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Aug 24

The Long View: Prerogatives versus consensus

The Long View
Prerogatives versus consensus
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:06:00 08/24/2009

How often have you heard people say the following: That rather than risk a downward spiral into political instability by means of People Power putting a fragmented and uninspiring opposition in power, or worse, inaugurating a series of equally fragmented unelected ruling juntas, they’d rather grin and bear it until the President bows out of office in 2010? A strange consensus that indicts the entire political class, but which rewards failure with continued power.

Actually, not a consensus but a surrender, because the public has abandoned any pretense of exacting accountability. Boil down the issues, and they will be reduced to the problem of officials asserting their prerogatives because of the inability of the public to arrive at a consensus because of all the assertions of prerogatives, not just by officials, but anyone claiming a semblance of authority.

The ongoing controversy surrounding the proclamation of new National Artists has degenerated into a legalistic division between proponents of either presidential or artistic prerogative, with both sides essentially insisting on an all-or-nothing approach. And yet both the President and artists opposed to her forget that the title of National Artist is most meaningful when reflecting a consensus arrived at both by artists and by the broader public, who could be represented by a president if sensitive to both public opinion and recognizing individual excellence.

Consider the ridiculous obsession with “premature” campaigning when the real question should be whether our existing official campaign period is even sufficient for the public to clarify, in its collective mind, what the real issues are, or adequate enough to introduce candidates and their platforms to a public that needs time to scrutinize the candidates based on those issues.

As it is, the campaign officially begins in November, and only because automation requires it; otherwise it would’ve begun next February. A full year too late.

We have candidates criticized for presenting themselves to the public, but who cannot claim any real constituency behind them – because of a lack of material time. Take just three examples.

All the current contenders for the presidency should’ve begun campaigning a year ago, going through the elimination rounds of their own card-carrying constituents before even presenting themselves to the broader public.

But by law, they have to short-circuit the process, since conventions can’t even take place until November.

And people wonder why the race will inevitably become an intensive ad campaign, substituting emotion and posturing for a meaningful dialogue on the issues?

What choice do any of the candidates have? Without an organized following – a constituency mobilized to campaign for and fund a candidacy – political independence can come only from mobilizing personal or familial wealth, which enables them to escape the chicken-or-egg situation in which not having money leaves even charismatic candidacies stillborn.

This situation means that candidates who think that if they’d only be given a chance they could muster a national constituency are hampered by the short campaign period requiring a pell-mell realignment of the political pros. The pros simply don’t have time to waste on elimination rounds where candidates vie for party votes, and where the country, in turn, is watching and learning and then judging the merits or demerits of candidates who survive the party conventions.

That’s because the political pros only have half the official campaign period to make their national choices, since the other half of the campaign’s devoted to the nitty-gritty of their local political fight for survival.

This magnifies the clout of organized groups that rely, not on the critical thinking of their followers, but rather, their blind obedience. The captive, collective votes of churches and preachers, of the Communist Party and its fronts, or of the warlords aren’t capable of electing candidates on their own. But they can make the difference in a close election with many candidates and an electorate deprived of enough time and opportunity to coalesce around a majority-winning candidate.

Where then, can a citizen really say he is free to vote as he truly pleases?

Rushed to a choice by an artificially limited campaign period in which ads are less about the issues and more a blitzkrieg of emotionalism on the airwaves; placed in a situation where, even if the voter would rather see candidates up close, campaigns are hampered by rebels in the hills extorting from the candidates; and where voters are intimidated or spied upon by bodyguards or commanded by preachers, elders and prelates; where can democracy actually thrive?

The illusion of one man, one vote, is merely that. Where the campaign period is artificially limited; where candidates sell the illusion they represent a constituency instead of arising, organically, from organized constituencies; and where, because of the mad rush to cobble together, not a true majority, but a minority slightly larger than any other rival minority, no one has an incentive to truly capture the popular imagination, and thus, enjoy truly popular support.

Why do you think the President said “Let us also make the alliance between the local government units and the Armed Forces of the Philippines a major campaign plank, especially in the local elections”? Naked force is the key to survival of a coalition that, like Marcos, does not intend to die. Which is why in nine years, it has only proposed ways to entrench itself but not really change the system.

In one respect all the non-administration candidates have an advantage the Frankenstein coalition of the President lacks. All can foster the illusion that they are viable national candidates’ an illusion because all are incapable of mustering what the country requires: a true majority to finally forge a national consensus.

36 comments

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  1. Cocoy

    If the people themselves are resigned to their fate, who then has the power to unify the factions to make the right consensus?

  2. RJ

    “The illusion of one man, one vote, is merely that. Where the campaign period is artificially limited; where candidates sell the illusion they represent a constituency instead of arising, organically, from organized constituencies; and where, because of the mad rush to cobble together, not a true majority, but a minority slightly larger than any other rival minority, no one has an incentive to truly capture the popular imagination, and thus, enjoy truly popular support.”

    This paragraph succinctly captures the root of all problems associated with Philippine elections and our brand of politics as a whole. I am so happy you wrote that so well and so clear because I think a lot of people share that sentiment but just couldn’t articulate it any better than you could.

    How we all wish we have leaders who truly represent organized constituencies and who rose from such, “organically”. It’s disheartening that even in these so-called party-lists, we still doubt that such is the case. Many party-lists are rumored to be organized/backed-up by the govt to strengthen their influence in the House.

    Unfortunately, many would rather choose effortless “illusions” than lift a finger to participate in true nation-building and effect change. Sad.

    Wonderful article, MLQ3. I wish every Filipino gets to read this in their lifetime, at least.

  3. Carl

    Well, Mike Velarde of El Shaddai has recently confirmed publicly what would be expected and typical of the priveleged in our society. Velarde appointed his own son as his successor to head El Shaddai, in case of his death or retirement.

    If religious leaders egoistically crave clinging to power, even after their demise, do we even wonder why politicians want to retain dominance at any cost?

    It isn’t only in the political field. It’s also the norm in business. It’s always “atin-atin”. We always try to keep wealth and power exclusively to ourselves and to our clan and close friends. That’s why there’s never a level playing field and why wealth and power is never diffused to spread the wealth.

  4. SoP

    Having lived through our last two presidents I’ve come to downplay my expectations.

    I no longer wish for a white knight who will challenge the church and introduce mandatory family planning. I don’t long for the savior who will eliminate corruption and cut the debt. I’m not expecting the one who will negotiate with the communists and bring peace to Mindanao. I’ve abandoned hope for the messiah who will revolutionize agriculture and reignite our stalled land reform. I’ve lost any pretense of anticipation for a leader who will tame the military. I don’t look forward to a presidentiable who will uphold the constitution.

    I just want a president who’s tall, good looking, stately and is presentable his foreign counterparts, unlike GMA and Erap. THAT’S ALL I WANT FOR NOW.

  5. ramrod

    The way I see it, we need to slow down on government spending until we see some reforms in allocation and liquidation of such. Ed Panlilio would be the best person to do this. He will scrutinize, ponder, contemplate, pray, question, each and every budget request for sure that most officials will be fuming mad with impatience. The fast/easy money days will be gone, we’ll even have coups coming from congress, from the mayors’ league, from big business, etc. They will ask for a recount, file for incompetence, even some churchleaders will rebuke him (politics cannot mix with piety, or there is no room for integrity in politics). Wheeling and dealing will grind to a halt, the government will move at an irritating snail’s pace – the flow of money is too slow. It will be havoc to those who normally make the big bucks, but to us, it will probably be same…then again, we have less rich politicians, churchleaders, businessmen in cahoots with government, and generals…

  6. UP n grad

    To RJ and to mlq3: these phrases, of course, are true : (i)Where the campaign period is artificially limited and (ii) Rushed to a choice by an artificially limited campaign period..

    but at the same time, not true because every day should be a day that the citizenry (or at least those who have time to do it — the journalists, reporters, op-ed writers, academics and business-leaders who spend time analyzing as opposed to working with their hands) have their antennas up and evaluating their fellow leaders, including, of course, the politicians and the possible presidentiables.

    Wouldn’t it be better if an effort to collect a million-signatures-for-XYZ is because XYZ has on at least three occasions demonstrated leadership, not because XYZ’s mother died?

  7. mlq3

    in general, maybe; but it’s what the mother dying that made people take stock and reflect on what the country wants and needs.

  8. SoP

    “ramrod on Mon, 24th Aug 2009 7:16 pm
    The way I see it, we need to slow down on government spending until we see some reforms in allocation and liquidation of such. Ed Panlilio would be the best person to do this.”

    But he’s so ugly. If he ever became president, he’d be the ugliest in the history of all presidents with his vitiligo. Fact is, most of our presidentiables are ugly: Jejomar Binay (pesante), Francis Escudero (douchey), Bayani Fernando (bloated), Mar Roxas (big headed-literally), Gilberto Teodoro (balding villain), Jamby Madrigal (babalu), Eddie Villanueva (wimp), Mike Velarde (where do I even start?).

    My vote will probably be a toss up between Loren Legard and Manny Villar. Loren because she has potential to be a classy, milf-y head of state in the mould of Benazir Bhutto and Yulia Tymoshenko. Manny because he has an infectious smile.

  9. ramrod

    SOP,
    I completely forgot about Panlilio’s pigmentation. He will be like Barack is to the US, for a long time, we have been enamored with tisoys/tisays, its time we get a representation from the abhorred, trampled on, chastised, and ridiculed – give way to the Pokwangs, Abunda’s, and Dionesia’s. 🙂

  10. ramrod

    Manny has this grin that reminds me of the cat that swallowed the canary…
    …if we’re looking for image really, akin to Putin’s strongman appeal, the Chinese leader’s stature, even LKW’s persona, it could work. I’m tired of looking sheepish after being henpecked by the little woman all this years, its a shame to all men in the country…we allowed ourselves to be emasculated…

  11. SoP

    Actually, for too long we’ve let indios represent us. It’s high time we bring back to the office a true spanish mestizo not unlike Manuel Quezon the First and see what happens.

    There’s actually too limited a choice among these presidentiables. We need more diversity in there. Where are the spanish mestizo candidates?

    I say we petition Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala to run for president and get over it. We’ve tried indio presidents and look where it has taken us. Are you guys with me? JAIME AUGUSTO ZOBEL DE AYALA FOR PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES!

    Barring that I’ll gladly settle for Manny or Loren.

  12. SoP

    “Manny has this grin that reminds me of the cat that swallowed the canary…”

    Really? I kinda like his smile. I looks sincere, unaffected, natural, and lights up his droopy eyes.

  13. Bert

    I have my own manok for president, each of us has, bloggers and commenters here in mlq3’s blog, in FV, in my neighborhood, everywhere. Whether we voted for the color, or the looks, or the smile, or the pigment or lack of it, or track record, or platform,or whether ones mother died, only one candidate will win as president after the election.

    Only one thing we can do to expect that we did make the right choice for our country and people…CROSS OUR FINGERS.

  14. supremo

    In addition to the runoff elections you are also advocating for a longer campaign period. That should be easier to implement because it does not require a constitutional amendment.

  15. Omar Fria

    We reap what we sow.

    Our generation has been thrice given the opportunity to elect ideal presidentiables in the persons of Jovito Salonga and Raul Roco and yet we bungled it. This is our political fate: to select which candidate who can be less crass and less predatory and who will shelf enough government money to spend on our patchwork public services.

    A pox on all our houses!

  16. J_AG

    The time will come when a more enlightened citizenry will outnumber the the smaller vested interests that control the electoral process. But it will be in a mass movement that will affect changes in the electoral process itself.

    That movement need not be based on numbers alone but with a critical mass of committed engaged citizens. Armchair revolutionaries need not apply.

    The left shot itself in the foot and it continues to shoot itself in the foot. They have the correct analysis but do not have the solutions. Events will create the leadership for good or bad. Elections will not do it.

    I am still kinda hoping that the little one makes a grab for authoritarian rule.

    We need something to shake up this country again.. What appears to be hubris on the part of GMA will naturally consolidate and hopefully a nemesis will arise.

    Authoritarian rule from the right is more likely to happen. During the height of the Great Depression the right in the U.S. responded with massive reforms of the system to prevent the extreme left from taking over. There is no truly leftist party in the U.S.

    The capitalists were saved and there grew a more secure institutionalized system where private capital and government integrated.

    This version of rightist dirigist system still prevails in all the advanced economies of the world.

    The Chinese model is one such example. The CCP is creating their own private capitalist to co-exist with parts of the state capitalist model.

    It is not a proletariat based dictatorship. It is slowly transforming itself into a more dirigist model like the other more advanced economies of the world.

  17. benign0

    If political parties in the Philippines actually STOOD for something, then the issue of limited “official campaign periods” would have been partially mitigated. A candidate’s party affiliation would then partially speak for what he stands for, and the party itself as an organisation would take care of creating that blanket awareness of their stand on things in a way that transcends elections.

    So there is STILL NO EXCUSE.

    The lack of any meaningful platform among our crop of “candidates” as evident here regardless of how long or how short an “official campaign period” still begs the question of whether a longer campaign period will make some sort of difference. More so because coming up with a coherent platform can be done in four easy steps.

    It’s simple, reallyâ„¢. 😉

  18. mlq3

    your matrix seems rather incomplete.

  19. SoP

    “J_AG on Tue, 25th Aug 2009 8:41 am
    The Chinese model is one such example. The CCP is creating their own private capitalist to co-exist with parts of the state capitalist model…It is slowly transforming itself into a more dirigist model like the other more advanced economies of the world.”

    This got me thinking, could we apply the dirigist model to our hacienderos? Instead taking too big a leap with confiscating their lands or compensating (the landlords) for redistribution, I’m thinking the corporation model by the Cojuangcos should be given a chance or explored more.

    Imagine if this became the template instead of complete land reform. In an alternate universe starting @ 1987 where this were this happened, how would have the Philippines fared?
    1. Caciques were allowed full ownership of lands.
    2. No limits on hectarage that can be owned.
    3. Strict rules on caciques and their families seeking LGU or congressional seats. I’m thinking complete ban.
    4. Adoption of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to the hacienda businesses. Separation of management from land ownership. Again, this could trickle some of the wealth to non-family members as business managers can compete in the salary market in offering their expertise to the cacique majority share holders.
    5. Allowing cacique corporations to hire foreign management if local talent cannot be sought.
    6. Mandatory conversion of family land holdings into corporations with listing on the Philippine Stock Exchange. This has the benefit of the the now corporate land businesses to sell more shares or engage in initial public offerings so they can buy capital to mechanize their farms, use GMO crops, fertilizers, etc.
    7. The market can determine which farms have potential to be profitable and which are not (due to soil quality, rain distribution, transportation infrastructure connecting farms to markets, etc). Other land owners can initiate take over bids to less valuable land corporations or food conglomerates can just buy them.
    8. If the open market determines a farm as being unvaluable, it can be converted into industrial estate, real estate, etc.
    9. True profit-sharing for the farmers. Distribution of ordinary instead of preference shares (the universally criticized Cojuangco model) to farmers. This means farmers could sell their shares freely in the open market or keep them for dividends and capital gains.
    10. Allowing farmers in these cacique land holding corporations to unionize so they can negotiate for better pay and working conditions. An added benefit on top of their ordinary shares.

    Fast forward a few years or a decade:
    11. Banning caciques from seeking government seats would have been more acceptable and doable given that the government has legitimized their land holdings, free from threat of nationalization or redistribution or the nuisance of radicalized farmers burning their crops and destroying their equipment. The now majority share holder caciques could rest easy knowing they could convert their shareholding for hard cash depending on market conditions. They won’t have to seek government power to protect their lands from armed groups, knowing the government’s troops and courts’ compensation system can be appealed to in case of losses from farm destruction by the NPA.
    12. Because caciques were banned from seeking government seats, people from other fields such as business, academics, NGOs, community organizers, the show business, etc could have contested for seats instead. The quality of governance could have been much better than the traditional cacique trapo of today.
    13. Given the explosion of food prices of years past and the projected rise of food prices in the future, the farmers ordinary share holdings could now be really valuable. This could have really spread wealth to the masses of farmers without as much as a cent spent by the government.

  20. Carl

    Good to see we’re all in a lighthearted mood on this blog. I’d like to make some observations about some of the comments here:

    “. . . it’s what the mother dying that made people take stock and reflect on what the country wants and needs.”

    – Filipinos are an emotional and sentimental lot. I take what happened at Cory’s death as a Pavlovian reflex from a very emotional nation who loves a good tearjerker. Time will be the test of the pudding. We are often long on emotions, short in memory. As Ambeth Ocampo, Chairman of the National Historical Institute, cautions, we need to get a historical perspective before we endorse heroes.

    Give it at leat 10 years, and we shall see how the Filipino people really take stock and reflect on Cory. And whether she really did provide “what the country wants and needs”.

    *****************************

    “I completely forgot about Panlilio’s pigmentation. He will be like Barack is to the US, for a long time, we have been enamored with tisoys/tisays, its time we get a representation from the abhorred, trampled on, chastised, and ridiculed – give way to the Pokwangs, Abunda’s, and Dionesia’s.”

    – Barack Obama is tisoy. In the original meaning of the term, “mestizo”, from which tisoy is derived, is a half-breed. Half white and half indigenous. I would even dare to speculate that being half white made Obama more acceptable to many Americans. It may have been a different story if he didn’t have any white blood in him. In any case, I have heard many white women say that they find Obama quite attractive.

    *****************************

    “Actually, for too long we’ve let indios represent us. It’s high time we bring back to the office a true spanish mestizo not unlike Manuel Quezon . . . “

    – Marcos was no indio. He was mestizo Chinese, at the very least. And Cory was also at least half Chinese. I do not know if Fidel Ramos was descended from Limahong, who haunted the waters off Pangasinan, but Erap comes from Spanish mestizo parentage and he certainly doesn’t look indio at all.

    **********************************

    “Authoritarian rule from the right is more likely to happen. During the height of the Great Depression the right in the U.S. responded with massive reforms of the system to prevent the extreme left from taking over.”

    – Take a look at the way American whites are bashing Obama and his programs, and the way “Socialist” and “Marxist” are commonly bandied around in the U.S., and one can see that such is happening today. What’s even more chilling is the way white gun owners and 2nd amendment supporters brandish semi-automatic weapons when Obama and other Democratic leaders try to conduct public forums on health care. America’s lunatic right feel threatened, all right. And I wouldn’t be surprised if violence ensues in the not-too-distant future. JFK, redux?

  21. severuck

    if a national majority is so important (and i’m not entirely sure that it is, since i think the usual immature bickering would happen between an administration and oppositionists no matter who wins), then we could just have a runoff between the top two candidates if no one candidate receives a majority. of course, this was unwieldy in the past where votes were counted manually and results came out months after the elections, but if voting is now going to be electronic, then it’s feasible.

    that sort of idea needs to be looked at if the constitution is ever going to be changed.

  22. SoP

    14. In the alternate universe, cacique corporations could have also been given tax free status. This would have ensured the economic viability of the farms, ensuring that farmers’ jobs and the value of the farmer’s shareholdings. Given that there’s no land reform program to pay for, the government could certainly afford the tax losses. And finally, not taxing the cacique corporations means we can control their farms anyway we want. We can make any laws to make them viable while ensuring our food security, whether they like the laws or not. They won’t have any say in the laws because they won’t fall under the principle of ‘no taxation without representation’ (because the cacique corporations are not being taxed, they cannot be represented by congressmen).

  23. SoP

    “Marcos was no indio. He was mestizo Chinese, at the very least. And Cory was also at least half Chinese. I do not know if Fidel Ramos was descended from Limahong, who haunted the waters off Pangasinan, but Erap comes from Spanish mestizo parentage and he certainly doesn’t look indio at all.”

    Word meaning changes over time. I’m irked by “knowledgeable” Filipinos who correct me when they say “mestizo only means mixed”. Thank you very much I know the Spanish definition. But alas, I’m using the Filipino definition of mestizo, not the Spanish one.

    In the Filipino context and vocabulary, mestizo means part white. Thus, you don’t call Apl.de.Ap a black mestizo, for such a thing is paradoxical in the Pinoy meaning of the word. You can only be part white (Filipino definition of mestizo) or not. Thus, Filipinos would call Apl.de.Ap “halong negro” but not “mestizong negro”.

    There would even be a dichotomy of the meaning of mestizo, that is, mestizo by race and mestizo by skin color. Mestizo or tisoy would denote someone who has fair skin, but not necessarily of white parentage (could be of part Chinese, Arab, Indian, etc. ancestry), as Cory and Erap are. Or mestizo could denote someone of fair skin and white parentage. Specifically, someone who is first generation part white.

    But alas! You could be mestizo by skin color and get sun burnt and have your skin darkened and lose the designation of mestizo by Filipino definition!

    And since Erap’s whiteness has been diffused from many a generations ago, by all accounts and purposes he’s indio by the Filipino definition. He could be mestizo by skin colour, but not mestizo by race.

  24. SoP

    Also, you could have a retiree white American DOM father and a mail-order-bride Filipina mother and if by genetic draw you happen to inherit your mother’s dark skin, thick lips, flat nose, that is, indio features, you wouldn’t be considered mestizo by the Filipino definition. You could be by the Spanish definition a mestizo. But good luck explaining that to your Filipino friends who’ll only laugh at you when you call yourself a mestizo.

  25. taxj

    Do we lack time to choose? Or do we lack choices? Or do we have none at all? Would Salonga and Roco have mattered? Or is it anyone or anything except Gloria?

    It’s a good thing that SoP discovered early enough that a search for a messiah is an exercise in futility. I think we place too much weight on SELECTION, too little on PARTICIPATION.

    It is not enough for us to choose WHO is good for the country. We must also propose WHAT. Again, SoP is in the right path. Not that I totally agree with her, but some of her ideas are worth looking into, or toppling down.

  26. supremo

    We don’t lack choices. We just don’t see all of them because the generation in charge today won’t quit and give way to the next generation of choices.

  27. supremo

    Aside from a yearlong campaign period for national candidates and runoff elections for presidents, the government should also start paying for the campaign itself. That will level the playing field.

  28. Carl

    “We don’t lack choices. We just don’t see all of them because the generation in charge today won’t quit and give way to the next generation of choices.”

    – Yes, we do have this tendency to milk everything down to the last drop. Our politicians won’t quit even if they’re senile and can hardly keep awake in sessions. Movie stars continue to play heartthrobs, even if they’re old and gray and need loads of makeup and retouching. The funny thing is that the public allows them to.

  29. ramrod

    It’s a good thing that SoP discovered early enough that a search for a messiah is an exercise in futility. I think we place too much weight on SELECTION, too little on PARTICIPATION.
    ———————————————-

    Amen. Local politics appear to be dominated by political families, not many “new” faces around. How can we attract proper leaders really? Can we really find them from those who profess govenment service as a calling? Perhaps there are some in the corporate sector who can do the job but are just not stepping up? Even from the academe…
    …showbiz people are more eager to “serve the country” it appears, more willing to make others happy like Willie, and more willing to sacrifice, and more verbal in saying they are “totoong tao”…or so they say…
    Do we really have venues where we can scrutinize candidates’ resumes? How can we participate? (without running for office)

  30. ramrod

    Yes. I have been going by the Filipino version of meztizo, I didn’t even realize that it had a more accurate meaning. So we can actually say “meztizo negro” like the current AFP spokesperson? Then by definition all of us are meztizo? I’ll just stick to the pinoy version, no one will argue with me when I call someone tisoy/tisay in the streets…only carl…

  31. SoP

    “Carl on Wed, 26th Aug 2009 8:28 am
    Yes, we do have this tendency to milk everything down to the last drop.”

    And after the bull’s dry and dead, the herd makes sure the calf gets brand association. Thus you MLQ the 3rd, Ninoy Aquino Jr. Manuel “Mar” Roxas the second, and all the The First, the 2nds, the 3rds, Jr.s, Sr.s, that permeate our political landscape.

    Is it the same pedigree though? I would just go by the Warren Buffett anti-dynasty mantra “choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics”.

  32. taxj

    We participate in the selection process by campaigning or voting. But I am more interested in we can do AFTER an election. Methinks this is more important than choosing the right one. SoP gives us a very good example of what we can do: open up a discussion on what might be good for the country. This is a step beyond vigilance. Our tragedy is that we think that putting the right guy to the the right position is all there is to it.

  33. cvj

    Very well said taxj. How the future President’s term goes is then dependent on how well we discipline him or her.

    As for the elections, i’m less interested in who wins the next elections than in ensuring that it accurately reflects the will of the majority. That would at least be a good starting point.

  34. ramrod

    Really, we have to take the elections seriously, no matter how disillusioned we have become of how democracy works in the Philippines. We have to choose our leaders well, make sure the elections are clean, and after elections stop campaigning and start working with the newly elected regardless of who wins. Otherwise, we may look at establishing a “junta” or any alternative to democratic processes if we give it up altogether. By we, I meant everybody, to include the people who intend to cheat, its still early, they can still have an awakening of sorts and the people who intend to cry out “cheating” later on. Enough is enough, we’ve been at this for such a long time already, we need to evolve into something better…

  35. taxj

    Those who use their heads in in making choices seldom arrives at a concensus, nor do they determine the outcome. I am for Binay because I believe that self-reliant LGU’s are the key to our survival as a nation, considering that we spend more for debts than for services, yet I am resigned to accept any winner or cheater. What is important is that my advocacy does not end with the fall of my champion.

    Those who still hope for a winner chosen by the majority fails to keep up with reality. What can we expect from a three-cornered, or more, fight? Nor can we hope to discipline a president under our highly centralized set-up. We need to decentralize and make our president less relevant in our lives. Let’s bring the fight closer to home where we have a comparatively level playing field.

  36. SoP

    “cvj on Wed, 26th Aug 2009 8:05 pm
    As for the elections, i’m less interested in who wins the next elections than in ensuring that it accurately reflects the will of the majority. That would at least be a good starting point.”

    I’m really looking forward to this elections for no other reason than to see the new computerized system. It would be a breath of fresh air if election results would come out in a few days like in other countries, with no allegations of cheating, rather than the one month that it takes with the past setups.

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