Saturday, May 12, 2007

Party List Mayhem

Sometimes good intentions turn awry. The 1987 Philippine Constitution instituted the party list system to give chances for marginalized sectors to be represented in Congress. But years later, it seems that it has neither empowered the marginalized but gave a non-marginalized a cheap way to get elected!

While the Left have always won their seats, without a wider (geographical) constituency they are condemned forever to say their time worn cliches in Congress. I don't know if the Leftists read their history. Of course they want to gain power, but they will never do that as a Party List party. If Weimar Germany had a party list system and the National Socialists limited themselves to that forum, it is unlikely that they would have seized power. Hitler was more sophisticated. He gained power through a parliamentary majority and Hindenburg had no choice but to appoint him as Chancellor.

I am not espousing Nazi ideology. In fact Nazism has a lot of lessons to teach us. We should not allow any abhorrent ideology that puts the annihilation of a race or a socio-economic class ever to come to power. We have to learn from Adolf Hitler. He really exploited the fractiousness and weakness of parliamentary democracy. Democracy should be able to crush those who threaten it.

The Left should grow up and organize themselves as a serious party with a platform they can sell to the greater constituency. But they have to junk some of the gods in the Netherlands some of which have (or dream of) EU passports!

Another silliness of the Party List system is that good for nothing scions of on-the-way out politicians are running. Another silliness is that religious and other fringe groups have their own party lists.

The question is who ever nominated them to represent their constituency? In my profession, there is a scientist party list group. But were professional scientists asked to nominate who will represent them?

This is a mockery of what democratic processes should be. Any idiot can declare himself marginalized and start his own party list group.

But the party list system is not hopeless. If we should have something like it, perhaps we should have functional constituencies like what they have in Hong Kong. But of course these constituencies cannot form the majority of the legislature. These constituencies should be elected by members of the professions.

This will give the groups accountability which is a major pillar of a democracy. To whom are the party list accountable to? Their constituencies? I doubt it. Most of them did not pass through a democratic process of nomination.

The best thing is to do away with the party list and let our democracy grow up.

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