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Party-list System


erik espina special report

CURRENT cacophony of voices headed by militant leanings, cites the ‘Party-list System’ as subjected to grave abuse by political-dynasties, the well-to-do, and sectors accredited by Comelec to represent interests not in the ambit of the “under-privileged and under-represented”.

We, however, need to feed on past events to comprehend distortions in the present state of party politics. Accountability remains the algorithm for reminding why and how we got to this point – a failing “party-list system’.

Let us begin with ‘Multi-party politics’ when introduced during martial law (ML). Machiavellian thought when threatened, prompted neutering what was an enduring, albeit maturing, and vibrant ‘Two-Party System’ (Nationalista and Liberal Party) as foundation for our democracy, with party platforms/programs, consensus building, recruitment and vetting of the best, brightest, and abled leaders of the republic competing in the electoral arena. Such system determined the heart of our people via a majority, provisioning clear mandates every election. Nevertheless, flirtation with multi-party schemes during ML, validated the overwhelming leverage of a president as gravitas for state power vis-a-vis congress and the judiciary. Plus, dominant political advantage versus “the opposition”, and other diminutive parties. Under the “yellow government”, the aberrant multi-party system with party-list was sadly institutionalized in a Presidential government. A previous Marcos Cabinet member (former communist), with progressive Constitutional Commissioners adopted and wrote said system into the 1987 Charter. Leftist fronts, thus enjoying legislative power in this systemic crack. Hence to this day, the defense establishment suspects, certain party-lists, finance the armed-rebellion? Question – do struggling sectors have a right to endorse lawyers, politicians etc. as representative nominees of their party-lists. Yes! Sauce for goose and gander. However, a failing-system is confirmed thus, 19M voters avoiding or neglecting to choose any of the roughly 200 political parties last May.