around and do a hard day’s work visiting a lot of precincts during election day.

Talk about parties in the Philippines. Everybody loves going to parties in the Philippines.

No, POLITICAL parties. Oh! Well, in the past there used to be only two parties, the Liberalistas and the Nacionalistas. Now there are several dozen, but they still all fall under two main parties: the Sosyalites and the Opportunistas.

What’s the difference between the two parties? Sosyalites love parties. Opportunistas will join any.

Explain what presidential elections are all about. Did you hear the one about the murderer, the thief, the incompetent and the idiot?

No, is that a joke? That’s the presidential election.

You’re a cynical bastard, aren’t you? No no no, we’re not running for office.

Why are there so many international observers who come to a Philippine election? They’re fascinated by all the strange phenomena which accompany it.

What are you talking about? Miracles are a dime a dozen during elections here. Vicious criminals suddenly become saintly leaders. Voters fly. The dead cast their ballots. Morons become national leaders.

Why is the Church so closely involved in elections? They’re also interested in studying the miracles. Also, priests are needed to administer the last sacraments to all the people who’re killed.

Philippine elections sound like they’re really violent and bloody.
Not really. Not more than several dozen die on the average. Why that’s only a teensy fraction of the population! And everything blows over after election day, so the country can bet back to its usual kidnapping, wholesale graft, hostage taking and coup attempts.

How clean are Philippine elections? Let’s put it this way: if Philippine elections were your house you wouldn’t want to live in it.

What are guns, goons and gold??
Three traditional important elements of a successful election. There’s a new one: film credits.

How come this pamphlet doesn’t include a question that goes why can’t all candidates just jump in the lake?? That question looks like it was just gratuitously put into this article for very naughty purposes. We decline to answer it.

How can you tell an election outcome is suspicious? Power failures in very specific rooms where the counting is taking place. Numbers that start losing zeroes as the days go by.

Can’t the candidates, out of the goodness of their hearts, put a stop to crooked elections? You really ARE from another planet, aren’t you?

Copy it, blog it or forward it to your friends. This just might do the trick before we go to the polls tomorrow, May 14. 2007.

A few wishes about the coming elections tomorrow:

The Remullas’ hold on power in Cavite would end tomorrow.

The incumbent mayor of our town Silang, Cavite be reelected.

All of Team Unity’s Senatorial candidates except the ‘Dragon’ looses the elections.

Most of the GO Senatorial candidates win in the elections.

The Administration’s pet party-lists loose.

Of course, a cleaner election, less if no killings at all.

One thing is for sure though, tomorrow would be the start of something new in Philippine history.

KABATAAN Cyber Fever! Todo na to!

KABATAAN Blogger support group

KA – Karapatan sa Edukasyon at Empleyo (Right to Education and Employment)
BA – Batayang Serbisyong Panlipunan (Basic Social Services)
TA – Talino at Galing sa Pamamahala (Excellence in Governance)
AN – Anak ng Bayan para sa Maningning na Kinabukasan (Sons and Daughters of the Nation for a Bright Future)

Our future IS our choice.

This coming May 14, vote for honest officials, for principled leadership and for change. Now more than ever is the time for the youth to be involved.

Vote for KABATAAN PARTY-LIST. Tayo naman sa Kongreso!

BLOGS for KABATAAN PARTY: Adarna’s Attic, Antala at Kaligta, Atomicgirl, Autumn Blossom, Bikoy.net, Bintana sa Kasingkasing, Bittersweet Coffee, Dashisip, Es2pido, Etsapwera, Four-Eyed Journal, Judges 6-8, I am Katerin, International Relief, Kalabaw Farm, Karlamagandasobra, Kaulayaw, Kitrotsky, lanc3.blogspot.com, Lilredbook, Mainit na Sabaw, Misteryosa.com, Mongster’s Nest, Myepinoy, Ngrksz, Otom, Punong Bathala, Rebong Baby, Rob & The Blogosphere, Sinukuan, Stephani333, Student Strike, Superportia, Talking Elephants, Tinig.com, Tonyo, TXTPower, Witness Statement, Wonderboy, Young Radicals | more… | YES to Youth Representation in Congress! Link up and join the Kabataan Cyber-Fever!

EDIT: Here’s the video of KABATAAN’s TV ad. Astig!

This cyber campaign is offered for free by the Four-eyed Journal in support of KABATAAN party-list. Please feel free to copy-paste the contents of this post, visit and link up to the other blog supporters of KABATAAN and help us secure seats in the Congress that would become the eyes, ears and voice of the Filipino youth in our government.

Support us in our campaign, voting for KABATAAN this coming May 14 elections is a vote well deserved by your sons and daughters and for future Filipinos as well.

Bloggers are not the only ones who support KABATAAN, consumer and mobile rights group TXT-Power has pledged support as well. Everyone is joining in, we little reason why should not. Visit KABATAAN website and make your voice be heard.