ONCE more the clutter of promises candidates toss out to politically naïve and financially distressed voters brings to mind the hopelessness of our electoral system, specifically our lack of genuine political parties that stand for a distinct socio-political philosophy or vision and program of government and go by strict party discipline in the pursuit of the vision.
The traditional big parties are mutual admiration societies of the big boys. The party-lists are of two kinds. One are parties that political dynasties establish for family members that cannot be accommodated by the big party. The other are parties that represent the interests of a relatively small specific group in the marginalized sector.
Big or small the fragile (because there is no binding philosophy and discipline) groupings we call parties can advocate only for their narrow interests. Campaign promises cannot find fulfillment because they are promises of socially aimless individual members of an equally aimless party or group whereas only a solidly bound party (by a social philosophy) can push for a veritable program of government.
Yet, the Philippines does have one genuine political party. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) adheres strictly and to a fault to an ideology based on Karl Marx’s social philosophy and Mao Tse Tung’s formula of a protracted armed struggle to win class warfare. Its party discipline is unequaled in its rigidity.
Unfortunately the CPP’s blind adherence to ideology has blindsided it from the fast changing social reality of the time. It has missed big opportunities because instead of adjusting ideology to reality, it force-fits reality into the ideological mold.
It didn’t join the Edsa revolution because its ideology does not admit of a peaceful takeover of political power. Only a protracted war in the countryside does that for them.
It is for the same reason they rejected the condition of a ceasefire for the peace talks to proceed any farther. What can be more realistic than to stop fighting before talking? The MILF got its autonomy when it put aside socio-religious theory and talked peace when the opportunity presented itself.
One wonders what positive social changes the CPP could have made if it had functioned as a legal non-violent political party for the past 50 years and won seats in government riding on the votes of members that it has educated and trained in the principles and practices of a genuine people’s democracy.
But for being hung up on ideology, its protracted war, after all the killings and burnings, has just been moving sideways with no signs of moving forward in a country it fails to read is irreversibly steeped in a godly religion and abhors violence.