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Election fever

I wonder what is the stand of the foundation on the election? Are we airing our side for a clean, peaceful and honest elections, not to mention a principled one? In the aftermath of the elections which would heighten the fever, can we get the signatures/commitment of new local officials to pursue their election promises, especially if they are liberal?

Posted by: Warren Serrano
Date posted: Apr 25,2007
Friedrich Naumann says... | Date replied: Jan 27,2009

Some people find ads and commercials with political aspirants as spokespersons distasteful. A few have gone as far as calling for a law against it.

But what is the nature of the case? Political aspirants in this case are just like any other celebrity endorser. Companies are free to enlist them, and politicians are free to accept. It's a simple business transaction. On what grounds should there be a ban on this?

A ban would violate both the right to freedom of speech and the right to enter freely into contracts, and these are fundamental human rights. By contrast, it is not clear how anyone’s rights are harmed by such ads. For those who do not like these ads, they are free to ignore them, free to buy another product, or free to decide to vote for someone else. There seems relatively little to no harm in these commercials, but there would be considerable harm in a ban.
Replied by: Salvador Lucas | Date replied: Jul 15,2008

How about the campaign tactics of current aspiring presidentiables. What is the foundation's stand regarding their TV commercials, huge ad billboards and posters?

Friedrich Naumann says... | Date replied: May 09,2007

The Foundation promotes liberal democracy. As such it supports honest elections as a system to hold government accountable to the people. Philippine law does not allow the Foundation, like other foreign institutions, to aid a candidate or a political party. It can only observe the elections and submit a report or recommendation to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on what it has noticed. The COMELEC has granted the Foundation an ID, and its Philippine representative will be one of the many accredited foreign observers. By sending an observer, the Foundation makes a stand for "clean, peaceful and honest elections."

Regarding signed commitments of new local officials on their election promises, that is something constituents can demand and pursue. In order to make sure that local officials serve, people should be vigilant and ready to demand transparency and hold them accountable. There are many ways citizens can monitor their local officials. They just need to organize themselves.

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