The shift to federalism

In a way, if there will be a shift to Federalism some amendments are most welcome. Like for example, a longer term for local officials-from three years to five years with one re-reelection. More changes can be expected. Getting back to the two party system. A parliamentary system with a prime minister as head of government with a ceremonial president. The office of the vice president removed etc.etc. But all of these should be subjected to intense debate.

It is really imperative to change our political structure and other issues should also be tackled like getting back to the old two party system and consider scratching the party list system. There was a time in the political history of our country where elections were held every four years on the month of November. A president was elected for a four year term and eligible with one reelection, and that’s it.

For other officials, there was no term limit. Senators, congressmen, governors, mayors and down the line, can run for reelection. One can hold office as long as you win the elections. And because of the term limit, ruling politicians field their family members, despite their lack of interest and qualifications. That gave more birth to political dynasties.

Why in heaven’s name the election month was moved from November to May? The shifting of month unleveled the playing field for candidates. In the month of May there are the fiestas. The preceding months of May are the occasions for young people to hold basketball tournaments, dance balls and the ‘pabasa’ in almost every sitios during celebration of Holy Week. Solicitation letters are flying thick in the air during the holding of those events. The common targets are those running for public office.

It’s a double edge sword that weakens a political system. To get the votes, a candidate has the tendency to overspend, and become a thief to recover the expenditures, and save more for the next elections. Voters are in a way selling their votes for their reason in electing people are those who can donate more on their causes. Never mind qualification and moral background of the candidates.

It was the imposition of term limit that spawned the political dynasties. The elected official now who stuffed his pocket and increased the digits in his many bank accounts through his corruption will field the wife or the son or the daughter after finishing his third and final term, and only to trade place in the next elections. It became a cat and mouse game.

To stress my point. In the early years, people who entered poltics were decent, educated and their wealth was from their sweat. Those who didn’t have money but were qualified were voted into office because vote buying was not a practice. Many of these wealthy people became poor after they made their political exits.

Not today! Many politicians who were paupers before, but with stroke of luck won political offices are now wealthy beyond their dreams, and are still counting. And hopefully the new constitution if ever, we will have a new one that can correct all which are suppose to be corrected.

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