Arius Lauren Raposas (University of the Philippines)
The vote is the primary legitimizing tool of democracy, and studying how the vote behaves in such a context would prove helpful to current democratic principles. In addition, the youth of today would be the leaders of tomorrow. This philosophy holds true throughout generations. To help analyze how Filipino democracy works in the national or the local scale, one can begin with the student level. The choice of the University of the Philippines as locale of the study mainly underlines the role played by the premier university in shaping future leaders. Indeed, the university has produced a number of presidents, senators, representatives, among others. In 2014, a study concerning student council elections in the University of the Philippines (UP) began with focus on one of its largest college units, particularly the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP). One key factor taken into consideration in this study was voter turnout.
Initially, the study showed that voter turnout is dismal in the college (52% as of 2014). This is despite the fact that in the national setting, voters with college-level education post higher turnouts than those who achieved elementary or high school-level education. With these data accounted, the researcher put into the equation major reasons for not voting (either not casting their vote or voting abstain). After eliminating less plausible reasons by counterchecking with the information available, the study came to the conclusion that voters make the conscious choice of not participating in elections. Beyond this, the researcher also presented possible factors behind non-participation in student elections. In 2016, the data was updated and the scope broadened to cover the entire university. Evidently, voter turnout in the university is even lower than that of CSSP. In turn, the results of the study in 2014 were reinforced in a larger context in 2016. Meanwhile, to test the recommendations made in this study, the researcher attempted to observe them in application to an election in a group of 54 people. With these findings, it is observed that key factors other than politics (such as culture and social media) influence leadership formation in schools, colleges, and universities.
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Theme A: Public Sector Transformations
Institutional and Policy Innovations and Reforms towards Sustainable Development