Sanchez: Political competition

THIS early, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. vowed he will work for the possible unity of local politicians who want to be the next governor.

What this concept of “unity” is quite vague. The last time this idea came out in the 2016 election, Marañon wanted Vice Governor Eugenio Lacson to give way to Jeffrey Ferrer.

That didn’t happen. Eugenio Lacson was not dissuaded and both candidates opposed one another for the vice governorship. As Negrenses know, the incumbent vice governor won.

Now this idea is being resurrected. Who will give way to whom? This early, three potential candidates are expected to vie to be the next governor: Lacson, Ferrer, and graduating congressman of the Third District Alfredo Benítez.

Marañon said the end-goal is to unite the politicians in the province.

“That is our goal. That is our purpose but it is a very hard task to reunite them because each and everyone has their own agenda.”

Last I check, we live in a democracy, not in a one-party system. Our politics espouses the “marketplace of ideas” that holds that the truth will emerge from the competition of ideas in free, transparent public discourse.

Political competition is competition for political power. It is competition for the ability to shape and control the content and direction of public policy – rivalry for the capacity to influence or determine official governmental decision-making and action on questions of public policy.

What public policies will these opposing candidates espouse? Under his watch, Governor Marañon pushed for re-directing the province toward the green economy. Now Negros Occidental has been transformed into the solar capital of the country.

The next step is how to wean the local monoculture economy into a diversified market-based industrial one. How will the Sugarcane (not sugar) Act help toward this direction?

How will the incumbent and succeeding governors put flesh and bones to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework encompassing the economic, social, and environmental aspects of sustainable development?

No, Governor Marañon. Competition – or conflict if you will – is not necessarily bad. Since different individuals and groups are differently situated within society and thus have varying and competing interests, there is a very high probability that any decision or action of the government will affect different people differently, helping some and hurting others.

What will be the end product of sugarcane? Sugar? Bioplastics? Sugarcane juice? How about a non-sugarcane based economy altogether? The province pushed for building the CyberCentre? How can information technology play a role in local economic development?

(bqsanc@yahoo.com)
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