Carvajal: Magical illusion

Break Point

SOMETHING that doesn’t exist cannot die.

This truism seems beyond the ken of those who claim democracy is being killed by you know who. Their latest post is that VP Leni Robredo’s and the bishops’ answer in court to sedition charges is democracy’s last stand.

But how can Philippine democracy die when it does not exist? How when it has never been more than a magical illusion from the ruling class’ political wand?

The hallmarks of real democracy are: a) rule by the majority, b) proportionate representation through c) a public party system and d) free election.

Since when have we been ruled by the majority? Elected official have never gotten the majority vote. They merely got more votes than their closest rivals.

Since when have we had proportionate representation in government? Luis Taruc was the only farmer-leader who was elected to Congress by his farmer-organization. But what did a landlord-dominated Congress do? They contrived and succeeded to bar him from taking the congressional seat he won in a fair election. Since then no genuine farmer or worker leader has run and been elected to Congress.

Majority of us are ordinary workers, fishermen, farmers, government functionaries yet our laws and national policies have always been crafted by representatives only of big business and big landholdings who protect and promote their interests alone. Thus, not surprisingly the majority of us have remained marginalized.

Needless to say we never had a public party system. Our political parties are mutual admiration private clubs for the big boys. Look how they have allowed the Marcoses (club members?) to come back to power. Meanwhile, go figure the details but the party-list system is a cruel joke.

And since when have we had free elections? Poor workers, farmers, fisher folks, teachers, etc. have never been free to run and be elected for office. How can they when the Comelec disqualifies them as nuisance candidates for not having the resources to mount an election campaign?

Finally, since when have ordinary folks been free to vote? They have always been routinely hassled with cash incentives or physical threats to vote for sweet-talking political clowns.

Ferdinand Marcos did not kill democracy but its illusion and Cory Aquino did not restore democracy but the illusion that Marcos killed. Thus, the majority of us went back to being marginalized by those who performed Cory’s magic from behind her throne.

By the same logic, President Duterte cannot kill a non-existent democracy but only its illusion. When his term expires, the question is: Will the next administration install a real democracy or will it simply restore the magical illusion Duterte is killing now?


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