Many readers, including Now What, Cat? have been pointing out this blog’s perpetually on the blink. The latest snafu involves more problems with the comment thingamajig. Technical Supremo Abe Olandres suggests readers subscribe through Feedburner, so you can get entries even if the blog itself isn’t available. So sorry for technical difficulties.
The foreign media has started to take notice of the coming elections, though today’s two examples show they’re relying too much on conventional wisdom and not doing enough spadework when it comes to developments on the ground. The Economist is particularly -and disappointingly- superficial, while the Gulf Times is slightly less so (related chart in GMANews.TV).
Amando Doronila, for example, says three things are emerging:
First, the Genuine Opposition has consolidated its position of likely winning at least eight of the Senate seats. Second, political dynasties appear to be losing their spell as electoral assets to influence outcomes at least on the national level. And third, movie stars and swashbuckling military rebels involved in coup attempts seem to be losing their appeal to voters.
In Inquirer Current, John Nery presents three hypotheses:
First: The elections remain one way to resolve President Arroyo’s crisis of legitimacy…
Second: The elections are the opposition’s to lose…
Third: The opposition will lose the elections, in all aggregates except the most high-profile one, the race for the Senate. This result is an indictment of the opposition…
What I want to point out, though, is that Doronila and Nery’s observations point to the need to question old assumptions, and set aside the old stereotypes about both our elections and the electorate, stereotypes and assumptions the Economist in particular is still blithely spouting. In terms of how media’s covering the elections, Khanterbury Tales posted an entry recently with her observations.
My own views, concerning the elections? See my Q&A with Davao Today.
Some interesting coverage of the local races includes an intricate analysis of Speaker Jose de Venecia’s campaign (and Pangasinan politics) by Patrick Patiño. Dole-outs by local candidates is the topic covered by Rasheed Abou-Alsamh. Concerning the party-list, Dan Mariano looks at some party-list strategies and the value of endorsements (Achieving Happiness says there’s a statistical anomaly involved in the Left ‘s recent party-list survey results).
The Business Mirror editorial delves into the reasons behind the national treasurer’s resignation, and its implications:
All these simply indicate that the fiscal landscape remains very much at risk, more so with Mr. Cruz’s departure. It is good he agreed to stay on until June 1, but his successor—and the entire finance team for that matter—will have a tough hurdle ahead. They can’t even have the luxury of waiting after the elections, especially when one considers that fiscal problems may worsen after May 14, if fresh allegations of funds misuse and overspending surface.
The editorial helps put Omar Cruz’s recent suggestions new taxes may be required, in context.
Contrasting -or is it complimentary?- views of the military situation in Mindanao: Herbert Docena thinks the media is swallowing military propaganda and by so doing, is helping to push Mindanao towards conflict; Marites Vitug, however, writes that the military may actually be more inclined to foster peace.
Marichu Villanueva asks if the National Power Corporation forgot that summertime means increased demand for electricity.
For management, including public management, afficionados, another hundred years hence points to A Nagueño in the Blogosphere, who writes from a conference in Germany on New Public Management principles, which Willy Prilles says is based on the following principles:
…a lean state; separate decisionmaking, with politics deciding the strategic and the civil service taking care of the operative; lean management; a new service attitude; new models of control; decentralization; quality management; and product approach…
Prilles points to the UK having some local governments adopting NPM principles under Thatcher but abandoning them as of late; another hundred years hence, in response, points to a potentially complementary development called CitiStat:
So how could this help NPM? Citistat’s 4 tenets:
1. Accurate and Timely Intelligence
2. Effective Tactics and Strategies
3. Rapid Deployment of Resources
4. Relentless Follow-Up and Assessment
-could be the day-to-day application of NPM’s “Concepts,” namely:
* Lean State — reduced tasks performed by state
* Separation of Decision Making Levels — Separation of the strategic from the operative level: politics decides the what, administration the how
* Lean Management — Combination of management by objectives, flat hierarchy, project management, performance related payments, modern methods of leadership
* New Service Attitude — Customer orientation: satisfaction in the center of all considerations, behavioral changes
* New Model of Control — Steering by clear targets, measurement of results, transparency of resource allocation
* Decentralization — Task, responsibility, competence and budget in the hand of the project manager/ department manager
* Quality Management — Ensure high service quality through qualification, competition, transparency
* Product Approach — Describing all administrative service as “products” highlighting factors such as: features, cost, needed resources, and time to deliver
Where NPM provides the goals of how government should be run, Citistat provides a day-to-day measurement of delivering on the goals of that model.
Both point to local-level governments making effective use of these strategies, or principles; but the problem remains applying them on a large scale.
Bikoy.net appreciates seeing Rep. Escudero not using a police escort to go through traffic. Yugatech on Ratified.org, a new way to keep tabs on the top Philippine blogs (additional observations by The J Spot).