Tonight on The Explainer on ANC: How ambassadors are made. We’ll be discussing the appointment of Hilario Davide to the UN.
Let’s not forget that in politics, a “party split” or a “division on principle” can be very useful indeed. When the Manila Times trumpets that the President has decided to endorse the “unity ticket” concept, and that her allies are “irate” and “demand a caucus,” what does it mean?
Step back and refer to the blog of RG Cruz, in which he details the erosion of Lakas-CMD as the raiding by Kampi gathers momentum:
with FVR almost consigned to the sidelines, and an awesome presidential campaign kitty, there is a perception, that people are now going to Kampi and not Lakas, because it is the favored party., i.e. its candidates will get plum sums.
In the last few weeks, many local politicians have been flocking to the party. cavite kicked it off. 100 more from eastern samar last thursday. of course JDV countered that many more have also been going to lakas, including the son of Kampi President Luis Villafuerte, Governor L-Ray Villafuerte.
Gabby Claudio of course quickly texted to say its all in the family, but really the developments do not sound like its all in the family.
So the question is, when someone warns of the perils of disunity, one has to ask why, for what reason? Is it fear that the bit player, Kampi, in the administration coalition, may be the dominant one soon? Reducing the former biggest player into tomorrow’s bit player?
I’d think it’s also about keeping the President’s options open. Her exit strategy (though personally I remain convinced it’s a non-exit strategy and the rhetoric of “first world status in 20 years!” is a trial balloon to see if the idea of extending her stay will fly) can be fostered by a couple of things:
1. Raiding the opposition, regardless of how Lakas feels, because in a pinch you want Eduardo Cojuangco dictating the votes of his NPC partymates in the senate and the house. The opposition will always vote against you.
2. but a national vote can be massaged; as long as you block any chance for people to get unhealthy ideas on “winnability”, then you can claim a political upturn in your votes.
3. There are “soft” and more “reliable” opposition members, and the politicals pros known it, as in a sense, the public knows it. There are the has beens, and the will have mores. The Palace, since it must confront the ultimate horror of a has been -relinquishing power- is comfortable with other has beens and couldn’t embrace the will have mores even if it wanted to.
In other news, the national budget is passed. The Solicitor-General will fill lthe remaining vacancy in the Supreme Court. Soldiers unhappy with their future defense chief. The lynching of Cayetano may not take place (see what Billy Esposo has to say about the whole thing). Palparan might be in a wee bit of hot water.
Overseas, something I wish we’d see more of from our leaders: Nicolas Sarkozy, candidate for the presidency of the French, campaigns among French expats.
In the punditocracy, Alex Magno points out the bare essentials of the administration’s senate slate: the upper house, he says, “must be tamed or torpedoed.” We should be thankful he so bluntly states the game plan of the Palace:
Only the administration has the political machine and the electoral finances to get a senatorial slate to win. The way the senators are chosen (at large) in the present constitutional arrangement has made campaigning for a seat in this often irrelevant chamber too expensive for real statesmen to aspire for.
Ironically, the administration’s only interest in the senatorial elections is to prevent a rout (and all the unwarranted adverse perceptions that might cause). It does not require much more from this raucous but inconsequential chamber.
This administration has already delivered the point: either the Senate is tamed or it will be torpedoed.
Then, the Nation of Bangkok says the drafting of the new Thai constitution is going well.
In the blogosphere, David Kaiser reiterates why he thinks the United States is headed to a political and constitutional crisis. Basically, the neoconservatives have refused to accept the results of the midterm elections:
Because virtually no one else (except John McCain) now shares these views, we face a political and constitutional as well as a military and diplomatic crisis. The President and Vice President have set their judgment and that of a few ideologues against their own bureaucracy, a bipartisan majority of the Congress, and the American people, who registered their views in the election and continue to do so in polls. Because we have a conservative volunteer Army, the President – as he well knows and has actually remarked to friends – can get away with this without a national revolt. That cannot, however, make the policy a success.
Sounds familiar? The “they may not like it, but what will the public really do about it?” brinksmanship? But the weekend protest in Washington D.C. (see photos at A Hollywood Liberal) might be a sign of what Kaiser thinks is coming.
Mga Diskurso ni Doy thinks the “kiss of death” element of the administration isn’t being brought out enough. He thinks that Senate control is a major priority for the administration.
Big Mango bewails political dynasties. Much as I sympathize, the question remains: what makes us so unique? And the practice so uniquely reprehensible here? Every one of our neighbors is the same with the difference that they may have a little more to show for it, and a little more self-control; but for every country with fairly restrained dynasties you have other countries which make our dynasties look like saints in comparison. Dynasty-building -and people voting for dynasties- isn’t even an Asian thing; it’s a universal thing. The real question is, which countries practice freedom enough to keep dynasties competitive and answerable to the electorate. By that standard we do pretty well.
Iloilo City Boy says he thinks Iloilo governor Tupaz should have relinquished the provincial capitol. I’m not so sure. In ordinary circumstances, he should have; but the Department of the Interior was poised to evict him even before the deadline for court intervention had passed; and besides which, the Palace had already established it’s clearly out to purge local governments of the politically-unfriendly.
And Another Hundred Years Hence debates Paolo Alcazaren on what should be the priorities and impact of Filipino architects. Captain Aqua gets irked by the entourage of a VIP. Public Static on translation and the problems that arise from it.