2016: Time of the new generations

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Last Saturday, July 4, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) blandly announced, without fanfare and bullhorn, that it has now in the voters registry some 50 million voters.

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The Comelec made the announcement during the launch of its stepped-up voter registration drive at malls in Metro Manila.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautisa said they expect the number of voters to increase as the agency’s Election Registration Boards go through pending applications for voter’s registration and reactivation.

“We should have around 54 to 56 million. Right now, we have about 50 million and we still have to clean up our list and include the new voters,” he told the media during the opening of a satellite registration booth at the Glorietta Mall in Makati City last Saturday. Nine other malls in Metro Manila opened satellite registration booths the same day.

Half of population are voters
According to Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, in the 2013 mid-term elections, there were 52 million registered voters. The figure went down to 48 million after those who failed to vote in the mid-term and barangay (village) polls in 2013 were stricken off the list.

Continuing, he explained: “That’s actually a regular cycle in our elections. The number would go down [after an election]because of those who failed to vote twice and then we would build up again during registration. Now we have 50 million voters.”

I find it stunning that 50 million voters represent nearly half of the country’s total population of 102 million.

Without doubt, the voting population size will critically affect campaign messages, strategies and tactics of many candidates, especially in the presidential race.

Generation X and Generation Y
What is driving up the voters’ rolls? Where are the new registrants coming from?

The simple answer is: the new generations. Specifically Generation X (citizens born between 1961 and 1980) and Generation Y (citizens born between 1980 and 2000), who are popularly known as the Millennial generation or millennials for short.

These two generations will be a potent force in the 2016 balloting.

Of the 50 million who are estimated to have registered and will be eligible to vote in the 2016 elections, the new generations will comprise about 28 million. The Comelec, however, does not have a breakdown of voters according to age groups.

With the 1998 elections as base, the authors, Ma. Lourdes Tiquia and Maria Irene Cariaga, in their book Campaign Politics (revised 2001edition), provided a profile of youth-voter demographics in the country:

They wrote:
“The Filipino voter is young.

“ In terms of age-group distribution, the country’s total population is dominated by 19 year-olds and below, or what are collectively now known as Generation Y.

“They number around 34.4 million or about 49.21 percent of the total population, while Generation X, those aged 20 to 40 years old, makes up another 30.89 percent or 21.62 million.

“Together, both generations easily comprise 70.83 percent of the total number of Filipinos.”

And then they noted: “While the Filipino youth, particularly Generation Y, has the demographics, they have yet to carve a niche in the political process.”

Youth participation in the electoral process in 2016 could be a major factor, making or breaking candidates.

Why youth choices will matter
I personally believe that the Filipino youth will get involved in a big way in the 2016 elections for the following reasons:

First, the new generations have a big stake in the 2016 elections. Most will come to maturity during the presidential term of the next President (2016 to 2021). Many will be landing their first jobs then. And many will also be starting their own families during the period. Jobs will be their top priority.

Second, many among the youth were politicized by the Aquino years. Many got to care about politics because of the excesses and failures of President Aquino. The Noynoying meme made them laugh.

Third, sheer numbers make Generation Y a factor in the elections. They are the largest generation in Philippine history, bigger than any earlier generation.

In the book, The Age Curve, author Kenneth Gronbach writes of a generational parade occurring in every society. Gronbach wrote: “Every twenty years or so, the United States creates a new generation.”

Because of their massive numbers, millennials will need to create their own world, and compete for everything just as the boomers did. They will of necessity become entrepreneurs and start a sea of small businesses to meet their own needs. They are already redefining the automobile.

Millennials will change our country
Time magazine in a cover story in May 2013 called the millennials “the new greatest generation” and predicted “the millennials will save us all.”

It concluded: “Each country’s millennials are different, but because of globalization, social media, the exporting of Western culture and the speed of change, millennials worldwide are more similar to one another than to older generations within their nations.

“The Internet has democratized opportunity for many young people, giving them access and information that once belonged mostly to the wealthy.”

Time and The Age Curve arrive at the same conclusion: Generation Y is going to change countries, far more than Generation X.

What’s true of the US will probably be also true of the Philippines.

Perhaps we will begin to know the change starting with the 2016 elections.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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6 Comments

  1. yen, i agree with most of what you wrote. call me a pessimist but i still believe, also the manila times editorial mentioned this, the magical hocus pcos machines will make the choice for us in the 2016 elections. all of these protests will come to nothing because the comelec, after making us believe that they are seriously studying the hocus pcos, are now going to use the hocus pcos machines after all without saying if the safeguards mandated by law are to be put in place. i still believe that these appointed by boy sisi from the chair down to the commissioners were told to use the magical hocus pcos machines.

  2. genesisbughaw on

    Let no criminal group control 2016 elections
    July 6, 2015 10:54 pm

    WE appeal to patriots who have a part in the operation of the most powerful multi-media corporations and organizations — ABS-CBN, GMA, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Manila Bulletin and the Philippine Star — to help save our electoral democracy and our Republic itself…
    click:
    http://s14255.p315.sites.pressdns.com/let-no-criminal-group-control-2016-elections/198160/

    Yehey! No more noynoying.

  3. jesus nazario on

    “We should have around 54 to 56 million. Right now, we have about 50 million and we still have to clean up our list and include the new voters,” said Chairman Bautista.

    This statement does not “compute.” Isn’t cleansing or cleaning up of the voters’ database via an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) mean removing the duplicates, triplicates or replicates (for example, a famous boxer had as manny as 5 registrations at one time). It is NOT adding to the database – that is called registration plus reactivations. So cleaning up the database should reduce the 50 million to a certain lower number. Given the Chairman’s arithmetic that we should have 54 to 56 million once we cleanse the database and add the new registrants and reactivists and that the list goes down by about 2 million after each election, does it mean we will have some 6 to 8 million to be added for the 2016 list ? Also, it is now July, some five months before the registration must be closed (in December) for the 2016 elections to allow time for the AFIS cleansing and printing of the Election-Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL). Will there be time to AFIS-cleanse the voters; database within the time left till May 9, 2016 and the EDCVL printing after ? AFIS cleansing the voters database containing 56 million records is definitely NOT a trivial task. To do this you will have to go through 162.45 trillion fingerprint matchings. If say you have 90 days to do this, you will need 10,500 matchers that can match 20,000 matches per second or 2,100 units of 100,000-matches-per-second matchers. A matcher is computer processor (or CPU). Are there even 100,000 mps matchers already available in the market now ? What kind of matchers does Comelec have in its data center NOW ? Does Comelec even have these 90 days. This is among the many hidden unknowns 99.995% of the people do not know.

  4. As if the elections are going to be fair, the liberal party will do everyone’s voting for them just like they did in 2010 and 2013. They got away with it then so it’s game on in 2016.

  5. I just hope and pray that these so-called X and Y Generations or the mellinial voters have learned that CORRUPT Politicians are the Menace to soceity and their future.. and that they themselves have learned their lessons to erradicate those animals..they knew who these Corrupt Politicains and Mobs are, they are all over the news…Clean them up Mellinials, this is your chance to live and enjoy your future….God Bless You!!!

    • It was Cory who invented mob rule which Noynoy intended to replicate had he lost in 2010 presidential election when he talked to Cardinal Rosales to support him. Mahilig sa mob rule ang mag-ina.