EAVESDROPPER:Transactional and patronage politics

December 22, 2009 at 11:54 am Leave a comment


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

I had a lengthy talk with Lach Mirchandani, my Indian national friend, lately during which we discussed the political system this country has. Lach said that what is worst in Philippine politics is the system of patronage and transactions.

Patronage, he said, is our tendency to elect leaders not based on their qualifications but on their propensity in perpetuating themselves to powers. That is why, according to him, the issue of political dynasty has never been addressed. Transactional politics, on the other hand, is also our tendency to yield to the whims and caprices of the powers-that-be. If there are emerging new leaders and plan to run in a position, the powers-that-be will talk to these guys to stop their plan. There will be some political transactions that only between them know.

Lach was right. I thought deeply on what he said. I tried to figured out the systems in politics we have and found out many realities. These realities could not be curbed overnight or totally eradicated by introducing the automated polls system (APS).

When Senator Mar Roxas decided to give way to Senator Noynoy Aquino on his presidential ambition, he said that Noynoy will be more credible to unite the forces of the Liberal Party. That credibility he was talking about was the popularity of Noynoy after the death of former President Corazon Aquino.

Noynoy accepted that challenged from Roxas. He decided to throw his hat into the presidential race and promise a new political reform anchored on new brand of politics and shying away from the traditional system.

But my god of many gods! Just after a month of saying that, this Noynoy has already been accepting many political figures in the Liberal Party. These political figures have been viewed in the past as traditional politicians. Noynoy had been tricked. He did not discern that these politicians who crossed political parties have their ulterior motives- to ride on the popularity of Noynoy.

This case is a transactional politics in nature. The Liberal Party could not live on its words. The leaders themselves defied their earlier statements because of their desire that by getting political figures from other parties will boost their popularity. Look at the surveys now. Noynoy Aquino’s rating is sliding down instead of maintaining the comfortable lead over other presidentiables.

While politics at the national level is a humpy dumpy case, the same situation could be felt at the local levels. In the province, political party alliances are absurd if not shrewd. You could not even distinguish now “who is supporting who” and what platforms really constitute the parties they are in.

The astuteness of the political system is putting the electorates in limbo. It will no longer be a party-based politics but personality-centered type of politics that is working in our midst.

On the campaign front, Comelec said that there will be no pre-mature campaigning. But if you will observe, every nook and cranny in your areas are already festooned with “Christmas greetings” from politicians. Even tricycles are filled with stickers bearing the names of “ so and so” political wannabes.

The worst system that is yet to come during the regular campaign period is the art of terrorism. In previous elections, this art of terrorizing political leaders has been mastered by the goons of politicians. Once you are known to be campaigning for someone else, expect that many forms of harassment will come your way. There will be either a black ribbon will be sent to you or a barong tagalong. Another is they will use your employer to harass you that is why there will be words like “ bantayan mo siya” ( Guard him/her}.

It’s nauseating political ploy. Could we ever experience peace of mind during elections in Pinoylandia? Not now… not in the near future. When?

(for comments email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com}

Entry filed under: Opinion.

EAVESDROPPER: By Virgilio Sar. Maganes Abono chooses nominees before Feb 9, 2010

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