Unity in politics-A A +A
Monday, October 29, 2012
OUR politics, truth to tell, has the capacity to unify people and places, as well as the capability to break up into fragments such as what we would be if we give up the original two-party model that we “copied” after the US when we started our democratic way of life. But somewhere along the way of our democratic governance, some of our leaders thought that the American way was too elitist, that only the moneyed few would have the opportunity to govern since they would be the only ones who would have the financial capability to “secure” votes.
Sometime in the late 1960s, initial moves were made to go for a multi-party system. It would mean laying aside the American two-party system model, and allow a multi-party system to come in. I recall clearly the start of the so-called Progressive Party of the Philippines (PPP) of then senators Emmanuel Pelaez, Raul Manglapus, Manuel Manahan, then labor secretary Terry Adevoso, and a host of other political idealists They had hoped that in the 1965 elections they could make their move, but traditional politics won the day shrewdly for Ferdinand Marcos.
It was in 1967, however, that the PPP made its presence felt in Congress when Senators Raul Manglapus and Manuel P. Manahan were able to push through their third party in the country, effectively initiating a multi-party system. But the political situation somehow remained the same.
The elitist politics did not prosper, but simply because everything stood still when President Marcos initiated martial rule. Democracy in the Philippines appeared to be in suspension as human rights hung in the balance. It was almost a decade later, in 1986, when things somehow, returned to normal.
The multi-party system stayed, while the old political simply vanished. Factional politics and small regional and provincial parties emerged, somehow fragmenting the republic into small independent political groups. If you ask me, the country is politically fragmented, and the age of political alliances has come upon us. Make no mistake, though, we may be politically fragmented, but we are ideologically united, in the sense that our democratic ideal is holding on, unifying the nation politically.
The fact that the power to impeach can still be mustered is enough proof.
At the moment, our political leaders in various regions and provinces may only be heads of provincial or city political parties, but they have established links and connections with other groups in other parts. When they share ideals, goals, and objectives and unite having the same causes, and they come together to form a group, then they could become a formidable political party, such as the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Then there are, of course, the specters of past political parties, rising to win back support.
Political unity should be a goal we must devoutly seek, but it is a vision that is as elusive as a dream. Still, as the old folks’ saying goes, hope springs eternal.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2012.