Prostituted electoral system
SORRY, I couldn’t find a better description of our electoral system than to relate it with the condition of prostitution, that of a system where power and money commands the physical and dignity of a person.
Some may not agree with me, but nonetheless I give them my full respect even as I pushes my standpoint on the issue.
I am deeply sad and angry that until now elections in our country has not matured both as a system of exercising our right to suffrage, and as citizens seeking structural and socio-economic reforms.
Our electoral system is easily manipulated, worse, bought by the oligarchs and their corporate partners.
Most of us know that campaigning for positions for the Senate and the Lower House require big war chest for candidates.
Who can withstand campaigning for three months and nationwide without machinery, money and private army? Only the oligarch politicians.
Who can have their faces and names quickly and easily heard and seen in strategic corners of the country except those who can buy expensive air time and television slots?
It is what the system implicitly dictates and demands. The system is not for the poor and progressive candidates. It is for those with money.
The system does not also provide controls against those who have been indicted for high crimes like plunder. So, we see the same old faces betting again.
The electoral system also offer lip service to fair and transparent elections, but in reality it is lax on the bets of oligarchs and ruling party.
I give exception to few candidates from progressive and militant party-lists who have to depend largely on their organized mass base and creativeness and resourcefulness.
The saddest thing is that a sizable segment of our voters have not matured enough to resist the system and the politicians.
I don’t blame them for their repeated submission to the politicians and their errand dogs.
It’s not that they don’t want change, it’s their low political consciousness, and lack of organizational and political capacity to resist the money, machinery and the bullies of big politicians, and question the whole system.
So long as the people are weak, the system will continue to appear strong and irresistible.
This is a challenge for the party lists, sectoral mass organizations, community associations, civil society organizations (CSOS), development service organizations (NGOS), human rights groups, the churches, academic institutions and other volunteer organizations like the PPCRV and Namfrel.
Under our prostituted electoral system, it takes an organized and concerted resistance to confront and put the system and big politicians on the defensive. Unfortunately, most of our people have yet to achieve that capacity; spontaneous actions can’t push them back.*
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