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Election Campaign in the Digital Age

Straight Talk
by Nimfa L. Estrellado

The digital age has created a whole new way to connect with voters. Social networking and viral videos are a few ways, and they aren’t the wave of the future for campaigns, they are the here and now.

According to www.statista.com, in the Philippines from 2017 to 2023. In 2023, the amount of Facebook users in the Philippines was expected to reach 49.9 million, up from 41.2 million in 2016. With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social network worldwide. Twitter has almost 10.4 million users in the Philippines, and it is estimated that 80% of those users look to their Twitter feed as a news source. A considerable amount of the target audience for political candidates, elected officials and advocacy groups reside on social networks, especially Facebook. What better way to connect?

It’s clear that campaigns have changed. Campaigns that have qualified staff managing all aspects of their campaigns: ground, communications, policy and even social networking, media are no longer a head of the game, they are the standard in the game.

Filipinos, often, complain about the quality, or commitment, of their public officials, but rarely examine whether they are simply listening to the empty promises and rhetoric rather than the quality of their visions, and solutions! Unfortunately, it is because of either the apathy of the electorate, or their unwillingness to delve deeply and ask meaningful questions before they vote and elect someone, who might be inappropriate type of leader they think, they are electing. Many become disillusioned by the system, rather than accepting that it is the responsibility of each voter to pay far more attention during the campaign process. Wouldn’t we all be, better served, if our public officials offered fewer promises and used less rhetoric and rather offered, meaningful, well - considered, viable SOLUTIONS?

In the past, if there was something happening in your town, you would most likely hear about it from a neighbor or read it in the paper. Noncrucial news, however, was easily missed. Today, thanks to technology, there are more ways to obtain information on the candidates running in the 2019 local elections. You just have to know where to look.There are many places to get your daily dose of headlines.