My support of Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s candidacy is more of a protest to traditional politicians than an expression of trust in his capability to solve this country’s perennial social problems.
I do hope he still surprises us with a game-changing performance even as I know the likelihood of that happening in the fatally flawed structure of our democracy is extremely slim. Unless that is restructured, elections will only change actors but not the roles in the tragi-comic drama of Philippine politics.
The national drama has only two main roles: the oppressive, exploiting, plundering rulers and the oppressed, exploited and marginalized ruled. We have regularly changed actors in the past, but they continue to play the same role of self-enriching champions of the interests of big business and of big landholdings.
After election, after they would have decided whose turn it is to plunder the nation and exploit its people, the sheep meekly go back to eking out a living under the most disadvantageous of circumstances. This could go on until we decide to make our democracy genuine by instituting the three essential components that it sorely lacks.
Like our democracy is not rule of the majority. We have no run-off elections in our system. Thus, our leaders get into office by simply getting the most number of votes cast which, as invariably happens, does not come close to being the majority’s votes.
Ours is not a representative democracy either. No political party represents and promotes the interests of the worker-farmer sector that happens to be the majority of the population. Existing political parties are private clubs of the rich and fly on the wings of political ambition and economic greed.
In a representative democracy, duly accredited political parties are considered public institutions, their operations (training of members, running election campaigns etc.) funded by government. This system gives the working class a chance of forming and running its own party with the seed money provided by government.
Finally, our elections are a universe away from being fair and free. Only the already rich and powerful can run for office, and they are able to violate every election rule in the book with impunity. They spend for campaigns like they are investing in a business that promises quick and substantial payback.
In Chile, the youth have finally united and he President has acceded to their demand for a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution that would do away with the oppressive provisions of the European colonial structure.
When will the Filipino youth move en masse to demand for a new constitution that would guarantee the three essential components of a genuine democracy?