Opposition still using obsolete “good” versus “evil” rhetoric as a lazy alternative to a real campaign platform

PhilSTAR columnist Boo Chanco seems to be losing faith in the youth. But the surveys he cited in his piece today “Faith in democracy” were done abroad, mostly in Europe. It doesn’t automatically apply to Filipinos in the same age group he cites…

The Center for the Future of Democracy at the University of Cambridge found out that satisfaction with democracy is in steepest decline among 18 to 34 year olds in almost every global region. The researchers also found out that young people are most positive about democracy under populist leaders of both left and right.

This new generation of voters in democracies across Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific “are less concerned with the value of democracy as an ideal, and more concerned with its functioning in practice – including the ability to address problems of youth unemployment, corruption, inequality, and crime.

The 21-45 age group is the largest demographic numbering 40 million Filipinos. No survey company has focused on them which is why we have no idea what their sentiments are. I have met thirty-somethings who are pro-Marcos and pro-Duterte. Their belief is based on the oral history of their elders of how the country was better off during the Marcos era. But this is in the National Capital Region (NCR) where anarchy and chaos reigns for workers who commute everyday. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) hasn’t really done a good job with mass transport integration. The opportunity was there during the lockdown but without an intermodal mass transport system based on route rationalization there will be no improvement. The Pasig River Expressway shouldn’t be built. The Pasig River is better off as is as a mass transport waterway for commuters travelling from east to west and vice-versa. This was its purpose back in the day and it should be revived.

Chanco again concludes that Duterte is a failure writing that he “has failed to deliver on economic outcomes big time.” The economy was doing well before the pandemic. A ratings upgrade was the result of sound fiscal and economic management policies under the Economic Development Cluster of the Cabinet led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. The tax reform program has resulted in a wider revenue base. The ratings upgrade lowered borrowing costs. The final result is more available funds for social services such as universal healthcare and free tertiary education. The subsidy for senior high school students continues. The pandemic is on a global scale and so is the economic downturn. We have always had a problem with foreign direct investments because of policy, infrastructure, labor and power issues. Infrastructure and policy are being addressed by Build-Build-Build (BBB) and amendments to the Public Services and Retail Trade Liberalization Act. We actually need to amend the Constitution.

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The vital reform issue which we refuse to address is the bureaucracy. The Ease of Doing Business Act and the creation of the Anti-Red Tape Authority hasn’t had much impact on reforming the bureaucracy. The delay in the release of salaries and allowances of government employees is due to the bureaucracy. The local government unit (LGU) heads at their level haven’t done much either. Given the pandemic is endemic, now is the perfect time for bureaucratic reform because it is necessary moving forward. We should also do away with the bicameral legislature set-up. It is a waste of money and is both inefficient and unproductive. As Bobi Tiglao describes it, we cannot be at the mercy of 24 megalomaniacs. A unicameral parliamentary system is better-suited for legislative work. It will be more in-tune with the Executive and produce better results in terms of continuity and consistency.

Our political immaturity is being condoned by the Opposition with their antics. This is due to their being lazy and intellectually dishonest. They prefer the shortcut method instead of actually working to present an alternative platform of government. In their case, it is only about “good” versus “evil”, with them having the monopoly over the former. This is why they have little credibility left with the public and their mouthpieces like Chanco, blame the public instead of themselves, for the shift.

The focus now should be on the pandemic and economic recovery but we are stuck with politicking again because it is an election year. The public should force the politicians to shift to an issues-based discussion of the problems we face and not the usual mudslinging. The time of motherhood statements is over. What we need now are concrete plans of action moving forward. Chanco makes it about political ideology when it is not because there is no ideology in Philippine politics. It has been, and continues to be, all about power.

2 Replies to “Opposition still using obsolete “good” versus “evil” rhetoric as a lazy alternative to a real campaign platform”

  1. “This new generation of voters in democracies across Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific “are less concerned with the value of democracy as an ideal, and more concerned with its functioning in practice – including the ability to address problems of youth unemployment, corruption, inequality, and crime.”

    If people are not able to judge for themselves, how are you going to solve the problems on that list?

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