Tell it to SunStar: Federal legislature

THE federal legislature logically is bicameral: one chamber represents the national interest and one represents the interest of the 11 states.

The first is called federal parliament and has 299 or so federal parliamentarians elected in the now congressional districts. The second chamber is called state council and has 1 to 3 state councilors per state (depending on the population). They are elected members of the state parliaments appointed by the state prime minister in a collegial understanding.

Candidates for both, national and state parliaments are members of a party with a program and explicitly formulated targets that they intend to realize during their 5-year term so that the voter knows what policy he/she will fight for once elected. Success or failure to do so will be the criterion for the voter to reelect his or her party or to vote for another party next election time.

The states have unicameral legislature. They are limited by the federal frame legislature. Only exception may be to allow the Muslim federal state to implement sharia and having more than one wife.

The voting system is organized on state level. Voters are given two ballot sheets: On the first are enumerated the national parties with a priority list of about six names of eminent party members for the federal parliament. On the second are enumerated national and local parties with at least 6 names of candidates for each party for the 11 state parliaments.

On election Sunday the voter makes only 2 crosses: one for a party to the federal parliament and one for a party to the state parliament.

The hand counting of the 128 million crosses under the eye of interested citizens will take two to three hours. At 9 o’clock in the evening losers and winners will present themselves on TV to the nation.

A law goes through 3 lectures in the bicameral legislation: The state councilors consult with their respective governments in the states. The federal parliamentarians consult with the executive who sit in front of them in the parliament. They (prime minister and resort ministers) participate in the deliberation of law proposals (deliberated already in the panels) expressing their doubts, reservations and worries.

The Federal President as the head of state signs the law into vigor in a formal ceremony.

Judging from the two published draft constitutions and from the discussions thereof I can anticipate that the final draft will be sub-optimal. The law-delaying senate seems to be the main obstacle to a viable federalization.

Therefor the ballot for the referendum shall contain 2 questions: Are you in favor of federalism? Yes - No. Do you accept the draft law for federalization? Yes - No.

In case a majority of the electorate vote Yes to the first but No to the second, there are two possibilities: First is revolutionary government which would bring us a strong president and a weak people’s representation. The discussions on term extension, strongman rule and dictatorship would never end.

The second is a belated Constitutional Convention, with experts drawing the draft constitution. It will be submitted to the Philippine people within 60 to 90 days after completion of such revision. Redesign, not amendment. The Cory Constitution is beyond amendments.--Erich Wannemacher
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