I was curious how live political debates go
so I decided to get tickets for last Saturday’s senatorial debates organized by
online news group, Rappler. Jorace, one of my college classmates, messaged me
over Facebook and told me about the event. It’s just around QC Circle plus it’s
free, so why not?
I thought Rappler’s mood meter foretold the
fate of the guest senatorial candidates. Well, at the very least of course. If
anything can be said about Philippine politics, there’s always something
unpredictable and surprising about it. The debate was graced by six candidates:
Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Grace Llamanzares-Poe, Risa Hontiveros, all from the Team
PNoy slate, Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas, Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna
and Richard “Dick” Gordon of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
It was divided into three parts: the first
part was what I call the question-exchange portion. Two candidates are given
three minutes to introduce themselves and their platform of governance. Another
two minutes is allotted for Candidate A to ask Candidate B of any issue or
whatever under the sun. Candidate B, in turn, has two minutes to answer this.
Another minute is given to Candidate A should he/she wishes to do a follow-up
question. Candidate B has a minute to answer the follow-up. After this round,
roles are reversed. Candidate B will now be given the chance to ask Candidate A
and so on.
The second part was another
question-and-answer portion. This time, the questions will come from Rappler,
chosen from a pool of questions submitted by their social media followers.
Another set of six questions came from the audience. The questions were a mix
of pressing social issues plus other election concerns the public would want an
answer to. All candidates are again given two minutes to answer these questions.
In the final round, the candidates were once
again asked to come up the stage to answer the question, “Why should we vote
for you?” It’s a crucial three-minute speech for all of the six candidates. I
felt they all tried their best to answer this tough one.
After each speech, the mood meter scores of
each candidate were shown onscreen. The emotions included were happy, inspired,
angry and annoyed. They were generated again from Rappler’s social media
followers plus a select number of people from the audience who are asked to
rate the candidates. As said, it shows part of how the people feel about each
candidate and the elections in general too. A lot of the viewers were annoyed
as shown on the screen tallies. Maybe because they felt the speeches of the
candidates were either trying too hard to please or too good to be true. Of
course there were wow moments. Some candidates were able to balance their
annoyed and happy mood scores while others got a bit of a nudge in the happy
mood. Of course, the level of those people inspired by the speeches delivered
remained at an all-time low. Hmmm, I guess it’s high time for our candidates to
work more on adding inspiration and the right amount of positive vibes onto
their speeches. The voting public had already grown mature; at the very least I’d
hazard to say. They’re critical now more than ever—I guess because most of us
have seen too much corruption and evil in politics that we wouldn’t want
another monster to lead us. But that deserves another blog entry.
Here are some of the photos I took as soon as
I got the chance to get closer to the stage. Hehe. J
More photos at my www.kyemeruth.jux.com. :)
Labels: 2013, 22, elections, philippine politics, philippines, rappler, senatorial debates, super saturdays