The idea of legislating against “political dynasties” is ludicrous in a democracy such as the Philippines. For one thing (and, perhaps, the only thing), leaders and representatives in the Executive and Legislative branches of government respectively are elected by popular vote. This means that the people who make up the government are largely the outcome of “the people’s will”. Under the principles of democracy supposedly enshrined in the Philippines’ Constitution, the “people’s will” (channeled through due institutional process), trumps all else.
Thus, if Filipinos want to be ruled by dynasties, all they need do is vote for their preferred clansmen in the next election. It’s really that simple. Who’s the anti-dynasty “activist” to say that a people aspired to be ruled by dynasties as manifest in who they vote for election in and election out is wrong?
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The trouble with Filipinos’ approach to “democracy” is that their democracy advocates are indian givers. The powers-that-be presume to give “freedom” to Filipinos to exercise their will but with strings attached. It is no surprise that the biggest freedom indian givers of all are the “thought leaders” of the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) who, on one hand, would harp ’til kingdom come about “freedom” and the “people’s will” and then, on the other, issue shrill condemnation of people’s choices that they do not like.
It is no surprise that these Yellowtards are comfy in bed with the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. The Church abides by a similar but ancient doctrine convoluted by notions of “free will” and eternal damnation for “sinners”. Catholics are led to believe that God grants them free will — convenient for popes squirming on their thrones to explain why God “allows” war and genocide to happen — but, at the same time, are scared into believing that eternal fire and brimstone greets in the “afterlife” those who practice that “free will” in a disagreeable way.
The practice of democracy in the Philippines, as such, remains a mashup of medieval voodoo and “modern” democratic liberalism. Rhetoric surrounding the ascendancy of “freedom” is spouted side-by-side with labelling of “undesirable” political personalities as “Satan”. The idea that good-and-evil is a judgment call monopolised by a single party or participant — something reinforced by constant imagery of certain politicians knelt in prayer before a Catholic priest (perhaps with nuns flanking them for good measure).
The irony that flies above the pointed heads of these flawed democracy cheerleaders again starts when we consider the idea of “anti-dynasty” legislation. Clearly a conflicted message is being sent by people who cosy up to clerics in robes and, in the same vein, mouth shrill slogans against “dynasty politics”. Under a truly rational conversation about how to move real democracy forward in the Philippines, the Church and any sort of controls on what voters choose need to take a backseat. Filipinos who participate in their democracy need to be presumed to be adult enough to exercise their democratic rights. And just as adults are free to be loyal to Coca Cola when choosing their drink at a 7-11, Filipino voters too should be allowed that choice.
The key concept that Yellowtards need to add to their vocabulary is competitiveness. Yellowtards need to learn how to compete for attention and popularity — the sort of popularity that converts to votes. Unfortunately, Yellowtards prefer the lazy approach of whining about an imagined “unfairness” in the very system their Aquino overlords established back in 1987. It would be funny if this style of thinking was merely being intellectually dishonest. It is, however, no laughing matter because it has become borderline criminal in nature.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.