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Aug 28

Platforms

Coalition Platform 1935

I’ve been meaning to write about this since July. Aside from the interesting experiments people are undertaking to analyze and understand the public opinion data coming in on the various candidates (see Journal of the Jester-in-Exile and Far From Neutral Notions), there’s an ongoing effort to get people to think deeper about the process of voting. And that includes going beyond liking or disliking individual candidates and asking what, if anything, they adhere to in terms of a cohesive vision for governance and what they actually hope to accomplish during their time in office.

Since 1935, when we had our first national presidential campaign, platforms have been part of the political landscape, an essential foundation document not just for campaigning for votes, but for cobbling together coalitions. Emilio Aguinaldo, in announcing his candidacy, apparently unveiled a 44-point platform.The document above, for example, was the 14-point Coalition Platform for the Nacionalista Democratico and Nacionalista Democrata Pro-Independencia parties approved on June 16, 1935, the realigned factions of the Nacionalista Party that split over the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act and the Democrata Party that dissolved over the same question. You can survey the State of the Nation Addresses for 1936, 1937, and 1938 to see how the platform was carried out, or not, particularly in terms of the question of agrarian reform. (a glimpse into how the reunified Nacionalistas put together their campaign platform for the next presidential campaign, in 1941, can be be seen in a Free Press article from July, 1939).

A description of the NP Convention in 1953 in which former Liberal Ramon Magsaysay became the Nacionalista standard bearer, shows how a platform is the formal basis for affiliation in any electoral contest where a tug of war takes place not just for the votes of the electorate but the affiliation of candidates and other leaders. In 1985, the Convenor Group and National Unification Council had to hammer out a platform as a basis for unity and participation in case Ferdinand Marcos called for a snap election. Most recently, the President herself put forward a 10-point Agenda for her administration.

There have been two entries of note that go to the heart of making a vote not just for the President and Vice-President or the Senate, but for an entire ticket, an informed one. Ideally, one shouldn’t just vote for particular positions in isolation, but as much as possible give leaders a chance to have a basis for governing, which requires electing as many like-minded people as possible so they can support each other once a new administration’s inaugurated.

See Platform Plez and Kepner-Tregoe and the 2010 Presidential Elections to see how citizens can go about evaluating candidates, not just on the individual merits of particular candidates, but according to the affiliations they’ve chosen. In an ideal democracy, the basis of that affiliation should be a party platform. Everyone in the party is obliged to uphold a particular set of party principles, and beyond that, to adhere to a set of objectives the party hopes to accomplish within the forthcoming term.

However, in our imperfect world, the standing of political parties is low and only a minority, a little over a quarter of the population, takes parties or party affiliation seriously. The survey, which dates back to 2007, revealed that three parties stood out in terms of platform, etc.: Lakas-CMD, the Liberal Party, and Bayan Muna. Of these three, the survey findings can be explained on the basis, first, of ubiquity in terms of Lakas-CMD as the dominant administration party; in the second instance, because the LP had, until it was divided over the question of continued collaboration with the President, gone through the process of requiring seminars for aspiring members and trying to modernize the party’s processes; and in terms of Bayan Muna, because of the identity of the party as a front organization for a movement with a specific ideology.

In all three cases, and in the case of all parties, there will be those who are leaders and members of the party who are unconcerned with what the party platform says; but even if this is the case, the existence of the party platform represents a set of principles and programs to which it is reasonable to expect the leader or party member to adhere. It is a starting point, at the very least, for evaluating any candidacy: a candidate proven to be ignorant of, or dismissive, of the party platform ought to be taken less seriously than one who has bothered to at least parrot the party line. If the candidate can be shown to have worked towards accomplishing the party’s objectives, then the candidate can be said to have passed a major hurdle in terms of having a respectable candidacy.

At the very least: if certain candidates have an existing political affiliation, then they can be assumed -and expected- to adhere to the platform of the party they belong to; if they move to a party, they can be assumed to have signed on to the platform of the party they’ve joined. More importantly, the first basis for evaluating these candidates is to ask what their party affiliation, formally at least, stands for, and then, asking whether the candidate’s affiliation is nominal or more deeply-rooted, and that can be by means of inquiries in forums, etc. There will be instances where candidates, besides their party affiliations, also have their own, personal platforms (the Magsaysay Credo for example, or that of Noynoy Aquino).

An individual candidate who belongs to party is bound by the party platform; he can add to it, but not subtract from it, or deviate it from it to an extent tha would make his affiliation meaningless. One thing is sure: a candidate should be held accountable to a party platform; from the start, identification with a party means that candidate automatically adheres to the party platform.

For this reason, it’s useful to see what platforms are available on line, for comparison, and in terms of seeing what the presently-affiliated candidates already officially subscribe to. With the caveat that party platforms are changeable documents, ideally revised during the party convention preparatory to waging a new campaign; and that party platforms are, ideally, consensus documents, reflective of the various factions and interests within a party seeking wider public support at the polls.

Lakas Kampi CMD, which has as its potential standard bearers Vice President de Castro, Defense Secretary Teodoro, MMDA Chairman Fernando, and Senator Gordon, among others, has a Lakas Kampi CMD Party Constitution online, with a Declaration of Principles and Polices (Article II), and a General Platform of Government (Article III).

The Nationlist People’s Coalition, which as as its potential standard bearers Senators Escudero and Legarda, has a Nationalist People’s Coalition Party Manifesto online, in Mission-Vision form, with further breakdowns for Human Capital Development; Good Governance; Enterprise Development; Energy and Infrastructure Development; Fiscal Discipline and Security.

The Liberal Party (one assumes all factions subscribe to the same platform) which has as its possible standard bearers Manuel Roxas II or Benigno Aquino III, puts forward what it calls The Liberal Vision, which includes The New Agenda which proposes Policies for the New Century subdivided into three categories: an Economic Program, a Political Program, and a Social Program.

The most meager information is provided by the Nacionalista Party, which is heavy on reciting its past history but terse when it comes to specifying what, exactly, the party stands for. See Nacionalista Part FAQ. In his own wesite, Manuel Villar, Jr. is also rather unforthcoming about the specifics of his candidacy and relating the specifics with the party he heads.

As for the other major parties, I haven’t found their official websites with their party platforms.

58 comments

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  1. ramrod

    YES! Its about time too. I believe this won’t be a very popular topic though as I notice not many people really care about rolling up their sleeves and objectively studying platforms and issues. We’ve been used to having all those slogans, jingles, rallies, dancing on stage that this exercise is seems boring probably, or is it contrived to be this way because candidates don’t put too much stock in the content of their platforms but spend so much time and money on the campaign?
    I hope benigno posts his matrix (gathered from published sources) here…

  2. SoP

    What the?!? No mention of benignO’s matrix?

    Manolo, you must be anti-nutball.

  3. ramrod

    There’s a thin line dividing nutballs and geniuses…

  4. rego

    yeah and it takes a really sane person to know the difference…

  5. sonny pulgar

    why can’t Manny Villar just cut and paste that of MLQ’s original platform? that’s, it looks like, how unimaginative MV is. with the likes of MV who lacks specifics, we are again on the verge of a great con job. wala man lang…”this nation can be…you know?” Manolo, napulot ko ito kay Professional Heckler:

    “People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.”
    ~Dan Quayle

  6. SoP

    Ok my internet friends, I have an idea. Seems like we all agree that there’s not much difference in these politicians platforms and agendas. So why don’t we do the next best thing and show these politicians what a real platform should be like? I’ll list down some points of issues (you can expand the list) and you can write your own platform.

    God I hope you guys participate in this. It would be great so we can compare notes and also so I would know where you guys stand on issues. Also, so I can get some ideas while I form my own political views.

    Ramrod, Carl, (whose very knowledgeable but I don’t know his political color), benignO, Equalizer, Jhay, UP n grad, supremo, J_AG, taxj, CJV, BrianB, sonny pulgar, Bert, leytenian, thenashman, etc. etc., the usual smartass commenters, your own political platforms are badly needed.

    Also, it would suck and be embarrassing to be ignored so please, please participate 🙂

  7. SoP

    IF YOU’RE THE LEADER OF YOUR OWN POLITICAL PARTY, WHAT WILL BE YOUR PLATFORM ON THE FOLLOWING POINTS OF ISSUES:

    *LAND REFORM
    *COMMUNIST INSURGENCY
    *MORO REBELLION
    *ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
    *POVERTY ALLEVIATION
    *NATIONAL BUDGET
    *CORRUPTION
    *FOREIGN DEBT
    *ELECTORAL REFORM
    *CONSTITUTION
    *CRIME
    *NATIONAL LANGUAGE
    *CULTURE
    *LUMADS AND INDIGENOUS GROUPS
    *ENVIRONMENT
    *ENERGY SECURITY
    *OFW
    *POPULATION CONTROL
    *RELIGION
    *INFRASTRUCTURE
    *NATIONAL SOVERIGNTY AND TERRITORY
    *FOREIGN POLICY
    *(feel free to add more)

  8. SoP

    I’m only up to four issues. This is more difficult than I thought.

    *LAND REFORM
    Current land reform didn’t work because farmers, once given their CARP certificate, cannot sustain profitable farming because of no access to bank loans. Banks consider poor farmers a risk. Also one typhoon or dry season would land farmers into a spiral of debt. But the government should not act as a bank for these farmers because of perennial budget deficits and moral hazard (because the government is the bank, farmers are more likely default on loans). My proposal is to give them the option to sell back their land to the big hacienderos, become unionized farm workers with stake, through ordinary shares, on the haciendas, which will be converted into corporations.

    *COMMUNIST INSURGENCY
    Continue conventional warfare on armed groups but aggressively work for peace process. (As president) ban anti-communist military propaganda and extra-judicial killings. Grant political pardon to Jose Ma. Sison and party leaders, legalize the communist part, request the U.S. to remove them for terror group list (and risk alienation if U.S. doesn’t comply) , and do all that can be done to enable the party to participate in the political process. Treat communist related deaths as police matters for investigation.

    *MORO REBELLION
    Same as above, but won’t apply to Abu Sayyaf. Continue a mix of military operations, monetary bounty, like-for-like kidnapping of Abu Sayyaff relatives whenever they do kidnapping.

    *ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
    Continue OFW strategy. Continue liberalizing economy. Sell-off and avoid government stake on GOCCs, and give the government more regulatory powers, instead of having a direct hand on running GOCCs and quasi-government organizations. Regulatory powers can be increased by increasing punitive fines on anti-competitive behavior. Less reliance on build-operate-transfer schemes. Instead, give total ownership to private enterprises on major infrastructure projects, even allow monopolies, but increase price control powers of government.

    to be continued…
    *POVERTY ALLEVIATION
    *NATIONAL BUDGET
    *CORRUPTION
    *FOREIGN DEBT
    *ELECTORAL REFORM
    *CONSTITUTION
    *CRIME
    *NATIONAL LANGUAGE
    *CULTURE
    *LUMADS AND INDIGENOUS GROUPS
    *ENVIRONMENT
    *ENERGY SECURITY
    *OFW
    *POPULATION CONTROL
    *RELIGION
    *INFRASTRUCTURE
    *NATIONAL SOVERIGNTY AND TERRITORY
    *FOREIGN POLICY
    *(feel free to add more)

  9. betterphilippines

    i have my suggested measure against corruption in this link.

    http://www.betterphilippines.com/voters-education/make-the-government-a-dangerous-place-for-evil-doers/

    someone told me it’s too radical. don’t know about that.

  10. betterphilippines

    “Sell-off and avoid government stake on GOCCs,”

    this is a good one. government-appointed managers tend to make a bigger mess out of things. the obvious reason: most appointees do not have the qualifications just the connection to whomever sits in malacanang.

  11. cvj

    @SOP, my proposed platform in a diagram.

  12. cvj

    Details of the above framework is explained by my proposed new social contract on wages, taxes and safety nets and corresponding benefits and burdens entailed.

  13. taxj

    SoP,

    Are you saying that Land Reform is a big mistake? I agree. As conceived, it’s supposed to be Agrarian Reform, not Land Reform. Land Reform is just about land distribution, as is practiced now. Agrarian Reform has added components which Gloria correctly sums up in her propaganda blurbs: FIELDS.

    In her SONA’s she measures accomplishments in terms of hectarage, beneficiares and amount spent for land acquisition. It should be on the quality of life of the recipients. Are they better off now that their hold on the land they till is more secure? SoP, a CARP awardee has nothing to sell. All he has is a right to amortize the land.

    I would abolish Land Reform. Instead, I would divert funds intended for land acquisition to FIELDS which shall directly and immediately help the farmer.

  14. benign0

    Sometimes what you stand for (or IF you stand for something) depends on whether you are a “rebel” or a “revolutionary”.

    There is a difference.

    “Rebels” are known for what they are AGAINST.

    “Revoltutionaries” are known for what they are FOR.

    We explain in detail this difference here:

    http://www.antipinoy.com/rebels-vs-revolutionaries/

  15. supremo

    POVERTY ALLEVIATION
    1)Salary by the hour instead of daily. That will give everyone a lot more job opportunities.

    2)Only 3 non-working holidays per year. Jan 1, June 12 and Dec 25 (rename it Thanksgiving Day to remove religious tag)

    3)To reduce the palamunin, no more loitering even in front of your own house. Let’s see if the tambays can last a day inside the house listening to their nagger wife or mother.

    4)No more personal income tax!

  16. supremo

    OFW

    Stop the documentation of OFWs. Abolish POEA and OWWA.

  17. sonny pulgar

    sop, dynasty.

    its only Mar Roxas who does not maintain a dynasty. dynasties became the in thing in the 90s. without a dynasty, a politician has not arrived yet…thus, c gob ang erpat, c ate ang congressman, c bunso ang mayor, c hipag ang vice governor…

    side walk encroachment should be made a capital offense.

    judicial reform. repeal Kiko Pangilinan’s prohibitive court costs. this kiko thinks he is cute when he authored this law. it was the most anti-poor law this 100 years.

    infrastructure. rehab PNR. extend SLEx to Camarines Sur. construct a pacific highway (East Luzon Express Way (ELex)) from atimonan to Real to Marikina, and a circumferential railway in mindanao.

  18. sonny pulgar

    PDI: Asked why the resolution (absolving GMA and FG, indicting Romulo Neri and Benjamin Abalos for graft) took two years to be issued, (Jose)De Jesus (Ombudsman spokesman) said the NBN-ZTE controversy was “a complex case,” and that “two years is not really long.”

    this is Ombudsman admission of guilt. 60 days is all one needs to wrap up an investigation like this.

    instead of being appointed, the next Ombudsman should be elected (of course this requires a charter amendment). but our experience (desierto and gutierrez prostituted the office) tells us that an appointed Ombudsman is an insurance to the president of absolution from graft charges.

  19. sonny pulgar

    judicial reform: delivery of justice should not be outsourced.

  20. karl garcia

    However, in our imperfect world, the standing of political parties is low and only a minority, a little over a quarter of the population, takes parties or party affiliation seriously

    This reminds me of q3’s exchange with Cocoy..
    The question of Cocoy about the LP opening up its membership so that the parties are not controled by politicians,then mlq3 replies that anyone can call up the parties to become card carrying members but not so many people tke parties seriously.

    My question would be;
    Is it two late for the two party system?
    With so many parties around.. some or most formed by splinter groups or a disgruntled presidentiables(not chosen by party),etc.
    and all the moving around going on I guess that it would be more than a quarter of the population would take parties and party affiliations seriously.

    Right now,it woul always be coalitions or multiparties leaving a majority vote only to be resolved by election runoffs.(an an amendment to the constitution)

    methinks an election runoff setup would not resolve seriousness or loylty to parties.
    what if the last two standing does not belong to your party,how would that resolve the party loyalty issue.

    It may sound too American and too retro,but is the fashionable(contemporary) way working?
    It could if there are only two parties and the parties would spend for the election runoff for the standard bearer then the job of the comelec would only be for actual elections.

    =======================================================

    for platform

    land use:
    our master planners should not be left to their own devices coming up with a master plan only to be rejected by the residents.
    Like for example roro ports, no prior consultation with the residents and the environmentalists and the rest of the stakeholders will be a recipe for disater.Right now El Nido is an example.

    having a plan is one thing what about those without a master plan like those beaches extracted of their sand for the right price, what about those new mines, new real estate developments,,new rail road tracks,new highways,new bridges
    So the best plan would be not to have a plan at all, just surprise everyone and just wait for them to complain.

    Communist insurgency…or whatever is the politically correct way to call it.

    We know this started way before the leaders of the movement read the guerilla warfare of Mao, and das Kapital of Marx and Engels.
    Now as to the present it is all about landgrabbing again and all those that goes with it..the use of force,revolutionary taxes. propaganda from all corners counter propaganda from all corners and all mediums.

    Food security.

    You know what congress has created this body called the agricultural and fisheries modernization oversight committee some ten yeras ago..and until now financing is a problem.
    And another minor issue; Turfing.
    When sec yap was asked as the secretary of the lead agency that handles agricultural and fisheries and modernization, why can’t you get along, and sec yap gave the Turfing excuse.

    You know what their other issue is how to attract scholars to enroll in agriculture realted courses.their target are the children of farmers.

    Land reform- agree with SOP and taxj

    Peace process – i have no idea, have another moa-ad then we are back to square one.(mIndanao)Not having one makes me think of federalsim.

    Bloated afp- having over 1000 living active and retired generals means that we have a star struck military.The reduction must begin from the top revert to the marcos time ratio of generals.
    The bloated afp resulted in paying pensions for more than 100,000 pensioners who were soldiers or vets, too late for an instant solution, with 115,000 active thanks to the pnp and the coast guard being removed from the afp, the cycle continues.
    For those saying that the wars are for the war budget,guess again the budget goes to the pensions and the salaries not the wars although we know that what we see in “tayong dalawa is more than just a figment of someone’s imgination, those familar with the Pestanio case would find it more real.

    Now since we are in this mess ,how do we clean this up.
    And i have read the budget issues from J-AG on more than one occassion.
    =============

    We all know that a presidential candidates platform could only do as much, but wouldn’t it be great to hear one(from them), though.

  21. cvj

    Karl, a run-off is not meant to solve the party-loyalty issue. It is meant to establish the electoral mandate of the would-be President.

  22. karl garcia

    Oh yes chuck.

    what if time will come when people do get interested in joining parties as card carrying members.
    the loyalty issue would not only be for the pols but for party members who may not be necessarily be polticos.

    an election runoff would be a problem for that setup.

    since that is not the case and people do not care about parties at all ., then a multi rounded election might be the answer.(once we solve the budget deficit and national debt issues)

    another problem…
    Since you,me and many others have trust issues with comelec, we know a runoff election without automation would be a pipe dream. Imagine we spend two years including the extended campaign period just to elect a president.

    I think even your proposal of keeping precinct levels manual would still be a trust issue on comelec.

    Unfortunately trust is earned,even with our docile nature we still have a lot of trust issues.Just look the number of watchdogs.

  23. mlq3

    karl, indonesia has runoff elections, in large part because they studied rp and wanted to avoid rp’s post edsa mistake of minority presidents. they’re archipelagic and as far as i know, don’t use automation.

  24. J_AG

    I believe that there is an NGO that is called Institute for Popular Democracy.

    I personally believe that broad based representative government is an ideal in the Philippines which is far from being the reality.. We should abolish national elections and institute elections only at the local level. A feudal system requires that we revert to a political system that is more compatible with the societal format.

    We should have regional representatives that will comprise the national government. They will then elect the national leader.

    Major cities will have their own regional representatives which will be a result of purely local elections.

    It is the height of absurdity to believe that we are a mature economic state that can solely depend on fiscal and monetary framework to resolve
    systemic and structural impediments to economic development.

    You do not try to fill a swimming pool with a water pistol…

    Singapore has a population of only 5M+ but their wealth generation is higher than the Philippine state with a population of 90 million. The reasons are varied but that is a staggering reality that reflects the primitive nature of the wealth generating process in the country.

    The very rationale of government is to mitigate and arbitrate the natural contradictions of self interest within all communities within its state boundaries.

    Hence the contradictions in the Philippine state are still between families and clans and their dependence on foreign capital.. Sense of country is still missing…

    The coercive powers of the State (police and military) are at the beck and call of private familial interests who control the State. That is the leading hallmark and glue of feudal societies.

    Today the backward landlord based families have given way to the comprador/banker familial dominant class. This class has no loyalty to country as their gain is not dependent on country exclusively..

    Stop trying to fashion a first world style political representative governmental system to govern a third world economy. It will always produce a bad fit…

    For example, Cebu wants a certain amount of political autonomy but is dependent on the national government guaranteeing its foreign loans. Let each region stand on its own wealth generating process. Why should we tax the whole country for paying to keep the infrastructure of NCR almost exclusively… Why should we tax the whole country for paying the loans that were directed solely for the NCR. Why should banks collect savings from the whole country and service mainly the NCR…

    The old colonial model that kept Manila as the capital of the imperial powers is long gone but the system remains intact for the most part.

  25. cvj

    J_ag has a point. Why are we commoners and serfs making it so difficult for our feudal lords to be their feudal selves? We are cramping their style.

  26. karl garcia

    mlQ3,cvj

    thanks for that.
    if they can do it, why can’t we?

    we have less islands than indonesia, we have less people than indonesia….and they even resolved the ACEH issue in probably less amount of time than all of our peace talks.(FAM from 1976-2005)(mnlf began at about the same time(earlier))

    the problem is we also have less infrastructure,less results,less resolve,etc.

    So now I have to agree with Jag when he said, the analysis is there,but the solutions are not (or something to that effect)

  27. mabini

    Why should we tax the whole country for paying the loans that were directed solely for the NCR. Why should banks collect savings from the whole country and service mainly the NCR… – J_AG
    ____________________________

    I think its the population of NCR, if there is just a way for the migrants from Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon (Northern and Southern )to return to their respective regions but then again the reason why they migrated must first be addressed.

  28. SoP

    “karl garcia on Sat, 29th Aug 2009 2:31 pm
    and they even resolved the ACEH issue in probably less amount of time than all of our peace talks.”

    The peace deal was signed after the tsunami hit Aceh. You could pray for a tsunami or earthquake, typhoon, whatever to hit MNLF territories, which will put their communities in a devastated position.

    It was a class act for the Indo government to propose the peace deal immediately after the tsunami tragedy. Will Filipino government do the same in a similar situation? Baka suguring pang lalo instead of making peace hehehe.

  29. karl garcia

    With the close proximity of Mindanao to Indonesia napaisp tuloy ako na kung sa bagyo di madalas tamaan ang Mindano pero dahil sa dalas ng earthquakes sa Indonesia baka dapat isipin na natin ang mga ganyang possibilities.

    About hitting people while down,am afraid na ugali din natin yan pero di naman siguro tayo ganon kagrabe at susugurin pa ng militar kahit nasalantawla na nga .

    I hope peace will come first before any calamities.

    sorry, serious pa din ang dating ko…nagpapatawa ka na nga eh.

  30. taga-tabing-ilog

    two party system and a federal form of government may give us a more meaningful future in Philippine Politics, a leeway against the chains of trapos and decentralization of national government.

    karl, i am praying for a divine intervention to happen in the Philippines. we, the OFWs are also craving for a good governance so that every drop of sweat embedded in our monthly remittances to the Philippines will not return void instead it will accomplish its purpose.

    we started the changes we need yesterday, me and my wife went to the Philippine Embassy here in Doha together with some of our friends and registered in order for us to exercise our rights as per OAV bill in the coming May 2010 national election.

  31. SoP

    There’s an economic explanation to the peace deal. It’s not just a matter of goodwill as I’ve stated.

    Prior to the peace deal, the Indo generals had lucrative concessions to the illegal logging in Aceh. They also had kickbacks in the gambling and prostitution operations there.

    With the tsunami, industry went down because of the 150,000 Acehnese deaths. Most GAM fighters also died in the tsunami. Indonesian soldiers, like Filipino soldiers, are for protracted war because it gives them more benefits in the form of wages and benefits (more money when they’re fighting) rather than in a situation where there is peace.

    But the clincher is the international pledge of estimated $1 billion dollars from international donors for the reconstruction of Aceh. Susilo B.Y. made a deal with the generals that, in return for the peace deal and cessation of fighting, they would get the lucrative contracts in the reconstruction of Aceh. To get this estimated 1 billion dollars, Indonesians had to show the international community goodwill. Hence, the peace deal. In return, the generals will get a big chunk of that billion dollar pie.

    GAM had to accept that deal in return for renouncing independence and a one sided disarmament. The military is still in control of Aceh. This was painful for them because they really wanted independence. Although all is not bad as they worked out a deal where they’ll get 70% of all profits form mining and logging operations, with the Indo government getting 30%.

  32. SoP

    Going back to Manolo’s post, I’m no longer interested in platforms, but rather the character of the presidentiables. I should probably just accept the fact that most political parties will take centrist to right of center positions on most issues.

    The main thing to decide is the character of the president. If the current polls are to go by, then this should be a good development if it will be a Mar vs Villar contest, as both are male.

    Why would it matter if they’re male? I have this theory that our military are filled with sexist, misogynist, chauvinist soldiers who cannot tolerate a female president. Cory and GMA were hounded by coup d’etats because of their gender. You could argue that Ramos didn’t suffer coups because he was an ex-military. That leaves Erap. Would it be his all-out war policy that placated the military? Ramos was soft on MILF, so the military doesn’t care about the warmonger nature of the president. Could it be the corruption that makes the military jittery? Well both Erap and GMA are corrupt, but only GMA bore the brunt of coup d’etats. The only explanation must be gender. Them chauvinist soldiers couldn’t tolerate taking orders from a female president, which is why the rebel at every opportunity. If the next president will be a man, highly like given that my other manok Loren Legarda probably won’t win, then it could only be good for our country as there will be less or not coups.

  33. Karl Garcia

    SOP,

    Thanks for your insights.

  34. taxj

    Should it be platform, character, gender or looks? Politicians themselves give as much loyalty to platforms as as they do to parties. Nil. It’s all for show and convenience. Character does not assure us of anything. Look at Cory. All she had was character.

    Gender? All one has to do is close his eyes and pick one. It would most likely be a male or one who looks like one. Looks? Beauty is in the beholder. Among all the mestizos, I find Binay as the most attractive.

    I pity the OFW who goes goes through all the trouble just to cast his vote. I’m sure his bet won’t win. I don’t know why but it seems that the outcome is never decided by the thinking man. I go for Binay’s strong local governments. It’s the best antidote against the federalism folly. On the other hand, the Hero’s informercial is best of all. Implement laws. This is what presidents are for. This is what we need.

    But I have long braced myself for a clunker or a cheat.
    Electing a president is like bringing home a wife or buying a secord hand car. You’ll never know how she/it will perform. In the end, it all depends on how we deal with him. Is this funny enough? Hehehe.

  35. J_AG

    A recent paper on the persistent of poverty suggests the cause…

    In Marxistspeak constituencies mean the class structure.

    Endowments would mean physical capital and social capital.

    We consider institutions weak simply because they are captured institutions… So how do you change institutions without changing the constituencies?

    For Caesar to be the Wolf the People must remain to be the Sheep…

    The Persistence of Underdevelopment:
    Institutions, Human Capital, or Constituencies?1

    Raghuram G. Rajan (I.M.F. and N.B.E.R.)
    Luigi Zingales (Harvard University, N.B.E.R. & CEPR)

    “Our paper suggests the persistence of underdevelopment is not necessarily due to the existence of bad political, and consequently economic, institutions. Institutions may often be only the
    proximate cause.”

    “The deeper reason is the existence of self-perpetuating interest groups. Changing explicit institutions without changing the constituencies backing them is likely to be a futile exercise, for the constituencies against change will find a way around the constraints imposed by the institutions.”

    “The main message of this paper is that rather than focusing on institutions, we should focus on the constituencies that demand them.”

    “Such a focus shifts the debate, we believe, back to factor
    endowments and the following question: How do we change factor endowments in a poor society,especially if dominant interest groups oppose such change? From the perspective of development, this
    may be a more fruitful question than the question of how we change institutions.”

    The President need the perpetuating self interest groups maintaining the institutions to get elected and to remain in office.

  36. J_AG

    Does any one of the persons seeking the position of the Office of the Presidency come out openly challenging the self interest groups who corrupt the institutions.

    One would have to threaten to jail almost the entire business community…

    Tax evasion, smuggling are standardized institutionalized business practices.

    Bribery of judges and prosecutors are standard operating procedures for all lawyers. The bigger law firms will rationalize their so called integrity by pointing on who to bribe.

    Gaming the market system is the rule rather than the exception by turning discretionary political power into an almost absolute monopoly power.

    Valuations of right and wrong has been perverted..

    An interesting analogy may be made with the story of the 11 year old girl recently found after spending 18 years with her abductor.

    She became totally dependent on the guy and most probably had many chances to run away but she probably chose not to.

    Psychologists will be asking many questions as to why this happened.

    When will Pinoys fight and demand for their emancipation?

    When will we hear the right fighting words from politicos that will reflect and ratify those demands that till today are muted?

  37. benign0

    Character does not assure us of anything. Look at Cory. All she had was character.

    This is a rare gem of insight!!!

  38. SoP

    Cory did alright. She restored the electoral system, brought back the independent supreme court, tamed the military, did a smooth transition to Ramos.

    A lesser man could’ve done worse. I’m not expecting big leaps for our president, just baby steps to something good for our country. I have to say, Cory made some big strides to getting our country into better shape. Better than Marcos’ anyway.

    Now Marcos-that is a bad character. Marcos, for all his brilliance, couldn’t control the women in his life. First, with Dovey Beams, then with Imelda. For all his macho posturing via the military, martial law and torturing his political enemies, history couldn’t hide the fact that at home, he was Imelda’s whipping boy. The lengths he had to go through to please Imelda, stealing billions for his country just to make this one woman happy, is a big, big weakness.

    I’m getting the same feeling with Mar Roxas and Korina. Me thinks Mar Roxas is whipped by Korina like Marcos was with Imelda. We need a president who can control his spouse. Someone who’s the boss in a relationship.

  39. chris

    I agree completely on the need for platforms, but they have to be specific.
    I did not see any mention of a draft in the 1935 platform, and that was the result of Commonwealth act #1, and this was enforced (Without seeing dawn)

  40. mlq3

    chris, the draft was made possible by the provisions on military service in the 1935 constitution. as was the platform calling for a means for national service while avoiding large standing armies. the explanation is in the sona for 1936.

  41. Karl Garcia

    CVJ,

    I have read your exchanges with BENK over at FV I prefer to bring it here since it is stated above that i did mention costs(indirectly:budget and debt)as a hindrance to runoff elections.

    yeah, the long term cost of not having a majority president is more costly than any costly election.

    Sorry it took a while after reading about it here for so many times through the years to be finally convinced.

    now we need charter amendments.

    Indonesia leaned from our mistakes, now we need to learn from ours.

  42. Carl

    Platform? In this country, it’s only about getting the top prize, the big enchilada. Poliiticians will mouth all the motherhood statements the people want to hear, but hard-nosed politics and calloused pragmatism has always won out in the end.

    Take, for example, this nonsense of clamoring for Noynoy Aquino to run. The guy has done nothing, nor has he demonstrated the potential to do anything of consequence. Yet there are people out there seriously egging on this guy to run for President because they are banking on the sympathy generated by his mother’s demise to carry him to the top.

    It’s all about winning, really.

  43. sonny pulgar

    C’mon SoP, don’t make Korina some kind of a bogeyman.

  44. SoP

    You’re right I shouldn’t judge people. Korina has a lot more going for than Imelda. She’s a hardworking career woman who evolved some investigative journalism chops later in her career (even though she started as a talking head) while Imelda is a mere airhead beauty queen.

  45. SoP

    Maybe the fact that she’s barren by age (unless she gets IVF treatments) will push her to shower her motherly instincts on the country instead.

    But this argument is moot because Mar is not gonna win.

  46. SoP

    Ah Sunday night with nothing to do…so I got to thinking, again, that there’s more brilliance in this comment box than in the ranks of our current political parties.

    This question may sound stupid, but I wonder why none of you never bother to form you own political parties? I surmise that, for most of us, we have commitments, 9 to 5 jobs, wives and kids to take care of, and most important of all, no money.

    But really, what are the logistics and particulars involved in forming a political party in the Philippines? I’m particularly interested in how Comelec registration is done.

  47. ramrod

    It seems that a lot of us are disillusioned when it comes to elections. While its true that most effort, resource, and time is focused on “winning” via appeal to emotion and actually buying votes – we must not lose sight of what is right. If the Filipino never learns to chose it leaders objectively, identify and focus on real issues, and make informed judgments based on analysis of platforms (of course in relation to character, as you can make a perfect platform presentation but don’t have the scrupples to deliver later), every election will be disappointing, not to mention kiss sustainability goodbye…again…
    We could take the good ideas generated here and benchmark with the platforms the candidates present…then again, we need to have a format that allows dissection, not to mention logical flow…so we can see if the promises are actually doable, or just the usual..

  48. ramrod

    I hope we attempt to choose intelligently this time.

  49. mumbaki

    I think we need more integration in the next administration,fixing the roads and infrastructure is important and we need more rail roads like they do in japan that will cause more progress….

  50. taxj

    SoP, skip the hassle of creating more parties. The man with the best platform, character and qualifications could end up as a nuisance candidate. And rightly so. Imagine a Roxas with all his wealth and name recall “is not gonna win”. Politics is more about winning than about being right.

    Yeah, Cory did alright, for a mere housewife. She restored the electoral system that favored oligarchs and gave way to the election of minority presidents. She brought back the independent SC that would later legitimize the illegal take-over by Gloria. And made the smooth transition to Ramos. As though she had a choice!

    Actually though, its our minshandling of the Cory Constitution that did us in. We failed to cash in on its provisions enshrining the local governments. Now our fate is in the hands of the Presidency, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

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