Election Universe

How automated polls boosted the Philippine economy

How automated polls boosted the Philippine economy
October 30 2017, 14:16

While largely underreported, well-run elections can significantly impact the economy of a country.

Credible results that are acceptable to the general public have the effect of immediately dousing whatever political heat generated by the campaign and allowing for a peaceful transfer of power.  This dispels any cloud of uncertainty and fosters a stable political climate which is, of course, what business needs to thrive.

Immediately after the successful 2016 general elections in the Philippines, for instance, the Asian Development Bank predicted that the Philippine economy will continue as one of the fastest growing economies in the region, forecasting a sustained 6.7% growth in 2018.

In a report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also expressed confidence in the Philippine economy, with an outlook of 6.7 % growth in 2017.

All this optimism largely stems from the increasing credibility of the elections.  Observers note that the Commission on Election’s determined efforts to bring the country’s elections into the digital age, which began when it shifted to an automated elections system in 2010, had been the tipping point where the country irrevocably broke with the nightmarish, fraud-ridden, and blood-soaked manual elections of the past.

It does seem that there is no turning back as pollster Pulse Asia reports that ninety percent of Filipino voters want all future elections to be automated.  This can be read as a emphatic declaration of the Filipino voter’s extreme aversion for manual elections, and all the horrific memories associated with it.

Democracy Watch, a local NGO, hailed the 2016 elections for the extremely speedy transmission of results which reached 86 percent of all votes by election night. This paved the way for the proclamation of nearly all of the 18,000 elective positions within ten days after the elections.

Where political tension used to hang thickly in the air for months back in the days of slow counting and canvassing, the blindingly fast speed of transmission of results in the 2016 automated elections had the losing candidates quickly conceding one after another, encouraging the whole country to set differences aside, move on, and buckle down to work.

A few self-interest groups are attempting to bring back manual elections, but observers see these misguided efforts fizzling out in the face of solid and incontrovertible benefits of automated elections.