ONE thing is certain: the power of change will continue to shape the world around us. Change is a fundamental fact of life. It is a force that has shaped and molded human history since the dawn of civilization. It is a force that has sparked revolutions, sparked discoveries, and transformed political institutions across the globe. From the rise and fall of ancient empires to the establishment of modern democracies, change has been the driving force behind the evolution of political institutions.
One political institution that has undergone significant change over the centuries is monarchy. Monarchy is a concept that has been present in human societies for thousands of years. The idea of a king, queen, or monarch serving as a figurehead for a nation has been a part of human culture since the beginning of recorded history. However, the concept of royalty has undergone significant changes over time.
The rise of democracy and the decline of absolute monarchy led to the transformation of political institutions across Europe and beyond. Kings and queens were no longer seen as divine, but rather as figureheads with a ceremonial role to play in the government.
Take for example the transition of European countries from a monarchical society to a democratic society. The move towards democracy was a significant change in the political landscape of Europe and took place gradually over several centuries. With the rise of the middle class, the ideas of individual rights, rule of law, and democracy began to gain popularity.
Some European countries, such as England and France, made the transition more rapidly than others. In England, the Magna Carta signed in 1215 by King John, limited the power of the monarchy and gave certain rights to the nobles. This paved the way for later reforms such as the Bill of Rights in 1689 and the Great Reform Act of 1832.
In France, the revolution of 1789 was a turning point that brought an end to the monarchical system. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was a key document that led to the abolition of monarchy and the establishment of a more democratic society. With the rise of the middle class, the ideas of individual rights, rule of law, and democracy began to gain popularity.
At the local context, the sultanate and datuism is similar to the monarchical system. Although the Americans and the early formation of the Philippine government tried to abolish it, this institution still exists today. It even mutated in combining cultural (symbolic and traditional figure) and semi-political (bae’s and datu’s hold key positions in the local governance) roles.
To fully democratize Bangsamoro today is a huge task. To establish a strong democratic system and institutions will not be a simple or straightforward process. It may take many years of political and social upheaval that is beyond the transition period of the peace process. Therefore, we should not force it to happen nor resist change to make it NOT happen.