Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blogwatch: beyond Campaign Promises

Blogwatch has really elevated blogging in the local scene. I am reminded of other international communities that also use their readership following to keep the public informed about politics. And to think that Blogwatch, according to this interview, just started as a voters education blog.

Watching this made me recall the year that was. The 2010 elections is foremost a statement election. Then “President” Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is sufferring from the lowest public approval a President has had since the Marcos Era, going as low as negative thirty-something. The most popular campaign line is of course Anti-GMA, and there were many takers. The handful brave men who ran under the administration ticket were doomed to lose. They received the Kiss of Death with open arms. Most presidential aspirants took the Anti-GMA stance. Any vote for the anti-GMA aspirants is a vote against GMA herself.

And so, P-Noy emerged victorious from the Anti-GMA pack, along the way, spouting numerous campaign promises, like supporting the RH Bill. I know P-Noy, next to his mother the late Corazon Aquino, is probably the most popular President post-Martial Law. But I don’t find myself as ecstatic of him as most people do. He has backtracked on a number of his promises already. I hate to think that he did all that just for rhetorics and rating.

Blogwatch was received warmly throughout the blogosphere and thus post-elections, shifted from being a voters education site to one that monitors the campaign promises of the victorious P-Noy. This I think is a very good move. Bloggers write about anything and everythings, from something as mundane as their pet rats, to food trips, from fashionable finds to the latest gadgets, among others. But political blogging is not as popular. Blogwatch bridged this gap and encouraged bloggers to be more socially and politically conscious. The advocacy for clean elections and post-elections monitoring has made Filipinos more involved and invested in the whole process. It is OUR future afterall that is at stake come election-time.

Having Blogwatch, like a watchdog, would keep P-Noy on his toes. One shouldn’t make promises they couldn’t keep. And Blogwatch makes it clear that the PEOPLE DO CARE and are NOT DUMB. They heard the campaign promises and wanted those promises fulfilled, that’s why he got their votes. And that they won’t just sit back and watch those promises turn to dust.

Blogwatch is indeed a very empowering tool for the masses. How many times have you have someone, anyone, utter a word of disgust for the government’s action, or lack of it, regarding the nation’s problems? How many times have you heard someone, anyone, say “Ganyan naman talaga ang mga pulitiko!” Or, see someone, anyone, shrug their shoulders while saying, “Wala nang pag-asa ang mga pinoy.” Blogwatch serves and will still serve as a venue for these people to rant all they want, but which is properly channeled. The opinions of every Juan and Maria gets arhived and sorted out in the various discussions. And the more they see that they are not alone in feeling duped my false promises, the more they will strive for those promises to be fulfilled. Yay!

Pinoys are said to have very short memories. Imagine this, a dictator that ruled for 20 years and broke so many lives and dreams, is now being seriously considered to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, not counting of course his immediate family that has made a remarking political comeback! Many atrocious and scandalous events in the political history of our country has been buried and forgotten. So too will the campaign promises be if there is no one to keep it alive, to remind the one who made them his responsibility of seeing them through and fought for, if not fully realized.

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