DECI­BELS are steadily ris­ing over which sen­a­to­rial wannabes will get in­side the magic cir­cle of twelve. The noise is in no small way gen­er­ated by main­stream me­dia as they vie for a share of the huge TV, print and ra­dio ads bud­get of top can­di­dates.

The cur­rently in-names do not im­press me. Be­sides, I see se­na­tors as gen­er­ally a shal­low, pre­ten­tious, and ar­ro­gant bunch. They do noth­ing but go through the mo­tions of re­cov­er­ing their huge elec­tion cam­paign ex­penses. They have to be the most use­less but most ex­pen­sive gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

We are a rep­re­sen­ta­tive democ­racy. Why do we have se­na­tors who are elected at large and rep­re­sent nei­ther a geo­graph­i­cal en­clave nor a sec­tor of so­ci­ety? Ac­count­able to all means ac­count­able to no one un­like con­gress­men/ women who have their re­spec­tive dis­tricts to an­swer to.

Thus we see se­na­tors do­ing noth­ing more than grand­stand and get ar­ro­gant with de­part­ment heads dur­ing “in­ves­ti­ga­tions” which should prop­erly be the job of COA, DOJ, NBI, PNP and other such agen­cies. Yet we are never told what leg­is­la­tion were aided by these in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Even their leg­isla­tive func­tion is su­per­flu­ous. What laws can the Se­nate en­act that the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives can­not do bet­ter? Con­gress­men have their ears close to the ground in their dis­tricts such that they are in a much bet­ter po­si­tion to en­act laws.

If se­na­tors are use­less in a cen­tral­ized form of gov­ern­ment they are more so in a de­cen­tral­ized form of gov­ern­ment. Thus, one of the val­ues of dis­cussing the pro­posed shift to fed­er­al­ism is that peo­ple be­gin to re­al­ize the use­less­ness of a Se­nate in a fed­eral form of gov­ern­ment. Se­na­tors do not rep­re­sent any­body, do noth­ing that is not al­ready the job of oth­ers, and are truly a waste of peo­ple’s money.

This is why se­na­tors are op­posed to fed­er­al­ism that, to be gen­uine, should do away with the Se­nate. It is the surest way to­wards wealth and priv­i­lege. It is ex­pen­sive to be­come a sen­a­tor but do­ing noth­ing to get all the perks of the job makes it worth it.

This is also the rea­son why I do not think fed­er­al­ism will pass muster this first time around. Se­na­tors will op­pose it. Or if they ap­prove, it will be an empty shell of fed­er­al­ism, no anti-dy­nasty pro­vi­sion, no pro­vi­sion for a gen­uine party sys­tem and above all no pro­vi­sion for the abo­li­tion of a use­less Se­nate.

Peo­ple worry about fed­er­al­ism’s big­ger bu­reau­cracy and cost. But with­out the Se­nate we will have a much less costly bu­reau­cracy. And ef­fi­cient too be­cause agency heads can fo­cus on their jobs in­stead of dodg­ing the barbed mis­siles of ar­ro­gant se­na­tors.

I am not only not vot­ing for a sen­a­tor, I will also ask peo­ple to do the same. Time to take a stand that se­na­tors are ut­terly use­less. /

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