No chads, but no CF cards either: A problem brewing for May10 election in the Philippines

You may be surprised if you talk to Filipinos about the May10 election.  They’ll sound like Noynoy Aquino is behind.

That’s even though the son of political icons Cory and Benigno Aquino is  at least 20 points up in the most recent polls this week compared to his main  opponents, Manny Villar and Joseph Estrada.

What’s up?

No pre-election lead is insurmountable in the corrupt political environment of the Philippines.

Besides, no poll really counts except the final one. And despite official proclamations by the Philippine government  that all is fine and dandy for democracy come Monday, glitches this week in the new electronic, automated system that relies on CF (compact flash) cards makes me nervous.

The only thing electric that wor ks without fail in the Philippines is your rice cooker.

Every other device is far from fool proof.

At least, they don’t have a chad problem.

At this late date, 60,000 CF cards need replacing  in the automated vote system, and about 44,000 cards are set for arrival from Taiwan and China as late as  Saturday. And then they have to go out to the machines that need replacements.

Do I smell SNAFU in the making.  (By the way, the “F” doesn’t stand for Filipino).

This last minute “mini-crisis”  does give everyone a handy excuse if the outcome isn’t just right for you name it: winners/losers/termed out incumbants.

And that’s why even with a 20 point lead going into the weekend, no one can be super confident of anything come May 10.

The talk now is of the second coming of People Power if some surprise comes up at the last minute. 

That’s the state of democracy in the Philippines.