How’s this for a reality check: President has had to withdraw her latest supreme court appointment.
How’s this for another reality check: hold on, before you brag of local races you won or a 12-0 command vote sweep, did voting even take place in Maguindanao? Even the Comelec’s making noises of doing some sort of investigation. To be sure, the Palace is doing its best to try to give the impression the floodgates have finally opened (and snafus like Namfrel’s can only help); but accounts of how the machine broke down and didn’t deliver the votes just keep cropping up: see how the Executive Secretary didn’t deliver in Batangas, for example. The other is that local allies in some cases are fighting for survival, so how can they attend to delivering national votes?
But as Patsada Karajaw points out, even this is a far cry from the pre-election bravura of the Palace: before elections it was bragging of sweeping entire regions; post-elections, it is crowing about sweeping entire… villages.
Not to mention that electoral sweeps simply leaves the public dissatisfied and discontent (see sneaky.dog and the Zamboanga del Sur vote; see Lente reports) and media raising an eyebrow. Nonetheless, as Mga Diskurso ni Doy (who, before the election, pointed out two things: the Lakas vs. Kampi campaigns in the provinces was sapping the administration’s strength; and there would have to be a very large public turnout for the operators to have wiggle room) points out, that won’t stop the operators from trying to minimize their principal’s losses.
The stage has been set for the emergence, Ricky Carandang says, of the new Garcillanos of our times.
Amando Doronila sets the scene for the next few days:
From the early returns, the expected sweep by the administration’s machine has not been taking place in the Visayan provinces, in regions where President Arroyo polled heavily in 2004 to wipe off her deficits in Metro Manila and Luzon. Early returns reported by Catholic Church-based quick-count centers in the provinces of Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, Leyte and Eastern Samar put the opposition senatorial candidates in more than half of the Senate seats.
The returns from Mindanao tell a different story in a region where the machine was showing its muscle, with an early 12-0 result for TU in Maguindanao province. Mindanao is being watched closely as it was the region, where, according to the Virgilio Garcillano tapes, tampering of the results allegedly took place to enable the President to win the election in Mindanao.
Garcillano, who ran for Congress in the first district of Bukidnon province as an independent, has conceded defeat. Roilo Golez has won a landslide in Parañaque City for the opposition. These are among the tell-tale signs of rejection of the regime, casting doubt on the claim of an even bigger majority in the House and a sweep of local offices. More surprises cannot be ruled out.
Doronila also mentions the problems foreign observers are causing: and their comments, already quite uncomplimentary, keep coming in.
Also, Doronila is on to something the Inquirer editorial points out: that the Palace tried two very specific things: to win in the senate and to eliminate high-profile congressmen who featured in the impeachment. I’ve started putting together a list of elected congressmen which attempts to answer the following questions:
1. What will be the party composition of the House in the 14th Congress?
2. How many congressional races were Lakas vs. Kampi fights? What’s the batting average of either party?
3. How did the high-profile pro-impeachment congressmen do?
The data above is based on information posted on the Eleksyon 2007 site, and culled from blogs focusing on the local races. Here’s the information as it stands: if anyone wants to help fill it out, or can suggest a more useful set of information to include, let me know:
So see the database I’ve put together, above. This early on, the main point involves question number three: and it’s a resounding defeat for an administration unable to crush the pro-impeachment congressmen.
In the punditocracy, Raul Pangalanan tries to analyze what the Trillanes-Honasan vote means.
Overseas, The Economist writes Tony Blair’s political obituary; Anne Applebaum tries to understand what kind of a man he is; Geoffrey Wheatcroft tries to answer why the Brits dislike Blair so.
On another note, na(g)wawala recounts what it was like to cover the close of Abang Mabulo’s campaign vs. Dato Arroyo.