Politics at the UP College of Law

I hate to say this, but I have a major problem with the way politics is conducted at the UP College of Law.

First, the recently ratified Constitution says that it only needed a “majority of the votes cast” to be ratified. That means that if only 10 people voted for the Constitution, and six of those 10 voted for it, the Constitution is ratified. There will be no failure of elections, even if only three people vote.
You lose your right to rule if you don’t participate, I can almost hear the counter-charge. Yes, that’s true. But that would not encourage people to organize, since the already organized would actually end up ruling the college. And the harder it is for people to participate, the easier it is for a group of people to rule the college.
Also, the way voting is set up, it’s actually hard for some people to participate – the evening students, in particular.

This election, voting is only up to 7 p.m. Evening students work during the day, usually from 9am to 5pm. Our classes begin at 6pm, ending at 8pm or 9pm.
That 7pm deadline gives us only one choice – not to attend our classes, in order to exercise our right to vote. Ask the professors, we have been told, to excuse you. But that’s not the point. We want to attend class, we actually paid for that privilege.

How come the day students do not have to choose between attending classes and voting?

Is that because evening students make up just about a quarter of the population? If voting hours can’t be extended, why not start the voting later in the day (beginning at 1pm, say) so that it can be held up to 9pm?

Democracy, from what I understand of it, is not just about allowing people to participate, it’s also about encouraging them to participate. This is why a law was passed so that overseas Filipinos can vote and participate in our political system.
Buti pa sila kahit nasa abroad nakakaboto, said a classmate. Tayo nga nandito na sa college hindi pa rin pwede. Another classmate puts it in one word: disenfranchisement.

Voting is the most basic of rights of a citizen. I do not understand why voting hours should end at the close of day (okay, 7pm) when the reality is that there are different schedules for day and evening students.
The rules should apply to both, some would say. Yes, but when the rules favor one sector over another, shouldn’t they be changed?
E, di tumakbo ka so that you can change the rules. Yeah, right. Kagaya nga ng sabi sa mga ibang gustong baguhin ang sistema ng ating pulitika, magpresidente ka na lang. Until then, gnash your teeth and keep quiet.

That’s why some people go abroad, or simply turn off the political noise. May be one reason why during the ratification of the UP College of Law Constitution, they couldn’t even get half of the population to vote.

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