Midterm elec­tions

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORY! - FRANK MALILONG

THE Amer­i­cans will hold their midterm elec­tion to­mor­row, six months ahead of our own but the date isn’t the only as­pect of the elec­toral process where they are far ad­vanced than we are ex­cept per­haps in the area of vote-buy­ing and other forms of cheat­ing.

The US Con­gress has 535 mem­bers. One hun­dred serve in the Se­nate (two per state) and 435 in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. In com­par­i­son, we have 24 sen­a­tors and 297 con­gress­men, in­clud­ing the so-called party-list rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Their sen­a­tors are cho­sen within a par­tic­u­lar state; ours, na­tion­wide. Both the US and Philip­pine sen­a­tors are elected to six-year terms but the for­mer are not sub­ject to any term limit un­like ours who can serve for only two con­sec­u­tive terms.

One third of the en­tire mem­ber­ship of the US Se­nate are elected ev­ery two years while we chose our 12 sen­a­tors ev­ery three years. How­ever, 35 U.S. Se­nate seats are up for grabs this year be­cause of va­can­cies in Min­nesota and Mis­sis­sippi.

The term of of­fice of U.S. con­gress­men is only two years. Our con­gress­men are elected to a three-year term but we of­ten hear com­plaints that the three­year pe­riod is too short for a good con­gress­man and too long for a bad one.

Like their coun­ter­parts in the Se­nate, House rep­re­sen­ta­tives are not bound by any term limit. They can of­fer them­selves for re­elec­tion for as long as they want. Filipino con­gress­men who are sali­vat­ing at the prospect of delet­ing the term lim­its in the con­sti­tu­tion that they in­sist on draft­ing must have been in­spired by the Amer­i­can model.

How do we com­pare the qual­ity of their can­di­dates for sen­a­tors, con­gress­men and yes, gov­er­nors to ours? Here are sam pl es:

In Ari­zona, the Re­pub­li­can can­di­date for sen­a­tor, Martha McSally holds a mas­ter’s de­gree from the Har­vard Univer­sity’s John F. Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment. Re­garded as one of the high­est rank­ing fe­male pilots in the US Air Force, she was the first fe­male com­man­der of a USAF fighter squadron. Her Demo­cratic op­po­nent is Kyrsten Sinema, who has a mas­ter’s de­gree in so­cial work and a Ph.D. in Jus­tice Stud­ies.

In Vir­ginia, the Demo­cratic can­di­date for the House, Elaine Luria, is a for­mer naval com­man­der. Her op­po­nent, Scott Tay­lor, was a mem­ber of the US Navy SEAL. In Florida, Re­pub­li­can sen­a­to­rial can­di­date Bill Nel­son went to Yale Univer­sity, served in Viet­nam and was an as­tro­naut in the Space Shut­tle Columbia. His op­po­nent, Ric Scott, is a lawyer, who also served in the Navy.

In Ge­or­gia, the Re­pub­li­can bet for gov­er­nor, Brian Kemp, went to the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia where he ma­jored in agri­cul­ture. His op­po­nent, Stacey Abrams, has a mas­ter’s de­gree in Pub­lic Af­fairs and a Juris Doc­tor from the Yale Law School.

That’s it, no ac­tors, no dropouts and cer­tainly no jail­birds. If it’s any con­so­la­tion to us, Kemp, the afore­men­tioned Re­pub­li­can bet for gov­er­nor in Florida, has ob­sti­nately held on to his seat as Sec­re­tary of State even if that of­fice su­per­vises the elec­tions, in­clud­ing that for gov­er­nor. The lack of del­i­cadeza in pol­i­tics is an area where we out­pace the Amer­i­cans but they seem to be not too far be­hind.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.