Write an essay analysing the result of a particular election. This can be any election other than the 2017 UK general election (as we have been discussing it in lectures), or the 2008 US Presidential election (which is the subject of the example pieces of work which will be available on Blackboard) any time, any level (local vs general vs European) or any country.
The Political Framework of the Philippines
In the global socio, political and economic framework, especially in the contemporary framework, the governments of different countries in the global framework play considerably important roles, especially in monitoring and running different sectors of the countries, such that the overall welfare of all the citizens of the countries are maximised and the country moves on the path of prosperity (Johnson, Reynolds and Mycoff 2015). Thus, building a proper government is of utmost importance for the overall welfare of the country as much of the country’s social, political, economic, commercial and overall stability and well being depends on how the government of the concerned country functions.
The political system in the countries play an immense role in the aspect of formation of government and its action and operational frameworks. “Politics”, by the means of the term is the process which determines the meaning of governance in a country. There are various ways of building up the governing bodies of a country (Beiner 2013). However, in the contemporary world, with majority of the countries being representative democracies, one of the most popular way of forming governing bodies is by the method of elections. In this method, each of the aspiring political groups put forward their representative candidates as the potential leaders and the eligible population of the country, with voting rights, choose their leaders from these representative candidates and hold their chosen candidates accountable for the purpose of fulfilment of their needs and necessities (Graham, Shipan and Volden 2013).
The elections and the results of such elections hold immense importance in determining the nature of the government formed in a country and its credibility and performance. However, the results of the election in turn, depend on many factors and the strategies taken by the contending political parties for winning over one another (McNabb 2015). One such strategy of immense significance, especially in the contemporary period is the aspect of political campaigning, done by the political groups to promote their parties in front of the voters of a country or a region. Keeping this into consideration, the concerned essay tries to discuss elaborately the National and Local elections held in Philippines on May 14, 2007, thereby emphasizing specifically on the region of Cebu and highlighting the roles played by the different campaigning initiatives taken by the competing candidates and the implications and importance of such campaigns on the results of the election in Cebu.
The May 14, 2007 Elections
Philippines, officially known as the Republic of Philippines, is one of the most prominent sovereign countries in the South East Asian region with a population of around 100 million and is one of the oldest republics in the South East Asian zone, with a well developed and multi-lateral and multi-person political structure in the country.
The country of Philippines has a primarily democratic form of political framework, with the presence of democratic government in the form of constitutional republic and there also prevails a presidential system in the governing framework of the country. The country is government as a single or unitary state, with the exception of the presence of the Autonomous Region in Muslin Mindanao. However, in the recent periods, attempts have been made to change the governing system to a federal or a parliamentary one (Tomsa and Ufen 2013).
The political framework of the country, apart from the presence of the President, as the head of the state and also the head of the government, consists of a bicameral Congress, which in turn is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate, in its turn serves as the Upper House of the governing framework of the country, with the elected members of the same serving six-years term and the House of Representatives serve as the Lower House of the Congress with three-year service term for each of the elected members of the concerned body. The members of the Senate of the country gets elected at large (Steinberg 2018). However, the members of the House of Representatives are elected from the legislative districts as well as through sector-wise representations.
Although elections are held at regular intervals in the country, at both the national as well as local levels, however, the national and local election, which took place in the country on May 14, 2007 hold considerable significance, especially in terms of the dynamics and pre-as well as aftermath of the elections, the impacts of which were felt by all the stakeholders in the country. This is primary because of the immense turmoil created by the election process and the clash between the political parties and their contending candidates (Timberman 2016). The dynamics of the election, especially in the Cebu, is especially noticeable in this aspect.
The National and Local election, which was help in the country, on May 14, 2007, had half the seats of the Senate and all the seats of the House of Representatives at stake along with nearly thousands of municipal as well as local positions of the country. However, this election in the country witnessed extreme violence and inter-party clashes which led to high level of casualties across the nation, with nearly 128 deaths and 148 wounded due to the violence related to the election process (Abinales and Amoroso 2017).
Importance of Campaigning in Politics
The results of the election were strikingly surprising, with the devastating defeat of the Administration’s Team Unity and the overpowering of the same by the Genuine Opposition, as the latter won seven of the ten seats which were available. The senate saw the rise of Antonio Trillanes (IV) and the ruling coalition of Arroyo got strengthened in the House of Commons with a victory in 88% to 90% of the congressional districts in the country (Chrispforr.net 2018). In Cebu, the picture was quite clear, with the incumbent Mayor of the city, Thomas Osmena winning along with the Governor of the city, Gwendolyn Garcia and Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr.
The results of the election in the country, especially in the region of Cebu, in turn were influenced by different factors and especially the steps and strategies taken by the different candidates and their parties. One such factor which influenced the results of the election in Cebu, in 2007, significantly was the aspects of campaigning and campaigning means which were taken by the different candidates in this region, which is discussed in the following sections.
The term “Campaigning” having different meanings and implications in different aspects, in the political framework of the countries, the term refers to the organized efforts which are done by different political parties to highlight their representatives and their abilities as well as the welfare goals of the parties, with the objective of gathering maximum support of the voters and thereby securing maximum nomination and election in the government offices (Denver and Hands 2013).
There remains various views and arguments, both in favour of as well as against that of campaigning as a political agenda and as a means of attaining public votes and winning positions in the public offices. The arguments against this process indicates towards the fact that often for their own profit incentives and welfare maximization as well as for their vested interests, the political parties falsely design their political campaigns, with false promises to the voters. These campaigning process, involving print, paper as well as television and social media is a costly method and spending such high amounts of money for non-productive and non-welfare purposes are often viewed to be unethical by a large section of people. However, in spite of all these shortcomings, political campaigns still hold immense significance and the same plays considerable roles in the election processes of different countries across the globe, over the years. The primary reasons behind the importance of campaigning in politics and elections are as follows:
Factors Influencing the Results of Elections
Enlightenment Effect- The primary aspect in which campaigning plays a crucial role in election is in that of enlightening the voters about the activities and abilities of the different candidates and faces of the political parties and also in that of dissemination of information regarding the agendas of the political parties and the promises they decide to fulfil once they come to power, to the voters (Vergeer 2013). This in turn has immense significance in influencing the preferences of the voters, who most of the time form their decisions on the basis of the campaigns of the political parties. This in turn has immense significance in determining and influencing the results of the elections in a country or a region.
Voter Participation- Political campaigning process often plays crucial roles in the making the voters feel that they are crucial part of the entire election process as based on their decisions and votes the government of the country will be formed. This help in converting the pre-voting intensions of the population into increased sense of responsibility amongst the voters which in turn is reflected in higher participation of the people during the periods of elections. The effects of different process of campaigns also vary from person to person according to their individual social and political perceptions (Biocca 2013).
Information to the voters and voters learning- For taking voting decisions and to build up or change the partisan loyalties of the population of a country or a region, it is of utmost importance on parts of the voters to have sufficient information about the political scenario and issues in the country as well as about the representatives whom they want to vote for and their credibility, much of which is provided by the campaigning processes which are adopted by the political parties in the concerned countries (Fowler and Ridout 2013).
Control of political agenda- Campaigning also helps in controlling as well as highlighting the agenda of different political parties and also in making the voters aware of the issues which the political parties and their chosen candidates are going to emphasize upon, thereby making it more convenient for the voters to choose their representatives from the existing choices.
In 2007 the candidates for the mayor posts in the Cebu City were Tomas Osmena and Mary Ann delos Santos and the candidates for the vice-mayor posts were Michael Rama and Raymond Garcia. The candidates took resort to major campaigning programmes, both through print media as well as non-print television media to promote themselves and their credibility for the concerned posts (Bunachita 2018). However, while Garcia heavily relied on the print and newspaper advertisements as the primary form of political campaign, the others tend to rely on non-print versions of the same as can be seen from the following table which shows the number of advertisements published for each candidate in the issues of Sun-Star Newspapers between 1st April, 2007 to 12th May, 2007 (42 issues in total) (Newsinfo.inquirer.net 2018).
Campaigning Strategies and their Impact on Results in Cebu
Table 1: Candidates and Number of Advertisements
Number of Advertisements
Mary Ann delos Santos
Raymond Alvin Garcia
(Source: Newsinfo.inquirer.net 2018)
The primary form of campaigning adopted by these two candidates being print media, the catch line for Santos’ project was “We Can Make a Difference”, where a warm, personal and emotional touch was present, devoid of the exact steps which she would have taken if she won. The primary working notion behind the same was the belief that the voters could be persuaded by playing on their emotional quotient and on the basis of face value. Garcia also took the same strategy (Daignault, Soroka and Giasson 2013).
These people did not rely much on the print advertisement and the publishing note of Osmena was just published two days before elections, with the intention to make people remember him and his cause. BO-PK advertisement was done, where it was shown that all the candidates were of relevance and credible for becoming public officials. The primary catch line of this campaign was “Can you get a better deal?”, where the privileges of nominating the candidates in terms of cost and benefit analysis was put forward in front of the voter (Pastine and Pastine 2012). The catch line actually helped in creating the impression among the voters as well as those living outside the city of Cebu, that the governing framework of the country under them has been already satisfactory. This ensured their victory in the election of May 14, 2007.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that political campaigning plays a considerably significant role in influencing the decisions of the voters and in influencing the outcome of the elections as a whole. This can be seen to have happened in many real-life elections, which primarily include the local election in Cebu, Philippines, which took place on May 14, 2007. The difference in the political campaigning and the primary catch lines of the contending parties, as well as the media chosen by them created differences in their impacts on the overall results in the concerned election of the region.
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