• Reggie Abang

Show us the numbers (Part 2)

Editor's note: You can read the part 1 (HERE)

One of the key components of an election, including AKB48 Group’s Senbatsu Sousenkyou, is the counting of votes. The data from it is essential to almost everyone. For an Election Committee, it is their data to determine the voter turn-out of one candidate per location. For an Election watchdog, it is their evidence if there are anomalies like manipulation, etc. For the candidates, it is a measure for them if they are worthy. And for the voters, it is a testament that they did their right as a voter.

So why did Hallo Hallo Entertainment, Inc. (HHE) did not reveal the final vote count in their General Elections last year? According to an interview, HHE President and MNL48’s Producer Paolo Kurosawa said that they were told AKS, now Vernalossom, not to do so. But I don’t believe in that.

In the last General Elections before and after ours, both BNK48 and JKT48 revealed their vote count not just in the final stage of their own GEs, but also in the preliminaries. Take note that they are still under AKS’ jurisdiction at that time, and they remain so after the company name change, and all of the international AKB48 Sister groups have a representative from the company to be their Sousenkyo Committee Chairman.

I am not speculating them for hiding the said data because they pulled out something shady in it, but why hide it if you didn’t do anything wrong? As a journalist and as a fan, I have the right to know the numbers. I want to know how many votes Member A has because you announced that she had that rank. I also want to know if the number of votes for her went up or down if the difference is based on the fans’ reception on her in that one-year span. These are important statistics that even in AKB48, and its sisters' groups, are emphasizing in every Sousenkyo/General Elections.

I posted my thoughts regarding this on my Twitter and the reactions are surprising. One of them said that they don’t want to show it because it can lower a member’s self-esteem. I don’t think it can promote things like that. If you look at every preliminary vote counts in a Sousenkyo, the members, even the fans, are eager to see the vote count, and when they saw it, a mix of emotions came in. Some are shocked. Some are grateful that they cried. Others are motivated.

Both the members and the fans wanted the vote count to be released, from the preliminary counting up to the final count. Both of the parties have the right to know. Do not rob them that right just because one ‘said so.’ Transparency is a must.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and does not reflect the views held by the entirety of PAKSA MNL and fellow MNLoves.

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