If there is a best word to describe the way politics and elections is handled in the Philippines, it would be “tantiya”. The reasons include the facts that Filipino politics is personality-based, and statistics seem to be an alien subject even among political analysts. This is undeniable because even the Commission on Elections, the supposedly repository of electoral data, would dispose of the hardcopies of documents such as the election results every after five years. Hence, a student of politics will find it hard to lower his/her analysis down to at least the city or municipal level.
Another reason is that the Philippines lack published election studies and literature. Hence, researchers always have to start from scratch and “re-invent the wheel” unlike in “politically mature” countries where students and contemporary researchers have a prior study or studies to build on their assumptions and hypotheses.
To avoid the agony being experienced by the contemporary researchers, I am posting herein an article I wrote for select audience mainly from my former institute, the Institute for Popular Democracy, and campaign strategists of a national political party. The article was written last September 2009 and, hopefully, will be of use to those interested in understanding Bicolano politics.
WILL NOYNOY BAG THE BICOL VOTE?1
Prepared By: Jay A. Carizo
Institute for Popular Democracy
If the presidential elections will be held today, Noynoy Aquino might score in a far second battling neck to neck with Senator Manny Villar in the Bicol Region. The reasons: (1) The Chiz Escudero factor, (2) the influence of the Leftist ideologies and the Hacienda Luisita issue, and (3) the failure of the LP to maintain its relations with the vote gatekeepers in Region V. This, despite the Cory Magic, which is expected to boost Noynoy’s presidential bid.
Even then, there are openings that Noynoy can use and maximize: The changing behavior of the politicians in the region and the changing vote intentions of the Bicolanos. These openings are what Presidential son, Datu Arroyo used to win the Congressional elections in Camarines Sur despite the claims that Bicolano vote is an opposition vote and that Bicolanos only support Bicolano candidates.
Describing the Bicol Vote
The Bicol Region is composed of six provinces namely: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon. For 2009, it has 2.8 million registered voters more than half of which are from Albay (24.47%) and Camarines Sur (32.22%).
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