Squeezed out

The basic lesson of the emerging senate campaign is, the middle (read: the middle class) does not count, politically. Neither the administration (ritual displays of independent thinking to the contrary notwithstanding) nor the opposition has shown any signs of accommodating the Center in its slates, how they were put together, or how they will campaign.

There’s lip service, of course: the dynasty issue is being fanned by Palace propagandists, but shrugged off by the opposition leadership, which knows the issue won’t catch fire with the non middle class voters; the Center is shrill about actors but its bluff has been called by the Palace, which knows for every middle class vote it loses, it gains many more by running the likes of Richard Gomez. Read Jove Francisco to see what I mean. Besides which, the President has perfected retail wheeling and dealing.

The Center has served its purposes for the Palace, it now reaps what it sowed in sticking by her side. It simply has to keep cultivating the Stockholm syndrome that’s served it so well, to keep the Center a prisoner of its own biases. It’s slap and tickle, but in the end all for show. If hearing the new Defense Secretary frankly state a reversal of course for the armed forces doesn’t trouble you, I don’t know what will. Even his appointment, as the Inquirer editorial points out, is troubling.

Two years ago I said, the Center must hold. It didn’t – instead, it’s shriveled up, politically, while the New People’s Army (see the Time cover story, The Philippines’ Unending Guerrilla War), for example, has grown and by some accounts, reached its pre-1986 strength once more; it’s once more on the offensive, militarily, and even morally, as a persecuted minority. So the middle is not a not a player in the coming elections, and on the periphery, the radical option regains ground. Political extinction in three years is quite a feat -as is military resurrection.

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    • cvj on February 2, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Does that mean that the great undecided is not so great after all? (or am i mixing things up?) So far, our recent history has shown that in politics, the middle forces is only good for people power or open letters. On the upside, it can count on its importance increasing after the elections when it either (1)finally decides to protest election cheating or, more likely, (2) choose to sit on the fence and tacitly support Gloria again.

    • mlq3 on February 2, 2007 at 1:28 pm
      Author

    cjv, it seems to me that the odds are in favor of assuming: the great undecided is stuck. damned if they do, damned if they don’t, which means they will stay where they are: grudgingly going along with the president and rationalizing why.

  1. while the New People’s Army (see the Time cover story, The Philippines’ Unending Guerrilla War), for example, has grown and by some accounts, reached its pre-1986 strength once more; it’s once more on the offensive, militarily, and even morally, as a persecuted minority.

    alam nyo, yung isa-isang pinapatay ang mga aktibistang kaliwa (“know your enemy”) while almost all cases remain unsolved… i think it will have a psychological effect on potential bayan muna recruits, and the brutal killings will discourage parents from allowing their sons and daughters to join groups like bayan muna or akbayan or gabriela… because baka patayin rin sila ng mga military hitmen (and their case will likely remain unsolved).

    • Musings on February 2, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    On the elections, there were reports that the administration is drafting Gov. Grace Padaca for its Senate slate. I think she should seriously consider this. She will probably be one of the few redeeming candidates this elections, if ever.

    On the NPA issue, with all due respect, they may be on the offensive morally, but I think it will be difficult for them to gain the high ground on this front. What about their collection of revolutionary taxes and their other bullying styles in the areas they have infiltrated.
    I believe there is a foundational flaw in their struggle.

    • rego on February 2, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    surely, the great undecided will go with administration of GMA rather the opposition.so maninigas na ang mga litid ni CVJ sa ngitngit!

  2. but manuel, aren’t kiko, recto, villar, legarda, etc. part of the civil society?

    Isa pa, I believe Joker will not run. i believe he’s bluffing.

    http://www.politicaljunkie.blogspot.com/2007/02/will-joker-really-run-or-just-bluffing.html

    Ang mapapasama sa coalition slate ay sina kiko, recto, villar at sonia roco.

    • cvj on February 2, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    On the elections, there were reports that the administration is drafting Gov. Grace Padaca for its Senate slate. – Musings

    For her sake, i hope she does not join the admin slate. No point ruining her well-earned reputation by associating with Gloria and her machinery.

    • by-stander on February 2, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    “while the New People’s Army (see the Time cover story, The Philippines’ Unending Guerrilla War), for example, has grown and by some accounts, reached its pre-1986 strength once more;”

    boy! why am I not suprised. with new recruits everyday from UP Diliman, lots of funds from the CDF of partylist and campaign tax, and free propaganda from media, the CPP-NPA never have it soooo good. they only have to wait for reports of cheating in the May polls and hope they will not commit the same mistake in 1986.

    • camry on February 2, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    The NPA will continue to grow and stronger. Why? What is the use of the AFP and the PNP if the NPA and other rebel groups are gone? You do not want to see unemployment, right?

    Plus the US will stop sending its help to the fight of terrorism, sayang naman ang pondo.

    • realist on February 3, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Just because the country has a cheat and a liar in the palace it does not mean that pinoy politics is going to change any. It’s the “tayo-tayo system” as usual. No amount of analysis as to reason from the mundane to the heavenly is going to change that. Pinoy politicians suck!

    • bogchimash on February 3, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Look at my biofuels law coňo. It is so galing. It can make the farmers yaman. The gas for my SUV will also be mura now. Good grief! And also, the pollution! Cabron that carbon! Imagine, the air will be cleaner ha. Maybe the farmers will make me boto. Why wouldn’t they make me pili eh I’m a Spice Boy? I’m so gwapo and the personal sacrifices I made for this country is so dami. Look ha. My Dad is Tito Danding’s lackey and yet I worked to remove Erap. Oh shit! Do you think they will remember what I did to their idol? I hope the banned pesticides that Thomas Toh have been smuggling in have cooked their brains. Puňeta talaga that Erap guy eh. Kasi naman he is sooooo baduuuuy. Just why did he have to make lagay a communist as the Agri Reform Sec? That guy will make putol my lupa in Bukidnon. I will bury him in that lupa if he tried. That Erap and that masa of his is just so yucky! Oh well…I will leave na muna. I have to make alis already. Iňaki and Tonichi are waiting. We have a 3:00 p.m. appointment at the foot spa.

    • UPn student on February 3, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    The NPA will not grow any bigger. Many UP (or UST, FEU, LaSalle, etc) graduates, disillusioned with the Philippines, would rather go as OFWs to Australia, Middle East, Europe or Japan. NPA recruits include that streetkid featured in the Time story. Unable to get a job and with streetlife miserable, then NPA-membership is A-OK for him. The other source of recruitment, of course, are the farm workers and others displaced by lack of work and/or thuggery by landlords.

  3. Right you are, UPn.

    Did you see these little children bearing posters that they do not understand?

    • hvrds on February 4, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Governance, equity and faith.

    Feudal institutions are mainly familial or clan ties. Your fiath and trust will not go past immediate family members. That is what feudalism is founded on. A feudal culture in a democracy is an oxymoron. It fits perfectly well in a plutocracy.

    In poor countries you do not have existing state institutions that you can have faith in. They do not exist. That is the product of history or evolution. You cannot legislate historical change. Some of those running are decent people but they exist in the societal format that history has created for them. Family relations and clan ties rule economic, political and cultural realities.

    Economics, politics and culture are parts of a societal format. Hence you have few remnants of the Spanish illustrado, and now the receeding likes of the American illustrado being replaced by the influence of the chopsticks eating group of Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

    The base of the Filipino Indio is Malay, indigenous tribes and the top ruled by other emigrees to the islands. We are after all a creation of two empires and we now see the changes as we get closer to the Asian rise in world affairs.

    Washington Sycip the Chinese-American is a perfect example of our evolving state. He is brand Austero’s guru. Most of S.E. Asia are economically dominated by Chinese. Hence he is the de-facto Ambassador of greater China. The other business group is the Maurice Greenberg AIG group that made its fortune in pre-war China. These guys are the Opus Dei group. They are to the right of Christian Democrats.

    The other example is our host’s grandfather. He represented the old guard that is slowly receeding in the Philippine context.

    The new model – Governor Chavit Singson. Provincial political warlord soon to be possibly President or Prime Minister of this country if we are not carefull. Love him or hate him but he acts on his belief system. Backed up by the Puno brothers he would make a formidable leader.

    Please remember that a power vacuum in a weak state always brings the most ammbitious and pragmatic (dangerous) come forth.

    The Americans will never allow the rise of the ideological left in this country. Ayatollah Archie Intengan has already indirectly issued a ‘fatwah’ on all communists. The rise in killings says it all.

    And for you all overseas Pinoys, Just keep those checks coming in. GMA and Mike have a lot of mouths to feed

    • Aames on February 4, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    mlq3 said “it seems to me that the odds are in favor of assuming: the great undecided is stuck. damned if they do, damned if they don’t, which means they will stay where they are: grudgingly going along with the president and rationalizing why.”

    What do you prescribe that the Center do now?

    • mlq3 on February 4, 2007 at 2:21 pm
      Author

    aames: start thinking who they will support in 2010.

    • bogchimash on February 4, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    for military history buffs and those who are interested in the roots of the npa, cpp’s armed wing:

    http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/coldwar/huk/huk-fm.htm

  4. Why do we call the ‘undecided’ great? If by this time, you’re still undecided, then you have a big problem.

    • cvj on February 4, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Jowana, i may be wrong but the way i understand it, from mlq3’s original post sometime back, the use of the qualifier great is meant to convey the undecided’s pivotal role in determining the fate of Arroyo one way or the other. You can reference the comment by Rego, himself a proud member of the great undecided, above at February 2, 2007, to see what i mean.

    • justice league on February 4, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Hello Bogchimash,

    Just in case you have not revisited previous threads; this regards your statement that a Makati district lost some pieces of land to Taguig by way of an SC decision prior to or during Ex-Pres. Estrada’s time wherein a certain Senator had a falling out with the ex-president.

    On November 14, 2006, PGMA issued Executive Order No. 256 “DECLARATION ON THE EFFECT OF SPECIAL PATENT NO. 3596 AND ESTABLISHING A MAKATI-TAGUIG BOUNDARY COMMITTEE”.

    Wherein it states:
    SECTION 1. Pursuant to the provisions of law and pending the final resolution of the territorial dispute between Taguig and Makati, the tracts of land subject of said territorial dispute shall be deemed situated in the Municipality of Taguig or City of Makati , until a final determination is issued in Civil Case No. 63896 pending before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 153 or any appeals or other related cases therefrom.

    The only SC decision that remotely refers to the case would likely be Mariano vs COMELEC wherein they state that territorial boundaries of a local unit of government must be clear.

    I am interested in the SC decision that you are referring to. Can you please bring that up?

    • justice league on February 4, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Jowana,

    I would reckon that the “great” refers to their number but cvj’s explanation is good too.

    • vic on February 4, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    As poverty, and hopelessness among the youths worsen, the insurgency has no troubles recruiting its willing fighters and so do the military, and the conflict is good for another generation. You reverse this and it will just slowly disappear on its own, without the intervention of the genius strategists and master thinkers..

  5. And for you all overseas Pinoys, Just keep those checks coming in. GMA and Mike have a lot of mouths to feed.

    Even the original thought is not original, the sarcastic way. I will still go for Mbuenacamino’s sarcasm. But that is just me. Meow.

    • jm on February 4, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    mlq3,

    The center failed when it chose to be self-centered instead of providing enlightened leadership for the silent majority, which includes the masa, to fight for real changes in the status quo which is dominated by the elitist-rightist class.

    Should the center feel used when it abused its political weapon — people power — to oust a duly elected president who had submitted himself to constitutional due process then in progress?

    What should the center do now? Think who to support next? Again, missing the point. Think about the masa, join them, then lead them, enjoin them, mobilize them to fight against injustice, against an oppressive system to establish a new system that is just and fair.

    The center itself is politically marginalized after it had successfully marginalized the masa by ousting and imprisoning “ang pangulo ng masa”.

    For generations the center has failed in leading the masa whose desperate search for hope has found a hero in Erap. Now that center itself feels the desperation of the marginalized, they have to “ start thinking who they will support in 2010”. Now, they are in desperate need for a hero.

    Should the center “now reap what it sowed in sticking by her side”? or take a risk by joining the masa, to touch and be touched by the masa, as co-marginalized if not as co-poor, and perhaps understand why there had to be the Erap phenomenon in Philippine politics.

    Isn’t Erap now reaching out, in behalf of the masa ( many of whom are less forgiving) to the center with a hand of reconciliation? Doesn’t Erap himself, by his family’s economic and social standing, belong to the center? Isn’t Erap in his own way an illustrado, albeit a womanizing and wayward, leader of a real revolution of the masa?

    Why start thinking of who to support in 2010? Why wait for something that we are not even sure will happen and when the causes for action is right here, right now? If the center truly understands the deeper desperation of the masses, they will feel a sense of urgency for change. If the center unites with the masa, the impasse can be broken and it will be the hoped for breakthrough for a real change in government that is for the good of everyone.

    • cvj on February 4, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    jm, although i disagree with you that EDSA Dos was an abuse of people power, i agree with your larger point. Nonetheless, I think mlq3’s advice was given taking into account the reality that the Center, in its current form, has proven itself unable to transcend its own interests, much less appreciate and empathize with the viewpoint of the masa. That’s a major reason why, as mlq3 pointed out above, moral ascendancy has once again shifted further to the Left.

    we have to accept the reality that as a group, the Middle’s time horizon is severely constricted which, i think, accounts for its inward turn. In this context, the recommendation to start thinking about 2010 represents an improvement. Expecting more in the way of enlightenment is to set ourselves up for further disappointment.

    • UPn student on February 5, 2007 at 3:13 am

    On what issues are there huge gaps between the middle-class and the poor? Is the question “why don’t the middle-class join the the poor?”, or is the question “why don’t the poor vote with the middle-class?” Even jm says “…join them[the masa] then lead them, enjoin them, mobilize them to fight injustice..” and other issues of concern to the middle-class (note: liberal editorializing on my part).
    /.. The Erap-ouster may be a key difference, but the middle-class still seem to believe in the appropriateness of that action and will not apologize for it (except to make pogi-points). On what other issues — issues, not “do you watch Tagalog movies or not?” or “you actually spend that much a month for cable and DSL????” –on what other issues are there differences? The desire for more job opportunities? The desire for more government spending for subsidized medicine for over-55, for stronger cradle-to-grave social security? The desire for “better!! More!!!” in the educational system?
    /.. The middle-class should be the natural ally of the poor, should it not? Maybe this notion that the Filipino middle-class is despicably anti-poor is leading to the wrong strategy.

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 3:34 am

    Washington Sycip the Chinese-American is a perfect example of our evolving state. He is brand Austero’s guru. Most of S.E. Asia are economically dominated by Chinese. Hence he is the de-facto Ambassador of greater China. – hvrds

    I just read Washington Sycip’s piece in the Inquirer. I see what you mean. While he claims to be ‘for democracy‘, he considers an ‘an overdose of democracy‘ as one of the ‘roots of our problem‘. In particular, he asks the following questions:

    When poor citizens sell their votes, do we not have a democracy of the upper class who have the money to buy the votes?

    He then makes the following recommendation to follow China’s electoral model:

    Should we not have one man one vote only in smaller political units like the barrios where there is greater transparency and where accountability is readily established?

    Towards the end of his piece, without irony, he then asks: “Why are we always lacking in national unity?“.

    Too bad it was not a blog entry or someone could’ve responded…Wash, because people like you have chosen to disregard the people’s votes, you moron!

    If such an eminent personality, who is supposedly one of the most respected members of the professional elite, could be blind to the lack of regard that he has shown toward the greater majority, what more can we expect from the rest of the bunch?

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 3:38 am

    Is the question “why don’t the middle-class join the the poor?”, or is the question “why don’t the poor vote with the middle-class?” – UPn Student

    It’s the first and not the second because it is the poor who are the aggrieved party.

    • bogchimash on February 5, 2007 at 4:38 am

    Greetings Justice League!

    I visited the old thread and saw your entry saying that the farthest that the case has gone is the C.A. If you have the pending case at the Pasig RTC in mind (which was referred to by the new E.O.), you are correct. It was by a C.A. order that the case was remanded to the RTC for determination. Anyway, let us just exchange notes in the old thread so as not to bore the other bloggers. This could be long or short. How ever this topic terminates, I’m sure I cannot simply give you a so-so response because you are a walking legal library. The Mariano case is not usually cited for the territorial issue. Its academic value (as professors use it) is with regard to the jurisdiction aspect (that the courts cannot entertain hypothetical cases) and yet you have brought to light its other less-known facet. I think I will learn a lot from you. I’ll just see you in the other thread, ok?

    • james on February 5, 2007 at 7:58 am

    problem with people like cvj is thinking that everything that comes out from his gray matter can not be wrong. you can’t call people moron just because he see things differently.

    what great majority are you talking about?

    your group? the group that gathered with lagdameo? you might be short of 450,000 correctness.

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 8:30 am

    james, i did not call Washington Sycip a moron just because he sees things differntly. I called him a moron because he proposes restricting one man one vote for the poor majority, and yet he still expects to achieve national unity. binabastos na nga sila, pasasalamat pa ang inaasahan.

    • Jeg on February 5, 2007 at 10:18 am

    The middle-class should be the natural ally of the poor, should it not?

    But the middle class is a wannabe-upper class. One thing is for sure: you do not fall upward. You have to be able to trust those below you to catch you. For this reason, the shrinking middles should reach out to the poor because if things dont change, more and more of them will be joining the poor.

    • jm on February 5, 2007 at 10:24 am

    cvj,

    I am hoping for re-renewal movement in the center like what happened in the early 80’s prior to EDSA I. Religious and lay leaders of these movements were on the frontlines at EDSA.

    • Aames on February 5, 2007 at 10:47 am

    cvj said: “… I called him a moron because he proposes restricting one man one vote for the poor majority, and yet he still expects to achieve national unity. binabastos na nga sila, pasasalamat pa ang inaasahan.”

    Did Sycip propose that the rich minority have more than one vote? I could not infer that from his piece. Can you clarify how you understood Sycip’s proposal?

    • Aames on February 5, 2007 at 11:01 am

    jm said: “… Should the center feel used when it abused its political weapon — people power — to oust a duly elected president who had submitted himself to constitutional due process then in progress? …”

    In your view, was there any abuse on Estrada’s part? And was there any abuse on the part of Tatad, Coseteng, Revilla, J. Osmeña, Aquino-Oreta, Jaworski, Enrile, Sotto, Defensor-Santiago and Honasan?

    • hvrds on February 5, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Do political dynasties strengthen democracy or weaken us?
    AS A MATTER OF FACT By Sara Soliven De Guzman
    Publication Date: [Monday, February 05, 2007]

    “Remember dynastic politics is not new in this country. It has been part and parcel of our political system ever since the primitive ages I mean the pre-Spanish times. As the old Filipino adage goes, “Panahon pa ni Mahoma” we already had political clans and warlords fighting for what they believe belonged to their turf. Can you imagine up to this day, in our so-called “civilized” world, we still have people killing one another all for the glory of the seat of power?”

    Feudal societal formats evolved from tribal communal societies. The United States never had formal fedual institutions. The Civil War destroyed the neo-feudal character of the South. It was said that the last Governor General Harrison who was from Virginia developed a close relationship with Quezon who was a landlord President who evolved from an illustrado Spanish format along Spanish (European)feudal culture. Harrison is buried in the North Cemetary. He loved the Philippines.

    Singapore a colonial trading port enclave does not have an agricultural sector to speak off. Lee Kwan Yew is a highly evolved Chinese warlord. He was a labor union leader/lawyer well familiar with Marx and Smith. A product of the British Empire. Chinese patricarchal societies

    It was the Chinese traders who traded with the colonial powers (Dutch and English) and when the French built the Suez Canal the route to mainland China and Japan was shortened and Singapore at the end of the Mallaca Strait became strategic.

    That became Singapore’s comparative advantage. From a haven for smugglers, pirates and opium traders it became a trading entrepot of Empire.

    China was one of the oldest feudal societies in the world. Mao put an end to it. Chinese patriarchal societies (Confucian) are family based communities.

    What Washington Sycip is saying is the Philippines since it has a feudal culture should revert back in time and remove the pretense of democratic representative government at the national level. Decentralize power back to the smallest political unit the barangay – communal society.

    His point – The Philippines is country but not a state. let an authoritarian leader rule with a bunch of technocrats like himself.

    You know what that means. The problem is the Philippines remains a vassal state. Like China at the turn of the 19th century before the Boxer rebellion.

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Did Sycip propose that the rich minority have more than one vote? I could not infer that from his piece. Can you clarify how you understood Sycip’s proposal? – Aames

    Aames, in our society, compared with the rich, the poor are at a disadvantage in every aspect except for the right to vote. That’s the reason why our politicians make a show of pandering to them only during election season. This means that if you take away everyone’s right to vote for a national leader, the poor will lose the remaining equalizer that they possess. The rich, on the other hand, will always have their resources to fall back on. Hvrds restates very well the gist of Sycip’s proposal:

    What Washington Sycip is saying is the Philippines since it has a feudal culture should revert back in time and remove the pretense of democratic representative government at the national level. Decentralize power back to the smallest political unit the barangay – communal society. – hvrds

    Seeing that this is his approach, what i don’t understand is why he is content to stop halfway, i.e. to the feudal model. The original purpose of authoritarian structure in China and Vietnam was to erase class distinctions (via the vanguard role of the Communist party), specifically eliminate the feudal class, warlords and other such elites (of which he is a member of). In both countries, only after such cleansing was accomplished were capitalist reforms reintroduced to work their magic. If he is to cite China and Vietnam as his exemplars, he should go with the whole story and not stop at a point which serves his own class interest.

    • mlq3 on February 5, 2007 at 12:02 pm
      Author

    hvrds, what soliven overlooks is that harrison was obsessed with land reform for the philippines, along the model of the irish tenancy reforms. in fact he came back to the philippines at the beginning of the commonwealth to act as an adviser on the question. he was bitterly disappointed when quezon had a showdown with his cabinet, who forced him (quezon) not to support such an ambitious land reform. quezon and harrison were not reconciled until world war 2 when he again served as an adviser to the commonwealth (by then in exile). incidentally, harrison, as an adviser to the government after independence, was architect of the philippine claim on sabah. he was granted philippine citizenship in 1936 and took it seriously enough to ask to be buried in the philippines.

    • Aames on February 5, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    cvj said: “Aames, in our society, compared with the rich, the poor are at a disadvantage in every aspect except for the right to vote. That’s the reason why our politicians make a show of pandering to them only during election season. This means that if you take away everyone’s right to vote for a national leader, the poor will lose the remaining equalizer that they possess. The rich, on the other hand, will always have their resources to fall back on…”

    Please correct me if I am wrong. Is your position that the poor majority who are able to vote for a national leader are able to protect and promote their interests whereas if they were not able to vote for a national leader and were limited to voting for local leaders, their interests would be ignored?

    Assuming that this is your position, if local leaders elected by the poor majority do not protect and promote the interests of the poor, what guaranty is there that a national leader would? Don’t the elite have as much political influence, if not more, at the national level as compared to the local level? Is it harder or easier to hold local leaders accountable compared to national leaders?

    • UPn student on February 5, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    The problem with the middle class voting along with the poor is that in the Philippines, the poor do not even vote their own interests.
    /.. The middle class should vote for their own interests. The middle class should take time to understand the needs of the poor… nonetheless, the middle class should vote for their own interests. I still have not heard cvj or anyone identify a major issue of the middle-class — jobs, health-care, human rights, integrity of public servannts, education — that does not benefit the poor.

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Aames, to respond:

    Is your position that the poor majority who are able to vote for a national leader are able to protect and promote their interests whereas if they were not able to vote for a national leader and were limited to voting for local leaders, their interests would be ignored?

    Yup.

    ..if local leaders elected by the poor majority do not protect and promote the interests of the poor, what guaranty is there that a national leader would?

    No guarantee, but national officials have the opportunity to serve as a countervailing force to local political warlords.

    Don’t the elite have as much political influence, if not more, at the national level as compared to the local level?

    Nope, which explains the move by the elite to adopt a unicameral parliamentary set-up. For the elite, buying parliament is cheaper and more sure-fire than buying votes at a national level.

    Is it harder or easier to hold local leaders accountable compared to national leaders?

    Depends on the locality, but in a lot of places, political warlords and dynasties still dominate.

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    I still have not heard cvj or anyone identify a major issue of the middle-class — jobs, health-care, human rights, integrity of public servants, education — that does not benefit the poor. – UPn Student

    As the above Sycip-related discussion shows, I’d say the major source of contention between the middle class and the poor is on the issue of respecting the vote of the poor. Try as it might, the middle class can never act as a proxy for the poor.

    • UPn student on February 5, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    the Filipino poor… they have not really even voted their own interests.

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    …which should not be used as a reason to take away their right to vote.

    • UPn student on February 5, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    cvj… you’re drawing a blank! The middle class can vote their interests — jobs, health-care, integrity of public officials, education — and the poor can benefit, likewise. This “respecting the vote of the poor” is not even on the ballot and has not appeared on any ballot.

    • Jeg on February 5, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    When the poor voted for Erap, they werent voting for their interests? They didnt believe Erap would help them? Please explain.

  6. jm, although i disagree with you that EDSA Dos was an abuse of people power, i agree with your larger point. Nonetheless, I think mlq3’s advice was given taking into account the reality that the Center, in its current form, has proven itself unable to transcend its own interests, much less appreciate and empathize with the viewpoint of the masa. That’s a major reason why, as mlq3 pointed out above, moral ascendancy has once again shifted further to the Left.

    we have to accept the reality that as a group, the Middle’s time horizon is severely constricted which, i think, accounts for its inward turn. In this context, the recommendation to start thinking about 2010 represents an improvement. Expecting more in the way of enlightenment is to set ourselves up for further disappointment.

    cvj, ito lang ang masasabi ko sa mga pro arroyo na “edsa dos” participants, “civil society” and the so called “undecideds”.

    will nobody from their side (especially the CBCP) take responsibility for the mistake that was Arroyo and clean the mess they’ve created? First four days pa lang after edsa dos, IMPSA na kaagad. jeez.

    And removing arroyo doesn’t mean restoring ERap. It means being man enough to admit that arroyo was an even bigger disaster and being responsible enough to fix the problem instead of washing their hands.

    i’ve suggested na magkaroon tayo ng special elections to find arroyo’s replacement after Gloriagate, pero hindi raw yan constitutional.

    Yung edsa dos “constitutional,” pero yan hindi. go figure.

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    John, i agree. I believe that every participant in EDSA Dos has the responsibility to correct the mistake that is Gloria Arroyo. As JM said a few weeks back, “we’ve been had”.

    • cvj on February 5, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    The middle class can vote their interests — jobs, health-care, integrity of public officials, education — and the poor can benefit, likewise – UPn Student

    Beyond the level of motherhoods, there are bound to be differences in judgement. Even you and me, who i suppose both belong to the middle class, will have our differences in judgement, both in terms of policy and personality. It is therefore unrealistic to expect the vote of one class to serve as a proxy for the vote of the other. (You know…”One man’s heaven is another person’s hell“, or something to that effect…)

    This “respecting the vote of the poor” is not even on the ballot and has not appeared on any ballot.

    Try looking harder. It’s the underlying subtext of these elections.

    • UPn student on February 5, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    cvj… only you put forth the premise of “..the vote of one class to serve as a proxy for the vote of the other”.
    Jeg… your point is well-taken. Those who voted for Erap (unless it was at the barrel of a gun) voted their beliefs and self-interests.
    .
    /.. And we’re back to why “many in the outside world” look unkindly at military-coups and people-power-driven changes in government leadership. Illustratively, the problem with people-power is that the interests of Boholanos (Zamboanguenos, Cebuanos, Ilocanos, others) are not counted at all as policy changes get enacted by a couple hundred-thousand civilians and few-hundred soldiers marching in the streets of the National Capital Area.

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