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Of party systems

October 28, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

RRoy’siPadOf party systems
Ronald Roy — Oct. 28, 2015

In a two-party system, such as that obtaining in the United States of America between the two major parties of the Democrats and the Republicans, electoral issues are generally more clearly defined. It has been noted, however, that given the rising complexities in domestic and world affairs, multifarious issues have so risen that now: only a small 35% of American voters are concerned with those basic matters that relate to the Democrats’ pro-poor-and-minorities development thrust, on the one hand, and the Republicans’ industrial-boom thrust, on the other.
Understandably, because the other 65% of Americans get to feel increasingly deprived of equitable representation within the halls of legislation in these fast-changing times, one: they are losing interest to vote, and two: the “third major party” concept is now fast taking root to keep their democracy not only afloat, but heartier than the authoritarian People’s Republic of China.

Political party rivalries
In the Philippines’ case, what measures have been taken to strengthen her electoral democracy? Well, after the 2nd World War ended in 1945, the newly established 2nd Republic of the Philippines held its first general elections the following year that saw the Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party competing for supremacy.
The keen rivalry between the two dominant parties eventually ended in 1972 with the emergence of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), which was formed by Ferdinand E. Marcos in order to fortify his Martial Law powers. However, the KBL was neither a political party nor a movement in any democratic sense because the powers of governance were all assumed by one man.
When Martial Law was abolished in 1986 after the Edsa People Power Revolution catapulted Corazon Cojuangco Aquino to the revolutionary presidency, we would see (as a knee-jerk reaction to the despised one-man rule) an evolution of the two-party system into what it is today: an unwieldy ever-expanding complex of political parties, coalitions, mergers and umbrellas, not to mention a proliferation of party list groups.

Democratizing power
Since Cory took over, the quality of life has so alarmingly deteriorated that a need for better leaders has come to be the only concern of the body politic every election time. Among the reforms coming to mind is how to best effect a system of equitable representation of the masses in the two legislative chambers and in the other areas of the public service. However, a return to the two-party system as a solution has not received much thought.
In principle, the idea of a “ruling party” (as the owner of the glory and the perks) should be tempered in order to allow the other minority entities wider service participation; but only time will tell how this can be done. Meanwhile, suffrage shall continue as an opportunity for political parties and their varieties to vie, sadly, not so much for the authority to serve, as for the latitude for self-enrichment.

Sinister PCOS machines
Of course the state of our electoral democracy is depressing. But what else is there?! The Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, initially considered as the best guarantee for quick and accurate election results, are ironically seen as insidious tools for the stifling of the vox populi in next year’s elections! The sinister side of a PCOS machine is: once you’ve shoved your filled-up ballot into it, you feel you’ve just been robbed clean but cannot complain because you don’t know who did it.
On previous occasions, the manipulability of these machines was demonstrated before the very eyes of the Sixto Brilliantes-chaired Commission on Elections, and yet, for hundreds of millions of obvious reasons, they were not scuttled to give way to the manual-count-first-then-automatic-transmission-later format — an arrangement which common sense alone can easily certify as the best safeguard against election cheats.
The gnawing fear is that these machines will be illicitly utilized next year by those organized groups possessing the wherewithal and other resources that are needed for their technical operation. Whichever way one sees it, it’s unavoidable not to suspect the Liberal Party as the principal subverter of next years’s polls.

Interaction
— Thanks for asking, Rogelio (Bueno). The Law must take its normal unimpeded course in the investigation of alleged kidnapping and murder-plot charges against Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) authorities, and we should denounce any form of suppression by any religious personality or group of anybody’s freedom to vote for any candidate of his choice.
— It behooves the INC, the owner of at least 3 million “command votes”, to convince the entire country that it is not using its electoral clout to influence the outcome of the investigation. At the same time, Pres. Aquino should explain why he chose the Philippine National Police to investigate the complaint considering that policemen were allegedly involved in the kidnapping.
— We finally demand to know why Aquino continues to allow the permanent stationing of 100 PNP personnel in the INC compound in QC! This is an impeachable Breach of Public Trust, no less!

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com

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