Tell it to SunStar: On the PDP-Laban draft constitution, 2

(Continued from yesterday)

“IT is also proposed that state subsidies shall be provided to political parties based on their electoral performance in the previous election just like they do in mature democracies. This is to reduce or altogether eliminate the influence of big business and drug and gambling lords in our politicians.”

I couldn’t agree more. A party law must be part of the constitution as well as a detailed, democratic and self-executing election law.

“In order to democratize political power, we propose to make the anti-dynasty provision in the Constitution self-executing. It is proposed that relatives of incumbent politicians up to the 2nd degree of affinity or consanguinity shall be prohibited for running for public office in the territorial jurisdiction where the incumbent was elected.”

Why only now? The second degree proposal is gaining all-round acceptance. But it precludes possibly capable men from running. More just and elegant is to preclude them from running as independent personalities. If they must run as party members a valid regulation could be that only one clan member is allowed to run for the same party. Only one dynast comes to power.

“The Prime Minister … shall be the Head of Government and he shall now handle the day-to-day affairs of government. It is now the Prime Minister who will set domestic and economic policy and control public finances.” The Prime Minister “determines the guidelines of national policy.”

Does this mean that the Prime Minister will present the State of the Federation Address to the nation? I hope so, but unlike in today’s SONA, directly subsequent to his speech the leader of the opposition shall get the floor. He will depict a completely different picture of the federation. Then many more parliamentarians and cabinet members will have the word speaking pro and contra about several aspects of the SOFA.

“The Prime Minister is nominated and appointed by the President with the consent of the Federal Assembly.”

No, it shall be the other way round: The president shall swear in the Prime Minister nominated by the Parliament majority.

Let the electorate decide who the Prime Minister is. In the election campaign he had run as the top candidate of his party together with his shadow cabinet. Their government program was made known in detail to the people. They give their votes to the party whose top candidate they want to become the Prime Minister.

“… Hybrid parliamentary system where executive power is dispersed among the President, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, the Parliament and the Regional Governments.”

What is this? The parliament has executive power? I thought that in a democracy the parliament is vested the legislative power. Did none of the 20 Institute members study Monsieur Montesquieu’s La séparation des pouvoirs? Did none of them raise a red flag when the intention of giving executive power to the lawmakers would open the floodgates to pork-barrelling? Deja vu, di ba?--Erich Wannemacher
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