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May 01

Why revolts fail

The Inquirer editorial, Bunker mentality,  has set the tone for what today will be about: as Inq7.net  puts it, a Labor Day showdown.Labor and other forces are insisting on a show of strength -and of daring. The Palace has hunkered down and announced it’s prepared to issue a proclamation along the line of Proclamation 1017 (the Supreme Court, on the other hand, previously announced it will rule on challenges to 1017 by May 2, tomorrow).

The PCIJ has a series of devastating articles comparing the stratagems resorted to by two beleaguered presidents -Marcos and Arroyo- concerning the constitution of their times:

1. In 1971 and 2006, New Charters Designed to Keep Embattled Presidents in Power
2. Arroyo’s Charter Change Moves Copied from the Marcos Book
3. As in 1973, the Ball is in the Supreme Court

It’s like “History Repeating” (Propellerheads). The Philippines Free Press blog has useful articles giving contemporary reportage and commentary on the 1971-73 Constitutional Convention.

There are the editorials penned by Teodoro M. Locsin, which helped put “tuta” in the political lexicon of the times: Constitutional Convention Or Malacañang Kennel? Editorial for January 22, 1972 and Same dog, different collar? Editorial for March 18, 1972.

There’s reportage on the issues, personalities, and developments in the Constitutional Convention: The Politicalization of the Constitutional Convention, by Edward R. Kiunisala, January 22, 1972 and The Constitutional Convention: Nakakahiya! by Edward R. Kiunisala, February 26, 1972.

The best contemporary account of the 1971-73 Constitutional Convention’s descent into disrepute is “How democracy was lost: A political diary of the Constitutional Convention of 1971-1972″ (Augusto Caesar Espiritu) which you can still find in bookstores (a very slim book, inexpensive, but makes for gripping reading).

Here’s an extract from the book, which was his secret diary during that time. The date was October 20, 1972, a Friday. Martial Law had been proclaimed less than a month before. The convention was given a choice: approve the draft, and sit in the Interim National Assembly the new Constitution would establish; reject the draft, and give up the chance for future office. Wote Espiritu:

The proceedings were tense; or should I say, shameful?

There were vigorous speeches against the provision by Justice Barrera, Gary Teves and Leonie Garcia. The whole Convention looked with admiration at these three musketeers who have displayed their guts by speaking against what is a foreordained provision and, in so doing, were taking the risk of incurring the wrath of the political gods.

There were many more minor skirmishes. The one thing that sticks to my mind is the fact that insofar as talking or reasoning with the majority was concerned, it was like talking to a wall. There was absolutely no way for them to accomodate another view. They were determined to ram through whatever they had decided.

Teroy Laurel made a brilliant defense of his proposed amendments to the draft. We should not limit membership to the National Assembly to the delegates who would opt to serve, as was provided for in the draft, because this was really making the thinga mockery; it was humiliating.

It would seem from the amount of applause he received and the rasing of hands that followed, that the amendment was carried. Indeed, it was announced by Abe Sarmiento, who was then presiding, that the motion was carried.

But then Fidel Purisima demanded voting by tellers. This changed the situation. Many delegates would not express their true wishes because the walls of the session have many eyes: the dissenters would be watched by Big Brother!

In the voting by tellers, the result was 128 to 123 -or something like that- in favor of retaining the original draft provision which states that members of the 1971 Constitutional Convention who opt to serve in the Interim Assembly by voting affirmatively would be the only ones who would be members of the National Assembly. This is cearly immoral, unfair and unjust –but the proponents have made up their minds

Yesterday, I casually told Ramon Encarnacion that perhaps the President would be a little more reasonable than his own lieutenants in the session hall. I overheard Bebet Duavit was willing to give 72 hours to those who were not present during the voting to signify their intention of voting affirmitavely. I, therefore, went to Duavit in order to persuade him to lengthen this to, say, two weeks, to enable those who are abroad to come back and give their decision. But Duavit said this was impossible. As it was, he was only trying to get them to agree on this 72 hours’ grace, but not as an amendment to the provision. It is going to be some kind of suspension of rules before actual voting on the amendment.

Later, I rose, anyway, to introduce an amendment to extend the time for those who are absent to be able to vote. Before I could complete my first few sentences, however, the floor leader, Munding Cea, cut me off, and on the same theme, said it would be completely unfair and unjust to preclude our colleagues who are not present from voting…

To our great chagrin, Toto de la Cruz, chairman of the Committee on Rules, stood to oppose this.

How could anyone in conscience oppose something like this? Where is our sense of fairness? But then, a people secure in their numbers and certain of their purpose can too easily forget that democracy requires tolerance!

Aruro Pacificador would not brook any modertation. Evidently following a “script”, he announced that those absent would be given 72 hours, provided they personally cast their votes in an open session. When some amendments were proposed, such as to allow voting by cablegrams and tegerams or letters, Pacificador, his porcupine hair blasphemously pointing heavenwards, arrogantly gesitculated. “this is under question, I better withdraw my motion,” he haughtily trumpeted…

So we had to vote…

The tension in the air was very heavy during the voting. The roll call took place. There were 14 “No” votes…

Afterwards, the dominant group made a motion to have our vote considered, for all purposes, as the same vote for the second and third readings.

It seems no quarter are to be given. Like a no-prisoners taken stance in war. In other words, the majority would take what it can -everything- now; why wait?

It was indecent, of course. But decency could not wait any longer. Immediate voting was done -and it passed almost unanimously.

In one stroke, so to speak, we actually voted on second and third readings on the provision in question -and that means then that the provision is finished -passed!

What is done is done. We have failed our people… We were elected to be members of the Convention, not to be assemblymen. The grant of extraordinary powers and the ratification of all actions of the President does not seem to bother the delegates too much. The fact that ours is now a rubber stamp Convention and that the Assembly would be a rubber stamp Aseembly does not really matter. What is ultimately important to them, it would seem, is that we are going to be members of the Assembly -so the next area of concern is what salaries we are going to have.

My attitude towards Constitutional change on the President’s terms has not, essentially, changed since July 8, 2005, when I blogged Big, bold, and lies. These columns of mine also help explain my position: Rule of the lawless, and Unintended unity. For those unconcerned about canceling elections, there’s Elections are like water.

My column for today is Why revolts fail. The topic is appropriate as today is the fifth anniversary of the May Day Rebellion. The historical specter of that rebellion shouldn’t be overlooked, Conrado de Quiros says; and Amando Doronila adds that the working class has become a tool for middle class radicals and the government, both eager to use them as justifications for more extreme measures.

Fr. Joaquin Bernas S.J. seems pleased with the recent decisions of the Supreme Court.

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39 comments

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  1. vic

    LEADERS- revolts can only be succesful if lead by good leaders. And we are wanting for them, be in our government, publice service, justice systems, and just about any organization. Even in Bussiness, just visit pcij and there was a topic about 7 pre-need educational insurance failed to meet their commitment and the govt. leaders are impotent to do something about it. MLQ, great leaders or even good ones are all you need to succeed in any endeavor. thank you..

  2. cvj

    I found it difficult to follow Doronila’s column (‘Workers warned on agenda of middle class’) as it is composed of a chain of negatives. From what i understand, part of Doronila’s message is that the Leftist groups, who were largely left ‘out in the cold’ in 1986 because of their boycott at that time, should today boycott the middle class militants whose agenda of opposing the People’s initiative is not in the working-class’ interest. It this is indeed what he meant, then his analysis is defective both in terms of logic and substance, if the ideal we’re after is change through evolution, not violent revolution.

  3. manuelbuencamino

    CVJ,

    you are not the only one who cannot follow Doronilla’s logic. He has difficulty following it too. The man has outlived his brain cells.

  4. Carl

    Fortunately, the “labor day showdown” was a non-event, thanks to the prevalence of cooler heads among the rallyists and the vigilance of the PNP. The public in general just wants to move on with their lives and find ways to cope with day-to-day challenges. Hopefully, this is an indication of more peaceful assemblies and manifestations.

  5. rego

    re #2 and # 3…..

    lol, it is very understandable why the two of cannot understand Doronilla’s column today….and manuel buencamino, no the man has not outlived his brain cells maybe you should check yours. your style of criticizing ( name calling and insults) the people who doesnt agree with you, to me are strong signs that something is wrong with you..

  6. jmakabayan

    When did revolt succeeded? Why? What’s missing now?

  7. manuelbuencamino

    Rego,

    I watched his confirmation hearings. The Commission on Appointments decided to by-pass him.

    If you were there to witness the hearing, you would feel exactly like I did. I felt sorry for him. He looked lost and confused, unable to respond to the simplest questions.

    Ask anyone who attended those hearings. If you know members of the commission ask them.

    Everyone felt uncomfortable and sorry for a once good mind. In the end, because commission members were placed in such a difficult position, they vented their anger on Seretary of Foreign Affairs Romulo for not betting and properly briefing an ambassador designate for such an important European assigbnebt.

    I was not name-calling. I was stating a fact. I witnessed him self-destruct.

    Please, next time, before you go off lawyering for anybody, check your client first.

  8. rego

    how the hell you know about status of doronilla’s brain buencamino,? are you a neuro surgeon and you did thorough physical exam on the man that you claim you are stating a fact? is senate confirmation, a physical examination of ones brain cells? have you reread your very own blog entries in your space specially your analyses of generalizations on middle class? please next time when you talk ill of somebody way of writing or opinion, manalamin ka muna, huh?

  9. rego

    at paalala lang mr beuncamino, lahat tayo a tatanda rin na katulad ni mr doronilla!!! just in case hindi ka na turuan gumalang sa mga nakakatanda.

  10. manuelbuencamino

    Manolo,

    Suppose we looked at it as the War of Independence against Spain instead of a revolution, would it change anything?

    To me, it looks like there was a misunderstanding between the illustrados and Mabini about why they fought against Spain. There was unanimous agreement that Spain had to go but they never really threshed out among themselves why.

    I say this because i think the splits came when the “revolutionaries” started discussing forms of government and power-sharing. Before the convention, I believe their bolos and guns were aimed at the Spaniards and not at each other.

    I don’t know. Do I have my facts wrong?

  11. Carl

    Today’s non-event only shows that it is not only the middle class that wants to move on. The masses want to move on as well. This bears out the latest SWS survey that says that most Filipinos want to get on with their lives:

    “Fifty-eight percent of the respondents said they agreed that the opposition “should start helping the country and stop too much politics,” according to the survey by the Manila-based Social Weather Stations, an independent polling institute.

    Fifteen percent of the 1,200 people questioned said they disagreed, 24 percent were undecided, and 3 percent were unaware of the issues or refused to answer.

    Fifty-one percent said it was time to forego bitterness over 2004 elections and let Mrs. Arroyo “focus on the real problems of the nation.”

    This was published a few days ago and recent events only re-enforce SWS findings. For more details check out:
    http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=news03_april29_2006

  12. chris

    I would agree with Vic. Revolutions will only succeed when there are good visionary leaders(and that does not mean nice people), and more importantly people to follow them.

    Look at EDSA 1 (and later EDSA 2) – was that successful? Critical support of the Filipino people – yes, visionary leadership – no, result atrophy and decay, and the subsequent squandering of 20 years of potential growth and prosperity. Compare that with the revolutionary changes in Korea during the same period – the mid 1980’s.

  13. manuelbuencamino

    Rego,

    A commission on appointments hearing is the way our government vets ambassador designates. It is not a medical procedure.

    Pero, siguro naman hindi na natin kailangan buksan ang ulo ng isang tao para makita kung ulianin na siya.

    Anyway, I stated what I observed. Ask those who were in the hearing what their impression was.

    I meant no disrespect to Doronilla. Marunong ako gumalang sa matanda. Oo nga pala, ako malamang mas matanda kaysa sa iyo.

    But now I know that your real issue with me was my column on the self-emasculating middle class.

    What offended you ? That the middle class does not have the numbers nor the money to do anything and that it chooses not to use the only things it has which is balls and brains?

    Like I said, revolutionaries are the exceptions in the middle class.

    Those exceptions do lead revolutions but sadly, the last to take action are always the members of their own class. Naunahan pa kayo ni Mrs. Zobel magmarcha against Marcos and Erap.

    But I do admire the middle class. During the two Edsas they kept the country from shutting down. Bureaucrats showed up for work and banks remained open.

    Leave the fighting to the masa, the illustrados among you, and the rich.

    Stay at your desks, don’t worry we will rearrange the furniture around you.

  14. a de brux

    MBuencamino,

    I’m glad that Doronila was not confirmed by the CA to the post of ambassador to Brussels. He would have been as useless as a headless chicken. There are career diplomats who deserve the post, seasoned diplomats who can do a far better job too; an ambassador should be able to think and see beyond the tip of his nose.

  15. jaime

    for both rego n manuel, i think you hav gone far from the topic. the only thing in ur minds is to make the other accept u r ryt n he was rong.
    forgive me for venturing quite away from the topic but it seems this blog reflects how our politicians are acting. u see? no one in this country can ever accept they r rong, mor importantly, they can never accept they lost to the other syd. thats y this country is going nowhere. after elections, u would ALWAYS hear the losing syd to cry foul. yes, our system is not perfect but my god, enuf is enuf. can’t they just work together? i know they hav diferent ideals but the outcome they are luking for is the same, a better philipins. they should understand that through all of this rambling, they are abandoning their own visions. so for both of u sirs, pls. understand that both of u hav ur own opinions n pls do respect each other. stop attacking each other, that is going nowhere.

    n regarding to chris’ statement. i do agree that even after 2 revolutions, our country is still going towards a dumpsyt. but then, let us think of it this way, if those2 did not occur, where would we be now? i bet insted of going to the dumpsyt we’d be off towards the cliff, or most lykly we have fallen alredy.

    finally. regarding revolutions. the problem with the present opposition is that they hav no single person that would replace GMA if ever they would succeed. that is why they dont get total support from the people. the “majority”, is not blind. yes, they know GMA made mistakes, yes they know she isnt perfect, the problem is, no one better is standing up to replace her. no one. i beliv if the opposition would get a smart person to lead them, which must hav gud records of course, they would definitly succeed. without a doubt. until then, they might as well shut up so we can liv our lives.

  16. tim

    i agree with vic, leaders r important. specialy n revolutions for them to succeed

  17. jmakabayan

    EDSA III revisited

    MLQ3,

    “The reasons for the defeat of the mobs at Edsa are obvious: not only the superior firepower of the AFP which backed up the truncheons of the police, the firmness of the President in the face of adversity, but the cowardice of those behind the rebellion and thus, the lack of any cohesive leadership on the field.”

    The ‘masa’ went to EDSA (III) for Erap, their beloved leader. They were not there because of those opportunists who were having their ‘onstage at EDSA moments’. Erap was/is the masa’s ‘spiritual leader’.

    Does Erap love the masa as much as the masa love Erap? For the masa to get to EDSA they had to sacrifice a lot; for them to stay there, they had to suffer, more and more each day; for many of them who went to Mendiola they were willing, as many did, to shed blood.

    Has Erap proven his love for the masa at the times when it demands something of himself rather than from himself?

    The things he did that any self-respecting public official (as a President, no less) shouldn’t have done, like excessive drinking, gambling and womanizing and the things he did not do that a President, who is voted into office by the biggest majority in history ( ‘salamat sa boto ng masa’), like staying put in the seat of power and standing firmly on the rule of law in the face of the onrushing ‘elitist-evil society’ EDSA II mob, do not return the masa’s adoration for their idol fairly.

    EDSA III was a test. It was not only a contest between poor power and people power. It was a test of leadership.

    On the third day the crowd had reached its peak. By the fourth day, May 30, the suffering of the malnourished, the elderly, the dirt-poor people from the slums and the nearby farms, had reach a point that should catch the sensibility of any organizer in his right mind or touch the sensitivity of any witness to such hardships.

    Again Erap failed to do what a leader who really has a heart for his people should have done, at that crucial moment when the wellbeing of the people hangs on the balance, he should have spoken, tried his all to tell his people to go home, they have proven their commitment, the time will come, but not this time, they shall return.

    Had Erap done it then the ‘masa’ might have lost the battle but could have had a better chance of winning the war.

    But the real war a leader fights for his people is the fight with himself. In that, EDSA III was a tragedy, so was EDSA II – tragic failures.

  18. cvj

    Rego, what i don’t understand is Doronila’s assertion that the left and the working class do not have an interest in opposing the People’s initiative. In terms of political voice, it is precisely the Left and the masa who have that the most to lose if Gloria’s proposed Constitution becomes reality.

    MB, much as i don’t like its implications, i have to agree with your observation. If the middle class persists with its ‘Stadler and Waldorf’ act, then the furniture would indeed be rearranged around us, most probably not to our liking.

    Jmakabayan, excellent insight on how it could have been for Erap and his followers. At that time, i remember the weather being hotter compared to the cooler days of January when EDSA2 happened, so even in that aspect, the EDSA3 crowd sacrificed more. Unfortunately, our current crop of leaders are unable to go beyond themselves.

  19. chris

    My point about EDSA 1 & 2 was – were they really revolutions? Probably not. With a revolution the expectation is that things will change for the better. What actually changed for the better following EDSA 1?

    EDSA 2 is possibly worse (if we call it a revolution as opposed to a coup d’etat)- we get rid of a president allegedly for corruption and replacehim with what… what achievements can we point to in the last five years of this administration.

  20. pinoy_gising

    re: #15, which said: “the “majority”, is not blind. yes, they know GMA made mistakes, yes they know she isnt perfect, the problem is, no one better is standing up to replace her. no one.”

    I believe there are plenty of good leaders who can more than able replace GMA. There are so many capable, intelligent people with good track records and who have far more integrity and credibility than a cheating, lying, thieving, repressive trapo.

    The problem is that the various opposition groups can’t seem to decide on a single person to “annoint” and rally behind, or even narrow it down to two or three “candidates.” The general perception that some opposition groups seem to be more concerned with own vested interests plays a part in this seeming inability to reach a consensus.

    I’m beginning to lose hope. It seems that GMA is here to stay until at least 2010. Goodbye to public accountability and transparency for now. Goodbye to decency and honesty in governance for now. It’s 1972 all over again.

    God help us all.

  21. Carl

    Doronila does seem to ramble quite a bit but, basically, what he intends to say is summed up in his last sentence, which is also rather roundabout:

    “The Left should make today a historic turning point of their rupture with the middle classes that have used the working class as cutting edge in the conflict between the “in” and “out” factions of the elite.”

    In the end, Doronila says that the masses are only used as cannon fodder by ambitious and greedy elements of the middle class and the elite, who mouth slogans regarding the upliftment of the masses, but are really only concerned about grabbing wealth and power through a pathetic game of musical chairs.

    This theme is similar to what vic, chris, tim and jaime have posted here. There is a vacuum of leadership because no one has been able to articulate a cause that resounds with the people. No one seems to be above self-serving objectives. Nobody has captured the people’s imagination.

    Erap mouthed empty, self-serving slogans for the masses, piggy-backing on them to become the most powerful man in the country. But his sloganeering proved hollow when he showed he could not rise above his greed, his sloth, his vices and his narcissistic self-centeredness when he was in a position to do much for his “beloved” masses. Actions could have spoken more than words, but all the masses got was an empty drum.

    The situation becomes particularly pathetic when surveys indicate that, today, Erap is still the man to beat. It only bolsters the argument about the dearth of leaders. However, I believe someone will rise above the present crop of unexceptional leaders. It may only take some time. In the meantime, we get on with our lives.

  22. Abe N. Margallo

    Do you agree with Salud Algabre, the Sakdal general? She is known to have said, “No rebellion fails. Each is a step in the right direction.”

  23. cvj

    Carl, if Doronila phrased his message in the way you did, i would have taken it as fair advice. However, the way he singled out the People’s Initiative with the underlying premise that it was not relevant to the Left and working class is what i find problematic. If they won’t fight against Gloria’s Charter Change with the middle forces, they should at least fight it for their own sakes. Furthermore, it was precisely the strategy of not engaging the middle that caused the Left to be politically marginalized twenty years ago, so Doronila seems to be asking them to repeat the same mistake. Why in the world would they want to do that? This latter point, however, is i think moot and academic. This time around, it’s the middle class that has so far embraced strategic nonparticipation [foolishly, imho].

  24. jmakabayan

    re # 18

    Thanks CVJ, (errata: April 30 instead of May 30)

    “the EDSA3 crowd sacrificed more”.

    I checked on both EDSA and Mendiola during EDSA II.

    At EDSA III, I saw a contingent of the rural poor whom I had recognized at Mendiola during EDSA II.
    The elderlies, their distended veins bulging on their weather beaten skin tightly covering thin bones, their quiet ways, their distant stare under a kumot canopy at Mendiola and under the flyover at EDSA, under the noon sun on a hot concrete pavement, a couple a lolo and a lola, huddled together, hardly muttering any plaint, not shouting any slogan, nor holding any placard, offering nothing for the poor man’s cause, except their presence, fighting for the poor man’s hope, pangulong Erap, with nothing but their weak emaciated bodies, the poor farm folks were there at EDSA for more than four days and four nights, far from the security of their nipa huts, exposed to the elements, defenseless.. why were they at EDSA?

    for generations they have suffered, in Erap they believed, they hoped …

    … they went home after EDSA III … back to those small huts in the middle the ricefieds, to carry on, ‘living lives of quiet desperation’ ….

  25. Phil Cruz

    One of the most inane remarks coming from supposedly intelligent people is this: “Everybody knows she cheated in the last elections anyway. So let’s just MOVE ON.”

    Move on? Move on? To what? More cheating, lying and stealing? Then move on to more cover-ups? More suppression?

    Move on? No justice? No retribution? Just give up? Admit that she and her cohorts are too smart and too powerful for us? This administration has raped and plundered your country and you just want to forget it and move on?

    Move on? People who say this should not even live in this country.

  26. joselu

    Yes Carl, I agree w/ you. The middle class really juyst want to move on.
    W/ the kind of opposition we have we really can’t go anywhere.
    I find it hard to beleave that to act as an oppositionist is equated w/ drugging the country down & having nothing better to present.
    In reality the last thing this country needs is an opposition because we the problems we have there is no escaping that we really have to work together.
    I’m a great beleiver that a wise person can move on because he has everything to gain. Because things that are not clear today will eventually be better understood better in a calmer enviorment, something that certian groups do not like to happen because they will lose their relevancy.

  27. joselu

    No revolution can ever succeed w/ expectation alone.During EDSA 1 people placed their expectations on a widow.In a way she was the only person who could challange Marcos then.
    Perhaps the problem was that people only thought of kicking Marcos out but there where no real plans of what to do after.
    That not being prepared to do any substantial reforms had to trust in others & try to make everybody happy. She was just a symbol but no substance.
    She was more concerned about her reputation & her popularity.
    Her theory of “leadrship by exsample” made no difference.
    So as not to be accused of doing anything wrong then her goverment did not do anything to the point of causing long hours of power outteges eventually dameging the economy.
    Just like now, getting PGMA out but no real clear ideas what to do after w/o creating more problems then we already have.
    What seemed important then was just putting back the symbols of democracy.
    In a way it was bringing back the pre-Marcos status quo.In way we just back-tracked as a Nation only to go on to the same direction that lead to no where.
    A constitution was crafted because of the martial law trauma & not looking further down the road on what to do about economic provision.
    If that was a revolution then it was half baked.
    The leadership needed in a revolution is only part of the picture.
    The element of the Peoples cooperation is equally important.
    Things have to work in pairs.
    In a Filippine scenario it’s a bit of a problem.Perhaps because society is made up of so many interest groups each one fighting their own battles.Each one putting their interest to that of a Nation as a whole.

  28. domingo

    Revolts fail because a “new” set of “incumbents” merely take over the “old” set of “incumbents,” with the “new” indistinguishable from the “old.”

    So, there ought to be a “revolutionary” provision in the Constitution to the effect that all those who have ever been an elective “incumbent” (including the immediate family, as in “dynasty”) should be ineligible for re-election or for any other elective position after the incumbent’s term ends.

    This would constitute a sort-of built-in constitutional provision that kicks out the “incumbent” without any need to stage an EDSA REVOLT during controversies at the end of each term.

    Besides, why should a few families be allowed to continue to forever dominate the rest of the 40 million other Filipino voters who are also equally “qualified” to serve as, or to be given the opportunity to be, the “new incumbent”?

  29. chris2

    there’s too much politically correct statements round here. however you wail about the abundance of leaders among the throng of 70m filipinos, that is not how the game is played.

    your idea of a leader is scarcely the leader that the masa have in mind. who is popular in this country, may I ask? FPJ, Erap, Judy Ann Santos, Manny Pacquiao, Bong Revilla, Jaworski…

    I don’t wanna beat around the bush and pay lip service to your sensibilities, but each day, I am starting to discern why John Mill came to the conclusion that the uneducated must not be allowed to vote. Bash me for an elitist, for all i care, but I believe education is the root why we are in this quagmire.

    This country is continually suffering from the tyranny of the majority. Since you cant make them accountable, why not invest time and money to enlighten them instead.

    it is the masa who decides for us, and the way things are you will go on debating this kinda stuff till kingdom come and you won’t ever get the right answer.

  30. cvj

    Chris2, i suppose your own education did not include enough lessons in history. The historical reason for the vote being given to the adult male population is to prevent them for resorting to violence just to be heard. Unless you own a private army, it is usually in the citizen’s best interest to ensure that their fellow citizen’s resentments don’t come to a boil.

  31. chris2

    your point being the election is there to appease the anger of.. uh. a restrained male populace?

  32. cvj

    As a practical matter, yes. As a historical background here’s an excerpt from Albert Hirschman’s ‘Shifting Involvements':

    “…the first nationwide election under universal direct suffrage (for males) was held in France, in April 1948…Every Frenchman of age was given the right to vote when the most liberal European countries of the time made the franchise depend on rank and wealth …”

    Hirschman goes on to explain that universal suffrage was granted as “a means of offsetting the perpetual Parisian avant-garde and direct action leanings by the much more traditional and law abiding mood of the provinces. This interpretation of the universal vote decision as restraining and conservative in fact though not, of course, in intent is suggested by the conservative outcome of the April 1848 elections to the Constituent National Assembly – and, more important, by the moral force and claim to legitimacy which this freshly elected body was able to throw against the insurgents of June 1848.”

    Suffrage for women came later in the 20th century and is a story on its own.

  33. morning musume

    Glue-ria will eventually pay for her faults, lies and power abuses…that day is not too far. She’ll also realize that she has pushed herself too far. The ‘truth’ will set us free!

  34. carlosceldran

    “Stay at your desks, don’t worry we will rearrange the furniture around you.”

    Is this comment for real?

    Oye. How Presumido you are that I would let you touch my furniture.

  35. cvj

    “How Presumido you are that I would let you touch my furniture.” – spoken like a true member of the elite.

  36. Allen P. Dolina

    Mr. Quezon, this is my comment on your Inquirer column on Charter change.

    I am a Federalist and rather dismayed at the current direction of the political debate. The main reason why the provinces are poor is the shortage of capital. Capital (currency and human resources) all flow to Manila where political power resides.

    The national government issues currency to enable the exchange of goods and services to take place. At the same time, through the budget, the government directs where this will go. The President is empowered to decide where the budget will be mainly spent and this is the source of her power – influence with the capital-starved local government units.

    I am advocating a federal-type of government because it would enable the equitable distribution of currency among the member states. Note that the USA has eight reserve banks to provide the currency requirements of the various regional states.

    We could have a similar system here but the way Congress works it would take forever to have a similar law passed. Besides the political structure really has to be changed so that the regions will be able to create their own economy that will supply the goods and services that the people require.

  37. C.R Dacquel

    Wargaming a coup against Marcos after Ninoy’s assasination I realized taking over the Philippine government would only take a brigade sized force led by a competent military leader that understands command and control and terrain denial, but the main problem is…a competent man to lead the country after the shooting stops.The Marcos years emasculated and degraded the abilty of the potential leader to take the initiative.At present I see no one in the forefront of Philippine politics fit the prerequisites of a good leader.When you do, I will tell you what a good well trained brigade can do overnight in Manila.

  38. Sudoku

    Buon luogo piacevole senza qualsiasi cosa dispari, ben progettata!

  39. dolphinamika

    pls.post the philippine revolutions…
    we need it badly!!!
    tnx….
    hope you will consider this comment…

  1. Barako Café » Blog Archive » “Why revolts fail” by MLQ

    […] MLQ does some great filtering on the GMA / Marcos similarities […]

  2. stepping on poop. » Luli’s Internet Brigade: Update from the Chief.

    […] The reactions to the people’s overwhelming non-reaction have come in two flavors – “Gloria’s people are working against us to keep us down”, or “Fuck the middle class, they can’t take a hint.” Neither of which are even close to the truth. But, brigadiers, we want them to keep believing this. We want them to keep believing that the Luli Arroyo Internet Brigade has been largely responsible for the utter silence that greets them every time they enter a Starbucks in a black shirt. We want them to believe they can “rearrange the furniture” around an apathetic middle class. The greater the gulf between the opposition and reality, the more successful we shall become! […]

  3. Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose » Blog Archive » Before the bar of history

    […] in exile. A background on the controversies that hounded that convention can be found in my entry, Why revolts fail, from May 1, 2006, including an extract from Delegate Augusto Caesar Espiritu on the pressure on […]

  4. Some Readings as the Constitution turns 25 | Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose

    […] Marcos constitution. What followed is chronicled in my blog entry, Before the bar of history and Why revolts fail. As it turned out, the 1973 Constitution was amended numerous times and operated in a system where […]

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