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Monday, August 28, 2017

FEDERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM

A few facts for everyone:
From Orion Perez D

1) The proposal of the Duterte administration is to set up not just Federalism, but a FEDERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM. (The transition towards it entails passing through an interim "French-style" Semi-Presidential System which will gradually turn into a full parliamentary system with a Singapore-style ceremonial president with certain strong reserve powers).

2) Oligarchs, Dynasties, and Warlords are the result of a lousy economic system in which economic opportunities are way too scarce and whatever available jobs pay too little. So in the end, the vast majority are very poor, and the middle class is so small to make a dent. If anything, most middle class families are either abroad or are sustained by one or more breadwinners working abroad and sending remittances back. When people are so poor, they are desperate. And when they are desperate, they are prone to vote-buying and patronage politics by the few rich people in their area who also run for office and have no competition because they're the only rich people and everyone else is poor.

3) The Philippines does yet not have Federalism, and yet we have Oligarchy, Warlords, Dynasties. On the other hand, Countries using Federalism - particularly Federal-Parliamentary Systems like Germany, Australia, Canada, Malaysia and even Switzerland (directorial/council-parliamentary federation) don't have Warlords, Dynasties, and Oligarchs. ERGO: these have nothing to do with Federalism at all!

4) Aside from a Federal-Parliamentary System, Duterte is pushing for constitutional reforms that would remove the 60/40 and other anti-foreign direct investment restrictions in order to attract much more foreign direct investors to the Philippines to create more jobs and alleviate the massive unemployment problem which caused the poverty that makes poor people so beholden to rich politicians who pay them with largesse in order to get support and win and perpetuate themselves in power.

5) The Presidential System fosters Dynasties because of the NAME-RECALL centric and popularity-centric nature of the system. Under the Presidential System, which cascades downwards to the gubernatorial and mayoral levels, candidates are voted BY NAME, which gives members of political families and dynasties a distinct electoral advantage because of their name-familiarity. Other countries that use Presidential Systems also have dynasties, such as the USA where several presidents have been from the same families due to the advantage of their famous family names: Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. George Herbert Bush, Sr. and George W. Bush, Jr. and as Bill Clinton used to be president, his wife Hillary Clinton almost won. State politics is equally dynastic because of the name-recall system. Presidential Systems are lousy. Presidential Systems promote dynasties.

6) But we are going for a Federal-Parliamentary System anyway and in Parliamentary Systems, candidates have to be good and competent, not just famous, if they want to become the top leaders, because they cannot just run for the top spot, they have to run for a seat within a collegial chamber, and among those who win seats, the most senior leader of them who is recognized for competence and leadership ability is chosen as the top decision maker. At the national level, that's the Prime Minister, at the regional level, that's the Premier or Chief Minister, and at the local level, that's the Mayor. Voters don't vote based on candidates' names, voters vote based on PARTY NAMES on the ballot. This forces people to think more about platforms and not personalities.

7) Parliamentary Systems are based on competence and skill.
They are also extremely accountable systems where good leaders are rewarded with reelection, but lousy ones can be instantly removed and replaced. One extra point is that Parliamentary Systems are much less prone to corruption because the opposition is always watching. In fact, "Freedom of Information" is already built into any parliamentary system, because the Opposition forms a Shadow Cabinet that has corresponding Shadow Ministers for each Government Minister and has access to all documents and info about each Ministry and its financial dealings and records. Every week, the Shadow Ministers grill the Govt Ministers, asking difficult questions and exposing any financial anomalies and other issues and this keeps them on their toes and keeps them honest.

8 ) Parliamentary Systems make it harder for lousy people to become top leaders. An actor or an athlete or a famous TV personality has to prove himself competent and better than the other parliamentarians if he wants to become the top leader, otherwise his own party mates will never take him seriously and he will never make it to the top of his party.

9) Ultimately, Dynasties aren't always bad. Some "dynasties" are good because the members of the family are upright and extremely competent and were trained to do a good job. Dynasties are bad when their members are incompetent but still win elections, steal money, cheat, lie, and do not perform or do not deliver.

10) Rather than focusing too much on Dynasties, it is better for the whole of society to focus more on setting up a system that promotes having good and competent leaders who are sincere, honest, and can deliver, and getting rid of lousy ones. That system is a Federal-Parliamentary System.

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