After a longer-than-anticipated bidding process, the automated elections contract is due to be signed between the Commission on Elections and the joint-venture of Total Information Management Corporation and Smartmatic International Corporation. The bidding process was hailed by all observers as transparent and fair, even overly strict sometimes. Despite the delay in processing, the project is still within the timetable stipulated by the Comelec.
The implementation of the automated election system now presents as the crucial next step. It is where the twin threats of a subverted system and a sabotaged system present themselves. It is also the time when genuinely constructive critics should join with election monitors to guard the system and prevent the above-mentioned threats.
The successful bidding strengthens the argument for pursuing the 2010 elections and leaving behind the futility that is the Con-Ass initiative of the House of Representatives. Only the desperates, the fund-raisers, and the electoral deathwishers will still pursue this suicidal course in the face of the widespread and universal anti-Con-Ass resistance among the people.
The more the sponsors push the Con-Ass agenda, the more the ruling coalition breaks up as individual congressmen confront the specter of losing their historical hold on the increasingly anti-GMA local electoral bases. Pursuing Con-Ass to its logical bitter end at the eve of the presidential elections opens up more dangers of political polarization, such as people power uprising, martial rule, and other extra-constitutional scenarios–all of which endangers the traditional politicians’ hold on power.
Something’s got to give. It won’t be the people and the 2010 elections.