Getting insights about America PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 August 2012 09:20

One of the many things that I like about the American Corner (AC) at the library of Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) is that it gives us an easy access to know more about America. From books to magazines and journals, the general public can do free research here and find out about the current events and histories about American people, their politics, economy, trade, showbiz happenings, etc.

The center also offers a free internet access and has different collections of American documentary films in DVD format for viewing. Very convenient and accessible for those who wants and need to get the right information about our longest ally – the USA.  What I appreciate also about this center, it also facilitates now and then interesting lectures, informative forums, and interactive seminars on issues and topics about America.

Last Friday, August 17, I was invited to attend a brief lecture about US Election by Robin Diallo Public Officer of the US Embassy in Manila. I was interested to attend since I really don’t what is their election system and I wonder how it is compare to Philippine election. They will vote for a new president this November 2012 while we will have our next senatorial, congressional and local posts election next year.

The amiable Diallo gave us a short lecture about the election system in their country. US election is not perfect she said. There is a clamor for electoral changes by the Americans which will take long to read about it here. I will just mention today some highlights and inputs I personally find interesting to share. They have only two US political parties – the Republicans and the Democrats. Easy to choose and less complicated compare I guess to our country that has many political parties.

Only about 40% to 50% of Americans go out and vote. True, they take it for granted, she shared this fact. Unlike in our country, Americans vote their president by electoral college system. A US president wins with the most number of states he has won over and not by the number of total voters like what is happening in our country.   Election advertisement is also expensive in the US, Daillo stated, but it works she added. It influence the ads viewers what to buy or whom to vote for the election. Which country has a better election system? It was not discuss as she said we do have different electoral system.

Diallo acknowledged Philippine as an important political and economic ally of the US in the Asia Pacific Region.  US won’t interfere in countries that they don’t have interest at the first place she said. In regards to the China and Philippines issues on sea territories, she said US will not take sides. It needs diplomatic solution to resolve it.

Since it was only an hour lecture, we ran out of time to ask other questions and issues. But what was warmhearted about Diallo, she said she can come back again to address them.

She ended the lecture with this question. What is the difference between committed and involved? She compared it to eating bacon and egg in breakfast. The bacon came from the pig, the egg from the chicken. The pig was committed and gave his life so that we can have bacon. The chicken was involved and gave only an egg and stayed alive. US, she said, is involved in the affairs of other countries.

By Dante Corteza

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2012 09:26