Roy Tang

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Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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2016 April

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  • My reactions to the first #PiliPinasDebates2016:

    As expected, nothing too difficult was discussed, and we got mostly motherhood statements from the candidates.

    Format was a bit strange, what is the format for debates in other countries? Shouldn't all candidates be allowed to respond to each question?

    Not enough time to give meaty answers really, and did we really need so many ads?

    Poe well-prepared, ready with answers and statistics, not much implementation details though

    Duterte having trouble articulating himself sometimes, keeps harping on fixing everything within 3-6 months, without elaborating how. IDK much about Davao, but my impression is he didn't do that in 3-6 months. But I am happy that his "killing criminals" rhetoric now includes the rider that it must be within the scope of the law

    Binay's preparation for this debate seems to have been to keep telling himself "I'm a decisive leader!!! I'm a decisive leader!!! I'm a decisive leader!!!"

    Miriam no longer has the fire she used to have, stumbled a few times. She could have a much stronger rebuttal as to why we the constitution has that ban on political dynasties if only her VP candidate's family wasn't the reason we needed to put that there!

    Duterte agreeing with people and insisting that implementation is the problem - upvotes. But none of the candidates detailed implementation plans.

    Discussion on policies and issues generally one-sided - everyone agrees with the stuff that has to be done, but no one really talks about details of how, etc. Reflection of the fact that we don't really have parties with differing ideologies (aside from Duterte's federalism. Oh and Binay's insistence that political dynasties are cool LOL)

    Aside from Binay getting shot down a few times, nothing too fiery/exciting happened. Candidates didn't really do rebuttals so much as elaborate on their own plans

    Roxas' closing statement is a much better approach than all his political ads and strategies so far

    I know all too well that you can't really form an accurate assessment of a person from one interview so I don't really expect that the candidates will have room to espouse all the details of their platforms, but I hope the succeeding debates can at least give more challenging questions and a bit more time for the candidates to elaborate.

    I missed round 1 (rewatched the archive), but on my way home I noticed the security guards in our subdivision listening to the debate on the radio. Say what you will about the debate's format and lack of challenging questions, but the fact that we are having any sort of discussion at all that manages to capture the public's attention is already an improvement. Hopefully the organizers of the next two debates manage to learn something and try to improve on the first one

  • #PiliPinasDebates2016 Tomorrow will be the first Presidential debate. If I were hosting the debate, here are some of the questions I would want each candidate to address:

    1. if you weren't running, who would you vote/support for president?
    2. how can we educate voters to make better decisions so that candidates are elected based on merit and not merely on name recall or popularity?
    3. how can we reform campaign finance, so that it becomes transparent and candidates are not beholden to campaign donors?
    4. how can we improve the slow pace of justice in the philippines?
    5. do you think there is currently too much power in the executive? what improvements can we make to have the legislature and the judiciary be more independent?
    6. how can we make it easier and more attractive to start small/medium enterprises?
    7. how can we minimize red tape in government transactions and make government agencies more efficient?
    8. how can we make it more difficult for government employees from extorting citizens or otherwise abusing their authority? how can we make it easier to catch those who do?
    9. what safeguards can we place in the procurement process to avoid getting bad deals for the government?
    10. what are your plans to use ICT to improve government services and transparency?
    11. what are your plans for reducing the high cost of electricity in the country?
    12. do you think the people are getting what they deserve for the taxes they pay? what are your plans for reducing the tax burden on our people?
    13. What plans do you have for improving our education system to increase literacy rates, reduce drop out rates and in general improve the quality of our schools?
    14. (Edit:) How can we get rid of the culture of patronage politics, or people expecting politicians to give them favors in exchange for support?
    15. What are your plans for making sure the economic growth experienced by the country improves the lives of more people?

    I suspect none of the above topics will be discussed tomorrow though. And if ever, most will reply with generic/motherhood statements. But maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.