Both sides begin their demonstrations of bravado today. Manny Pacquiao’s ultimate prize fight: versus Darlene Custodio. Jove Francisco on how the President’s pet party is growing -and glowing:
Rep. Luis Villafuerte was into numbers in his opening speech. The party, according to him now has 2,000 plus members nationwide. That they are now the party with the 2nd biggest number of congressmen in the lower house (55 with 17 more to join them soon) and that they already have as members 1/3 of the incumbent local officials (7 governors, 15 vice governors, 74 board members, 575 mayors, 249 vice mayors and 396 councilors).
the President inherited from her father -the first politician to claim he visited every single barrio in the country- an obsessive (and effective) attention to politics on the local level. All effective presidents have had this characteristic. Her difference is that the local trumps the national every time (and not just by force of circumstance, but instinct, I’d think). The selection of Gov. Petilla, for example, for her senate slate according to an editor I talked to, is simply to accommodate the candidacy of Martin Romualdez in Leyte.
Overseas, media power politics, White House-style. History Unfolding looks at America at the crossroads (recall he predicts a political and constitutional crisis ahead):
Benevolent hegemony, it seems, will cure the world’s ills and establish a lasting reign of freedom and peace. The idea that different states might make different decisions about questions of war and peace must be rejected, because in the past it has led to (among other things) great wars. We need fear nothing because the hegemon is a democracy. Unfortunately, it is more than scoring debating points today to note how Rice’s argument that democracy checks excesses has been decisively undermined by the Administration of which she is a part. Our democracy, as Pfaff notes, has re-introduced torture and indefinite detention without trial into the civilized world, now with the concurrence of the Congress. The American people democratically voted against the Administration’s foreign policy last November and the Vice President immediately made clear the Administration’s intention to ignore their views. The President’s subsequent conduct has confirmed this. Moreover, in perhaps the most troubling development, he has ordered surge not only in opposition to both American and Iraqi public opinion and the opinions of the Baker-Hamilton Commission, but against the advice of the entire permanent government, including both the State Department and the Pentagon.
There are three things I briefly want to point out in terms of the coming elections:
1. Politics is a continuum. As is life. We all evolve -or should. So do politicians. In politics, which marries ambition to public service, and depends on the people’s money, reward and punishment is a two way street. The politician may pander, even bribe, be glib, ruthless, or dissemble, but in the end, so long as fraud is minimized, the politician is subject to promotion or ouster depending on the public’s perception of his performance (capricious or not, but often not as whimsical as some tend to think). It is precisely the times spent out of power, recovering from a stinging defeat, that can turn some politicians, when they return to power, into statesmen; in other cases, it at least restores their responsiveness to public opinion; just as slavishly obeying public opinion doesn’t necessarily guarantee success at the polls. Lito Banayo let loose a folksy saying on Dong Puno’s show last night, to explain why the public is more tolerant of people leaving any administration to join the opposition of the day, or is admiring of those who doggedly stick to their guns: “it’s like moving from the big, soft bed to the hard, cold, discomfort of sleeping on the floor.” This also explains why the cardinal sin for any opposition member is to abandon the minority for the comforts of joining the ruling majority.
2. Politics is about both issues and personalities. Politics is a profession and like any other sphere of human activity, it requires interpersonal skills whose presence or absence are a relevant guide to determining if a politician is worthy of support or not. Politics is built on communication, and the means of communication the public relies on determines what kind of communicating works. the doctor with a good bed side manner will have more patients than a cranky, unpleasant doctor, and often people prefer a marginally less competent doctor to the one who may represent the pinnacle of his profession but who fails to inspire confidence or comfort; it helps to have a pleasant person selling you a house, though of course if the house is rotten, in a bad area, and overpriced, you won’t take it. And niceness won’t clinch every deal, nor should it.
But it would be a great mistake to confuse the manner in which people absorb and digest issues, with an absence of those issues: the observer who does this assumes that because the issues aren’t being communicated in the manner the observer prefers, then there aren’t issues at all! Perhaps the issues are better discussed in some venues than others? I’m not sure this is the right approach: on a national scale, the issues will, by necessity, be broader: do you want the sitting administration to stay, or go?
The perennial issues, observers say, in the Philippines, are graft and corruption (and the corollary: abuse of power). And not much is achieved, they say. But show me a country where the two aren’t the core issues always? They are at the heart of politics: that power, which is what’s contested in elections, can be so corrosive that periodically, those who possess it have to be challenged to justify their past and future stewardship.
3. When an government is subjected to a referendum the totality of its actions are what’s being judged. A government, any government, will try to present its successes as the only issues that matter; the opposition will necessarily do the opposite. It is about punishment as it its about alternatives. And it is about applying the brakes as it can be about changing the driver. Every election is about regime change to one extent or another.
There are certain things about modern life -and running a modern state- that actual limit the options of those in power. There has been little practical difference between the policies of every post-Edsa government, because there are certain things no responsible government could abandon (devotion to the free market, to private property, etc.) but each government will emphasize various programs differently, because each administration has come to power on the shoulders of a constituency, which it has to please to keep power. But even as it tries to do this, a government is regularly subjected to the judgment of all, and all things being equal, this means portions of that whole will have a larger role to play come election time than other parts of the whole.
Which is why, for example, the middle class have clout in between elections but less so on election day itself: but perhaps it all evens out. Worse, from comments here and there that I hear, the middle class instinct seems to be, to throw in the towel and informally boycott the elections: which will not affect the outcome, but places them firmly where the Palace wants them. That’s 25% of the vote you can potentially monkey around with, because the votes weren’t cast but the ballots can still be counted -and no one will in a position to contest those “votes”. And yet the the middle class will have the snob’s ultimate satisfaction: its predictions made possible by its own withdrawal from the contest. This is why the “O tempore! O mores!” wailing irritates me: at least right or wrong, the masses vote; right or wrong, the committed make a stand; but neither having participated, nor showing any commitment except to their own biases, such people then turn around and castigate the rest for their choices? That is what makes no sense at all.
Technorati Tags: elections, philippines, politics, president, Senate, society
145 thoughts on “Politics is a continuum”
I’m getting very emotional? With you? How?
I admit I get emotional whenever I mention the name of Gloria or GMA. Sorry, can’t help it, that cheating, lying…(ooops, there I go again.)
On the contrary, I think it’s you who let people (especially cvj) raise your hackles. Your long lecture above is even a case in point.
Come on, don’t get distracted.
one voice is a self-proclaimed non-partisan group, i choose to believe them.
jeg, it was bad, bad politics all around. i want charter change the charter lessen the possibility of easy coups and overthrows but i don’t think it should be rushed as it was. i also prefer a federal form of government to give the provinces more autonomy in running their own affairs and dilute imperial manila’s influence…and if the next senate continues on its path of self-promotion and not legislation, i prefer a unicameral body. the problem is, many senators are using their office to springboard them to the presidency.
cvj, there’s a difference when you call someone boring and dense as against a paid hack…and that has always been the implication with the use of the term “apologist”. correct me if i’m wrong.
there’s a difference when you put in the word “YOU” and refer to “position in life” like you knew me – that is an attack on my person – while i was speaking in general terms. go back and look at the comments…this comment of yours i refer to (which was not directed at you btw) came BEFORE the word middle-class came up. YOU brought it up – I made no reference to class at all. Your explanation does not make sense…you’re just finding a way out of your show of discrimination…
As for the internet brigade portion of your comment, I’ve already expanded on that in my previous comment…and yes, i still think it leaves a person paranoid to be thinking such thoughts about everyone they come across with. Paranoia leaves you with your discernment faculties badly impaired and this is what i see, much too often, happening in these comment threads.
inidoro…i meant that generally cause i keep getting blamed for stating facts. i didn’t mean you personally, i meant it for anyone who came across the comment i made. it was a defensive statement because even if i don’t respond directly to a person here, they respond to me almost abusively…as you do.
Jeg, the pro cha-cha people got too arrogant and comfortable in their position of power. THAT is the single weakest point of those in power, which will get them in the end. I also think the opposition should have played on that more instead of taking the “inaapi kami, saklolohin nyo kami” attitude they did.
cvj, to make it clear, i didn’t call YOU paranoid. i was referring to the idea of “internet brigadier”…
Mita, maybe it’s incorrect usage on my part but i did not use the word apologist to imply that you are being paid for what you say. I used that term to mean that you are making apologias for GMA. As far as directing my criticisms at *you*, i have read enough of your material to know that you are speaking with a typical middle class mindset. Since you represent that category of thinking, i found it opportune to give you (in your capacity as a member of the middle class), a piece of my mind.
(Since we are into clarifications, please re-read my comment at February 13th, 2007 at 2:10 pm and take note of the double negative.)
Mag apologise na kayo ng mabilis at ibalik niyo sa -umpisa ulit ang debate niyo tungkol sa mga issues… teka nasaan na nga ba ang usapan?
guys, why not stick to the issue? you both will do us a great favor if you quit this child play.
tagabukid, the issues are embedded in the discussion.
cvj, which still came off as personal. tell me again, why do i deserve a piece of your mind?
here’s the thing, i come here with no pretenses and no agenda yet there’s this undying devotion and effort to put me in a box because of my OPPOSING view. as i said before and perhaps some others have before me – why should class matter?? just give it out straight instead of beating around the bush already…what typical middle class mindset are you referring to?
if you refer (still) to my statement about voting any dumb A-hole into office. let me say, it is TRUE. it’s a fact even if you don’t want to admit it. that’s why there’s vote buying and violence during elections. there are political dynasties that will not go away because they have control of their fiefdoms and the people. again, this is not something i dreamed up. in one comment thread in pcij more than a year ago, i was shocked at one commenter’s report about how the elections were held in his area – he was involved himself and i couldn’t believe it yet there he was. i am hopeful for the future but i don’t see any relief from this yet….until then, i shall call it as it is.
I have re-read the comment you referred to and took note of the double negative.
Also, I’ll say it again for the sake of anyone who comes by this comment…there is NOT enough coverage of the race for the lower house – it is MORE important than the senate race.
This thread’s issue has become about you and Mita, which is unfortunate.
tagabukid, then i don’t think you have followed the discussion closely enough.
The topic was “bansot” ba si GMA or hinde.
“they respond to me almost abusivelyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦as you do.”
tell me which part. “too much paranaoia creeping into your system” is not name-calling, but an observation to your overreaction. it’s a personal observation of your rhetorical self-absorption (“i didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make the rules so please lang, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t blame me…”) and therefore i am entitled to it. if i am mistaken, it’s a mistaken observation but not name-calling. where’s the abuse in there?
“I have a question to anyone who cares to answer. If this administration of Gloria is immoral and illegitimate – why vote in May? IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the act of casting the individual ballot tantamount to giving credence to this administration?”
–Voting in May is tecnhnically not related to Glueria’s government’s immorality and illegitimacy, it’s a constitutionally safeguarded right for every voter, and not under the bogus’ Glueria’s control. I am voting to exercise that right. I vote straight UNO!
Mita, your opposing view is not only your own but is widely shared among the middle class. Class matters because it comes into play at certain key points in our history, which includes:
1998: the Erap para sa mahirap campaign
2001: Civil Society’s EDSA Dos and the masa’s EDSA Tres
2004: GMA vs. FPJ
2006: the events at Fort Bonifacio, Battle of the Epistles, remember ‘Paano naman kaming mga middle-class? as well as Cha-Cha for a unicameral parliamentary form of government.
The proponents of Charter-Change would want to take the vote for the national leadership out of the hands of the masa and delegate it to the legislature. I don’t dispute the dumb A hole part which refers to the candidate. However, the perception regarding the people’s gullibility plays a major role in the Cha-Cha campaign.
I also wouldn’t mind hearing more about the races for the lower house.
tagabukid, you’re right. i’m sorry it went too far…
on to the debate..ano na nga ba? for this post…politics is a continuum…i hope so, i hope we’ll eventually find statesemen and leaders in seats of power, and not mere politicians. i cannot see who just yet, maybe a dark horse will show up.
take a look at this phrase from the above post:
“the President inherited from her father -the first politician to claim he visited every single barrio in the country- an obsessive (and effective) attention to politics on the local level. All effective presidents have had this characteristic. ”
His reference to her instinct is also a loaded sentence.
This is what we’re missing…you dismiss her for all sorts of things but the fact is…she has already planted the seeds and is keeping her fingers to the ground. Look at her line-up – has there even been so many governors in one party’s senate slate before? Not that I’ve seen…
That’s why it has been virtually impossible to unseat her. That is the lesson the opposition has to learn about the woman in the hot seat….if you can go back and reclaim your influence on local governments around the country, you have half the fight won.
Lower House: Basta sakin wag manalo si Pacquiao ok na.
It is a sign that voters are maturing and it will set precedence for would be politicians that is betting on their popularity for a political career.
If ever manalo sya it will be a great setback politically but a great sign that literacy is up in his area because his name is hard to spell.
Serious post after Team Bansot (should be Team Banshot). But I agree with all three points especially the one on personalities and issues.
cvj, your 2006 events are all vague to me, i was busy with so many things last year. but what about the coffee coup? how out of touch was that? LOL!
I still think our people are gullible. If we make decisions based on emotions and need rather than reason, then we become vulnerable and gullible….there’s just no going around that.
IMHO people make decisions based on emotions and need.
“I FELT cheated and I NEED to have a change so I will vote for UNO.”
just a short, polite comment: “there are certain things no responsible government could abandon (devotion to the free market, to private property, etc.)”. true.
I think you have a case of onion-skinned narcissism, bordering on arrogance. You’re so self-absorbed and over-sensitive about what other people might think about you that you easily take slight from what other people say in response to your opinions.
You said, if I remember right, that you have recently returned to the country after an absence of 5 years. I wonder if you have been subjected to so much discrimination abroad and developed an inferiority complex that is now remorphing into a superiority complex in self-revenge knowing that you are now among equals.
Get off your prima-donna-ish high horse and discard the ad-hominem’s.
Just learn to give and take. It is twice blessed.
LOL free psychological assessment.
Francis, what am I a shaman for?
Shaman, I thought that was a side effect of playing too much MMORPG. (calling yourself shaman) 😉
dahan-dahan lang at baka kayo magkasakitan…
just some comments:
Francis, i think Pacquiao will lose to Darlene BIG time. That will be his Waterloo, he will eventually go down just like Navarette. Thats the story of our nation and Pacquiao’s wont be any different: we strive with blood and tears to rise to glorious heights only to fall to abysmal depths just as fast. Thats the story of EDSA1, then EDSA2. Gloria had the golden opportunity to take the moral high-ground when she was swept to power in 2001. She almost did, by declaring in 2002 that she will not run in 2004 to “erase the political divisiveness and spur economic growth in the remaining months of my Presidency.”
recall: “If I don’t make this sacrifice, what will happen to our country…to prevent all of this, a sacrifice is needed. The first one who should make the sacrifice is the one who leads the country,”
Well, almost. Cunning. Clever. Smarter Than Thou. But what a wasted golden opportunity.
Your Countdown to Extinction has begun though. Instant Karma’s gonna get you.
I don’t think the middle class is any less gullible than the masa especially if you see how many fall for the image of Gloria Arroyo as someone who is working hard for the country. However, i think all this talk of ullibility is beside the point. Manolo’s link above to Randy David’s analysis hits the nail on the head:
…It is important to understand where this moral code of the average Filipino voter is coming from. It proceeds from the belief that little people in a highly unequal society are invisible and cannot be heard. Their plight has to be championed by individuals who can see them and can empathize with their powerlessness….
…In such a world, intelligence and experience or competence in statecraft are of little value. The virtues that matter are generosity, approachability, and a strong sense of empathy…
…This too is a form of rationality. It is neither blind nor passive. The poor who vote for movie actors are not lost in adulation; their eyes are as open as those of the educated….
Read the entire thing.
That being said, i am counting on tagabukid’s prognosis (at 4:36pm) being correct.
Makisingit lang po.
@ Francis & tagabukid.
I also think that Pacquiao will not only lose to Darlene, he will also lose to Jorge Solis, and from there it will all be downhill for him. Di bale milyonaryo na naman siya pero sayang, what a waste! Nagpabola kasi kay FG (Fatso Ganid).
“There are people who seem to be afraid when opposing views are brought up like it was contagious or somethingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦and I cannot understand that. We all have freedom to choose and make up our own minds. ”
Very well said, Mita! I have a very good expereince on this in our yahoo group. There seems to be a silent agreement to stop discussing political issues the way it was used to becuase some members thought it was divisive.
Now people does’nt talk anything about politics and suddenly the groups become so silent and and very few are posting. And sad to say look like it is heading to extinction.
Fortunately, Danton Remoto, joined the senatorial election and some how nabuhay ang discussion doon.
I also exactly share the same sentiments about name! I dont know, but Bencard is so angry also about the bullying that Mrs Arroyo got. But he keept his compusure and just debated and stressed his point without resorting to name calling. So that means it is not really necessary.
Manolo was saying it alright for us to call him names. But I just cant resort to that!!!
Keep it up, Mita!
On internet brigade, I believe it really paranoia. Which very teh very chracateristics of a enemy centered inviduals.
Their security is volatile and based on the movements of their enemy. That makes them counter dependentlu guidedtheir enemys action.
They are always wondering what Gloria is up to and seek justification and validation from the like minded. They make their decision based onwhat will thwart their enemy.
That makes their judgement narrow and distorted And they are defensive, over reactive and often paranoid.
Ist not really good and will not accomplish much because the have littel power that comes from anger , envy, resentment and vengeance consequently producing very little energy that shrivels and destroys, leaving energy for little less.
That is why i am very passionate in these blog on teh cause of the neutral people. I just cannot leave the fate of this natioanl debate to these negative group of people because I am very sure that it will led to self destruction. There is really nothing good if we allow and give power to these people to shape the destiny of our country and our lives!
They may suceed in this election but at least we have voice out our stand. and when tiems coem that their sucees become a failure for tehnation then we can easily get back at them. Just telling them I told is already good enough.
The labelling in this blog is just a way of identifying people who are with them. The problem is that these people are so overreactive and so emotional that they are not really in good position to be a judge. It they alway mistakenly label everyone. Can you imagine the energy they wasted on updating their “list”. Today this gusy is with us,” Then when that somebody is said or do something favorable to them, they go bakc to their list and put him on the he with us column. Such a wast of energy for nothing.
I really believe that the reason their “cause” is not going anywhere and gloria is still in power. Because they wasted so much of their energy on things that doesn’t really matter much! Leaving them less powerful for realizationof their actual goal, the removal of Gloria from office.
And that led me to agree with you that the most effective change is really coming from the middle people.
In one of my very first post in PCIJ blog. I todl thsi peopel that it woudl be much much better for rabid anti Gloria to stay awya from the decision making of the different issue. And leave it to neutral people. That is the only way that this nation can move positively forward.
Unfortunately CVJ and his ilk just hated this group of neutral people will never even allow them to participate in the discussion about the solutions of our country problem. Again becuase of paranoia that that solution that these neutral people will propose will favor their enemy Gloria in some ways. They just have blood in their hands which is very dangerous!
Rego, if you won’t listen to me, at least listen to yourself. After saying this…
You accuse me (and my ilk) of this…
I don’t recall trying to stop you from joining in any discussion. On the other hand, you have gone on record with your recommendation that the Opposition stay away from decision making. Don’t you see that you’re accusing me of something that you yourself are guilty of?
This is a no brainer statement. Breathe in, breathe out. Be sure to exhale politics from your system. It clouds even your conscience.
If you respect MLQ3, you should avoid statements inciting sedition, wishing for the death of people whom you do not like. There are now suits against website owners not because of what they write but what others write in the comment boxes.
Writing your angst show how desperate you are and I would even say, very CHILDISH. Grow up young “men”.
Whatever I said was all in writing the same the all you said are all in writing. we can both revisit them if we want too….
REGO, thank you. actually, i admire you for keeping on and participating. i’d check out blogs but don’t bother to comment sometimes but i always see you still participating even when others try to put you down. you’ve kept your cool (something i still have to master) throughout and just state it as you see it…
CVJ, i said our people, including you and me – us, the Filipino electorate. I was swayed and so were you – we both acknowledge we were at EDSA Dos, right? don’t take this the wrong way…just saying….I’m starting to think you’re developing a fixation against the middle-class from where I presume you come from because again, i didn’t say anything about the middle class NOT being gullible. are you somehow guilty about your being at EDSA Dos with that middle-class mindset you say I have?
i also read that particular randy david article and it screams vulnerable and gullible to me even if he used the phrase “another form of rationality”…i have a different take on that. it’s our culture of dependency which we nurture from the cradle to our deathbed without realizing how destructive it can be. we do it to our kids, in our households, at work, at our churches – and in our politics. we somehow have a need to continuously replay the roles of the needy and the generous. and not getting enough of it in real life, we look for it in our entertainment too…we give it all different names (tulong, kawanggawa, pakikisama) but it all boils down to the dependency of the perceived weaker members and the magnanimity and eventually control of the stronger ones.
equally destructive is the pack mentality…”stay with the pack, it’s safest with the pack” kinda thinking. doesn’t promote independent thinking nor creativity.
let me clarify before i be misunderstood once again, this doesn’t just refer to one class but all of us.
ACERO, i checked out darlene custodio’s resume and it seems she spent most of her life in Metro Manila. Apart from Pacquiao’s popularity nationwide through his achievements in boxing, he also grew up among ordinary mortals in GenSan, which strengthens his image as a local folk hero.
I think it’s really going to be difficult for custodio. speaking in practical terms and without undermining her personal qualifications, her one big asset is her family who have been in local politics for some years now.
“That is why i am very passionate in these blog on teh cause of the neutral people.” – rego
If you were so passionate about your “neutrality”, how come you also so passionately detest those who are passionately anti-GMA? That’s the most convoluted stance I’ve ever seen. Don’t hide your true color by claiming “neutrality”. Your slip is showing. Who do you think you are fooling except yourself?
Cat, Rego, Mita,
Don’t be (or play) blind on the issues. Glueria and her government really stinks! (with exclamation point)
JS, who’s saying it doesn’t? (with question mark)
If you cannot see my being in the middle then thats not my problem.
If you abhored cheating but your okay with political dynasty. Thats your problem not mine.
If you think I am fooling you again poblema mo na yan!
What issues do you think we are blind to? Would care to enumerate? As far as I know we dont deny the fact that there is some problem with Gloria and existing defective system needs overhauling.
not some but many, and serious. Oh, poor Philippines!
Yeah, it stinks. I agree with you, and as Rego said, needs (a complete) overhaul.
OC? Old Comer? Yeah, been reading MLQ3’s blog.
Rego, I abhor cheating in all its forms and in all instances 100%, yes, but where did I say I was for political dynasty?
Rego, you’re in the middle, yeah, sure.
“Writing your angst show how desperate you are and I would even say, very CHILDISH. Grow up young Ã¢â‚¬Å“menÃ¢â‚¬Â.”
Yes Kittie, WE are DESPERATE.
We are desperate to end the evil reign of the Palace Pretender — the USURPER.
We are desperate to cast and protect our ballot, our vote, because we are desperate to take the Palace back. We are desperate to take democracy back.
We are desperate, our blood is close to reaching the boiling point, our pent-up frustrations will soon explode. The gnashing of our teeth, the silent weep…
You can’t feel it because you’re high atop your tower, basking in all the comfort of your borguise state. You’re a fence-sitter, pretty much like the purported President you and your ilk are all defending.
You talk about respect, but it seems you don’t even grasp the meaning of the word because all you do here is throw ad hominems and witty one-liners which i think make you feel you are so intelligent and bursting with wisdom. Take that for an ad hominem.
Wake Up Aling Pussy…your kleenex is all yours.
Yes, and it is in good part because i am one of them. From where i stand, i believe that the middle class mindset (supercilliousness, apathy, moral ambiguity, narcissism, exceptionalism) is a big part of what ails our society today.
…are you somehow guilty about your being at EDSA Dos with that middle-class mindset you say I have?
No regrets on EDSA Dos, but i do feel bad that Arroyo, and a large part of the middle class has betrayed its ideals.
If the article screams gullible to you, then i believe that is a misunderstanding of Randy David’s position. He explicitly stated that:
“Many of our people are no doubt mesmerized by the heroic exploits of their favorite movie characters. But to suggest that they cannot tell the difference between fictional figures and real-life politicians is to misjudge them.”
I appreciate your exposition on the culture of dependence, but i think that your mindset that the middle class is the ruling class, at this stage of our development, fosters such a culture. We can help to start dismantling this culture by respecting the vote of the masa.