When the thieves disagrees with the intellectual pundits,Erap and the masses, especially when this happens more than election is forthcoming, they become quite hysterical in their condemnation of the Cory’s 1987 Constitution, and develop a sudden interest in constitutional matters in amending the written laws even the people and the Senate don’t agree.
Tongressmen are now salivating of having P20 million in their pockets for passing the Con-Ass resolution. Congress to convene as a Constituent Assembly was rammed through the members of the House amid objections raised by the members of the opposition.
This is what makes it doubly frightening. First, it exploits the Constitution to inflict the swindle on the citizenry that what it is doing is for the nation’s good. Second, the members of Con-Ass will be the nation’s supreme masters starting once it’s approved by the people. Can you beat that? Today, as almost all national surveys show, Congress is the lowest man on the totem pole of institutional popularity.Their members are among the most hated and despised of the human species in our country.
We are now constantly being bamboozled by the dimwits neocon of Arroyo in Tongress with the argument that if the Philippines is far behind many of its neighbor countries in East and Southeast Asia, it is because they have a parliamentary system. And we Filipinos, imbeciles that we are, have stuck over the generations to an outmoded presidential system. This system, we are told, has brought us nothing but mass poverty, corruption on an unprecedented scale, crime and violence that could have only come from the lowest pits of Hades.
Parliamentary government is a set of people chosen to represent other people, usually with some geographic focus, and consists of four basic principles. The first states that citizens of a parliamentary state elect the parliament of representatives for their state. The second states that the cabinet,consisting of members of parliament who take on executive responsibilities on top of their legislative ones, is elected by the established parliament to manage state affairs. The third condition under which a parliamentary government functions is that this cabinet can only exist if it consistently acquires the majority of votes in the parliament, or as long as the parliament has confidence in the cabinet. The fourth and final basic principle states that the parliament can actually be disbanded by the head of the cabinet, resulting in a new election and a new separation of powers.
As a general matter, I tend to think parliamentary systems as seen in Britain or Canada are superior to our method of government. A system like that puts less formal restraint on the head of government in terms of his ability to act, but also makes it much easier to dump a head of government whose policies have failed and whose leadership is widely considered inept.
Totally maybe. Parliamentary systems do work better for small countries with well-educated populations. Accountability is higher, and voters enforce some discipline upon government. The openness of the economy imposes other constraints.
But when the country is large and diverse, I see more reason to favor the American Constitution or in general a more pluralistic system. Why trust voters as the major source of constraint, and what do “the voters” want in any case? Furthermore the American system offers a decent chance of divided government and thus greater limits on the executive. Parliamentary systems often allow the Prime Minister and cabinet to manipulate the legislature by offering intra-party perks and promotions. There is plenty of gerrymandering, and bringing down a government is an extreme option which is not very easy to exercise in political equilibrium. If nothing else the rebelling party faces the danger of many of its members — including the rebels — being kicked out in a new election. Elections can be called at strategic times, and so on. The Prime Minister is hardly a captive of the voters or the legislature.
Most European nations follow the parliamentary system of government. Britain is the most well known parliamentary system. Because Great Britain was once a pure monarchy, the function of the head of state was given to the royal family, while the role of chief executive was established with Parliament. Some parliaments, however, do not have a history of monarchy. Israel is a parliamentary system with a president. The president, however, does not hold the same power as a president in a presidential system, but functions as the head of state. In both presidential and parliamentary systems, the chief executive can be removed from office by the legislature. Parliamentary systems use a ‘vote of no confidence’ where a majority of parliament members vote to remove the Prime Minister from office. A new election is then called. In presidential systems, a similar process is used where legislators vote to impeach the President from office.
When the kleptomaniac president and corrupt tongressmen are unified, as under a Parliamentary system, the Supreme Court, or its equivalent, will be weaker. No one will trust a hand-picked court, with no major obstacles to confirmation, with so much power. Yet weakening judicial review in the becoming Banana Republic of the Philippines would worry me; it also one step toward eliminating a written constitution altogether.
The parliamentary system is not a solution at all. It is a grab for power under the guise of change.Majority of our people live below the poverty line, and they ache terribly for reforms, for a new group of visionary leaders, for that shaft of political lightning that leads to Promise Land,not in HongKong, Dubai or going TNT in America. They would perhaps appreciate and agree if the members of Congress who would constitute a Constituent Assembly vote themselves out in the House of Tongress. That would convince Maria,Juan and Pedro that they are noble, serious and sincere. But as things stand, they would be the first to barge into a parliamentary government. And profit handsomely.
A final question is whether WE the Filipino people — the country most likely to use military intimidation — needs a President with a certain amount of guns,golds and goons and secrecy for a fixed time period. In general I favor a constrained executive, but that one is harder to call. Can you imagine a Parliament debating where theirs kotongs and pork barrels comes next?