Carvajal: Ourselves to blame

WHAT people are saying is true. What needs changing is not the constitution but crooked and incompetent political leaders. But how do we change them when existing laws allow the already rich to represent rich and poor Filipinos alike as they alone can afford to run and win in our undemocratic money-denominated election and representation systems?

We don’t need to shift to federalism either. Any form of government where elections are solely based on money and deceit will have us eating the leftovers of arrogant, incompetent and thieving government policy makers.

Yet, how can we expect Congress now, jointly or separately in a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) to come up with provisions that will level the political playing field for capitalists and workers, for landlords and farmers, for high level government officials and rank and file government workers?

The excuse that a Constitutional Convention (ConCon) is too expensive is just that, an excuse. It is only expensive for them because they have to spend for the election to the Constitutional Convention of surrogate-delegates who will, of course, protect the interests of their sponsors.

The new constitution should define what constitutes genuine political parties and certify these as public institutions funded by the government. Candidates listed by genuine parties will not need to spend money to get elected because people will vote for a party whose list of candidates will take the contested offices should the party win.

It’s a total party list system as in other truly democratic federal countries. It is, hence, ominous that there’s already talk about abolishing party-lists when these should be what stays while the system of electing individuals belonging to bogus parties should go.

Anyway, it seems like there’s nothing we can do to change the HOW. We must shift focus on the WHAT. But here there are also disturbing signs. The Constitutional Commission of President Duterte has not come up with any official proposed draft and the chatter in and out of Con-Ass is more on local autonomy and other non-essentials of democracy than on the undemocratic election by money and representation of all sectors by bogus parties of the rich.

We are cooked any HOW the constitution is changed. The only course left to follow is for us to fight actively for the necessary WHATs of the new constitution. Remember, we have corrupt and incompetent officials because we elected them and left them to do their thieving.

As early as now, therefore, we have to stop them from scheming how to end up in another privileged place under a new charter. If they succeeded and we’re still stuck with them in the federal government, we have only ourselves to blame.
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