What’s the big deal with political dynasties? Why try to legislate their existence from the face of Philippine politics? That’s the same as trying to pass a law banning bad manners. Try that and ninety five percent of Filipinos will end up in jail.
You wonder why such ironies as hate campaigns against political dynasties simply fly above the pointed heads of most Filipinos. On one hand you’d have people huffing and puffing about powerful scions running for office — and winning at that. Que horror! The humanity! Such injustice! So much power in the hands of so few!
Then on another breath you’d hear triumphalists waxing poetic about how Pinoys are so “Family-oriented.” Well now, what do we have here. Since Pinoys find intellectual exercises like connecting-the-dots so daunting, I will need to spell it out here:
The character of the politics of a nation merely reflects the character of the voters of said nation.
In a nation of family-oriented people, what is then so strange about the existence of family-oriented politicians?
The Philippines after all is a society where almost extremist practices of deference to “elders” and bias towards blood relatives over and above any other bases for decent regard for what is right passes off as normal behaviour. Filipinos cherish their family ties. They routinely sacrifice systems, rules, and personal trust on the altar of “family-orientation.”
What then is politics other than the ultimate Filipino game?
Try to control who runs for office and specifically design the framework of this control around that most sacred of Filipino traditions — worship of relatives — and you are setting yourself up for failure. Even the most brain-dead of Pinoys become instant Einsteins when it comes to finding workarounds and loopholes to get relatives and friends — and themselves — into positions of unfair advantage. Queue-jumping after all is a renowned talent Filipinos wear with pride. Just look out the window of your car on a drive down sunny Aurora Boulevard and you will see the grassroot origins of this fiesta tradition.
You can’t really blame “activists” for trying to get their presumptive “representatives” to “activate” moronic laws that presume to “ban” political dynasties. The existence of such laws are a testament to the unspoken acknowledgement that Filipino voters cannot be relied on to do the right thing — even for themselves. Good thing there are people out there who see themselves as knowing better than Da Pinoy Vote.
You wonder though: How consistent are these “activists” when it comes to framing their thoughts around “anti-dynastic” electioneering? Well, hopefully they do practice what they preach and not themselves decide to vote for their favourite bozo on the basis of, say, handshakes, for example. Just saying.
If it ain’t Baroque don’t fix it. If I was Mr Typical Pinoy Politician, why should I change the way I campaign when my good looks and exquisite charms alone get me so far? Oh yeah, having a powerful father — or well-branded uncle — works as well.
It’s good for business as too. Having a Showbiz Government is good for the economy. What’s retail marketing after all but an on-going effort to keep people in that sort of festive mood that makes it easier to persuade them to part ways with their hard-earned OFW cash?
Life in the Philippines is really all about being on the right side of the equation. When you are a mere voter, you are on that side everyone says is where the power emanates. Indeed.
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