Will Online Election Campaign Tools Win an Election?

This is my second post about the 2007 Philippine Senatorial Elections, specifically on how senatorial candidates are launching their election campaign on the web. I don’t know why I’m doing this considering that I have never believed in Philippine elections and politics anyway. But this coming 2007 elections has been such a great circus since the campaign period has started, that I can not helped but say something about it.

So this time, I cannot help but react to Senatorial candidate, and previous Philippine vice-presidential loser Loren Legarda’s statement on how internet technology is leveling the playing field for senatorial candidates. (via inquirer.net) Either, Senator Legarda is too excited about getting interviewed via podcasts or she was just exaggerating (as all other senatorial candidates are when they get the chance to be interviewed anywhere).

First argument, how can podcasting or any other web technology utilized to cover the May senatorial elections level the playing field among senatorial candidates who either have the money or not, when majority of the voting Filipinos have no access to the internet? What percentage of voters can listen to podcasts?, can check on the friendster account or wikipedia entries of senatorial candidates? I don’t think it is enough to gather substantiative number of votes for senatorial candidates to win the election.

I think it is just a waste of senatorial candidates time and effort. Web presence and online media coverage would have no significant effect on the chances of a senatorial candidate in the coming senatorial elections. At the end of the day, what would matter is how the masses have remembered you when you visited them in their shelters in the slum areas. And add to that, how much goodies you gave them during your campaign visits.

To win an election, get the votes of the masses. Not the internet-savvy-pinoy-voting elites.

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