«

»

Jan 14

The Long View: Leaders and managers

The Long View
Leaders and managers
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:07:00 01/13/2010

THE TWO leading contenders for the presidency are senators. This is no accident. The Senate was restored in 1941 precisely to serve as a training ground for the presidency. One of unicameralism’s limitations was that assemblymen could blithely ignore national concerns while zealously coddling their district interests. This continues to explain why success in the House of Representatives doesn’t lend itself to success in seeking national office: what makes for a successful congressman doesn’t automatically translate into mastery of the requirements for national leadership.

Our being an idiosyncratic archipelago also means that provincial executive experience, even when successful, doesn’t necessarily mean that a local executive is either qualified or attractive for national office: the needs and concerns of a country that is such a patchwork of contending interests require of the president a national perspective which comes from seeking, and holding, national office.

And so neither local legislative politics nor local executive experience is enough, though either can be a stepping stone toward achieving national recognition and experience in the Senate. The only alternatives to this being either a cabinet portfolio or a career in a national institution like the military. The latter, however, suffer from the handicap of not requiring any kind of validation from the public. When achieved by means of an unpopular chief executive, for example, national goodwill can only be fostered by tangible signs of independence. Thus, Ramon Magsaysay broke ties with Elpidio Quirino and Fidel V. Ramos rebelled against Marcos.

The two leading contenders have therefore proven themselves in terms of being able to secure a national mandate prior to seeking a mandate for the presidency. The leading contender represents a very Asian kind of leadership: that of the bearer of a widely-respected heritage. His main rival represents another kind of political appeal: that of the self-made man. They also represent fundamental contrasts in their approach to the presidency: Noynoy Aquino is an economist by training, Manny Villar is an entrepreneur. The former is inclined toward public policy, the latter has gotten where he has by relentlessly pursuing private gain.

Aquino’s background and education puts harmonizing the competing interests of different sectors at the forefront in order to pursue national development. Villar’s education and undertakings require viewing government as an obstacle that private business must overcome, if management’s concern to create value for shareholders is to be achieved. If the perils of policymakers is the tendency to be concerned with the abstract, the perils of entrepreneurship is to be so pragmatic as to brush aside questions of social justice. The difference boils down to artificially separating leadership from management.

Warren Bennis in “On Becoming a Leader” contrasts leaders and managers as follows.

– The manager administers; the leader innovates.

– The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.

– The manager maintains; the leader develops.

– The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.

– The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.

– The manager accepts reality; the leader investigates it.

– The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

– The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

– The manager has his/ her eye always on the bottom line; the leader has his/ her eye on the horizon.

– The manager imitates; the leader originates.

– The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

– The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.

– The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

This is why I believe focusing on one aspect to the exclusion of the other, on insisting for example on a supposed track record of experience without asking if the experience is relevant to the job at hand, is an artificial separation. Ideally, leadership should go hand-in-hand with management skills, but since this is an imperfect world and those gifted in one aspect aren’t necessarily as accomplished in another, it becomes a question of teamwork. Companies have CEOs to undertake leadership and COOs to focus on management. In corporate succession crises, tensions arise when managers move up and prove to be bad leaders.

In public discussions on the candidates, it seems to me that divisions run deep precisely because voters seek one of the above. They either want a leader or a manager without asking who can approximate both aspects or, if stronger in one aspect than the other, to create a harmonious team capable of working within the public sphere. Public service is different from the corporate world in that the measure of success is far less tangible than in business: the bottom line is not the main goal. Put another way, the undeniable success of ShoeMart is awe-inspiring to corporate types but presents in many ways many problems policymakers have to fix. Devastated small and medium enterprises, strain on public infrastructure and the environment, social justice questions – all these become questions government has to attend to.

The same dilemma will confront anyone who achieved success in the private sector in one specific industry, since his expertise becomes a barrier to comprehending the contending interests of the public and corresponding expectations for the state to arbitrate sectoral differences in good faith. The policymaker, on the other hand, will be hamstrung if an effective management team cannot be inspired to work double-time, insisting all the while on clearly defined tasks and achievable goals.

44 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. Erineo

    In the United States, the most effective Presidents during the past century had experience as executives, whether as governors or as a general in the Armed Forces: FDR, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton come to mind.

    Eisenhower being the exception(Eisenhower’s legacy was the extensive U.S. highway system), Roosevelt, Reagan and Clinton came with strong views and ideologies which characterized and differentiated their administrations. In their own way, each one was a visionary.

    Roosevelt created strong public institutions, more government, if you will.

    Reagan came with strong beliefs about individual rights, less government and less taxation.

    Clinton believed in fiscal prudence, curbing deficits. He also had strong beliefs about health care for all. Clinton was successful in the fiscal aspect, but failed on health care. However, his health care initiatives created a spark which, to this day, Obama is trying to cobble together.

    Any visionaries in our horizon?

  2. apanfilo

    Great read.

    But where does GMA fit? She’s an economist by training like Noynoy but clearly her bent is not toward ‘harmonizing the competing interests of different sectors.’ If I had to categorize her using Bennis’ criteria, I’d say she’s a manager concerned with the basest of bottom lines: her own political survival, the country’s interest and opinion polls be damned.

    GMA of course is not a presidential candidate, but the little exercise above is just intended to highlight the fact that everything is not as it appears to be.

    There’s no question that we need leaders, not simply managers, especially for the highest post. It’s time the candidates demonstrate they possess leadership qualities by engaging the electorate in an intelligent discussion of issues that matter and stop obsessing over those surveys.

    Candidates should fight the good fight and elevate the quality of discourse.

  3. mlq3

    as teddyboy locsin described her, “fussbudget.” micromanager and unable to fully harness potential of the office for leadership.

  4. thecusponline

    The point about leaders is well taken. We do need them. You do rightly point out the distinction of leadership in the public as opposed to the private sector.

    However, I find the contrast between Aquino, the policy wonk v Villar the shrewd entrepreneur a bit stretched. If that were true, it would mean Aquino would have produced more substantive pieces of legislation than Villar both in the House and Senate (which is obviously not the case).

    In terms of policy detail, the NP platform actually has more detailed policy statements compared to the LP. (I am not stating a preference, just merely making an observation). Perhaps, it would have better to say that one was more analytical and impersonal while the other was more strategic and relational in approach(?).

  5. SoP

    Where’d you get this idea that senate should be a training ground for the presidency? Well Arroyo and Erap were senators, look what kind of fuck-ups they turned out to be. They totally invalidate your theory. And why the fuck do they need to be trained? So the presidency needs a friggin training course? Your treating it like it’s some kind of call centre job or something.

  6. SoP

    You could make a similar case for the vice presidency as a “training ground” for the presidency Consider that 6 out of our 13 presidents became vice presidents before they became presidents (Garcia, Macapagal, Osmena, Quirino, Arroyo, Estrada) and 7 out of 13 were senators prior to becoming presidents (Quezon, Roxas, Quirino, Garcia, Marcos, Arroyo, Erap).

    Half of these people in the list eventually became fuck-ups. So yeah maybe there’s something to your theory. Half the time, the senate and the vice-presidency are an excellent training ground to becoming a fuck-up president.

    I know why you keep hammering this senate-as-training-ground thingo: because your step-grandfather was a 3 term senator prior to becoming a president. The longest serving senator of all presidents.

    And just so you know, only GMA, Ramos, and Magsaysay were the only presidents who were neither wvice-president or senator before becoming president. And these are presidents which I consider good presidents. So yeah, our country will be fucked up once again because the two leading contenders have senatorial background.

  7. SoP

    edit: And just so you know, only Cory, Ramos, and Magsaysay were the only presidents who were neither wvice-president or senator before becoming president.

  8. UP n Grad

    Leaders have platforms, don’t they?

    Kinda like a ship captain who says he’ll bring ship (and its cargo and passenger) from South Korea to South Africa via Hongkong and Pakistan. There is still risk about getting to South Africa, but for sure that’s the wrong captain for “stuff” headed to Brazil.

  9. Dr. José Rizal II

    Greetings Manolo,

    I think you have to seriously re-think what the Senate is really meant to be.

    We Filipinos have a Senate only because we were generally trying to copy the bicameral nature of the US Legislature which also has a Senate in addition to their House of Representatives.

    But where we differ from the USA is that the US Senate has a real purpose to serve while the Philippine Senate doesn’t. You see, Mr. Explainer, the US Senate was formed to balance out the US Congress’ district-based representation. Since the different States in the USA have different population and geographical sizes, larger States with larger populations would clearly have more districts than smaller States. As such, small states feel themselves disadvantaged by the numerical advantage that bigger states would have so that some states could act as a voting bloc within Congress, easily out-voting smaller states on certain issues.

    The solution to that was the creation of the US Senate which then gets 2 Senators each PER STATE.

    Get it, Manolo? The US Senate has Senators chosen from their respective home states. US Senators are not elected nationally.

    Now, Manolo, I need to understand your persective on this, but do you understand that the dynamics of electing Philippine Senators nationally has resulted in what is practically a national popularity contest.

    Worse, the fact that Philippine Senators are nationally-elected makes them feel that their mandate is EQUAL to that of the President – thereby making the Senate too strong in terms of preventing a good president from doing what he needs to do simply because the Senators – in order to appear like they’re doing their job – decide to act as a devil’s advocate against everything the President does.

    The biggest clincher really, Manolo, is that the Philippine Senate, being nationally-elected, DOES NOT REPRESENT ANY CONSTITUENCIES, unlike the US Senate whose constituencies are the various States. Because of this, the Senators do not really answer to anyone. Unlike in the USA where Senators answer to the States each of them represent, and constantly receive a barrage of letters from people in their respective states pleading different causes and issues, the Philippine Senate has Senators who, practically speaking, answer to no one.

    It is no wonder, thus, that the Philippine Senate doesn’t really have much to do so that some of their members – one of whom is Noynoy – don’t really do any real legislation work, even if by definition, being a Senator means being a lawmaker.

    Instead, such Senatorial slackers look for other “more interesting” things to do such as “questioning what the President does” (referred to by Filipinos as “fiscalizing” – a word which does not exist in the English language) and worse, are constantly in the look out for SCANDALS that have more to do with the lives of showbiz celebrities than with the National Interest. Scandals like the Senate Inquiry on the Brunei Beauties long ago as well as the recent Hayden Kho Sex Video Scandal come to mind.

    If anything, the lack of real constituent representation for each of the Senators represents a major problem in terms of how to gauge a Senator’s effectiveness, as they don’t really answer to real constituencies in the first place.

    Moreover, in contrast to how things are done in the USA, where the line of succession starts from the President, then goes to the Vice-President, and then goes to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Philippine situation inserts the “Senate President”, so that in the Philippines, the succession goes like this: President, Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    Incidentally, you probably didn’t know that in the USA, they don’t have a Senate President who is a separate person. Instead, the Vice-President of the USA is automatically the “President of the Senate of the United States of America.”

    Did you realize that this situation of the Philippine Senate not being elected by constituent regions (in the USA, those would be States) is actually problematic?

    Because if you didn’t see that there was a difference between the Philippine Senate and the US Senate and worse, if you don’t see where the problem of the Philippine Senate is, then it’s clear that you have problem when it comes to analyzing systems.

    Personally, if we insist on having a bicameral legislature, I’d say we should only have it once we’ve Federalized the country into regions, and then establish a system where each region has 2 Senators each. Otherwise, a nationally-elected Senate is a useless and redundant resource-wasting contraption.

    Answer me, Manolo… Why is it that the Philippines needs to have a so-called “Presidential Training Ground” in the Senate, when in the USA, the Senate does not act as such?

    For sure, many US Senators do move on to the Presidency. But they didn’t have to be nationally-elected as Senators!

    So, here’s the question again, Manolo:

    Why is it that the Philippines needs to have a so-called “Presidential Training Ground” in the Senate, when in the USA, the Senate does not act as such?

    By the way, SoP started it by asking “Where’d you get this idea that senate should be a training ground for the presidency?”, Manolo.

    All I did was to give a major BOOST to his very well though-out question. 😉

    your genius friend,

    Dr. José Rizal II

    PS. I noticed you told your friend William Esposo that you felt harrassed on your own board. My advice, Manolo: Come clean. Answer the questions we ask you, and you won’t get harrassed with more and more questions of increasing difficulty. 😉

  10. SoP

    Erineo on Thu, 14th Jan 2010 2:58 pm

    In the United States, the most effective Presidents during the past century had experience as executives

    Guvernor George W. invalidates this.

    apanfilo on Thu, 14th Jan 2010 3:33 pm

    But where does GMA fit? She’s an economist by training like Noynoy but clearly her bent is not toward ‘harmonizing the competing interests of different sectors.’

    GMA should be the archetype of the perfect President in Quezon’s world – presidential pedigree as Diosdado’s daughter, though she held unelected executive position as DoT secretary she got “popular mandate” by being elected senator, never held local exec or legislative post (so no bailiwick cuddling? HAHAHAHA! SHE BECAME THE MOST REGIONALISTIC OF ALL PRESIDENTS), academia background (economics at that) BUT UNDER HER TERM OUR DEFICIT AND INFLATION POSITION BECAME WORSE!

    THERE IS NOT PRE-PRESIDENTIAL PROFESSIONAL PATTERN SILVER BULLET TO BECOMING A GOOD PRESIDENT. REPEAT AFTER ME, THERE IS NO PRE-PRESIDENTIAL PROFESSIONAL PATTERN SILVER BULLET TO BECOMING A GOOD PRESIDENT. IT’S ALL FUCKING RANDOM. For every law trained local representative who built his own national party Machiavellian good prime minister like Lee Kuan Yew, there’s a law trained local representative who built his own national party Machiavellian bad prime minister like Marcos. For every former governor who became president like Bill Clinton who brought back treasury surpluses, there’s a former governor who became president like George W. who brought the worst deficits. IT’S ALL FUCKING RANDOM!

  11. SoP

    Dr. José Rizal II on Thu, 14th Jan 2010 10:27 pm

    “The biggest clincher really, Manolo, is that the Philippine Senate, being nationally-elected, DOES NOT REPRESENT ANY CONSTITUENCIES, unlike the US Senate whose constituencies are the various States.

    “Because of this, the Senators do not really answer to anyone. Unlike in the USA where Senators answer to the States each of them represent, and constantly receive a barrage of letters from people in their respective states pleading different causes and issues,”

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    Forget what the founding fathers of either nation on both sides of the pacific intended, the outcome eventually is that the voters on each country are being fucked in the ass! Philippine senators only serve their family and friends their family and friends’ business interests and US senators are serving the interests of the corporate lobby machine (there’s one lobbyists for every senator congressman per industry) who feeds them millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the detriment of the voter who gets the consolation of a LETTER FROM SENATOR PR MACHINE! (WOOHOO! I GOT A LETTER REPLY FROM DEMOCRATIC/REPUBLICAN SENATOR JO SCHMO!).

    So there’s really no difference to US and Philippine senators. Do only difference are they’re serving different masters!

  12. Ka Ryan

    Dr. Jose Rizal II

    I’m going to have to agree with Manolo that the Senate represents Nationalized as opposed to Regionalized interests. Making sure that we still function as a State.

  13. Dr. José Rizal II

    SoP,

    I kind of agree with you in some areas, but here’s some useful stuff you could check out:

    http://www.chairwrecker.com/column.php?col=633

    Here’s an excerpt towards the end. Manolo’s friend Esposo writes:

    Your Chair Wrecker is no GMA fan and a visit to my website (www.chairwrecker.com) will show the many issues that we have hurled against her regime. But it is not being truthful to say that Estrada was the lesser national catastrophe compared to GMA.

    If we were to gauge who did better for the economy — GMA is hands down the better economic manager. From the over P50 versus the US dollar during the Estrada years, the peso is now stable and just hovering between P46 to 47.50 against the US dollar. Despite the world economic crisis, the Philippine stock market remains lively.

    Under Estrada, per the ADB Major Economic Indicators, GDP growth went from 5.2 in 2007 (the last year of President Fidel V. Ramos) to — 0.5 in 1998, 3.2 in 1999 and 3.8 in 2000. It rose to 4.3 in 2001 when Estrada was ousted as president. Per the September 2009 CIA World Factbook, from 2003 to 2008, under GMA the country registered GDP growth of 4.60 (2003), 4.50 (2004), 5.90 (2005), 4.80 (2006), 5.40 (2007) and 7.30 (2008).

    Per Biznews Asia’s Tony Lopez, under GMA, “In GDP terms, the economy expanded from P3.63 trillion in 2001 to P7.42 trillion in 2008, a 104-percent increase or a doubling of the size of the economy. That’s equivalent to an average 13-percent gain per year (104 divided by eight years).”

    The problem has been the perennial failure to ensure that the poor folks get a share of the growth. The poor have hardly benefited from these rare economic upswings. No more than 10% of Filipinos corner 80% of the national wealth.

    That GMA may appear to have chalked more demerits than Estrada is perhaps due to a longer tenure than being the greater evil. Thank God that we only had to undergo two and half years under Estrada. We are now on our eighth year under GMA.

    * * *

    In short, GMA per se isn’t really all that bad. It could be argued that she was rather effective as a national leader in terms of managing the economy and averting economic disaster. I honestly would say that had the Philippines used a Parliamentary System, then GMA – if she was Prime Minister – might have probably been even more effective, thanks to less brickbats and the chaotic politicking found within the Philippine Presidential System. GMA-critic Esposo himself would disagree with what you’re saying that “UNDER HER TERM OUR DEFICIT AND INFLATION POSITION BECAME WORSE!”

    Then again, I agree with you that there’s no “Silver Bullet” on making a “Good President” or more importantly – Good “Head of Government.”

    But then again, after years and years of observing, studying, and analyzing in great detail, both Presidential and Parliamentary Systems, I can honestly say that the Parliamentary System has much more naturally organic way of getting members of parliament up to speed in becoming effective executives in the Front Bench (top hierarchy) of the Government (“Government” means “Majority Bloc”, as opposed to the “Opposition” which is the “Minority Bloc”) Why? That’s because before one can become the leader of the Majority Bloc, one has to prove his/her expertise and competence in first handling one’s own constituency, and additionally, if that MP is keen to, handling different portfolios as heads of Ministries.

    By the time an up-and-coming member of parliament becomes Deputy Prime Minister or Minister of Finance (or Chancellor of the Exchequer in Britain) or some other high level “Front Bench” position (meaning he’s in the pool of potential successors to the leader of the majority bloc), that MP is already deemed seasoned-enough to take over the majority bloc (party or coalition) should the PM resign/retire.

    In short, the Parliamentary System’s elections focus on which bloc (party or coalition) should get the majority of parliamentary seats, but the question of who potentially becomes leader of the bloc (party or coalition) and thus become the Prime Minister is based on MERITOCRACY. MP’s compete against each other within their own party/coalition by showing good results and superior performance in handling their own constituencies as well as moving up the ranks by taking on extra work as heads of Ministries and making sure that such Ministries successfully deliver positive results.

    The highly “Darwinian” and competitive and meritocratic “rise-within-the-ranks” nature of the Parliamentary System ensures that whoever ends up becoming the Prime Minister is someone who at the very least has real vision and real leadership skills as the leader of his bloc (party or coaltion) or as one of the key Front-benchers within the bloc.

    In the Parliamentary System, you won’t end up with idiots being the Premiership.

    * * *

    Incidentally I have a few comments on what you said here:

    “For every law trained local representative who built his own national party Machiavellian good prime minister like Lee Kuan Yew, there’s a law trained local representative who built his own national party Machiavellian bad prime minister like Marcos.”

    – – –
    My comment:

    I honestly don’t think it’s fair to compare LKY with Marcos even if both were heads of government and lawyers. Because while LKY was a Prime Minister, Marcos was not. He was a popularly-elected President, directly voted in nationally, who gained his “currency” on the national scene by playing the crowd with his claim to being a war hero and all other lies he concocted just so that he could build a personality cult around him.

    (In fact, when Marcos merely “changed the LABELS” on the government and removed the Senate, he essentially retained a Presidential System, although he claimed that his Batasang Pambansa was a “parliament.” Instead, he just switched labels. Executive Secretary was changed to “Prime Minister.” Departments were changed to “Ministries.” Congressmen were changed into “Assemblymen.” But he was still President. And the power was still with the Presidency, not with the Parliament led by the Prime Minister. Overall, since the REAL POWER was not with the Parliament and remained instead with the President, Marcos’ government was Presidential, not Parliamentary.)

    As Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew was not voted directly the way a Philippine President is, but instead, he was his Party’s Leader and managed and led his party well enough through good strategies (such as playing the “Leftist” card by initially allying with the Communists) and the effective choice of his party’s candidates at the local constituency level, so that come election time, his People’s Action Party candidates would win in an overwhelming majority of constituencies and thus gain a majority of seats in Parliament and he – being the PAP’s Party Leader – would then emerge as the Prime Minister.

    In short, the Parliamentary System is a system that ensures that within parties or coalitions (I just generically say “blocs”) the different party members have to prove themselves worthy of moving up the ranks and taking on crucial roles such as Finance Minister or Minister of Education or other “Front Bench” high level roles through good performance. As such, elections are not meant to determine “who becomes Prime Minister”, but rather elections determine “which party or coalition gets majority.” It is automatically assumed and already known that whoever is the leader of the party or coalition that gains the majority automatically becomes the Prime Minister. And that is a question of competence.

    Presidential Systems, on the other hand, are all about personality politics. Marcos knew the game: He built up a so called “War Hero” persona as well as his bar topnotcher achievement as his way of wowing the crowd. He built up a rock-solid physique just to show that he was “Malakas” the Manly and Virile, and was President material.

    Those aren’t necessary in the Parliamentary System. In fact, in Canada and India, the two current Prime Ministers of both countries are rather boring and uncharismatic public speakers, but have the respect of their peers in their own parties/coalitions and within Parliament for being competent leaders able to get their members delivering results.

    Between the two, the choice is clear. The Presidential System is a highly personality-oriented system that easily degenerates into a purely popularity-centric and name recall-centric CONTEST. On the other hand, the Parliamentary System’s party-centric nature means that all the electorate is tasked with doing is to choose the party/coalition they prefer for their own constituencies and hopefully, should the party or coalition gain majority, then that party gets executive power and its leader emerges as PM. The internal competition for the post of party/coalition leader within the parties/coalitions ensures that whoever emerges as party/coalition leader is at least competent enough to lead the party, and should that party/coalition gain majority, the new PM is sure to be a pre-screened competent person.

    Anyway, I’m pretty much on your side on this one, SoP, just wanted to share a few insights there.

    Now let’s wait for Manolo to answer the question I asked earlier which is an intensified version of the question you asked him.

    * * * *

    Manolo,

    Here’s the question in case you forgot:

    ‘Why is it that the Philippines needs to have a so-called “Presidential Training Ground” in the Senate, when in the USA, the Senate does not act as such?’

    Hope you can help both SoP and me understand why you so insist on retaining the Senate and using it as a “training ground for the Presidency” when it would actually be better to just better to shift over to the Parliamentary System.

    your genius friend,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  14. Dr. José Rizal II

    SoP,

    You said:

    “WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    Forget what the founding fathers of either nation on both sides of the pacific intended, the outcome eventually is that the voters on each country are being fucked in the ass! Philippine senators only serve their family and friends their family and friends’ business interests and US senators are serving the interests of the corporate lobby machine (there’s one lobbyists for every senator congressman per industry) who feeds them millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the detriment of the voter who gets the consolation of a LETTER FROM SENATOR PR MACHINE! (WOOHOO! I GOT A LETTER REPLY FROM DEMOCRATIC/REPUBLICAN SENATOR JO SCHMO!).

    So there’s really no difference to US and Philippine senators. Do only difference are they’re serving different masters!”

    Easy ka lang, Sop…

    Hold your horses, we’re on the same team here: We’re both against the existence of the Philippine Senate.

    Think first before you pull the trigger, SoP, ‘coz you’re basically doing Friendly Fire here.

    All I said, quite clearly, is that the current Philippine Senate is useless. You yourself imply the same thing. So there is no reason for you to overreact and get an orgasm. 😉

    In any case, my point is clear: regardless of what you think about the US Senate, the US Senate, at the very least, has each Senator theoretically being answerable to his home State. As such, US Senators are ELECTED PER STATE.

    That is highly contrasted to the situation in the Philippines where the Senators are elected nationally.

    Anyway, let’s ask Manolo to answer the question again:

    ‘Why is it that the Philippines needs to have a so-called “Presidential Training Ground” in the Senate, when in the USA, the Senate – whose members are only elected per state, not nationally – does not act as such?’

  15. Eric

    Gloria: the greatest manager in the history of this planet.

  16. better philippines

    i’ve been wondering about this also for the longest time. i’ve observed that the senators are too preoccupied with legislative inquiries even when no longer necessary. is there any difference at all between them and congressman insofar as legislative duties are concerned? i’m not sure but i think the senate is just a redundancy in the system.

  17. Dr. José Rizal II

    Better Philippines,

    The reason why Senators are too preoccupied with such inquiries (which in fact have nothing to do with legislation) is because many of them really have nothing else to do. And that’s because Philippine Senators are not elected by specific constituencies, unlike the Congressmen, who are elected by district (or by non-geographical constituencies in the party-list system).

    As mentioned previously in my long response to Manolo, I mentioned that Philippine Senators do not report to regions unlike their American counterparts in the US Senate who essentially report to their own States.

    You are right: the Senate really is a redundancy, and it serves no real purpose.

    In fact, some people made up an excuse saying that the Congress handles only regional concerns while the Senate handles national concerns. That is wrong. The Congress can tackle national concerns just as the Senate can. In fact, in almost all countries that have a bicameral legislature, the Lower House IS ALWAYS STRONGER and MORE POWERFUL than the upper house. (In fact, in the UK, the upper house – House of Lords – is largely ceremonial. The Prime Minister ALWAYS COMES FROM THE LOWER HOUSE – the House of Lords.)

    Sa Pinas lang baligtad! We make the Senate “more powerful”, yet it’s the group that has the least real responsibilities.

    Hope this helps,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  18. mlq3

    Some time ago I prepared this chart on past positions of those who became president:

    Presidential Bio Data

    and there are different ways, but those put forward above will more often than not include the senate as a stepping-stone to the presidency; as i pointed out a cabinet portfolio or the military is another possibility; but provincial or house experience per see seems insufficient. i proposed some reasons why.

    as for the senate as training ground, it was the commonly-understood reason for this, based on practical experience under unicameralism from 1935-1941. that unicameralism was even attempted was a kind of fluke; a majority of delegates to the 1935 convention were for bicameralism but were divided in turn over the question of retaining the senatorial districts under the jones law or to have senators elected at large. on one hand, regionalism for those drafting the basic law for a new nation, was viewed as potential threat to national unity and development; on the other hand, there were those apprehensive about an unchecked popularity contest for a nationally-elected senate. the result was that a unicameral national assembly carried the day with the majority irreconcilably split on the question. however, experience with the assembly showed it heavily dependent on the executive but with the result it was unable to push forward leaders of sufficientnt stature or popular appeal for the next generation or two of national leadership; this at a time when radical pockets were emerging in certain areas. the result would have been a power vacuum at the top, with no leaders prepared to take on the responsibilities of the presidency by means of legislative work; cabinet experience on the other hand had its own limitations, incuding not proving a capacity to earn a popular mandate.

    by 1938 the restoration of the senate was already being proposed and the debate once more returned to districts or election at large. a further complication was the existence of the national assembly which would be loathe to agree to a dimunition of its role. these concerns were solved as follows. first, the lower house and the senate would jointly share the power of confirmation once exclusively held by the senate, thus putting both chambers at par with each other and in fact retaining a larger role for the house which retained the sole power to originate spending bills; the confirmatory power of the US Senate is the counterpart exclusive power to the Houses’s power of the purse; here, that’s not the case. Second, House terms were changed from three to four years, synchronizing them with the President’s while the Senate’s, at six years, had had 1/3 of its membership or eight senators elected every two years, thus serving the purpose of providing a mid-term referendum for administrations and also, the presence of a continuing body in case of constitutional emergencies. furthermore, and this was the clincher for those concerned even at that early date, with the potential of senators being elected merely out of popularity or wealth, legislation was passed instituting bloc voting, where voters could vote a party ticket and avoid having to fill in each and every blank.

    these modifications worked until congress and public opinion systematically removed the means for keepng party cohesion in elections, bloc voting. no coincidence that with the elimination of bloc voting, the senate race became an every-man-for-himself exercise. for a time, the public standing of veteran legislators kept many of them in office and maintained the personality of the senate as restored; this even persisted by and large to the first restored senate elected in 1987. one change however, by means of legislation, has senators elected in blocs of 12 which has fatally compromised the chamber’s ability to exist as a continuing body -something potentially of concern if the 2010 elections go south, as the senate will lack a quorum to elect a new senate president who is constitutionally entitled to act as president if a new president can’t be proclaimed by june 30.

    there are several dynamics as to why the senate was envisioned as a training ground for presidents. the first is the assumption that presidential office is only achievable, and feasible, if armed with a broad mandate and that must be, a national mandate. that’s why senators share the same constituency the president does: the nation at large. this is why they retain the power to confirm or reject treaties concluded by the chief executive with foreign governments. with the same constituency they are less likely to be cowed by a president in deliberating on executive agreements. while senators like congressmen and presidents do have geographical constituencies their jobs require them to consider the country as a whole and tackle these issues in the national arena. provincial executive experience might be a logical stepping stone to becoming chief executive except our districts and provinces are too small -and increasingly getting smaller- which means the scope of experience becomes more and more minute: and as an archipelago with more than its fair share of varying cultures and topography and kinds of economy, one can’t exactly promote success in one area as relevant to national office. for a similar reason it’s rare some states in the usa to produce presidents others tend to produce more presidents: some states provide the kind of experience or conditions or are part of a regional bloc that carries more clout or is viewed as more relevant.

    i myself have repeatedly pointed out the need to restore bloc voting, because if it isn’t restored then the senate has to be reexamined: establishing senatorial districts might be one solution, but again carries the danger of regionalism; but a federal government would require a senate elected on the basis of states or regions. a few years ago public opinion suggested that mindanao preferred the abolition of the house of representatives and retaining the senate as the sole chamber of the legislature! on the whole, however, both the house and senate are handicapped in being able to come up with quality legislation because of term limits and the seniority system falling apart as a result; by the time congressmen and senators have learned the ropes, they have to look for another job. which is why i also think we ought to consider that legislative term limits should be abolished and retained only for executive positions.

    The ff. entry deals with how constitutional proposals have been made in the past and what are needed if propsals are to be considered and even approved by the electorate: http://www.quezon.ph/2008/11/26/the-worm-within/

    the interaction of the legislature with the presidency and the dynamics of the house and senate elections, here: http://pcij.org/stories/an-abnormal-return-to-normality/

  19. SoP

    Manolo, I’m not old nor well read enough to assess presidents Macapagal pababa. But I do know Marcos and pataas. Seems to me that the founding father’s experiment with senate as training ground has failed if we use Marcos and pataas as basis. Marcos, GMA and Erap were senators they’re failures by all accounts, while Cory and Ramos were not and there were some semblance of success in their presidencies.

    Rizal Jr., I’m not like a fucking Muslim who would treat the enemy (Quezon) of an enemy (Rizal Jr) as a friend (SoP). I make enemies out of everyone’s stupid ideas. And your stupid idea is that two theoretical setups, one Philippines and one U.S., one representative Senate and one nationally elected Senate, both were setup to serve the people, but evolved only to serve familial interests and big business, and yet you remain supportive of the U.S. setup while lambasting the Philippines? You have some explaining to do son.

  20. thecusponline

    This whole discussion of the Senate as a training ground is simply a storm in a teacup. The question being posed implicitly was, “why are viable presidential contenders more likely to spring from a deliberative body like the Senate rather than from an executive post like Cabinet?”

    The answer according to Manolo was that the president is not just about managing, it is about leading. It harks back to his previous post about the role of the president as teacher, transformational change advocate, etc. Thus, the Senate with its national constituency is the most likely place to find individuals with experience in shaping the national discourse.

    Given separation of powers and checks and balances under a presidential system, executive capacity to shift away from the status quo is seriously constrained. Cutting through all this requires the president to use his office as a bully pulpit most times, to get the public on his side on certain issues.

    I also disagree that the Senate has no constituency. Winning a Senate seat is only possible if one wins in urban areas since majority of the populace lives in cities. Campaigns are waged through the media rather than through retail politics. Their backers are normally big corporates as well.

    The agrarian reform deliberations under Cory is illustrative. While the house of reps was more concerned about issues relating to local family landholdings, the Senate was more progressive in that regard but had concerns over commercial farming viability.

  21. Erineo

    thecusponline said:
    “The answer according to Manolo was that the president is not just about managing, it is about leading. It harks back to his previous post about the role of the president as teacher, transformational change advocate, etc. Thus, the Senate with its national constituency is the most likely place to find individuals with experience in shaping the national discourse.”

    I really wonder whether Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada or even Noynoy Aquino are equipped to be “Great Teachers”, “Great Nation Builders” or “Great Transforming Leaders”?

    Were they to set their minds to it, Willie Revillame, Dolphy, Vic Sotto and Kris Aquino have a much better shot at the Senate than most other mortals. After all, Tito Sotto, Freddie Webb and Noli de Castro proved this. And Kiko Pangilinan would have just been an ordinary “Kiko” were it not for his trophy mega-wife. I’m sure these characters bring a lot to the table, especially as teachers, nation builders and transformational leaders.

    And speaking of Kris Aquino, I’m sure her latest antics will endear her even more to her ever-adoring fans, as today’s Inquirer reports: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100115-247399/Kris-Aquino-rages-outside-home-of-James-rumored-girl

    I can’t buy into that yarn about the Senate being the training ground for leadership. Our leaders and our senators are simply too undisciplined and too caught up in themselves to be “trainable”.

  22. ramrod

    I agree re senate as a training ground for future presidents, we have to have a logical transition from the fround up…but I’m not discounting the possibility of someone with immense potential coming from any sector…might even be SOP, or Dr. JRII? the beauty of a democratic government…

  23. ramrod

    …ooops I meant from the ground up (where are my glasses?)

  24. ramrod

    So what we need is a transformational or whatever leader, someone who will finally lead us to the promised land? Someone with a vision for the country and the people…unfortunately leaders who bring people to th promised land don’t get to live to see “how it ends” so the need for a “manager” to continue what has been started…all the more the need for a proper transition plan later on…
    We all have some degree of a leader within us (some more than others of course) but the realities on the ground, the situation/s demands that we “manage” them. Now “managing” the situation and anticipating problems and preparing alternatives while steering the country in the right direction, not to mention taking it to new heights will require a little of both.
    Getting the people to rally behind that vision, becoming a winning team will need some kind of charisma or a good reward system…then again this president-to-be must get elected first and with all these political battle haze making a decision is very challenging…
    I prefer having a direct say on who gets to be president rather than make someone else do it for me, it gives me a feeling of mastery over my destiny (it helps)…

  25. ramrod

    Rizal Jr., I’m not like a fucking Muslim who would treat the enemy (Quezon) of an enemy (Rizal Jr) as a friend (SoP). I make enemies out of everyone’s stupid ideas. And your stupid idea is that two theoretical setups, one Philippines and one U.S., one representative Senate and one nationally elected Senate, both were setup to serve the people, but evolved only to serve familial interests and big business, and yet you remain supportive of the U.S. setup while lambasting the Philippines? You have some explaining to do son.
    —————————————–

    Hehehe…so SURVIVOR reality show tactics don’t work with SOP? Of course, we don’t have tribal council here!

  26. Dr. José Rizal II

    SoP,

    Something wrong with your brain, huh? 😉

    I’m not supportive of the US Senate’s set-up, because I don’t give a shit about the USA. However, all I’m saying is that if you compare both the US Senate and the Philippine Senate, at least the US Senators – because they are voted per State, and not at large – do end up doing more relevant work than their Philippine Senate counterparts do.

    This is not to disagree with your disdain for both Senates – but of course, you’re really too fucking dense to understand that. Plus, you’ve also exposed yourself as a bigot to insult Muslims. By the way, my family name is used as a first name by many Bangsamoros and Malays. 😉

    I never said you were my friend. I merely said that I totally shared your point of view about the Philippine Senate, where the Philippine Senate is useless and unnecessary. I also added relevant information to boost your position. Of course, you’re a fucking stupid ingrate, so to hell with shits like you. 😉

    As to you missing the point, I guess your brain’s a little too small for you to be able to process extra details like my little comparison of the US and Philippine Senates. You missed the point because all I did was to point out that COMPARATIVELY and RELATIVELY (do you know what those mean, you idiot?) the US Senate has a more solid raison d’être (being elected per State, and not nationally) so that it becomes clear when a US Senator is or isn’t representing the interests and views of his own State when helping to craft legislation.

    To me, it’s irrelevant whether you think the US Senate is useless and is just another venue for enriching one’s family.

    I’m not American, so I don’t really care about them. All I did was to show that the US Senate relatively speaking works better than the Philippine Senate does because each US Senator have States to represent, while the Philippine Senators all see themselves as “mini-presidents.” Does any of the stuff I said show that I support the US Senate? No. All I did was to simply compare the US and the Philippine Senates and show that AT THE VERY LEAST, the US one was somehow functioning better than the Philippine one.

    The bottomline of my point of view, at the end of the day, is that I advocate SCRAPPING and ELIMINATING THE PHILIPPINE SENATE because I think it is useless. Whether or not I want the same for the US Senate is fucking irrelevant because I am not American, y’hear, SoP? It’s none of your business or my business. (Unless you’re a Yank) But I’m a Filipino, so my interest sticks with what we do with the Philippine Senate, ignoring whatever other countries do with their own governments because that’s their own prerogative and does not concern us Filipinos.

    The Philippine Senate is useless and it serves no real purpose other than to act as a “grandstanding platform” for would-be presidents, so that instead of concentrating on real work – legislation/lawmaking – many of them concentrate on scandal exposés and blocking whatever it is the President wants to do.

    * *

    SoP, use your BRAIN. Learn to use your the analytical abilities you were supposed to have been endowed by nature properly. Learn to see when one point of view is actually supportive of your point of view.

    To the rest:

    This never was about me saying that SoP and I are “kakampi” but was merely to underscore the fact that both of our points of view are identical in seeing the uselessness of the Philippine Senate.

    Where Son of a Pitch actually shows him smoking rugby-dipped weed is where he suddenly goes against my views even if such views support his views (not that I support him personally). Stupid, right?

    Alas, that is the Philippines. Full of STUPID PEOPLE.

    SoP is stupid.

    ramrod is stupid.

    Erap is stupid…

    And yes, Noynoy is stupid.

    What about Manolo? Ah well, he knows what’s stupid and what’s not, but alas, he chooses the “stupid” side most of the time because that’s what’s popular.

    the only genius in the group,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  27. First NameJuancho

    Dr. Jose Rizal II stepped into a pile of shit and he does not even know it.

    No one in the planet uses the nominal growth rate of GDP to measure the growth of GDP. The nominal growth rate includes inflation in its calculation. Plus you have the compounding nature of inflation to make figures look higher nominally.

    Every high school student in Economics 101 knows that.

    GDP also does not measure the distributive effects of the economy.

    Under GMA’s watch poverty has worsened.

    Anyone who takes the data published by Tony Lopez should be warned that this man is the publicist for anyone who wants to get their name in print. He is the epitome of media for hire. .

  28. Dr. José Rizal II

    SoP,

    In any case, friendly fire and insults aside, maybe you want to learn what the most probable reason is on why Manolo is an avid supporter of the Senate and of the Presidential System… 😉

    It’s because MANOLO PLANS TO RUN FOR SENATE and then eventually RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY.

    You see, Manolo has been building himself up to do that by doing his regular column, his blog, and by doing his “The Explainer” show, pretty much to gain “currency” in the public mind and enhance his name-recall. Name recall is not a problem for him, but of course, he needs to show the public that he’s not an empty suit, unlike his own candidate Noynoy Aquino.

    So with all the media stuff Manolo does, he can con people into believing that he’s some kind of political analyst or guru who knows what he’s talking about, even if actually he doesn’t. (Case in point: Manolo doesn’t understand the Parliamentary System. He even mistakenly thinks that France’s system is Parliamentary.)

    The main point is that with the retention of the present system, Manolo CAN LATER RUN FOR SENATE (and there is indeed a Manolo Quezon for Senator group in Facebook) which will then serve as his springboard to the Presidency.

    But if we were to shift to the Parliamentary System, Manolo feels that he couldn’t stack up well against the other politicians in there. Firstly, Manolo would have to join a party. Ideally, he’d have to join a party whose ideas he agrees with. But Manolo isn’t confident that he’d be able to do well against his fellow party mates in rising to the top of the party. He also doesn’t think he’ll be able to handle a constituency (electoral district) the way a real member of parliament (or assemblyman) is supposed to.

    So what does Manolo want to do in order to become the leader of the Philippines?

    Retain the failed and faulty present Presidential System with the Senate which is personality-focused and popularity & name-recall centric because that will allow him to use his media-exposure and name-recall as having the name “Manuel L. Quezon III” in easily winning a senatorial slot, and then later on move towards becoming the Philippines’ FIRST OPENLY GAY and ADOPTED PERSON to ever become Philippine PRESIDENT.

    Gotcha, Manolo. 😉

    your genius friend,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  29. ramrod

    the only genius in the group,

    Dr. José Rizal II
    ———————————

    Hahahaha! For me, brilliant people are those who can simplify the theory of relativity into one sentence. This joker makes mountains out of molehills, cuts and pastes wiki verbatim, leave the lengthy discourse to the professors who want more pages in your thesis, in the real world its the bottomline that counts…its how you can win friends and influence people – and benefit from it (mutually) not your capacity to talk/write volumes but then no one gives a shit… 🙂

  30. ramrod

    Dr JRII,

    Manolo is gay? So thats why you’ve been hounding him from day 1? Its okay, admit it, you have a big crush on him. its fine with all of us. 🙂

  31. gbdomingo

    @JR2

    wow, thats a great plan. mlq3 owes you a debt.

  32. Dr. José Rizal II

    ramrod,

    So you’re basically saying that Einstein is not a genius because he needs to explain his own General Theory of Relativity in detail, rather than oversimplify it to a dangerous level where it loses its essence and no longer matches what it really is supposed to mean?

    See, ramrod, there are many topics that are off-limits to idiots simply because idiots just don’t have the brain power required for them to understand the essence of said topics. Since you’re an idiot, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is off-limits to you. No wonder you wanted an abridged version shortened to just one sentence – it’s because your brain can’t handle the complex level of detail and interrelationships of phenomena explained by Einstein himself.

    Something is really wrong with you there, ramrod. But then again, you’re one of the stupid Filipinos that make our country the shithole it is, along with Manolo and his adoptive lolo who preferred a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos. 😉

    You didn’t know that Manolo is gay?

    Hey, ramrod, hey,
    Manolo said he’s gay –
    I say that it’s OK
    Now go and eat some hay. 😉

    your genius tormentor,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  33. Dr. José Rizal II

    Juancho,

    Don’t look at me, I just cut-and-pasted an excerpt FROM BILLY ESPOSO’s article – did you care to check out the link?

    http://www.chairwrecker.com/column.php?col=633

    The main point is this: William Esposo (“The Chair Wrecker”) is anti-GMA and is Manolo’s friend. He (ESPOSO) was the one who used the data published by Tony Lopez and he is the one who said that GMA is relatively better than Erap.

    Personally, I too don’t think GMA was all that bad and the main point is that even Esposo himself doesn’t think that GMA was the devil incarnate.

    So, really, if you want to talk about a pile of shit, talk about it to Manolo’s friend, Chairwrecker Billy Esposo who wrote the article… 😉

    your genius friend,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  34. Victoria

    wooo ramrod aminin mo na na ikaw si mlq3. kunwari ka pa eh 🙂

  35. Ka Ryan

    In terms of actually tailoring the Parliamentary System vs Bicameralism debate, Manolo wins.

    Also Dr Jose Rizal II, undermining MLQ3’s argument so that he could win as president is a tad bit dishonest. But then I’m sure a genius like you can while away any argument which grounds your case.

  36. Dr. José Rizal II

    Ka Ryan,

    Unfortunately, you too are exposing yourself as another person who doesn’t understand the Parliamentary System or the Bicameralism issue…

    Let me explain.

    There are 3 aspects here and all DEMOCRATIC countries are usually in one form for each of the 3 aspects:

    Form of Government: Presidential versus Parliamentary
    Number of chambers: Unicameral (1) versus Bicameral (2)
    Geographic administration: Unitary versus Federal

    * * *

    You can mix-and-match them so that you find countries like:

    Czech Republic: Presidential, Bicameral, Unitary
    Philippines: Presidential, Bicameral, Unitary
    Singapore: Parliamentary, Unicameral, Unitary
    Australia: Parliamentary, Bicamerial, Federal
    Malaysia: Parliamentary, Bicameral, Federal
    US of A: Presidential, Bicameral, Federal
    France: Presidential, Bicameral, Unitary
    Japan: Parliamentary, Bicameral, Unitary

    Now, do you understand where you made a mistake, Ka Ryan?

    Ganito yan eh: You said “Parliamentary System versus Bicameralism”, and obviously those two are not the kinds of things that GO AGAINST EACH OTHER.

    What you should have said were: “Parliamentary versus Presidential” and “Bicamericalism versus Unicameralism.”

    Gets na?

    Anong “Manolo wins” ka dyan, e wala ngang sinabi si “Explainer” eh. In other words, OLATS siya. 😉

    your genius friend,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  37. SoP

    Dr. José Rizal II on Fri, 15th Jan 2010 12:06 pm
    I never said you were my friend.

    Er, you told me to stop friendly-fire, implying friendship. Now let’s not contradict ourselves, it makes us look like idiots.

    Re: your theory that Manolo wants to run for president. I don’t buy it for one minute that he has intentions to run. He probably has realized already that his “unwinnable”, given his sexual orientation and admitted use of metamphetamines in the past, which will be used as attack fodder in case he runs for president. He probably emphasizes it, despite being academic, because he’s a big idol of his adoptive grandparent Manuel Quezon, who’s a 3 term senator before being elected president.

    Re: training ground, there’s difficulty in testing this theory, given that what constitutes a good president is subjective. I could say thought that, using the criteria of forming a national coalition, Marcos and GMA didn’t seem to have used their “training” in the senate during their presidency. Marcos placed a lot of Ilocanos in positions of power and GMA is courting her bailiwick in the lead up to a planned extended stay in power. This is the opposite of what the framers of the 1930’s constitution intended, and something that we and Manolo might want to investigate.

  38. Dr. José Rizal II

    SoP,

    There’s no frienship implied when I don’t even know who the fakk you are. But what is undeniable is that my views on the Philippine Senate (about wanting to get rid of it) are identical to yours.

    By foolishly contradicting my views which are the same as yours, didn’t you realize that you were contradicting your own views?

    That’s all I meant by Friendly-Fire. Not so much that you hit your “friend”, but that in the end – militarily, that is – you were attacking YOUR OWN position. (Friendly fire most often means a particular side in the battle hits ITS OWN group.)

    It’s not friendly-fire because we’re friends – ‘coz we’re not. It’s “friendly-fire” because my position is completely identical to yours (as far as the uselessness of the Philippine Senate is concerned) and you took potshots at my views which are identical to yours. Now isn’t that stupid?

    Obviously, if you’ve calmed down from that ultra-emotionalism you expressed with your “Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong” bullshit, you’d realize that you actually WERE EXTREMELY STUPID when you did just that.

    * * *

    Re: A Good President. Well, the idea really is about delivering positive results. In the current situation, the real priority in fixing up the economy and simultaneously fixing the peace-and-order situation of the country.

    The good thing about a Parliamentary System is that at the very least, the only people who can emerge as Prime Minister are people who rise up to the top by working competently within the ranks to emerge as Party Leader, and then the only real question now is getting the party to gain control of the Parliament through a parliamentary majority.

    Furthermore, a non-performing Prime Minister can more easily be removed and replaced, and the incentive for doing so is when the majority party sees that the Prime Minister (leader of the majority bloc) is ineffectual, and thus threatens the party’s or bloc’s chances at maintaining said majority when the next election comes.

    Within the framework of the current Presidential System which is bicameral with a nationally-elected Senate, you end up with a Senate whose members are more likely to try to attract attention not by real work, but rather by gaining media exposure by any means possible including conducting Inquiries on Celebrity Sex Scandals.

    Not a very good use of time, don’t you think?

    your genius mentor,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  39. Victoria

    Manuel L. Quezon III.

    When you implied that Noynoy is an economist by practice, what do you exactly mean by that? He can’t even compare to GMA with regard to being an economist.

  40. SoP

    Junior, No! my views weren’t identical to yours.

    Re: senatorial training ground. Another graduate of the senatorial training university, Erap; I seem to remember him acting like a small time mayor during the first year of his term. Remember the whole fracas about hosting the World Expo in the Philippines? Erap was opposed to it, on grounds that it’s bad for the deficit position (he famously thought we were bankrupt, even thought he plundered our country later on), conveniently ignorant of the flow on effect it will have on the economy. He wanted the business community to pay for it. Isn’t this something that a leader ought to have learned in senate university?

    tl;dr senate didn’t teach Erap leadership skills. Junior still wants to be friends with me (ewwww!)

  41. Dr. José Rizal II

    SoP,

    Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but our views are identical in the sense that:

    1. You don’t like the Philippine Senate.
    2. I don’t like the Philippine Senate.

    and

    1. You don’t think we need a Senate
    2. I don’t think we need a Senate

    and

    1. You don’t agree with Manolo that the Philippines needs the Senate as a training ground for future presidents.

    2. I don’t agree with Manolo that the Philippines needs the Senate as a training ground for future presidents. (that’s understood because I don’t think the Philippines needs a senate)

    * * * *

    I think you’re stupid and I don’t want to be your friend. I’m a genius. You’re fucking stupid asshole. 😉

    And your whole tirade about the “senatorial training ground” is moot and academic because – as I said – I don’t think we need s Senate (esp. one that does not have constituencies for each Senator). You wasted space trying to make whatever ideas you had different from mine.

    Come on, idiot, there will always be instances where people who don’t like each other end up having the same views. This is one of them. And you can’t deny that are views are identical (if not similar) in holding that the Philippine Senate is unneeded and should be abolished.

    You have to agree that sometimes, our views are going to be the same.

    Example.

    I think that fresh human shit stinks.

    SoP, are you going to try to pretend to me that you disagree with me? ‘Coz let’s face it, fresh human shit ALWAYS STINKS.

    So just because you “don’t want to be my friend” (hey, I don’t give a shit), you’re going to disagree with me on that? So what now, you’re going to say that “fresh human shit DOES NOT stink?”

    Now don’t be an idiot, SoP. 😉

    What exactly is your whole point about trying to pretend that your views and my views aren’t “on the same side” anyway?

    Fucking waste of time. Typical asshole idiot Filipino pa-intellectual bullshit, huh? Totally fucked-up. 🙂

    * * *

    Hate to break it to you, stupid, but our views are identical.

    If you don’t think that the Philippine Senate serves a real purpose AND I also don’t think that the Philippine Senate serves a real purpose, then voila, our views are the same.

    For you to have been so stupid to LASH OUT against my views (against the Philippine Senate) which are identical to your views (against the Philippine Senate), is the height of idiocy.

    Nah, SoP, go suck your own cock. 😉

    your genius mentor whose views on the Phil. Senate are the same as yours,

    Dr. José Rizal II

  42. SoP

    I never said we don’t need the senate nor called for its abolition. I only disagreed with the idea of it being a presidential training ground.

    I happen to find the senate useful-for reviewing international treaties, impeaching presidents (never was this more apparent during Erap’s impeachment-let’s see a 200 person congress chamber impeach a president with relative order that the senate did) and do find value in senate inquiries in aid of legislation (what you call useless, attention-grabbing, grandstanding).

    tl;dr The way I hate some aspects of senate was misread by reading-comprehension challenged Jr.

  43. Dr. José Rizal II

    And what exactly did you mean by this, Stupid SoP?

    You said:

    “Forget what the founding fathers of either nation on both sides of the pacific intended, the outcome eventually is that the voters on each country are being fucked in the ass! Philippine senators only serve their family and friends their family and friends’ business interests and US senators are serving the interests of the corporate lobby machine (there’s one lobbyists for every senator congressman per industry) who feeds them millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the detriment of the voter who gets the consolation of a LETTER FROM SENATOR PR MACHINE! (WOOHOO! I GOT A LETTER REPLY FROM DEMOCRATIC/REPUBLICAN SENATOR JO SCHMO!).”
    **

    Hmmm?

    Were you saying that you actually like the Senate?

    Let’s face it loser, whatever the Senate does – if it is taken away – can be reassigned to the House.

    I mean, how else do countries with Unicameral legislatures do it? They let their only house DO ALL LEGISLATION, including treaties, impeachment, etc.

    Think, SoP, THINK!

    😉

  44. SoP

    It means there are bad aspects to the senate but in my opinion it’s worth keeping as illustrated by recent history.

    Never was this more apparent with a president like GMA, an evil leader who was able to control congress. Thanks to the senate, there was a neutralizing force to what could have been potential dictator.

    I don’t know if this was intended by the framers of the 1935 constitution, but in the end it benefited the Philippines, which is why I’m all for keeping the senate despite some negatives.

  1. What Is The Senate's Purpose? | Better Philippines

    […] can read the full comment here.  And, for a video of Senator Santiago saying her quotable quote complete with feelings go to this […]

Leave a Reply