Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Home Features The 91 percent question: Striking while the iron is hot

The 91 percent question: Striking while the iron is hot

What does a Head of Government do should people rate his administration and its handling of the pandemic so highly, to the tune of a ninety-one percent approval rating?

– Sponsored Ad –
MSALVIO Software and Hardware Technologies

Should he sit back, do nothing, and let his critics win?

Or should he finally take the first few albeit delayed steps to accepting the popular mandate for “pagbabago” meaning national renewal, or acting on his campaign promise to reform the constitution?

Such question lingers on in my head as I type this.

– Sponsored Ad –
LMI I.T. Solutions & Telecommunications Services
LMI I.T. Solutions & Telecommunications Services

Perhaps two of the most non-democratic and frustrating functions of the presidential system which we have in the Philippines today are a rigid election schedule and a lack of accountability between the executive and legislative branches: these have contributed to democratic stagnation in our country.

– Sponsored Ad –
Call or text 09177876131 or 09222966327.

The former is well-represented by the recent query of a Representative in the Lower House about postponing the 2022 elections due to public safety and public health concerns, while the latter can be viewed from the lens of the recent power struggle for the House Speakership.

– Sponsored Ad –
Microbites
Microbites

Quite recently, Congressman Mikey Arroyo of Pampanga asked the chairperson of the Commission on Elections Sheriff Abas about “The thought that we will postpone the elections, has that ever triggered in your mind?”

Abas, an attorney, replied in the negative. Mr. Abas’ reply correctly upheld the provisions of the current constitution, wherein presidential and senatorial elections are to be held every six years in May, while giving congressional representatives limited terms of three years each. There is no provision to postpone or cancel regularly scheduled elections in the law.

– Sponsored Ad –
Green Plains Education Center

Though some would make the point that this arrangement allows for regular elections and stable terms, this point lies in contrast to the more flexible and adaptable arrangement present in parliamentary systems.

For example, while a congressional term lasts exactly for three years, members of parliament are granted a term of four to five years depending on their country’s law, with parliament sometimes dissolving even earlier for fresh elections due to many circumstances.

– Sponsored Ad –
House of Praise Learning Center
House of Praise Learning Center

Even a pandemic is no excuse for parliaments to put their days of reckoning and accountability on hold, as best exemplified by the recent Singaporean general elections.

This lingering threat of electoral removal through the ballot box at an indefinite and uncertain time shapes the behaviors of the members of parliament to prove more careful and deliberate with their actions, as diametrically opposed to the behaviors exhibited by some of the Philippines’ lawmakers.

– Sponsored Ad –
Step into the future of learning.

With the speakership row fresh in the minds of so many Filipinos, concerned citizens have been quick to condemn the antics playing out between the incumbent Speaker of the House and another legislator who was “promised” the powerful, political role. Even the President, whose role is supposedly completely different, was asked to help mediate this dispute!

Conversely, a norm found in parliamentary systems is the neutral role of the legislature’s speaker, whose role is more of a neutral arbiter and referee who decides the speaking list and is in charge of procedure.

– Sponsored Ad –
Access Pro Immigration Services
Access Pro Immigration Services

Generally, the whole body of legislators decides who gets the job, and his tenure is not generally subject to executive interference or meddling. This arrangement would appear preferable to the jarring theatrics we see today.

Ultimately, not adopting or learning from the best practices found in the governments of other countries will only serve to entrench the status of the unenviable and tiring status quo which this country faces in its politics.

The President, despite the many missteps of his administration and communications, and if the surveys are to be believed still has political capital.

His promise to redefine our institutions must be placed at the forefront of our clamors, or else let his legacy, and democracy, continue to stagnate.

Gabriel Christian J. Lacson
Gabriel Christian J. Lacson
“Those who look only to the past or to the present are certain to miss the future.” - John F. Kennedy

Leave a Reply

Most Popular

Downright different: Downrange Daddy’s cool school

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines - Jose Carlos Coruna does not look his age.

Bing asks IATF again: downgrade Q status to MGCQ

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines - Mayor Evelio Leonardia has requested the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) to downgrade the quarantine status of the city to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by the month of December.

MassKara Coliseum to push through

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines - The construction of the P800 million Bacolod Masskara Coliseum and Museum will push through despite delays caused by...

Seven-hour outage in areas in Bago tomorrow

Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc. informs its consumers that maintenance activities will be conducted tomorrow 28 November Saturday.